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April 3, 2024

Industry heavyweights come together for unique conference

Industry heavyweights come together for unique conference

FOUR of the planning and design industry’s most respected organisations have united to arrange a unique event to celebrate design delivery and best practice in the planning system. The Make it Happen conference – held at 1 The Island Quarter in Nottingham on Wednesday, 17 April – aims to throw

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Cyber-safe green buildings

Cyber-safe green buildings

IT Firm calls for stronger cyber security for green buildings in its new guide IT cyber security specialist OryxAlign is calling for the integration of stronger cyber security measures in green buildings in its latest guide, The Green Buildings Guide, 2024: Achieving Green, Healthy & Cyber Secure Buildings. The guide

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Plans approved for Redditch industrial logistics scheme

Plans approved for Redditch industrial logistics scheme

Plans for Greenlight Urban’s sustainability-led Redditch industrial/logistics scheme have been given the go-ahead. The logistics platform has already secured a pre-let to existing occupier Honeywell for a refurbished and extended 66,000 sq ft facility Greenlight Redditch will consist of a further four industrial/logistics units which will target BREEAM Outstanding and

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British Steel to build electric arc furnace

British Steel to build electric arc furnace

British Steel’s plans to build Electric Arc Furnace on Teesside as part of £1.25 billion decarbonisation plan have been approved. The company’s application was approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council following a detailed consultation period. Its application to build another Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), at its Scunthorpe site, is

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All BuildData Group's Brands Become Zutec

All BuildData Group’s Brands Become Zutec

Createmaster, Createmaster Information Management and Resi-Sense to adopt the name Zutec, bringing all group brands under one roof. BuildData Group announces it is bringing together its individual brands to collectively operate and trade under Zutec. It will no longer use the BuildData Group name, and has changed the names of Createmaster,

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Algeco UK launches latest ESG & Sustainability report with 30.7% emissions reduction

Algeco UK launches latest ESG & Sustainability report with 30.7% emissions reduction

Algeco UK, a subsidiary of Modulaire Group, Europe and Asia-Pacific’s leading business services company specialising in modular services and infrastructure, has today published its latest global sustainability report for 2023. It shows that the company is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, with a significant 30.7% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 market-based emissions since 2020. In the 2023 ESGS report, “Modular Solutions for

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Six Organisations and Experts Collaborate with UKGBC for Net Zero Retrofit of Non-Domestic Buildings

Six Organisations and Experts Collaborate with UKGBC for Net Zero Retrofit of Non-Domestic Buildings

Building on our Retrofitting Offices report, published in January, UKGBC’s Non-Domestic Retrofit: Retail and Logistics project seeks to explore how we can best decarbonise the retail and logistics sectors through effective retrofit planning and delivery. Retrofitting non-domestic property will play a crucial role in achieving our net zero targets. According

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8 Essential Kitchen Upgrades That Boost Functionality And Charm

8 Essential Kitchen Upgrades That Boost Functionality And Charm

In this dynamic environment, functionality and charm go hand in hand, dictating the flow of daily routines and influencing the overall ambiance of the home. Embarking on kitchen upgrades can seem daunting, yet it presents a unique opportunity to blend practicality with personal taste, elevating the kitchen from a mere

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

April 3, 2024

Industry heavyweights come together for unique conference

Industry heavyweights come together for unique conference

FOUR of the planning and design industry’s most respected organisations have united to arrange a unique event to celebrate design delivery and best practice in the planning system. The Make it Happen conference – held at 1 The Island Quarter in Nottingham on Wednesday, 17 April – aims to throw a positive light on the great work going on within the planning and design industry. The first-of-its-kind national conference is jointly hosted by the eponymous partnership, which consists of the Urban Design Group, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Landscape Institute. The event pulls on the quartet’s significant reach in the industry, with presentations covering key topics, positive and effective community engagement, the role of pre-app and the use of technologies such as virtual reality in the planning process. Delegates will also hear from Vicky Payne of the Urban Design Network on spatial planning and design coding for housing, climate and levelling up, as well as an update on the Nottingham City Homes 2050 project from Studio Partington. Dr Laura Alvarez, who has been instrumental in organising the event, said: “The Make it Happen Partnership was formed with the expressed aim of celebrating successes and best practice. At a time when planning and regeneration is at the forefront of conversations and the role of the planning department is under increased scrutiny, this first national conference is a perfect opportunity to discuss the way forward. “We’ve got some excellent sessions on the agenda, and we believe Make it Happen will be a great opportunity to network with colleagues from across the UK and to get our heads together to debate viable, constructive avenues for positive change.” The event takes place in the RIBA award nominated building at 1 The Island Quarter, in a panel format that will encourage interactivity and conversation, as well as a variety of networking opportunities. Tickets can be ordered from the RTPI website. The event is sponsored by Urban Design Group, Landscape Institute, Nottingham City Council, Freeths, Sustrans, CPMG, Allan Joyce Architects, UDL, Arup, Leicester City Council, RIBA and Cartwright Communications. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Cyber-safe green buildings

Cyber-safe green buildings

IT Firm calls for stronger cyber security for green buildings in its new guide IT cyber security specialist OryxAlign is calling for the integration of stronger cyber security measures in green buildings in its latest guide, The Green Buildings Guide, 2024: Achieving Green, Healthy & Cyber Secure Buildings. The guide highlights the essential role of technology in achieving environmental endorsements for buildings, emphasising the significance of cyber security due to the increasing integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) devices. Aimed at commercial real estate managers, construction experts and facilities managers, the guide first focuses on green and healthy building certification, detailing market trends, certification processes and the benefits of achieving such certifications for market value, operational costs and occupant health. It then moves onto discuss the technology involved in achieving this, such as monitoring and control systems, smart meters and HVAC systems and how to keep these cyber-secure. According to a YouGov survey commissioned by OryxAlign, 86 per cent of tenants consider green buildings to be important or very important. This high demand for green buildings has triggered a rapid growth of rating schemes such as LEED, BREEAM and WELL. The guide underscores the necessity of integrating smart technologies to achieve and maintain these green building certifications and support various sustainability goals, including energy efficiency and air quality. These technologies include IoT devices such as smart thermostats and OT devices such as fire alarm control panels, both of which are directly or indirectly connected to the internet – and therefore, accessible by hackers. Although integrating smart technology is essential to making a building green and healthy, it should be noted that, according to SonicWall, between 2021 and 2022 there was an 87 per cent increase in global IoT attacks. “Smart devices are essential in driving forward sustainability within buildings,” explained Peter Schwartz, Senior Technology Consultant at OryxAlign. “But these endpoints are connected to a network and can communicate with other networked devices or systems, making them potential targets for cyber threats that can quickly spread throughout a building.” OryxAlign’s guide provides insights into potential threats and cyber security challenges, offering best practices such as risk assessment, endpoint hardening and network segmentation. These are aligned with standards from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS). This information is crucial for stakeholders in the construction and management of green buildings, as it highlights the importance of incorporating robust cyber security measures alongside the integration of smart technologies to ensure the safety, privacy and operational integrity of green buildings. “Our guide delves into the critical technologies for sustainable, secure buildings, outlining specific cybersecurity risks like IoT and OT vulnerabilities, and detailing the least secure devices—security cameras, smart thermostats and access control systems,” added Schwartz. “It underscores the necessity of practices like network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, and regular updates to mitigate these threats.” The YouGov survey comprised 300 respondents from the UK. These respondents were senior decision makers at tenant organisations, construction companies or IT departments from various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, financial services, IT and telecoms, medical and health services and education. 44 per cent of responders were from organisations with more than 1,000 employees. Visit OryxAlign’s website for a copy of The Green Buildings Guide, 2024: Achieving Green, Healthy & Cyber Secure Buildings. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Wates Awarded Stage 1 Certificate in Building a Safer Future's Champion Assessment

Wates Awarded Stage 1 Certificate in Building a Safer Future’s Champion Assessment

Wates Construction Ltd – one of the UK’s biggest Tier 1 contractors – has recently been awarded the ‘Certificate of Commitment and Progress – Building Safety Stage One’ in recognition of their successful completion of Stage 1 (Leadership and Culture) of Building a Safer Future’s Champion assessment scheme. The BSF Champion process – which was launched with a group of early adopters in August 2021 – is designed to support organisations working in the UK built environment industry in their ongoing journey of continuous improvement in relation to building safety, providing them with actionable data and practical tools to assist them in developing their leadership and culture. Having completed Stage 1 of 2, Wates joins a growing tranche of organisations that are engaging in the assessment, achieving positive progress and reaping the benefits from the external eye being cast over their building safety culture. Steve Elliott, Non-Executive Chair of Building a Safer Future, commented: “The leadership shown by Wates in stepping forward and taking part in the assessment is critical in helping to shift the industry towards improvements in building safety. I encourage many more companies to follow their fantastic example and sign up for the Champion process. Congratulations to Wates on the achievement of their Stage 1 certificate, and I wish them well for Stage 2.” Gary Townsend-Vila, Interim Chief Executive of Building a Safer Future, commented: “Achieving the Stage 1 certificate is a terrific milestone, and I offer my congratulations to Wates for this recognition of their hard work and commitment. They should be proud of their leadership and I look forward to observing their progress in Stage 2.” Building a Safer Future (BSF) is a non-profit organisation committed to raising standards in building safety and supporting required culture change in the built environment industry. Companies can apply to participate in the BSF Champions programme by visiting the Building a Safer Future website at www.buildingasaferfuture.org.uk and completing the application form*, or alternatively they can email alexander.caller@buildingasaferfuture.org.uk Building a Safer Future Champion Stage 1 completers so far include the following organisations: Organisations that have completed the full Champion process and been awarded BSF Champion status so far include: Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Plans approved for Redditch industrial logistics scheme

Plans approved for Redditch industrial logistics scheme

Plans for Greenlight Urban’s sustainability-led Redditch industrial/logistics scheme have been given the go-ahead. The logistics platform has already secured a pre-let to existing occupier Honeywell for a refurbished and extended 66,000 sq ft facility Greenlight Redditch will consist of a further four industrial/logistics units which will target BREEAM Outstanding and EPC A+ ratings. Greenlight – a logistics joint venture platform between Coltham and Delancey client funds – has obtained a resolution to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of an existing manufacturing complex in Redditch, Worcestershire. A pre-let to retain existing occupier Honeywell has also been secured – marking the latest in a string of innovative companies that are benefitting from Greenlight Urban’s portfolio of first-class industrial assets with excellent sustainability credentials, under construction across the UK. This inventive retention of Honeywell’s existing building, which is being fully refurbished, not only reduces the embodied carbon emissions by retaining the structure of the building but also introduces photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps to remove any reliance on natural gas within their operation. Greenlight Redditch consists of the partial demolition of the existing buildings onsite and the construction of four new units with high-quality sustainability credentials, totalling 126,715 sq ft, targeting a BREEAM Outstanding rating and EPC A+ for the build base. The new units have been designed to improve energy performance and reduce the environmental impact. The units will use technologies such as photovoltaic panels, EV charging infrastructure, rainwater harvesting and air source heat pumps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, cut carbon emissions, and reduce occupiers’ costs. Alongside benefitting from strong sustainability credentials, Greenlight Redditch’s units will also include Category A office space and cycle parking, while Units 1 and 3 will feature balcony space for employees. The site benefits from connectivity to the A4023 Coventry Highway and is just 15 miles from Birmingham city centre. These factors make Greenlight Redditch a prime place to accommodate the growing number of pioneering businesses in the West Midlands. Mark Enderby, Director of Development at Delancey, said: “We are thrilled to secure Honeywell – a firm which is dedicated to driving technological transformation for a sustainable future – to Greenlight Redditch. We look forward to working with Honeywell and we are already in talks with other companies on the scheme which are looking for highly sustainable mid-box industrial accommodation in the area.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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British Steel to build electric arc furnace

British Steel to build electric arc furnace

British Steel’s plans to build Electric Arc Furnace on Teesside as part of £1.25 billion decarbonisation plan have been approved. The company’s application was approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council following a detailed consultation period. Its application to build another Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), at its Scunthorpe site, is set to be decided imminently by North Lincolnshire Council. The manufacturer’s proposed transformation – its biggest in more than a century of steelmaking – is subject to appropriate support from the UK Government. British Steel President and CEO Xijun Cao said: “We’re delighted to have received planning permission to build an Electric Arc Furnace at our Teesside site, and thank everyone who has supported our proposals to bring steelmaking back to the region. “The proposed installation of EAFs in Scunthorpe and Teesside is central to our journey to a green future as they would help us reduce emissions of CO2 by more than 75 per cent. However, it is crucial we now secure the backing of the UK Government. “Our owner, Jingye, is committed to the unprecedented investment decarbonisation requires and our desire to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, coupled with challenging market conditions, means it is imperative swift and decisive action is taken to ensure a sustainable future for British Steel. “We started talks with the UK Government in 2022 about the timely support we require on our journey to net zero, including the need for the British government to adopt the correct policies and frameworks now to back our drive to become a clean, green, and successful company. We are committed to working with the UK Government and need to reach an agreement quickly so we can achieve our ambitious goals, secure thousands of jobs and keep making the steel Britain needs for generations to come.” Significant preparation works, including environmental and technical studies, and equipment selection, are underway to ensure the company’s ambitious proposals can be delivered at the earliest opportunity while discussions with the UK Government continue. Both proposed EAFs would replace the aging iron and steelmaking operations at British Steel’s Scunthorpe site which are responsible for the vast majority of its CO2 emissions. The company proposes maintaining current operations until a transition to electric arc steelmaking. British Steel has started preliminary talks with trade unions about electrification, and has promised to support employees affected by its decarbonisation plans. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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McLaren Construction’s Midlands and North division celebrates record turnover

McLaren Construction’s Midlands and North division celebrates record turnover

The Midlands and North division of international contractor, McLaren Construction, has announced a record turnover of £271million for the latest financial year. Following a year of expansion for the division and McLaren Construction group as a whole, the milestone follows news that the contractor generated overall revenues up 22% to £964 million in 2022/2023 and is on course to break the £1 billion annual turnover barrier in 2023/2024. McLaren Construction (Midlands and North) has experienced growth over the past 12 months, with new appointments across its leadership, project, and sustainability teams and six projects handed over for 2022/2023. Nationally, McLaren Construction is active across multiple markets and intends to continue growth across its residential, data centre, commercial office, leisure, health, education and remediation portfolios. This vision for expansion is shared by the Midlands and North division, which is concentrating on diversifying its public sector work, with a focus on health, education and remediation, alongside data centres and industrial and logistics schemes. Last year, Midlands and North secured its place on the £8bn Procurement Partnerships Framework and was appointed to two of the four lots awarded to McLaren nationally. Under the construction discipline, McLaren Construction (Midlands and North) was appointed to deliver public sector projects from £15m-£30m in the East Midlands and £30m+ in the West Midlands. The contractor is one of 87 appointed to the second-generation Framework which will run from 1 November 2023 for four years and as part of this, is expanding its portfolio of data centre projects with further schemes set for the next 12 months. Further building the reputation of the contractor as an industry leader in the industrial and logistics sector – completed projects in this arena have included Sherburn 42 in Leeds, Konect 62 in Knottingley, the Pets at Home National Fulfilment Centre in Stafford and MAG 401 at Manchester airport. Notable industrial and logistics schemes which have commenced works in the last 12 months include Horizon 29 Phase Two in Bolsover and Project Holst in Coventry. Demonstrating growth within the student property sector, McLaren Construction is also well underway with prominent accommodation sites in the Midlands and North including St Gabriels in Manchester, Talbot Street in Nottingham, and Longwood Close in Coventry which is a joint venture between McLaren Property and Topland. In 2024, the division will be concentrating on continued growth of its project pipelines in the industrial and logistics arena, alongside the student accommodation and data centre sectors, while strengthening and further developing its supply chain across the Midlands and North regions. Gary Cramp, managing director of McLaren Construction Midlands and North, said: “The last 12 months have been consistently successful for the division and our dedicated teams have worked hard to procure schemes across a variety of sectors, strengthening our position as a reliable contractor with diverse expertise. “The quality of our product and service will always be of utmost importance in delivery and we are looking forward to the next 12 months and our expansion in new sectors, alongside working on prominent frameworks.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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All BuildData Group's Brands Become Zutec

All BuildData Group’s Brands Become Zutec

Createmaster, Createmaster Information Management and Resi-Sense to adopt the name Zutec, bringing all group brands under one roof. BuildData Group announces it is bringing together its individual brands to collectively operate and trade under Zutec. It will no longer use the BuildData Group name, and has changed the names of Createmaster, Createmaster Information Management (formerly Bond Bryan Digital), and Resi-Sense to Zutec.   Operating as one brand, Zutec will provide customers with a joined-up approach to managing building data as a single touch point, and digital ecosystem across its solutions. This will cement the company’s position as a leader in cloud-based software for the construction and property industries in the UK and Ireland and will be unique in providing ConTech and PropTech across the building lifecycle. Closing the gap between construction and property technology with compliance-led solutions  The construction and property industries are rapidly adopting digital technologies, as they adapt to changing data requirements driven by new regulations and sustainability. With a focus on compliance, Zutec software solutions address areas such as fire safety in response to the Building Safety Act, sustainability regulations such as Part L, and handover contract compliance such as digital O&M and asset information. Zutec’s four solution families – Document Management, Quality Management, Handover Management and Asset Management – have already been adopted by over 500+ customers such as Kier Group, Taylor Wimpey, Cairn Homes, Peabody, and Greystar. One vision for best-practice digitisation for a safer, higher quality-built environment Gustave Geisendorf, CEO at Zutec: “It is now more important than ever that all building asset data is accurate, accessible, and understandable, particularly as the Building Safety Act framework comes into full force, and new regulations and standards are rolled out. With our SaaS (Software as a Service) platform and complementary solutions, Zutec aspires to lead the way in ConTech and PropTech innovation, providing simpler paths to help our customers navigate mandatory building information and address net zero requirements.” Joining the dots Established in 1998, Zutec has been providing cloud-based construction management and property software across the globe for more than two decades. The Zutec platform enables customers to build, own, and manage their data via the cloud, supported by a best-in-class mobile app (Zutec Field) for data capture anywhere on a construction site or in a building.   Also established more than 20 years ago, Createmaster is the UK leader in digital handover solutions. Createmaster collates, validates, and delivers asset information and building manuals for customers, and supports Building Safety Act Gateway 3 compliance to ensure residential buildings are safe to occupy. Createmaster Information Management (formerly Bond Bryan Digital) was established in 2016, and rationalises digital building information requirements for its customers, providing information delivery based on industry best practice and international standards, including the UK BIM (Building Information Modelling) Framework and ISO 19650. Resi-Sense is a tenancy management tool for asset owners and property management companies. It improves the aftercare process for residents by providing digital home user guides as well as communication and engagement channels. Established three years ago, BuildData Group has been the holding company for its affiliate brands and never offered distinct solutions to the market.   As one company, with pooled expertise, Zutec will join the dots in a combined vision, and remain dedicated to staying one step ahead in building digitisation. Importantly, it will give customers peace of mind with better connected and structured data as the industry continues to digitise and moves towards a golden thread of information. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Algeco UK launches latest ESG & Sustainability report with 30.7% emissions reduction

Algeco UK launches latest ESG & Sustainability report with 30.7% emissions reduction

Algeco UK, a subsidiary of Modulaire Group, Europe and Asia-Pacific’s leading business services company specialising in modular services and infrastructure, has today published its latest global sustainability report for 2023. It shows that the company is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, with a significant 30.7% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 market-based emissions since 2020. In the 2023 ESGS report, “Modular Solutions for a circular economy”, the Group outlines the ways in which it is taking action on climate change. The report shares Modulaire Group’s ESGS purpose, strategy, commitments and progress against targets.  Inder Poonaji (Group ESG & Sustainability Director) said, “Our sustainable circular business model – Loops within Loops – continues to deliver great results for our business and our customers. We are using innovative design solutions to produce modular units that can stay in service longer, going round and round again. It uses less materials and produces less waste. Today, our Group is producing over 30% less carbon emissions, using 55% less water and sending 75% less waste to landfill, all since 2020. We’re proud of our performance and our products.” Keith Dorling, Managing Director of Algeco UK, emphasised, “Our UK operations have taken significant steps to decrease carbon emissions in line with our group’s reduction targets. These actions encompass various aspects of our operations, including the electrification of forklifts and company cars, installation of on-site solar PVs, procurement of renewable electricity, development of low-emission service centres with implementation of energy efficiency measures, while also offering low-emission product options to support our customers’ emission reduction objectives. We also prioritise internal awareness training and sustainability campaigns. Our commitment to enhancing operations and providing emission-reducing solutions for our customers reflects our dedication. I’m proud of the collaborative effort and initiatives undertaken at all levels of our organisation to achieve these positive outcomes. Algeco UK’s key ESGS performance highlights achieved in 2023: Download the Modulaire Group 2023 ESGS report: Modular Solutions for a circular economy. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Six Organisations and Experts Collaborate with UKGBC for Net Zero Retrofit of Non-Domestic Buildings

Six Organisations and Experts Collaborate with UKGBC for Net Zero Retrofit of Non-Domestic Buildings

Building on our Retrofitting Offices report, published in January, UKGBC’s Non-Domestic Retrofit: Retail and Logistics project seeks to explore how we can best decarbonise the retail and logistics sectors through effective retrofit planning and delivery. Retrofitting non-domestic property will play a crucial role in achieving our net zero targets. According to UKGBC’s Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, the non-domestic building stock is responsible for 23% of the UK built environment’s operational emissions, with the retail and logistics sectors being the primary drivers of operational emissions. With around 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already built, we need to deliver rapid improvements in the energy efficiency of our current building stock if we are to achieve our net zero ambitions. This is why UKGBC has been delivering a workstream covering the retrofit of these energy intensive non-domestic buildings. This next phase will focus on buildings in the retail and  logistics sectors and aims to explore the operational energy performance improvements that can be achieved, alongside the consequent cost and embodied carbon impacts. This is intended to inform planned upgrades to existing assets and help overcome common challenges and to meet the likely ambition behind emerging net zero carbon performance limits, such as those being developed by the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard. In addition, the report will collate real-world examples of retrofit measures to illustrate what these projects can look like and the lessons learned from implementation. UKGBC is pleased to share that six organisations from across the built environment sector have come together to support this project and make this much needed analysis possible. These organisations are: AtkinsRéalis, Federated Hermes, Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), Mitsubishi Electric, Ridge and Partners, and SEGRO. Formed of experts in retrofitting retail & logistics buildings from across our Advancing Net Zero programme partners, project partners and wider UKGBC membership, the task group will work closely with the UKGBC team to undertake this research over the next year. The Task Group are:  This project forms part of UKGBC’s work on Advancing Net Zero, learn more about this overarching programme and our previous work on non-domestic retrofit here.  Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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8 Essential Kitchen Upgrades That Boost Functionality And Charm

8 Essential Kitchen Upgrades That Boost Functionality And Charm

In this dynamic environment, functionality and charm go hand in hand, dictating the flow of daily routines and influencing the overall ambiance of the home. Embarking on kitchen upgrades can seem daunting, yet it presents a unique opportunity to blend practicality with personal taste, elevating the kitchen from a mere workspace to a centerpiece of home life. That said, this guide is designed to navigate you through transformative upgrades that promise not only to enhance your kitchen’s practicality and efficiency but also to infuse it with an irresistible charm. 1. High-Quality Countertops Selecting high-quality countertops is a transformative decision that brings both beauty and resilience to your kitchen renovation. Materials such as quartz, granite, and marble stand out not only for their stunning appearance but also for their robustness against daily wear and tear. These surfaces resist scratches, heat, and stains, making them ideal for the hustle and bustle of kitchen activities. Additionally, they add a touch of luxury and sophistication, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space. Investing in superior countertops ensures a blend of functionality and elegance that will last for years to come. 2. Efficient Storage Solutions Efficient storage solutions are vital to a clutter-free and organized kitchen. Incorporating innovative storage options like pull-out drawers, lazy Susans in corner cabinets, and specialized organizers for utensils can dramatically improve your kitchen’s functionality. Tailoring storage solutions to your specific needs and cooking habits helps keep the kitchen orderly and efficient, making every inch of space work harder for you. This strategic approach to storage not only enhances your kitchen’s usability but also its visual appeal by keeping countertops clear and items neatly stowed away. 3. Smart Kitchen Technology As technology advances, so does the potential to transform your kitchen into a hub of smart innovation. Incorporating smart kitchen technology, such as Wi-Fi-enabled appliances that you can control from your smartphone, voice-activated assistants for hands-free guidance, and programmable coffee makers that have your morning brew ready when you wake up, not only adds convenience but also introduces a layer of modern sophistication to your kitchen. These smart devices can streamline your cooking processes, help you manage your grocery list, and even assist in maintaining the cleanliness of your space, making your kitchen not just a place of culinary activity, but a center of technological efficiency and convenience. 4. Under-Cabinet Lighting Under-cabinet lighting is a simple yet effective upgrade that enhances both the functionality and ambiance of your kitchen. Installing LED lights under cabinets provides targeted illumination for cooking and food preparation areas, making tasks easier and safer. Beyond its practical benefits, under-cabinet lighting also creates a warm, inviting atmosphere, highlighting backsplash designs and contributing to the overall mood of the space. This lighting solution is a blend of utility and aesthetic appeal, casting your kitchen in its best light. 5. Backsplash Upgrade A new backsplash can be a standout feature in your kitchen, offering an opportunity to inject personality and flair into the design. Whether you choose ceramic tiles, glass, or stainless steel, a backsplash not only protects your walls from spills and splatters but also serves as a decorative element. With endless colors, textures, and patterns available, you can select a backsplash that complements your kitchen’s theme and color scheme. This upgrade is a relatively simple way to refresh your kitchen’s look and add a focal point that draws the eye. 6. Functional Faucets Upgrading your kitchen faucet can significantly improve the sink’s usability and style. Modern faucets come equipped with convenient features such as pull-down spray heads, touch or motion sensors, and built-in water filtration systems. These functionalities offer ease of use and flexibility, making tasks like filling pots, cleaning produce, and washing dishes more efficient. Additionally, faucets are available in various designs and finishes, allowing you to choose a style that fits your kitchen decor. A functional and stylish faucet is a small change that can make a big difference in your kitchen’s efficiency and appearance. 7. Durable Flooring Flooring is a critical component of your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetic. Opting for durable materials like porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl planking, or natural stone ensures your kitchen floor can withstand high traffic, spills, and stains. Besides durability, these flooring options offer a range of styles and textures, allowing you to match your kitchen’s design theme while providing comfort underfoot. Upgrading your kitchen flooring is an investment in the beauty and longevity of your home, creating a space that’s both inviting and resilient. 8. Eco-friendly Features Integrating environmentally friendly elements into your kitchen represents a thoughtful and progressive decision. The adoption of energy-saving LED lights, faucets that conserve water, and high-efficiency appliances diminishes the environmental impact of your kitchen while simultaneously offering savings on energy costs. These sustainable options demonstrate a commitment to conservation without sacrificing style or functionality. By choosing eco-friendly kitchen upgrades, you’re creating a healthier environment inside and out, contributing to a greener planet. Conclusion These upgrades not only elevate the kitchen’s design but also its role within the home, making it a place where practicality meets personal expression and where everyday meals turn into memorable gatherings. In pursuing these enhancements, the kitchen reveals its potential to be a source of joy, a space for creativity, and a reflection of one’s lifestyle, embodying the essence of a truly modern living space.

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