Jaga UK asks experts – What is next for the construction industry?

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How must the construction industry adapt to create a successful future?

by Martin Townsend

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It takes a unique question or experience to inspire a blog, and in this case, the question came from the team at Jaga.  I was asked to discuss the core trends which are currently dominating the future of the construction industry, and whilst any blog on this topic must come with a suitable number of caveats, I have endeavoured to outline my thoughts below.

This subject matter is enormous, and in many ways, the biggest challenge is deciding where to start.

In this case, I begin by considering the past. Whilst every former era of construction is confined to the rearview mirror of history, the lessons learnt during those periods continue to shape the present, and inform the future. One of the biggest construction trends right now is to re-evaluate the methodologies of the past. This is heavily influencing how we approach new and emerging technologies, whether that is with caution, or with full-throttle adoption.

These emerging technologies are many and varied, and are completely changing the face of the industry. Virtual reality and 3D printing have long since left the realms of science fiction to become invaluable tools for those working in construction and architectural design. Equally, we are seeing a cross-pollination of technologies across a raft of sectors – think car batteries moving into the realm of construction – which results in refreshing new ideas and ways of working.

However, for me, the most exciting change is subtler. Conversation within the industry has matured in-line with societal, and there is now an ever-increasing emphasis on the adaptability of spaces, buildings, communities, and neighbourhoods. These must now be designed to meet the rapidly developing needs of an aging population, along with a changing climate, to satisfy current and future demands on the spaces in which we work and live.

In order to facilitate these changes long term, there is also much discussion around how we can balance our rising population and evolving city scapes with the imperative conservation of our resources. There is a developing dialogue around how we can rethink the relationship between suppliers and end-users, and how that can translate into a greater understanding of the benefits of eco-friendly products and systems. I also very much anticipate a rise of the circular economy, whereby we drastically reduce waste whilst increasing well-being, a circumstance which will certainly change construction for the better.

Furthermore, we are seeing a shift in emphasis from quantity to quality. This is particularly relevant to housing developments, where consumers are far better informed than ever-before, and can conduct research on products and builds at the touch of a button. One example of this enforced transparency is consumer interest in long-term operating costs. Savvy buyers are now comfortable asking questions about factors such as the efficiency of a home’s heating system, green finance, or overall adaptability, and have the knowledge to back it up. A consumer led agenda of quality, through demand, rather than the supply side, is gradually becoming a reality.

This new level of transparency also enables a wider group of people to hold corporate groups to account, addressing sustainability issues and furthering public understanding of these. I see this in the conversations which I have daily – individuals involved in construction are beginning to realise that their brands have a responsibility beyond shareholder returns, and this is influencing how projects are developed and completed. Looking to the future, the graduates of today are just as interested in a company’s values and corporate social responsibility (CSR) as they are in performance on the stock exchange, a telling indicator of our future captains of industry.

Equally, as we become more international, there will be an expectation, or perhaps a need, for global governance to shape the construction agenda. In the current climate, it would be easy to stray into Trump or Brexit territory, but these are only a minor part of the story. The Paris Agreement, and the alignment of most (excluding the notable previous example!) high-level views of climate change, is a vital part of the future of construction. And, whilst a great level of volatility remains on the global stage, the increase of products and services being delivered on an international scale means that there is a rising need for consistency and commonality, and this should be driven by standards.

Related to this, is the changing way in which businesses collaborate. Collaboration has always been central to the construction industry, but to me at least, it is becoming more noticeable. This extends beyond collaboration between similar organisations, but also to those – potentially from completely different industries – who share a similar problem. Whilst this, to my mind, can only be a good thing, it’s vital that we develop and maintain governance models to ensure stakeholders can have confidence in what is being achieved, in a way that is not anti-competitive. This leads to interesting discussions around how legislation, such as competition laws originally put in place to protect companies, do not become barriers.

For those whose chosen profession is linked to the construction industry, it is perhaps one of the most exciting periods of the industry to be working in. If you are reading this from outside the sector, I hope this blog has given you pause for thought, and perhaps given you reason to re-evaluate the construction industry as one you may choose to join.Our once male dominated, and arguably, unsafe and unsanitary industry is evolving in front of our eyes. Top minds from top universities are gravitating to the sector, and the way we look at construction is shifting enormously, with innovative technologies, as well as new attitudes, hugely shaping the future.



Get off-site InSite from Eurocell at Ecobuild 2018

Building Products Index Ltd PVC-U, Windows Leave a Comment

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Eurocell BPindex January 2018 Insite Ecobuild LEAD IMAGEEurocell is promising to deliver a whole host of benefits to the timber frame and off-site construction sectors with the launch of its new InSite window solution. InSite will enable timber frame manufacturers to install fully glazed, fully finished windows into wall panels as part of the factory production process, thereby reducing on site disruption and labour costs while saving time on build programme schedules. The new system can be viewed at Ecobuild 2018 on stand G22.

There are also significant health and safety benefits with factory fitting and the reduction in manual handling, as well as an estimated 30% improvement in transportation yields because the windows are fully recessed, allowing panels to be stacked flush when loaded.

Eurocell BPindex January 2018 Insite Ecobuild (1)InSite comprises market-leading PVC-U window performance with an innovative fixing method that allows factory fitting of the window directly into the wall panel. Once the timber wall panel has been erected on-site, the windows are checked to ensure they are plumb and square and then simply secured to the first fix position by pushing the frame outwards to lock it into position. An intelligent design modification enables cills to be simply clipped on and mechanically secured once the windows are locked into position. The whole panel assembly can be made watertight within one day so interior trades can begin work immediately, saving time on programme.

Eurocell BPindex January 2018 Insite Ecobuild (2)As part of its development, the InSite system has been fully tested, including resisting wind load pressures well in excess of 200mph – significantly beyond the highest Category 5 hurricane winds rating (156mph+). Design calculations have been verified by independent timber frame structural engineers. Owing to the controlled nature of manufacture, the installed windows offer leading energy efficiency performance, with a U-value of just 0.8 W/m2 possible, a level that far exceeds current Building Regulations requirements.

A 10-year product guarantee* on InSite windows provides customer peace of mind, as does full product traceability, thanks to a simplified supply chain and centralised documentation.

Talking about the launch, Chris Coxon, Group Head of Marketing at Eurocell, said: “InSite is an engineered solution that gives off-site construction specialists an opportunity to increase efficiencies and quality at key stages of the manufacturing and building process, so they receive the benefits they promote to their clients and streamline the construction process further, resulting in a safer, faster build time.”

“Since there is no need to store windows on site there is no danger of damage or theft and the reduction in manual handling also significantly cuts the number of health and safety issues to be dealt with. Programme time is not affected by issues like scaffolding obscuring the installation of windows, especially as preparing InSite for external cladding and internal plastering can all be done from the inside. Similarly, site traffic is reduced because there are no window deliveries,” he adds.

Sounds appealing? Find out more by visiting www.eurocell.co.uk/insite or calling the Eurocell Customer Care Team directly on 0800 988 3049.

Ecobuild 2018 takes place between March 6th and 8th at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands. Eurocell’s stand no. is G22. To register visit: https://www.ecobuild.co.uk/

* including 5 years on glazing units and two years on internal window hardware.

Ventilation system by Airflow Developments Ltd.

Photograph by Martin Neeves Photography - www.martinneeves.com - Tel: 01455 271849 / 07973 638591 - E-mail: mail@martinneeves.com

The Airflow Air Academy is an NICEIC Approved Training Centre

Building Products Index Ltd Fan, Ventilation Leave a Comment

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Bircan Tulga Photography 2016You can train to become an NICEIC accredited ventilation installer at the Airflow Air Academy in High Wycombe. The 500m2 state-of-the-art training facility uses the very latest in ventilation and building management technologies to showcase the health and financial benefits of using energy efficient ventilation products that perform when installed.

NICEIC Ventilation Installer training sessions take place twice a month in the Air Academy with Airflow’s accredited instructor. During the two-day training scheme, you will learn about:

  • The importance of effective ventilation in the home
  • The current UK Building Regulations affecting residential ventilation
  • The four main ventilation systems outlined in the Building Regulations, including:
    • Intermittent extract fans
    • Passive Stack Ventilation
    • Continuous Mechanical Extract Ventilation systems (both decentralised MEV and centralised MEV)
    • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR)
  • Why you should consider installed performance
  • How to correctly install, commission and test a system

Acceptable alternative means of ventilating a property that you may come across in the field will also be discussed during the course of the training scheme.

You will also undergo a practical test where you will test and balance a typical residential Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery system in-line with best practice and in accordance with Approved Document F1: Means of Ventilation of the 2010 Building Regulations.

Bircan Tulga Photography 2016When you’ve successfully completed the NICEIC Ventilation Installer course, the qualification you’ll receive provides you with significant added value to your credentials. This will highlight your competency and skill to prospective clients; reassuring them of your quality as a ventilation installer.

Once the two-day training session is completed, you are then eligible to join the NICEIC Competent Persons scheme – the only scheme of its type with a £25,000 guarantee. The scheme is designed to offer a safety net to clients that if the work undertaken is substandard, then it will be rectified through NICEIC’s Platinum Promise; adding further reassurance to prospective clients that the work you’ll undertake will be quality.

Click the link to learn more about the NICEIC Ventilation Training scheme as well as all the training services on offer with Airflow:



Northop Hall - Cembrit PR Shot


Building Products Index Ltd Roofing Leave a Comment

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Cembrit New larger Glendyne slate formatsCembrit, the leading roofing and cladding specialist is proud to announce the addition of two new sizes to its Glendyne range of natural slates, 610mm x 305mm and 508mm x 305mm, offering roofers larger slates and more versatility when working on lower pitched roofs.

On a roof with a lower pitch, the large size of the slates will not let water sit between the slates and prevents the water from getting through. Larger slates work well on low pitched roofs and are best suited for use in coastal areas where the environment has a greater degree of moisture content.

The larger sized Glendyne natural slates, 610mm x 305mm and 508mm x 305mm, can be pitched at a minimum of 25° and 20° in moderate exposure zones and 30° and 22.5° in sever exposure zones respectively. The slates exceed the common 2:1 length width ratio, allowing for specification on greater range of roof pitches. The range offers a quality alternative to Welsh Slate and is readily available. Cembrit also has the facility to examine individual cases and offer specific advice on minimum pitch per project outside the parameters of BS 5534.

Northop Hall - Cembrit PR ShotGlendyne is a high quality slate that combines first-class performance with all the inherent beauty of natural slate, making it the ideal ‘natural’ choice for specifiers and roofers. Available exclusively from Cembrit in the UK, Glendyne is a distinctive blue-grey colour. The Glendyne quarry is one of the most modern slate quarries in the world. The quarry operates a quality management system based on EN ISO 9001 which is externally audited. This standard is adhered to rigidly, as are all quality standard procedures required by each regional market the quarry supplies. Glendyne, like all natural slate from Cembrit, is tested to BS EN European standard, BS EN 12326-1:2014 which requires many of the laboratory tests (‘type testing’) to be performed at least annually and the factory production control (FPC) performed and recorded as a matter of routine by the producer.

For further information visit www.cembrit.co.uk, email sales@cembrit.co.uk or tel: +44 (0) 208 320 1184.

HEWI children bathroom solutions

Colourful Children’s Bathroom

Building Products Index Ltd sanitary accessories Leave a Comment

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HEWI_Kids_3Practical and Easy Care

Sanitary rooms for children must be designed to be practical, easy care and safe. HEWI products for children are matched to the needs of their small users, whether in child daycare centres, kindergartens or schools. Cheerful colours create a child-friendly ambience. Washbasins, mirrors and tumbler racks with apple green accents now provide additional scope for coloured design in the children’s bathroom.



Washbasins and Mirrors

HEWI_Kids_2The washbasins are available in two different sizes. As a single washbasin or as a practical double washbasin. The narrow edge and compact design allow even small children to reach the fitting effortlessly. Gentle radii means no corners or edges on which children could bruise themselves. They are optionally available in classic white or as a two-coloured variant with an all-round strip in cheerful apple green.

The mirrors made of ESG safety glass have a shatterproof film. They are available in two different sizes to match the washbasins. Here the fresh accent in apple green is set by horizontal bars.

Tumbler Racks

HEWI_Kids_1The practical tumbler racks can be extended as required with by adding an add-on module with four additional spaces. The tumbler rack is optionally available with towel hooks. The opening of the shielded handtowel hook is positioned facing the wall for safety.

For individualisation and simple allocation of the tumblers, additional self-adhesive stickers, writable or with printed motifs, are available.  Like the tumblers, the labels are dishwasher safe.

Design:            HEWI, Bad Arolsen



Building Products Index Ltd Building Drainage, Drainage Leave a Comment

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ACO 2The ACO TotalFlow Gully is the latest addition to ACO Building Drainage’s extensive range of gully products. Designed to complement the company’s range of engineered gully solutions, the ACO TotalFlow Gully provides designers and end users with a simple, compact range of gully products suitable for use in a wide array of drainage applications in public areas.The ACO TotalFlow Gully is the latest addition to ACO Building Drainage’s extensive range of gully products. Designed to complement the company’s range of engineered gully solutions, the ACO TotalFlow Gully provides designers and end users with a simple, compact range of gully products suitable for use in a wide array of drainage applications in public areas.
Manufactured from cast iron for optimum durability, the ACO TotalFlow Gully is particularly well suited for use in areas with high levels of pedestrian traffic including railway and bus stations, airports, public buildings and shopping centres.

ACOAndy Buchan, Divisional Managing Director of ACO Building Drainage, comments: “Our commitment to manufacturing the highest quality products that combine the latest technology with market-driven design continues. The new products reflect the needs of specifiers, contractors and asset owners who have responsibility for maintenance and who require simple products which are easy to install and
maintain.  ACO’s TotalFlow Gully range complements the high performance, stainless steel gully products we offer for specialist applications, enabling a robust, easy-to-specify and easy-to-install gully solution.”

ACO DSC_4710For more information, visit www.aco.co.uk or call 01462 810400 to speak to one of the company’s in-house design and specification team.

Howe Green 7500 Series Stainless Steel Multipart Floor Access Cover - Crossrail - amended

From west to east with Howe Green access covers

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Howe Green has supplied over 400 access covers to Tier 1 contractors working on Europe’s largest construction project – Crossrail. The new Elizabeth line will comprise 118 kilometres of track running through London and the South East and is set to reduce average journey times significantly. The Elizabeth line will open in December 2018 when services commence through central London.

Tier 1 contractor Laing O’ Rourke has specified over 60 of Howe Green’s 7500 Series Multipart Stainless Steel Floor Access Covers for Tottenham Court Road station.

Howe Green 7500 Series Stainless Steel Multipart Floor Access Cover - Crossrail - amendedThe large 4 part units were precision made to order to ensure that they would be a perfect fit.  Installed by specialist stone contractor Vetter UK, the covers have been infilled with granite to match the surrounding area.  Supplied with barrel lifting points the covers fit flush with the flooring to reduce the risk of slip and trip hazards.

The 7500 Series can withstand up to a 5 tonne pneumatic wheel loading and can be supplied as a single cover, in duct runs or as a multipart.  Standard sizes are available from stock or can be custom made to order if a specific size or loading is necessary.   Options are available for a 3 hour fire rating BS 476: Part 20 1987 on stainless steel single covers or 2 hours on duct and multipart covers if required.  The covers can also be supplied double-sealed to meet the highest standards of hygiene and security.

For more information please call 01920 463230 or visit www.howegreen.com.

Balconette Frameless Juliet balcony

Balconette’s Frameless Juliet Balcony

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Frameless Juliet 2Frameless Glass Juliet Balconies, where all there is literally, is a sheet of glass, are a highly aesthetic solution for a balcony guarding such as a Juliet and having such a frameless solution is a frequent request among architects, commercial and domestic clients. Balconette has designed a perfect solution for the creation of a Frameless Juliet using 21.5mm laminated and toughened glass.

Frameless Juliette 3-1

This system allows a custom sized Frameless Juliet of up to 3.15m in width as one sheet of glass. We also offer 7 standard sizes that range from 1280mm to 2840mm with a 5 working day turnaround. The end result is stunning, absolutely zero obstruction from the inside and a beautifully designed system that complements any building from the outside.

Balcony - Frameless Juliet at Solihull 2 - closeup Balcony - Frameless Juliet at Solihull - from inside











Mendip Stoves-Woodland StoveCROP

Mendip’s best-selling Woodland stove is the perfect fit for renovation projects

Building Products Index Ltd Wood burning stoves Leave a Comment

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Mendip Stoves-Woodland StoveCROPAs more and more new houses are being built, in both city and countryside alike, and with the demand for home renovations more popular than ever, here in the UK we need stove solutions that combine efficiency and high heat output with easy installation and hassle-free maintenance. The Woodland multi-fuel model from Mendip Stoves is not only designed here in the UK but it’s also the company’s best-seller and that’s largely thanks to the fact that it can be installed in just one day…

With Mendip’s best-selling Woodland multi-fuel stove, simply lay down a hearth, make sure the chimney is insulated then fit. Houses in the past have had to face the challenge of opening up the fireplace, taking the plasterboard away then fireproofing it – all of which is timely and expensive – yet because the Woodland only has a 10cm distance to combustibles, unlike other brands, it’s ideal for timber framed homes and renovation projects.

Features of this clean-lined design include a large viewing window, 4.5kW heat output and the added benefit of 10cm to combustibles on the sides and rear, which allows the Woodland to be placed closer to combustible walls and is ideal for modern timber framed buildings. It can be installed in large or smaller spaces with a log-store model also available.

Woodland logstore 2016-crop

The Woodland logstore model

The Woodland logstore model

The Woodland stove is part of the Woodland Trust offer from Eurostove. For every stove sold, Mendip will donate three trees to the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading conservation charity.

About Mendip Stoves

Eurostove Ltd is a family owned business based in Somerset since 2004, who specialise in wood burning stoves, be they traditional, contemporary or inset. The Mendip range is manufactured in Britain, ensuring that the stoves are beautifully built by experienced craftsmen using cutting-edge technology. Mendip stoves are manufactured to exceed British standards with demand for quality at every stage. From its heavy-duty steel body to the ergonomically designed door handle, every detail has been meticulously considered.

About the Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has over 400,000 supporters.
The Trust has three key aims:

  • Plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife
  • Protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
  • Restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
    Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its woods is free.



Kee Safety Step-overs


Building Products Index Ltd Fall protection Leave a Comment

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Kee Safety, a leading global supplier of fall protection solutions, has launched a range of modular, off the shelf step-overs that provide a safe means of access where obstructions exist on a roof, such as pipework, plant equipment and conduits. Suitable for use on a variety of roof types and surfaces including concrete, membrane, metallic and composite, Kee Walk® Step-overs accommodate changes in roof levels to offer a safe, anti-slip, level walking surface onto and across roofs.

Kee Safety Step-oversStandard Kee Walk® Step-overs are available in kit form to accommodate different height requirements and are delivered pre-assembled for easy installation.  Each kit includes a double handrail and toe-boards for added safety, a choice of nylon or aluminium treads and base feet options to suit different roof types.

“Many of today’s roofs contain a variety of trip hazards and changes in roof level, making safe access difficult, if not impossible” comments Stuart Owen, Kee Safety Fall Protection Product Manager. “Step-overs easily accommodate changes in level or direction, and can fit over pipework or equipment. There is the ability to meet virtually any design requirement, with the end result always being a safe, secure and compliant access platform.”

With adjustable step sections, and non-penetrative fixing options, the step-overs have the inherent flexibility to not only protect those accessing the roof, but to also protect the roof sheet from unnecessary foot traffic and potential damage by providing a clearly defined access path.

Kee Walk® Step-overs are constructed using Kee Klamp® tubular fittings. Each fitting incorporates an internal set screw to lock the respective fitting safely and securely onto the tube to create a strong, stable and safe structure. This method eliminates the need for time-consuming welding or specialist skills or tools, saving contractors both time and money on site.

The Kee Walk® Step-overs are compatible with other products in the Kee Safety portfolio to provide a complete fall protection and safe access solution, including Kee Walk®, Kee Gate®, KeeGuard®, and KeeGuard® Topfix. For those installations where a bespoke option is required, Kee Safety can deliver a totally customisable solution.

The Kee Walk® Step-over range has been designed in accordance to EN 14122-2/3:2016 for assured safe operation with the Kee Walk® being compliant to EN 516 Class 1-C.

For more information, visit www.keesafety.co.uk