Lancashire Construction is Blooming

With the regions transformational City Deal now getting into swing there will be ‘blooming’ opportunities for those in the Lancashire built environment sector over the coming months and years. And Constructing Excellence, through its Lancashire and Regional Clubs is well placed to assist in the development and transfer of best practice knowledge and skills. These cover the core ingredients of successful built environment organisations – Productivity, BIM & Digital Construction, Sustainability and Continuous Improvement –  all geared to meeting the Construction 2025 Vision

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Whilst you are here: Supporting the Lancashire Club: We are looking for new steering group members to steer and drive the club over the coming years, a period that will be a busy, challenging but rewarding one for built environment organisations within the region. if you are interested please get in touch with our Chair, Martin Brown, our Sec, Andrea Atherton or Regional Club Coordinator Zoe Brooke 

Our … speak to us at our next event on 23rd Feb in Lancaster 

We Are Lancashire – The Place For Growth

Lancashire, Preston and South Ribble’s transformational City Deal pitched to over 100 developers, agents and investors at half-day Place North West business conference last week.

Entitled “We Are Lancashire – The Place For Growth”, the event was organised by the City Deal Partnership (including Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Council and the Homes & Communities Agency), Marketing Lancashire and the Lancashire LEP. It was run in partnership with leading property news and investment website Place North West, and hosted at the Preston headquarters of accountants RSM.

At the heart of the discussions was the impact and opportunities offered by the £434m City Deal programme. The City Deal is a key initiative of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s strategic plan to create 50,000 new jobs over the next 10 years across the county.  The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across Preston and South Ribble, as well as new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population

  • Key themes which emerged throughout the sessions included how all of the Lancashire local authorities, both county and district, involved in City Deal were working closely together to ensure private investment can flourish. This included their pragmatic, joined-up approach to the planning process, and the substantial public sector support on offer to help private sector schemes get started, and completed, with a minimum of barriers.
  • Another important debate centred around the need to create a diverse mix of housing, and have different types of tenure, throughout Central Lancashire. This was to ensure families, young people, the elderly, students and recent graduates could all get access to affordable and desirable accommodation which suited their needs.
  • As well as providing suitable homes to encourage graduates to stay in the area, many of the speakers also touched on the need to retain graduate talent through a combination of suitable jobs in the region, and the creation of an attractive environment to live in. This included a need for an improved for an improved evening economy as well as strengthening its position as a visitor destination.
  • This led to a focus on the strengths and benefits of Central Lancashire’s existing regeneration and development schemes, and highlighted some of the major City Deal investments which have recently been announced.
  • These included Preston city-centre developments such as the new Harris Quarter cinema and leisure scheme, the potential for the re-development of an ‘HS2 ready’ Preston train station, the £200m UCLan masterplan, the regeneration of Winckley Square and the proposed Altus Grade A office project.
  • The major investment opportunities based around the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone site, which has now been designated as a specialist aerospace and advanced manufacturing hub as part of The Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster programme were discussed, including reference to the recently green-lighted Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre which will be based at Samlesbury.
  • The major mixed use logistics, retail and residential scheme at Cuerden, anchored by a new IKEA, was also held up as an example of how the City Deal is helping to unlock a series of complementary developments which are set to have a genuinely transformational effect on the Central Lancashire economy.

Threats and challenges to Lancashire’s growth were also debated, with issues like skill shortages, Brexit and Lancashire’s historic reputation for being a divided county all coming under discussion.

However, the general consensus from both private and public sector speakers was that Lancashire has made incredible progress over the last few years to speak with one voice showcasing its growing ambition and confidence, is looking to tackle the issue of vocational skills through a series of effective education and employer strategies, and is set to play a key role at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse initiative through a private-public partnership approach to stimulating economic growth.

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Why we should all read the Edinburgh Schools report.

Every built environment organisation should read the independent investigative report into Edinburgh school collapse and closures. Specifically the 40 recommendations(1) made in the report, from procurement to information sharing to training and inspections. This is basic QA gone wrong throughout the project supply chain from client through to those constructing the schools.

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This is not just a technical failure, or isolated issue, once again the root cause lies in cutting costs and lack of communication. Having robust quality management systems in place is essential but will only be effective with a responsible construction mind set and behaviours.

“This is not an area where corners or costs should ever be cut”

As Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary, said: “This report issues a stark warning – to Edinburgh, to local authorities and to all those responsible for the construction and maintenance of our schools – that they must take action to ensure that all buildings are well-designed, properly built and maintained to an extremely high standard. “This is not an area where corners or costs should ever be cut”

(1) THE LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS … The 40 individual recommendations are listed under the following nine headings. 1. Procurement 2. Independent Certifier 3. Client’s Relationship with the Design Team 4. Information Sharing 5. Construction 6. Training and Recruitment 7. Building Standards 8. Sharing of Information 9. Recommendations for the City of Edinburgh Council 10 Further Inspections

The report can be read / downloaded here: Inquiry into Edinburgh Schools Feb 2017 Final

The following is a reblog from Construction Manager

A lack of proper scrutiny in construction work has been cited as the main reason for the debacle that forced 17 Edinburgh schools to close last year, according to the BBC.

The long-awaited independent investigative report criticised the construction company involved as well as City of Edinburgh Council and the partnership that managed the building contracts.

An inquiry was set up last year following the closure of the schools due to safety failures. Around 7,600 pupils were affected by the closures.

Leading architect and procurement specialist John Cole headed up the inquiry.

In his report, he said: “The fact that no injuries or fatalities to children resulted from the collapse of the gable wall at Oxgangs School was a matter of timing and luck.

“Approximately nine tonnes of masonry fell on an area where children could easily have been standing or passing through.

“One does not require much imagination to think of what the consequences might have been if it had happened an hour or so later.”

The 250-page report identified fundamental defects which led to the wall collapse:

  • not enough wall ties;
  • the wrong type of ties were used;
  • wall cavities were not uniform.

The report said: “It is the view of the inquiry that the primary cause of the collapse of the wall at Oxgangs school was poor quality construction in the building of the wall, which failed to achieve the required minimum embedment of 50mm for the wall ties, particularly in the outer leaf of the cavity wall. The poor quality relates to all three of the following aspects:

  • the direct laying of the bricks and the positioning of the wall ties;
  • the direct supervision of the laying of the bricks and the positioning of the wall ties;
  • the quality assurance processes used by the subcontractor and main contractor to confirm the quality of the construction of the walls.

“All three issues were ultimately the responsibility of the design and build contractor in charge of the site.”

The report said it was not the result of an isolated case of a rogue bricklayer.

It said the substandard bricklaying was either not inspected or was ignored, that an appropriate level of independent scrutiny was missing, and that having a clerk of works may have made a difference.

In his report Cole also questioned whether the drive for faster, lower-cost construction is to the detriment of quality and safety.

The 17 schools were originally built by Miller Construction which, together with Amey, was part of the Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP) consortium contract. In 2001 ESP won the £360m deal to design, build and maintain the 17 schools for 30 years. Miller Construction was acquired by Galliford Try in 2014.

City of Edinburgh Council said it was drawing up an action plan to ensure confidence in the safety of all its buildings.

 

 

Mindfulness, Biophilia and Salutogenesis: a powerful triptych for improving construction health and happiness

pexels-photo-94616Increasingly health is becoming a key aspect and driver for building design and maintenance. (See Next Wave of Design: Wellness-minded Spaces)

OF note, are seeing a BREEAM alignment with WELL, but as pointed out in FutuREstorative, and by others, this approach needs to equally apply to the construction process, to project working environments, including project office accommodation.

Mindfulness, Biophilia and Salutogenesis can provide a powerful triptych of approaches for construction health and happiness. But what are they, and how can they improve construction?

Mindfulness

The state of being present in the moment. Mindfulness can help in reducing stress and mind-wandering in addition to enhancing the sense of wellbeing and fulfilment from life and work. Mindfulness is growing in use within other sectors to address amongst other things wellbeing, productivity and safety.

(In collaboration with Anne Parker, we can provide tailored Mindfulness for Construction awareness and training sessions)

Biophilia

Our innate relationship with nature. Research is proving that connection or exposure to nature or natural patterns has a huge influence on our state of mind, our wellbeing, cognitive skills and our recovery times from illness. We should for example, be applying the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design to construction workplaces as part of a healthy construction agenda

Salutogenesis

FutuREstorative introduces the concept of salutogenesis to the built environment. A medical concept that encourages focus on factors that improve & support health and then keeping people healthy, rather than the focus of just reducing the impact on health. Translated to the built environment this can mean focusing on design issues in buildings and workplaces where people go home healthier, feeling better and happier than when they arrived. As an example, the growing recognition that light (daylight and circadian light) can be a medicine, having positive, even healing benefits. Adopting a salutogenetic mindset to the construction process can also encourage us to consider and focus on potential health benefits of working in construction.

salutogenesis-slide

Recognising Outstanding Young People in Construction

The Construction Development Alliance (CDA)Young Persons Awards was held on the 26th May at Burnley Mechanics Theatre. Hosted by  TV Presenter Dominic Littlewood and supporting the YMCA Young Persons Housing Project, the event recognised outstanding young talent within the North West. The impressive winners for each individual category had been announced, and the overall winner was announced live at the event. 

Category Winners are:

Pearl Cavaney – Young Designer (Burnley College)

Bobby Bolton – Young Construction Professional (LendLease)

Lucy Anderson – Young Construction Environmentalist (Sheffield Hallam University)

Franchesca Hurn – Young Construction Apprentice (M’s Touch Female Decorators)

James Eastham – Overcoming Adversity  (Eric Wright Construction)

And the overall winner was Bobby Bolton – Young Construction Professional (LendLease)

News, pictures and more were shared from the event on twitter using the #CDAAwards16 hashtag and a storify record created here.

BROCHURE winners page

 

The Price of Construction Carbons

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Distribution of Construction CO2

ConstructCO2 now allows the calculation of a ‘shadow’ carbon price for carbon emissions from the construction process. The default price is set at £29 / tonne, based on current available data as used by other organisations within their shadow carbon pricing exercises (1) However ConstructCO2 also allows for any user or project to set their own carbon price.

Carbon pricing is increasingly being used to drive carbon reductions, through internal costing arrangements, and as awareness or preparation for what many see as an inevitable carbon future regulations or taxation.

In the light of the Paris Agreement, the calls from businesses and activists to put a price on carbon are becoming louder. To keep global warming below the Paris target of 2 deg C, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world will need to get to zero net emissions urgently.

Construction processes are part of the climate change problem but a vital part of the solution , and by introducing an operating cost by factoring emissions into bottom-line calculations through carbon pricing will be part of the construction industry contribution to carbon reduction.

See FT article: Companies accelerate use of carbon pricing and for example the advertising group WPP, who use an internal price of £29 a tonne of CO2 when buying or refitting buildings to understand “the impact of future energy and carbon regulations on our business”.

Outstanding North West Young Construction Professionals

CDA-logo-e1458568790817I am delighted to be providing social media advice and support in promoting this years Construction Development Alliance (CDA) Outstanding Young People in Construction awards. (Follow @cdaliance and #CDAAwards16 for news, promotions and updates)

The awards recognise outstanding individuals age 16-25 years old in work, sixth form, college or university. With 5 categories, this is an opportunity to acknowledge and recognise those who really are the future of our great Construction Industry in the North West.

The 2016 awards, sponsored by SIKA, the CDA  and others as noted below will be presented by TV jouranlist Dominic Littlewood on the 6.30pm on the 26th May 2016 at Burnley Mechanics, Burnley

The Awards nominated Charity is the YMCA young Persons Housing Project

Award nominations for outstanding young people in construction

The Construction Development Alliance 2016 CDA Awards will recognise up to five outstanding young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who exemplify the best attributes of the North West’s young construction folk. Nominations are invited for each of the five categories listed below. There will be a trophy and prizes, plus the opportunity to be considered as the overall winner and a substantial prize.

The categories are:-

1. Overcoming adversity in construction

Sponsor: DTPC

Someone who has achieved success in college or at work, either through their position, determination, exam success, career progression, leadership, deals negotiated or financial results despite overcoming some form of adversity.

2. Young designer of the year

Sponsor: Booth King Partnership

Someone who has achieved success in design either at college or at work, in any form of design associated with the construction industry for example architectural, interior design, mechanical, electrical, structural, landscape etc.

3. Young apprentice in construction

Sponsor: Vinci Construction

An apprentice working in a construction related profession who has achieved success and or been recognised by others as being an outstanding candidate in what they have achieved in their role as an apprentice.

4. Young construction professional

Sponsor: Parker Wilson Consulting

Someone who has demonstrated exceptional performance of their duties either at college or working in their specific field. The candidate must promote leadership skills, inspire and encourage others. A positive “can do” attitude and a willingness and desire to continue to learn, develop and become better in their chosen field. Candidates are invited from individuals in all sectors. We will be looking for success in college and or at work, with evidence of career progression, leadership skills, creating a project and making it happen, inspiring and motivating others to make it happen, good negotiation skills or even financial results. The successful person will be a role model, who has clear values and has made a sustained difference this year.

5. Young construction environmentalist

Sponsor: Clement Acoustics

Someone who has achieved success in a construction related profession or college course that has an environmental element to a project and has made a significant contribution towards protecting and improving the environment. This may include (but is not limited to) organising an environmentally friendly project, undertaking and developing energy saving initiatives, or generating awareness about climate change or other environmental issues. The candidate should be someone who has organised a program, project or activity for the benefit of a community and engaged, inspired and motivated people or public bodies to get involved in the particular charitable or social cause. We will be looking for someone who has made an environmental difference this year.

Overall Winner

Sponsor:  D&M Creative

To be announced on the night

Other sponsors of the awards evening include Eric Wright Construction 

How to Nominate your Construction Outstanding Young Person of the Year

For entry forms:

Visit CDA Website at http://www.cdalliance.co.uk/ 

Or access the pdf entry form from here 

 

The next chapter of construction business?

Construction business has moved a long way from Milton’s ‘the only purpose of business is business’ with many seeking to adopt more of a socially responsible approach, sometimes through choice, more often through client driven procurement requirements. But can businesses rooted in capitalism really morph into something that drives a more responsible sector, one that embraces a collaborative, sharing, responsible economy?

John Friedman @JohnFriedman writing in Huffington Post ‘The Next Chapter of Capitalism‘ thinks so,

In boardrooms and executive suites around the world, business leaders – those people who are truly leading and not just managing their companies – are writing a new chapter of capitalism.

The new chapter seeks to preserve (and expand) the gains in quality of life, longevity, health and well-being and prosperity that are the best results of this economic system while working to ensure that those benefits are universally shared and they do not come at the expense of the Earth’s vast – but finite – natural resources.

The next chapter of capitalism is where the performance of the private sector is in harmony with the progress of society.

The test for the ‘next chapter in capitalism’ will be when social metrics such as CSR, Community Engagement, Sharing, Responsible and Restorative Sustainability, gain a place on the construction board room agenda equal to or over riding the historic cost and profit metrics.

And, as John Friedman questions who will write this next question in capitalism, so we should ask who will write the next chapter in construction business.