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October 15, 2022

Cora – the new name in excellent homes

Expert housebuilder Barwood Homes has announced its new name and brand – Cora. The company, based in Northamptonshire, has been delivering homes across the Midlands since it formed in 2010. However, as the company looks to the future, it wanted a new name and brand that better reflects its values.

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Paramount go back to the future with new Bristol office

Fit out, Design and Build specialists Paramount have used maritime history to inspire their new South West of England base and help revitalise a “forgotten” part of Bristol. The company’s design team have delved deep into the past and taken a lead from local architecture in a move it is

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Lathams introduces WISA® BioBond across its UPM WISA-Spruce range

UPM’s ultra-sustainable new technology, WISA BioBond, becomes standard bonding agent in all James Latham Ltd’s collection of UPM WISA-Spruce. Today, James Latham Ltd (Lathams), one of the UK’s leading independent distributors of panel products, announces the introduction of WISA®’s new BioBond technology to its full range of WISA-Spruce plywood. WISA BioBond is

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Handling a dispute with your contractor

When you hire a London, Ontario home builder, or a home builder anywhere for that matter, it can be stressful and overwhelming. You are taking a leap to build a custom home, and with that, you probably have some pretty big expectations. That’s normal and expected any time you’re dealing

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

October 15, 2022

Verdion announces 1.75 million sq ft development plans at iPort, Doncaster

Verdion announces a major £300 million speculative development programme that will deliver all remaining warehouse capacity at iPort, the 6 million sq ft multimodal logistics hub just outside Doncaster. Totalling 1.75 million sq ft, this final stage of development at iPort will offer five buildings from 82,000 sq ft upwards, with delivery from June 2023. The largest of the five buildings will extend to 848,250 sq ft and complete in June 2024 – one of the largest speculative logistics units ever developed in the UK offering a significant proposition for businesses looking for a new national hub. All buildings will be built to very high standards of construction and certified to a minimum of BREEAM Very Good. John Clements, Executive Director of Verdion, said: “This is a major investment that underlines our unwavering confidence in both iPort and the UK market. Demand for high quality, efficient space in strategic locations remains extremely strong and this programme addresses the current scarcity in Yorkshire market and further afield head on. “Speed of delivery is important and we have a fantastic on-site construction team, planning permission is in place and contractors’ agreements are signed.” The decision follows recent lettings at iPort as well as the completion of the final building in its previous speculative phase, iP10, which is located adjacent to the on-site rail terminal. Woodland Group, Euro Pool Systems and Maritime Transport have all signed leases for new space at iPort this year. iPort is one of the UK’s most significant multimodal logistics hubs, and the largest in the north of England, with capacity for a total of 6 million sq ft of 24/7 of logistics and light industrial accommodation close to Junction 3 of the M18 and the East Coast Main Line. Occupiers include Amazon, CEVA, Fellowes, Lidl, Dusk, Kingsbury Press, Woodland Group, Maritime Group and Euro Pool Systems. In addition to large areas of landscaping and wetland, iPort benefits from an award-winning multimodal on-site rail freight terminal, iPort Rail, which is increasingly being used by companies based on-site and across the region looking to cut carbon across their supply chains, with rail connections to major UK sea ports. Gent Visick, Colliers and CBRE are the retained leasing agents for iPort. Verdion’s longstanding partner in the development of iPort is the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). www.iportuk.com www.iportrail.com

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Haldane Fisher named training company of the year by builders merchants federation

Local leading builders’ merchant Haldane Fisher has been named as the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) Training Company of the Year. The company, which has branches in Northern Ireland, England, and Isle of Man, was one of four shortlisted for the renowned accolade, which acknowledges excellence in supporting and developing their teams. Nominated by BMF Regional Managers, judges selected Haldane Fisher as the winner for its commitment to training through various initiatives, including a bespoke Excellence in Branch Management programme and BMF LEAP apprenticeship programme. Andrew Laird, Group HR Director at Haldane Fisher, said: “We are thrilled to have been named BMF’s Training Company of the Year, recognising the knowledge and expertise our employees have gained through the learning initiatives implemented across all departments. “At Haldane Fisher, we recognise that our people are an integral part of our operations and are dedicated to helping them be the best they can be. “This award is a testament to their hard work and willingness to learn, resulting in our customers trusting the team to provide them with sound advice when needed.” Andrew continued: “Access to proficient learning and development is essential, which is why we will continue to avail of the broad range of formal and specialist courses offered by the BMF.” Haldane Fisher supplies over 15,000 products in 800 categories, helping both trade and general public find everything they need to complete a vast array of projects. For more information, visit haldane-fisher.com

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Major new study reveals property and location needs of science and tech communities

Talent shortages and growth ambitions are forcing some of the UK’s most promising science and technology businesses to re-evaluate their building strategies according to a new research report. As a result over half are planning to relocate over the next three years and over one in six (16%) are planning to move overseas. The report, Building a Future for Science and Technology, by Ridge and Partners, the multi-discipline property and construction consultancy, suggests a UK science and technology sector with big expansion plans. The 103 science and tech companies interviewed expect to grow by an average 52% over the next three years. However, they are being inhibited by premises and location concerns which have ramifications for the local authorities, developers, city planners, and science parks looking to attract them. These issues and shortcomings are impacting on the sectors’ ability to recruit and therefore grow. For instance, over a third are struggling to fill crucial support roles such as lab technicians and admin staff – personnel who are massively affected by public transport and local housing costs. Meanwhile, almost half (48%) are having difficulty filling more senior roles. These issues have become so pronounced that almost a third (31%) report they need to be nearer a larger pool of talent. For many, that may involve moving overseas. Liz Sparrow, Partner, Science and Tech Lead at Ridge and Partners, comments: “There’s no lack of ambition or opportunity for growth within the science and tech communities. Indeed, a third of the companies we studied expect to grow by over 60% over the next three years. But they need to be in the right environment to do this. That means somewhere with the right infrastructure, transport links, housing, and premises to attract the partners, suppliers, and talent they need.” Ridge’s research also highlights how highly dependent small and large science and technology-based businesses are on each other. Irrespective of size, 31% want to be located nearer to other science/tech businesses.  This drive to operate in such ‘eco-systems’ has made tech and science parks the preferred solution for 98%. However, the report shows that these eco-systems aren’t working as they should, with 19% reporting that their science park landlords are not in tune with their needs. A third say that there aren’t enough good suppliers near them, while 24% need to be closer to major academic institutions. Such proximity would make collaboration and innovation easier and create a greater magnet for the specialist talent and suppliers the sectors collectively need. A sizeable 45% strongly agree that science parks can all seem the same and 80% say they feel rather ‘out of town’, an issue exacerbated by public transport problems.  Conscious that their choice of building reflects on their own brand, 81% believe their science park should prioritise sustainability.  A fifth want their science park to be a more high-tech and greener space to help them attract talent with an array of things on wish-lists such as visible renewable energy sources (19%) and impressive front of house or showcase areas for visitors and partners to use (20%). Liz Sparrow, again: “It’s important that we note these needs, as every company which exits these diverse eco-systems and relocates overseas, or simply fails to thrive, weakens things for everyone else. To protect one we must plan and build for all. “But with such a diverse mix of building, housing, and infrastructure needs to address no single body alone can do this. Joined-up thinking is needed between the public and private sectors, between the UK’s government, its cities, regions, construction sector, and science parks. Collaboration is key if we’re to create, grow – and keep – the UK’s tech/science powerhouses.” The Building a Future for Science and Technology Report is free to download.

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Cora – the new name in excellent homes

Expert housebuilder Barwood Homes has announced its new name and brand – Cora. The company, based in Northamptonshire, has been delivering homes across the Midlands since it formed in 2010. However, as the company looks to the future, it wanted a new name and brand that better reflects its values. Luke Simmons, Managing Director at Cora, said: “We are thrilled to announce our new name and branding and are looking forward to a successful future as Cora. “Our new name comes from the word Chorus, echoing who we are as a company – a group of people working in harmony. “We feel our new brand better reflects our values, a people-centric company focused on delivering high-quality homes while providing great customer service.” Among Cora’s current live sites are Eagles Edge, Redhill, in Nottinghamshire, Romney Meadows, in Quainton, Buckinghamshire and the Old Sawmill in Great Bowden in Leicestershire. Cora is launching a new website to coincide with the rebranding, giving its customers access to an easy-to-use platform packed with information and updates on Cora’s projects. As Cora, the team and management remains the same while the company also looks to extend its strategy on sustainability and the environment. Luke said “Although the company’s name has changed, its dedication to delivering excellent homes and customer service has not. Although we have been building excellent homes since we were formed, the company has grown and evolved since we were first established.” “As Cora, our work will be complimented by our new Sustainable Building Framework, and our focus will also be on protecting the environment and working within our communities. “We will continue to deliver on our promises of excellent quality of product and service, but will build upon these values as the company moves forward.” For more information on Cora and its projects visit Cora.uk

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Paramount go back to the future with new Bristol office

Fit out, Design and Build specialists Paramount have used maritime history to inspire their new South West of England base and help revitalise a “forgotten” part of Bristol. The company’s design team have delved deep into the past and taken a lead from local architecture in a move it is hoped will invigorate Bristol’s historic Welsh Back dock area. The interior design of the harbourside office painstakingly reflects the area’s history with corten steel, burnt timber, rope and metalwork all prominent features all tying the base to the docks. The focal points of the workspace are the boardroom which is hidden behind a slatted door and a bar area which resembles a boat-shaped below a rusted cage structure named the Portcullis in keeping with maritime traditions. Local architectural firm AWW was responsible for the creative concept of the building regeneration. Developer and investor was V7. Gareth Davies, Paramount’s Senior Designer who masterminded the design, said: “We are privileged to be able to call Bristol’s famous floating harbour the setting for our new office because it’s an area that is steeped in history. “We’ve gone Back to the Future for inspiration to create a hybrid working environment that celebrates the bygone days of the Welsh Back area. “A workspace that encourages professional collaboration and helps build team dynamics with a nod to the storied past of Bristol’s dock area was our priority and we’ve worked hard to turn that vision into a reality.” Taking inspiration from neighbourhoods, it is hoped that Paramount’s new workplace will become a thriving community for their teams and industry colleagues alike. Paramount Sales Director Kevin Mashford, who will lead the Bristol team, added: “We set out to create Bristol’s most ‘Instagrammable’ office and thanks to our exceptionally talented design and project team I am proud to say we have achieved our goal. “With a variety of interconnected spaces our new office is a prime example of how you can take inspiration from ‘community’ and create neighbourhoods within the office where the same energy and connection people feel sitting in a coffee shop, or the same level of focus they experience in their own home, can be achieved within one space. “These are exciting times for Paramount, and we are proud to play a part in the regeneration of the Welsh Back area which is forgotten for some people but is now really buzzing and is set to be a brilliant place to do business and socialise.” The new workplace signals the acceleration of Cardiff-headquartered Paramount’s growth and will create up to 20 specialist jobs in the city as it targets £50-million turnover within three years.  Paramount Managing Director Richard Jones, who led a management buyout in 2018, said: “Our brilliant new office represents a substantial investment by Paramount which will ensure company growth continues to gather pace across the South West of England. “The Bristol base is a real statement of intent and demonstrates our confidence. Paramount will strengthen its presence in a vibrant region and build on our proud reputation as a company with an outstanding record of creating places where people want to be.” Bristol-based Bafta-nominated natural history film-making company, Offspring Films also now call the Welsh Back building home following a design and fit-out by Paramount.  Paramount, whose turnover currently stands at £33.5million, is already well known across England where it has developed office space for a number of leading companies and have revitalised 360 Bristol – formerly South Plaza – in Bristol city centre.

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Lathams introduces WISA® BioBond across its UPM WISA-Spruce range

UPM’s ultra-sustainable new technology, WISA BioBond, becomes standard bonding agent in all James Latham Ltd’s collection of UPM WISA-Spruce. Today, James Latham Ltd (Lathams), one of the UK’s leading independent distributors of panel products, announces the introduction of WISA®’s new BioBond technology to its full range of WISA-Spruce plywood. WISA BioBond is the latest bonding innovation from UPM, a globally-renowned manufacturer of sustainable architectural plywood, now used in the entire WISA-Spruce range. A landmark development in plywood adhesive, BioBond replaces at least 50% of standard glue’s fossil-based phenol with lignin, timber’s inherent bonding agent. Obtained as a by-product of the Kraft Process[1], this partial-substitution reduces the carbon footprint of WISA-Spruce by approximately 10%, without compromising technical performance or visual appeal. No compromise on performance WISA-Spruce is manufactured using UPM’s proprietary BioBond technology, and mirrors the qualities of plywood produced using the traditional higher-carbon bonding method. This means it offers a like-for-like greener alternative. As with all WISA’s plywood, WISA-Spruce with BioBond technology has undergone rigorous testing to guarantee its high performance qualities, meeting superior standards of strength, resistance and sustainability.     Forming a strong and sustainable bond More than just a new form of glue, BioBond has reduced CO2 WISA’s plywood portfolio, Already available for birch, and now spruce, plywood, UPM plans to roll out BioBond across all its plywood mills, gradually covering its entire range. As one of the UK’s most sustainable materials distributors, Lathams is keen to introduce UK specifiers to the low-carbon advantages of WISA-Spruce  with BioBond technology. By incorporating this innovation to its ever-expanding collection of green architectural materials, they are demonstrating their ongoing commitment to supporting sustainable design and build.      Commenting on the introduction of BioBond to the WISA-Spruce range, Nick Widlinski, Panels Director at Lathams says, “There’s no doubt timber and wood-based materials are helping architects and designers tackle global climate change through making lower-emission material choices. However, a question around the carbon intensity of glues and adhesives used in the production of engineered wood persists, and WISA BioBond tackles it head on. Its introduction and standardisation across the brand’s high-performance spruce range is a game-changer, offering the best quality with a reduced carbon footprint. Not only is it helping us to promote more sustainable construction methods, it’s also supporting a wider drive toward a Net Zero society.” UPM’s VP of Strategy and Business Development, Susanna Rinne, concludes, “Sustainability is at the heart of our ethos and guides our ongoing R&D. We are the first manufacturer in the world to use a lignin-based solution for spruce and birch plywood, offering a no-compromise sustainable material solution. It’s imperative we work with those who have similar values. Due to Lathams’ longstanding reputation for championing sustainable specification make them a great partner to help us introduce BioBond and its unique properties to the UK and Irish markets.” Providing further confidence in WISA-Spruce’s green credentials and certification, the product category scored one of the best ratings on Lathams’ new Carbon Calculator tool. An academically developed formula which scores the embodied carbon of each Lathams’-stocked timber product from cradle-to-purchase, BioBond WISA-Spruce achieved top ranking across the board, providing third party verifications for the material’s sustainability claims.  To find out more about BioBond, WISA-Spruce and UPM’s wider collection of WISA plywood, click here. To discover Latham’s wide range of materials, and realise the potential for almost any design preference or requirement, click here.

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Handling a dispute with your contractor

When you hire a London, Ontario home builder, or a home builder anywhere for that matter, it can be stressful and overwhelming. You are taking a leap to build a custom home, and with that, you probably have some pretty big expectations. That’s normal and expected any time you’re dealing with something as important as where you’re going to live with your family.  There are, at times, disputes that can arise with your contractor, however. This is often a normal part of the process, and it can be because of miscommunication or simply because your contractor doesn’t see the same vision as you.  It’s not necessarily that you should aim to avoid all disputes when you’re building a home because that may not be realistic. What’s more important is how you handle disputes if they do arise.  With that in mind, the following are tips and things to know if you find yourself in a disagreement and you aren’t sure what steps to take.  1. Take a Few Deep Breaths Building a home is stressful and expensive, and that can bring out the worst in homeowners. If you feel your temperature rising with your contractor, before you do anything else, take a step back and give yourself some time for a few deep breaths.  If you respond right away with anger, it can end up creating delays in your project. It can damage your relationship with your contractor going forward, and there may be better solutions that are available.  If you have to step away before you talk to your contractor, do so. It’s never productive to enter into a conversation at the height of your anger.  2. Read Your Contract Once you’ve taken a step back, it’s time to assess the situation. Sometimes, you may be dealing with a contractor who actually is the problem, but there are also situations where there are misunderstandings, and no one is necessarily the “bad guy.”  Before you say anything, go over your contract. Your contract should address all the various aspects of the job. It should include details on the scope of work, the timeline, and the expected completion date, and it should also include a section on the procedure for dealing with disputes.  Keep in mind that even with the best contractors, there are often changes that come up in the middle of the project. This is the nature of construction.  As you’re reading the contract and thinking about what your issue is, you have to ask yourself whether or not it’s something that was unavoidable.  3. Define What Your Issue Is, Specifically Once you’ve gone over your contract, you’ll probably have a better idea of specifically what your issue is and potentially how your contractor has veered away from what you expected.  At this point, think about the issue that you have in specific terms, and write it down. Before you talk to your contractor, you want to be clear with yourself about where you feel like your project went wrong.  If you’ve had previous conflicts with your contractor, don’t bring them up in this conversation. You want to keep things clear and on track.  When you’re writing down your issue, jot down some of the facts of the situation as well.  4. Have a Conversation with Cooperation In Mind When you have a clear head, you can ask your contractor to have a conversation with you.  You want to sit down with just them. You don’t want to get into an argument in front of other people, including their subcontractors and people who work for them.  You want to keep things professional and non-confrontational.  You may find that if you have a conversation, you’re able to work things out with your contractor and come to an agreement or a place of understanding.  A simple conversation can resolve a lot more than you might initially think, especially when miscommunication is involved.  The earlier on you can have an amicable conversation, the better.  It’s very often the case that your contractor is completely unaware that there’s a problem at all.  When you have a conversation, avoid placing blame and make sure that you’re listening. Too often, when we’re frustrated, we’re just waiting for the other person to stop talking without actually listening, so we can jump right back into the conversation and disagree.  Be polite and try to hear what your contractor is saying because you might learn what actually went wrong and be better prepared to come up with ways to fix the issue.  If you can come up with a plan during this conversation, put it in writing. Email a copy of the plan to your contractor and yourself.  5. Out-of-Court Options The hope is that by the time you reach this point, you’ve worked things out with your contractor.  If not, there are still things you can do.  One is hiring a mediator. There are companies that specialize in construction mediation if you feel like things have gone too far, or you’re not going to be able to see eye-to-eye with your contractor.  During mediation, a neutral third party steps in to try and help you reach a resolution.  The downside of mediation is that it’s not binding, so you don’t have to accept the proposed settlement. There’s another option which is binding arbitration.  The last resort should always be court. This will be the most stressful and expensive for everyone involved.  You also have to remember, if you haven’t hired a contractor yet, that if you do your due diligence, you can avoid the risks of working with a bad apple. Most contractors are highly professional and take their work seriously. Do the legwork early on in the hiring process. Check reviews and references and look at the past work of a contractor before making a hiring decision.  Make sure you’re choosing someone who represents themselves professionally, and you’re less likely to find yourself in a situation where they truly aren’t doing what they’re supposed to. 

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