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Bi-fold doors are increasing in popularity,
with the market expected to grow by 7% year on year. Their aesthetically
pleasing modern design lightens up a room, creating an enviable inside and
outside space. The installation of bi-folds also has the power to increase a
property’s value by as much as 10% – it’s no surprise they’re so sought after!
While bi-fold doors are a sleek home addition, with the average large format
doors filling an aperture of over 3.5m wider and 2.1m high, product quality and
air tightness are incredibly important. It is recommended to review the doors
energy efficiency before purchasing. Less energy efficient models that let in a
draught will let heat out of a property and won’t be as protective of the
Here’s what you should look out for in order to
identify an energy efficient bi-fold door system:
The U-value measures how effective a material
is as an insulator. As a rule, the lower the U-value, the more efficient the
material and therefore, the lower the annual energy bill will be. With
bi-folding doors you generally want a value of 1.4 or less to ensure that you
have optimal thermal performance. There are a variety of energy efficient
bi-folding doors, with low U-values, such as bi folding doors from Quickslide.
A suitable weather resistant bi-folding door
should have been rigorously tested to ensure they are watertight and remain
protected against an array of weather conditions. Bi-fold doors are subject to
a weathertightness test, more formally known as a BS6375 Part 1. This assesses the
air permeability (varying levels of air pressure are applied to the material,
testing the amount of air leakage), water tightness (water is sprayed at
varying pressures to see at what point it starts to penetrate) and wind
resistance (varying levels of wind pressure are applied to see what the maximum
resistance levels are). When purchasing a bi-folding door, make sure to check
the exact model has undertaken a weathertightness test. This will offer
homeowners peace of mind that the doors will keep their home fully insulated
from all weather conditions.
CE Marking is a legal requirement for products
sold in the European Economic Area. It is mandatory for all UK manufactured
bi-folding doors to be CE marked. For a product to receive this accreditation,
the manufacturer must present evidence under a series of categories, including
thermal efficiency and weathertightness. Therefore, you can rest assure that
any door you are purchasing with this marking, will be compliant with required
performance characteristics, in line with UK requirements, such as
weathertightness and thermal.
Polymide Thermal Barrier
Aluminium is a natural conductor, so to improve
the insulation of the door frame, they can be upgraded to include polymide
thermal barrier technology. Aluminium bi-folding doors that have been upgraded
to this technology over old resin thermal barrier give at least a 30%
improvement to thermal efficiency. The advanced profile technology creates a
thermal transmittance barrier between the cold outside and the warm inside.
This works to thermally secure the home, keeping it warm in the winter months,
and reducing the energy bills.
service organisations can now demonstrate their considerate credentials
20 May 2019: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the
organisation established to improve the image of construction – has expanded to
offer professional service organisations the opportunity to register with the
Eligible organisations providing professional services to the
construction industry, such as architects, engineering consultancies,
surveyors, accountants and lawyers, are now able to join the 7,000 plus
construction sites, companies, suppliers and clients of construction projects
who register with the Scheme each year.
Professional services account for around 11% (£186 billion) of the
UK’s Gross Value Added and employ around 13% (4.6 million) of the UK’s
This exciting development comes at the request of those already
registered with the Scheme to ensure their entire supply chain is part of the
Scheme, as well as an increasing number of professional service organisations
wishing to be part of the Scheme to help improve their standards in considerate
Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors
Scheme said: “We are delighted to welcome eligible professional service
organisations to the Scheme. This is a significant development for our entire
construction industry, as professional services form an integral part of the
industry’s supply chain.
“The impact such organisations can have in becoming part of the
Considerate Constructors Scheme to improve their standards will no doubt have a
significant influence on improving the overall image of our industry.”
Click here to find
out more and to apply to become a Scheme Registered Professional.
the news that the steel industry in the UK needs to find a £30m cash injection
or it’s likely to face administration, potentially affecting 24,000 jobs
through Scunthorpe steelworks and its supply chain, Dilusha Hettiralalage,
Consumer Savings Expert at www.Codes.co.uk, commented:
issues with the steel industry have been well documented since 2017 and in all
honesty it’s done well to continue on for as long as it has. It’s a significant
part of UK heritage and industrialisation, and it’s hard to imagine a UK
without British Steel, but right now we need to be thinking about the 24,000
workers who could be left jobless if the second-largest steel producer in the
UK is to close its doors.
hearts are with those right now in limbo, unsure of what is happening and if
they will have a job by the end of the week. Whether they’re single, married,
have children or don’t, it’s never ideal to lose your job – especially ahead of
the summer holidays, a notoriously expensive time of the year. One must also
appreciate the fact that many steel workers have been operating in the industry
since leaving school as teenagers, and have built up a very specific and niche
set of skills that aren’t transferable to many other job roles if they are made
has already been injected into British Steel from shareholder Greybull Capital,
so whilst things are looking positive, will this be the last time that the
industry faces this issue and jobs are put on the line? It’s doubtful. We
wouldn’t recommend everyone jumps ship if the company is able to be saved this
week, but maybe it’s time for workers to consider branching out and learning a
new trade or transferable skills so that they are as employable as possible,
should they find themselves without a job.”
The construction of new offices in central London is at its highest level in three years with 37 schemes breaking ground in the last six months.
According to the latest Deloitte crane survey the office sector is remaining resilient despite Brexit uncertainty with 3.5m sq ft started over the period, 38% up on the previous survey last autumn.
Overall new build figures were significantly boosted by four new starts at King’s Cross – including Facebook’s new HQ – representing nearly 1m sq ft of all new starts.
The biggest sector of the London market, the Square Mile, has started to see a pronounced shift towards large-scale office refurbishment. Over this period developers began work on eight refurbishments, which will deliver 800,000 sq ft of Grade A space.
The survey also highlighted some concern that the longer term forecast office pipeline of 30m sq ft, is nearly a quarter down over the last two years.
The latest biannual survey recorded 13.2m sq ft of office space now under construction – a 12% increase on the previous survey.
Mike Cracknell, director at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “London’s office market remains resilient in the face of uncertainty as we witness an encouraging increase in new construction starts. This is testament to developers’ continued confidence in London’s office leasing market long-term.”
He added that the uptick in construction activity in the run-up to the originally scheduled EU departure date of March 2019 was remarkable, given the magnitude of political and economic uncertainty.
He said that it demonstrated that developers had not delayed their construction plans and had confidence in the London leasing market over the long term.
The City of London continued to dominate construction activity with 6.7m sq ft across 33 schemes representing half of total volume under construction across the capital.
Among the top concerns for landlords and developers, Brexit uncertainty was cited by around a quarter. But longer term issues of ‘lack of development sites’ (32%) and ‘construction costs’ (32%), were the top two challenges for landlords.
Among key package contractors, most firms expected to see a little increase in work over the next 12 months, although the strength of positive sentiment has waned with the exception of external works firms.
The results around price sentiment in the Q1 2019 survey suggest an average 3% rise in prices over the next 12 months – similar to the figure reported in the Q3 2018 survey.
The exception was in demolition where significant price increases are being forecast.
Payment periods are on the increase from main contractors, suggesting harder times ahead. Payments within 30 days fell from over 40% to less than 30% of the total.
Scheme’s e-learning courses have received unprecedented engagement, with over
53,000 people working in construction taking the courses so far.
Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme said: “There is
no doubt that the shocking number of deaths and long-term illnesses caused by
significant exposure to carcinogens in the workplace needs greater attention by
everyone. We must continue to improve our standards in how we raise awareness
and understanding of the risks and how to take measures to, where possible
eliminate them, or at the very least minimise them.
call on everyone across our industry to take the ‘Occupational
Cancers’ course and to encourage colleagues, friends and family members to
do the same.
Hub also features the ‘Spotlight
on…occupational cancers’ campaign which provides excellent examples of best
practice in tackling this issue provided by construction sites, companies and
suppliers to the industry across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.
We anticipate more examples of best practice being shared across the coming
months in order to drastically reduce the impact of carcinogens on our
Click here to take the
‘Occupational Cancers’ e-learning.
Lesley McLeod, CEO, The
Association for Project Safety
“Safety needs to be
built in so, while the government’s commitment to additional funding to replace
high-rise cladding is welcome, it is better sense to tackle construction risks
at the outset. The Association for Project Safety (APS) believes it is vital
everyone who lives in a high-rise home can be confident they are safe so safety
must be the priority right from the planning stage.
“Safety is at the core
of good design and the APS remains committed to working with the government and
other professionals in the construction sector to promote and share good
practice, as well as making sure everyone can build the skills and knowledge,
they need to make Britain’s building better.
“The APS welcomes the
use of public funds to make high rise buildings safer, but we are concerned the
timetable is very tight and that funds may prove insufficient – we believe it
is better to do things right than force a potentially unrealistic deadline and
budget on the project.”
A recent UK study has revealed which sectors
are the most likely to need to take time off work for their mental wellbeing,
with healthcare topping the list (26%) followed by those working in the media
(23%) and those working in education (21%).
This research into the
mental wellbeing of Britons was conducted after the inventor of income
protection discovered that 7% of all claims made in 2018 were related to mental
The team at www.Holloway.co.uk conducted the research to find out how each sector was affected by
absence relating to mental wellbeing. A total of 3,000 adults aged 18 and over
from the UK, were quizzed as part of the study. Respondents were split evenly
across 15 key sectors.
participants were asked, “Have you ever taken time off work for your mental
health?” with the following emerging as the results for each sector:
Healthcare – 26% (of employees have taken time
off work for their mental wellbeing)
Media – 23%
Education – 21%
Banking/Finance – 19%
Public Sector – 17%
HR/Personnel – 15%
Retail – 13%
Marketing – 12%
Construction – 11%
Transport/Travel – 9%
to elaborate on the reason for their mental wellbeing-related absence from
work, if they felt comfortable doing so, the vast majority blamed it on
respondents were found to have taken an average of three weeks off for their
mental wellbeing; of which a third (34%) said they received their full pay
during this time and 57% said they received reduced pay.
who had suffered with their mental health, just 1 in 5 (21%) said that they had
gone to speak to a professional about this, with those that didn’t citing long
wait times (78%) and not knowing where to turn (20%) as reasons.
relevant participants were asked if they believed that their work had
contributed to their poor mental health to which 9 in 10 (92%) said that they
thought it had.
“Looking after your
mental health is often far harder than looking after your physical self. After
finding that 1 in 14 of our claims last year were related to mental wellbeing,
we wanted to see how each sector is affected by this growing crisis. With mental
health services overstretched and employees having to work harder than ever
before just to make ends meet, we need to remember to take the time to look
“The horrid thing is that
money is often a massive cause for worry which can contribute to mental health
issues. Having to take prolonged time off work can be scary in these situations
as your pay is never guaranteed. This is a prime example of why more needs to
be done to educate people on the importance of income protection.”
This summer, Aarsleff Ground Engineering are inviting their valued
clients to experience the virtual world of ground engineering at their Head
Offices in Newark, Nottinghamshire.
Guests will be shown to the company’s VROOM where they will
be given a short tutorial before leaving reality and entering Aarsleff’s ‘virtual’
Equipped with a state-of-the-art VR headset, user’s will be
taken through a 6-minute guided tour around the ‘Aarsleff World’, exploring
some of the company’s core specialist ground engineering techniques – both
above and below ground. Traversing through Rail, Commercial, Residential,
Mining and Industrial zones, the user will be able to take a closer look at
rigs and machinery by leading innovators Junttan, Klemm and Movax and
experience the ground engineering techniques that the Aarsleff organisation
deliver on site every day.
Aarsleff teamed up with leading UK 3D technology and software
development studio Luminous Group back in October 2018 to develop the virtual
reality application, and have since developed a close working relationship with
the organisation for the development of future digital initiatives.
The experience has been created using the latest Unity games
engine and HTC Vive Pro headset providing full natural interaction with six
degrees of freedom and high-quality visuals. Users can view a mini table top
view of the Aarsleff world or fly down to see interactive cut always of the
ground below. Games engines with their real time rendering capabilities and
ability to port content to multiple devices and platforms are becoming the
preferred choice for creating interactive computer graphics, VR experiences and
Aarsleff’s Marketing and Communications Manager said: “Finding ways to visualise and engage with
ground engineering techniques can be challenging – everything our specialist
industry does is underground or soon covered up. The new virtual reality
application makes it possible for our users to experience ground engineering
techniques in a more dynamic and accessible way than ever before, and this is
what makes it really unique”.
With half a million workers set to retire over the next 10
years, the application has primarily been designed to address the growing
skills shortage in the construction sector with a view to help attract the next
generation of digitally native gamers into the industry. The application has
been designed to both appeal to a new entrant into the field of construction,
and an already established geotechnical engineer who would like to understand
more about Aarsleff’s products and services including Drilling and Grouting,
Soil Nails, Driven Piling, Mini Piling and Sheet Piling.
Managing Director Kevin Hague said: “In embracing VR, we also hope to tackle the
challenge that ‘young people are not interested in construction’ by rolling out
the virtual application at careers fairs and university shows. Students and
aspiring engineers will be able to walk around on an Aarsleff site, helping
them to understand several ground engineering disciplines and learn about the
machinery operated on site – all whilst in a safe and engaging way”.
The Newark-based specialist contractor are
exclusively inviting a selection of clients to their offices to experience
their new VR application over the summer period, after which point the program
will then be exhibited at careers fairs and shows and for all other interested
parties to experience on a pre-booked basis.
For more information
about Aarsleff Ground Engineering visit www.aarsleff.co.uk or contact a member of staff on +44 (0) 1636
There’s been some alarming titles in the press
for more than a decade now: “A global crisis of the surveying profession” (2008), “Surveyor skill shortage approaching critical level, warns RICS”
(2015), “Easier to employ a ballet dancer than a quantity surveyor” (2017)…
The latest CIOB-cross industry research report
published in January 2019 highlights that the issue is far from being solved,
with 42% of construction businesses reporting difficulties recruiting
quantity surveyors, both now and by anticipation, post-Brexit.
The RICS Construction and Infrastructure survey
2019 also confirms that quantity surveying
is still the occupation with the greatest staff shortages, beyond trades,
bricklayers and other construction professionals, with 60% of companies
reporting skill shortages in the profession.
Why are there shortages of quantity
The construction sector in general is
experiencing an ageing working population, with nearly 430,000
construction workers to retire between 2010
and 2020. More specifically, the quantity surveying profession experiences
difficulties attracting young students, due to the complexity of the role and
the lack of clarity on the definition of the profession.
While a problem not limited to the UK, the
uncertainties surrounding Brexit are enhancing this issue. As 26% of the UK construction workforce comes from the EU, the
deterioration of the sterling makes the country less attractive as a work
destination. Construction material costs inflation also leads to a greater need
for complex cost estimates (and great quality quantity surveyors!).
What are the solutions to address the
quantity surveyor crisis?
The government is looking at increasing the
attractiveness of the profession, promoting apprenticeships and easing the
barriers to immigration as different solutions to address this challenge. One
of the recommendations of the CIOB-cross industry research report is to include
the quantity surveyor profession to the future “Shortage Occupation List” of
the Migration Advisory Committee.
As a construction business owner, there are
three routes to explore to find quantity surveyors.
Take on apprentices
23,000 apprenticeships started in England in
Construction, Planning and the Built Environment in 2017/18. Taking on
apprentices can be a really great way to attract young professionals,
especially as quantity surveying apprenticeships are fairly quick to obtain –
from 2 years for a Surveying or Geospatial Survey Technician apprentice (Level
3) up to 5 years for a Chartered Surveyor Apprentice or Geospatial Mapping and
Sciences Apprentice (Level 6).
The latest apprenticeship data from the
Department of Education in January
2019 shows that only 9 people started an
apprenticeship as a Geospatial Survey Technician since 2015/16, 506 as
Surveying Technicians, and 1,892 as Chartered Surveyor Apprentices – there’s
still room for many more!
Look for temporary contractors
Rather than desperately trying to recruit
permanent quantity surveyors, recruiting contractors from temporary recruitment
agencies can be a way to avoid turning down projects. While this route is typically
more expensive than recruiting permanent members of staff, it can be a great
way to release the pressure and gain flexibility. It might also lead some
contractors to convert to permanent positions in the future.
Becoming familiar with 3D modelling packages and
BIM (Building Information Modelling) software (e.g., Estimator360, HBXL,
PlanSwift, Clear Estimates…) to price projects can be another way to fix the
crisis. While the barrier to entry can be high in terms of cost, digital skills
required, and time required to select, implement and be trained on how to use
estimating software packages, it can also be a great way to make the profession
more attractive to younger generations too.
Whilst the crisis will not be solved overnight,
there are some solutions out there to explore to help you address this