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.

More

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Nomination for JDR Annual Industry Blogger Awards

green remodelingDelighted that this blog, Fairsnape iSite, that started its life in ten years ago in Jan 2007 has once again been recognised through nomination to the 8th Annual JDR Industry Blogger Awards. Watch this space as canvassing for votes starts in March.

From the JDR Blog Awards:

We are excited to announce the 8th Annual JDR Industry Blogger Awards, which recognise exceptional design and remodeling blogs. The Blogger Awards celebrate emerging and established blogs, avid followers, and active communities. In 2016, award participation continued to strengthen in reach and influence, with tight races in several categories. We eagerly anticipate an even livelier contest in our eighth year!

Our annual awards highlight the best bloggers in Architecture, Interior Design, Remodeling, Construction Business, Green, and Microblog categories.

Jackson Design and Remodeling has been a pioneer in the design and build remodeling industry for 27 years. Our company values innovation and excellence and we believe in discovering, embracing and promoting those values throughout the industry. The JDR Industry Blogger Awards bring additional recognition to the work of the best blogs in the business, while supporting our efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry, celebrate innovative communication and inspire our clients with the latest ideas in home design.

The blog that receives the most votes in a category will be the winner of that category. Each winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a 2017 JDR Industry Blogger Awards badge for display.

Awards Schedule:

  • Nominations Open: February 3rd, 2017
  • Nominations Closed: February 27th, 2017
  • Voting Open: March 6th, 2017
  • Voting Closed: April 24th, 2017
  • Winners Announced: April 28th, 2017

 Congratulations to last year’s winners:

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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.

 

 

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

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

We are seeing the 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 the project office accommodation environment.

Mindfulness, Biophilia and Salutogenesis provide a powerful triptych for improving 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 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, wellbeing, cognitive skills and recovery times from illness. We should 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, keeping people healthy rather than on just reducing impact on health. Translated to the built environment this can mean focus on design issues that can improve health, through buildings and workplaces where people go home healthier, feeling better and happier than when they arrived. As an example, the recognition that light (daylight and circadian light) can be medicine having positive, even healing benefits. Adopting a salutogenetic mindset to the construction process will encourage us to start considering and focusing on the positive benefits of working in construction.

salutogenesis-slide

 

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PreCycling: A gateway to the Construction Circular Economy

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Precycling is a term I adopted within FutuREstorative to describe the decision making process when specifying, procuring, ordering and calling off materials. It is the thought process, not for only the avoidance of waste but in considering net-positive and secondary uses for a product at the end of its initial use.

Precycling is defined as ‘making purchasing decisions that will ultimately eliminate, delay, reduce the need to recycle or dispose of waste” and should be at the top of all waste hierarchies, as indeed it now is with some of the organisation whom I am supporting.

I have suggested elsewhere that product or material data sheets or passports within BIM should contain deconstruction, disassembly future use options within their attributes, hence enabling and informing precycling decisions.

“Precycling is one of the gateways into a construction circular economy” and assists in making the conversion from Site Waste Management Plans (that detail methods for reducing and better management of waste) to Material Conservation Plans (that detail methods for conserving resources)

Material Conservation Plans are a Living Building Challenge requirement under the Materials imperative. A framework for UK Project Material Conservation Plans is included within FutuREstorative

In January 2017 BRE published Material resource efficiency in construction: Supporting a circular economy (FB 85) which although still having a focus on Site Waste Management Plans assists in shifting waste thinking further up stream, noting that Material resource efficiency can be applied across a construction project’s life cycle, but with the greatest benefits at early, pre-construction stages

4_fb85_165px “There is increasing awareness that improved material resource efficiency will produce benefits across the construction industry such as cost savings, reduced environmental impact and an enhanced reputation. At a construction project level, resource efficiency can be implemented at all stages (design, procurement, construction, in use and end of life) using established tools and techniques.

This guide describes the material resource efficiency requirements in BREEAM. It provides the background, drivers, benefits and practical advice to assist clients, designers and contractors in achieving higher levels of material resource efficiency. It will also be useful to product manufacturers, suppliers and waste management companies”

 

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Talking, Sharing, Launching

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My 2017 diary is shaping up with some great and exciting presentations & talks, sharing insights from FutuREstorative, introducing the Living Building Challenge, launching more collaboratives in the UK and launching RESTORE, our European COST restorative sustainability research programme. And more…

Jan 11th Preston
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative, Living Building Challenge along with healthy buildings topics such as biophilia and salutogenesis with the UCLan Healthy University Group in relation to the University Master Plan Development

Jan 25th Manchester
Book Talk. Sharing insights from FutuREstorative at Constructing Excellence Manchester, Breakfast Meeting
Archive

Jan 31st London
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative at Constructing Excellence Sustainability Working Group event: Healthy Buildings and Wellness
Archive

Feb 6th London
Intro to Living Building Challenge Talk and the Launch of a Living Building Challenge Collaborative for London in association with Mott MacDonald
Archive

Feb 23rd Lancaster
Lancashire Green Drinks
Book Talk. Green Build and Green Coffee. Sharing insights from FutuREstorative. With Ian Steel, Atkinsons Coffee at the Hall, Lancaster
Details and Registration

Feb 24th  Glasgow
Intro to Living Building Challenge Talk and the Launch of a Living Building Challenge Collaborative for Scotland in association with The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA)
Details and Registration

March 9th Brussels
Kick Off Meeting: After 2 years writing submissions and developing the EU COST Action with EU colleagues Carlo Battisti and Emanuele Naboni, we finally kick off RESTORE, our EU COST Research Programme

March (tbc)
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative and Construction Carbon (with Carbon Trust) at Constructing Excellence Lancashire

April (tbc)
Sharing insights from FutuREstorative and Construction Carbon (with Carbon Trust) at Constructing Excellence Liverpool

April 26th  Trento, Italy
Supporting Regeneration Edition 3 Living Building Challenge Competition. Applications still open
Details and Registration

May, London Be2camp style book event with FutuREstorative contributors.

November 10th Leeds
Talking, a little way of yet but delighted to be a guest speaker for the CIBSE Yorkshire Awards Dinner in Leeds

More soon …

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BS 8001 circular economy standard consultation

The British Standards Institute has issued consultation for BS 8001  for businesses implementing circular economy thinking. 

pexels-photo-94616I have covered the circular economy over the recent years within the built environment over recent years within blog posts here,through numerous presentations and workshops and of course within FutuREstorative It is great therefore to see that  BS8001 standard for circular economy guidance is out for consultation.

BS8001 in time will surely become as important as ISO 9001, 14001 etc in the lexicon of key standards, and more so than these standards, BS8001 will pull together a meaningful triple bottom line approach to business.

Unlike other technical standards BS8001 provides information on circular economy concepts, suggesting steps that can be taken to operate in a circular economy.  According to the BSI, the standard will help organisations take practical action to make the most of a low-carbon economy and cut costs and supply chain risks whilst generating economic and social value.

The standard is non sector, size or location specific, hence providing case studies, guidance and recommendations for all on circular economy business models and strategies

Perhaps one of the most useful aspects of the standard might be the in-depth review of current circular economy terminology and schools of thought. In an effort to clarify different parts of the circular economy for readers, 8001 seeks to distinguish between nuanced concepts and clear up some confusion that has emerged as circular economy conversation has proliferated. For example, the draft includes sections on ‘open’ and ‘closed’ loops, why the circular economy is distinct from resource efficiency and zero-waste agendas, and how the circular economy relates to other disciplines such as the Blue Economy, Cradle to Cradle and Biomimicry (1)

Consultation is open until January 15th to comment on the draft standard.

(1) http://circulatenews.org/2016/12/british-standards-institute-on-the-circular-economy/
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