100m Wear bridge pylon to be lifted into place

The 100 metre high pylon for Sunderland’s new £117m bridge is set to be lifted into position in the coming two weeks.


The 1550-tonne A-frame tower will be raised at the site of the city’s new bridge over the River Wear during a carefully orchestrated operation that is likely to take up to 24 hours to complete.

Nothing of this scale has been lifted in this way in the UK since the London Eye was raised in 1999.

The white pylon was transported to the site of the New Wear Crossing from the Port of Sunderland during the early hours of last Thursday.

The New Wear Crossing is being built on behalf of Sunderland City Council by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction.

During this week, it has been rotated into position and now work is underway to attach the pylon to the foundations that have been built into the riverbed to support it.

Preparation works for the raising operation are taking place this week and early next. The team is preparing to raise the pylon sometime during the next fortnight.

Once raised into position, it will take several weeks for the team to secure the pylon to the foundations, in readiness for the next section of bridge deck to be pulled out across the river.

The bridge is on track to be complete in the spring of 2018.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/31/100m-wear-bridge-pylon-to-be-lifted-into-place/


Liverpool council building to become luxury hotel

Liverpool City Council is set to sell its former administrative headquarters to a Singapore based developer who plan to turn it into a hotel.

Municipal Buildings

The sale of the Municipal Building on Dale Street to Fragrance Group Limited (FGL) is set to be rubber-stamped next month.

The Grade II listed city centre office is expected to be handed over in Spring.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Municipal Building has been a magnificent home for Liverpool City Council since the 1860s but we no longer have the staff numbers to justify retaining it.

“I’m delighted we have a buyer of international repute who is looking to use Liverpool to break into the UK and European hotel market.

“This will have a great impact in terms of generating jobs and bosting out international appeal.

“We will work with FGL to ensure that its future use protects the building’s unique architectural features, as we have done with the neighbouring Municipal Annexe and Royal Insurance Building which have also recently been brought back into use as four star hotels.

“The sale will bring in much needed money which we can reinvest in reducing the costs of our capital infrastructure programme, as well as delivering ongoing savings by lowering our overheads.”

The building is on three floors with an extensive basement, and covers 11,494 square metres.

Council workers are being moved to other existing sites across the city.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/30/liverpool-council-building-to-become-luxury-hotel/


TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent wholesale suppliers of screws, fixings and power tools accessories, has introduced the innovative cavity wall fixing, Zip-Fix, to its newly extended range of products.  The fixing is an ideal heavy duty hollow wall anchor that’s suitable for use in plasterboard, concrete block, cavity walls and ceilings.

The new product, one of more than 700 new items in the latest TIMco brochure, is available in bags of ten and provides the ideal anchor for hanging radiators, TV brackets and cabinets.  The Zip-Fix anchor can be used on a number of substrates including plasterboard (12.5 and 25mm thick) as well as 15mm dense board and block and, with safety factors applied, is capable of holding weights between 30 and 60kg.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco, comments; “This is an exciting new addition to our range and illustrates the increasing depth of products we now offer.  This product has been developed to provide merchants and their customers with a quality and easy to use fixing that’s capable of acting as a plasterboard fixing in home, office or industrial spaces.  We’re excited to offer it to our customers and to be continuing to build the range in the future.”

Zip-Fix is designed to be used in four easy steps:

  1. Drill – make a 13mm hole in the substrate (with a 50mm cavity clearance behind the substrate)
  2. Push – face the thumb tab upwards, insert the metal toggle through the hole so it pivots down behind the substrate.
  3. Zip – Zip the nylon collar towards the wall so that it sits into the drilled hole, then snap off the nylon arms.
  4. Fix – Secure the fixing with an m6 screw into the threaded part of the Zip-Fix and tighten until secure.

Earlier in 2017, TIMco released details of its new biggest ever catalogue that contains more than 5,500 products including; advanced wood, multi-purpose, self -drilling and self-tapping screws as well as roofing and construction screws.  This is in addition to an extended range of fixings and fastenings as well as a comprehensive range of supplementary products such as industrial tapes, protective films as well as security solutions.

TIMco is head quartered in Nantwich, Cheshire, imports and supplies product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1970 and now employs 110 members of staff from it offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit www.TIMco.co.uk.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/25/timco-launches-innovative-new-cavity-wall-fixing/

A brief guide to industrial doors, from sliding tents to high speed doors

The field of industrial doors includes many different models, and each one is conceived for specific uses and have special features.

Let’s see some of the main types of industrial doors, their peculiarities and their most common applications!

  • Sectional doors: one of the main peculiarities of these types of doors, which are also used in residential contexts, is their vertical opening. The fact that they open vertically brings a big advantage, since this permits to save space both in front and behind the door itself. Also for this reason sectional doors are very versatile and can be used in various different contexts.

Sectional doors can be both manual and motorized (in this case they can be equipped with remote automatic control) and the safety of the lifting system is guaranteed through special safety devices.

  • High speed doors: this model is used in those spaces where it in necessary to open and close the door very quickly. The quickness of the system that characterizes the opening of high speed doors brings many advantages: first of all, it permits to save energy and maintain the temperature inside a given space; moreover, using this type of doors you can separate different processes inside the same building, which helps improving productivity.

High speed doors are also appreciated because they do not require special maintenance and are easy to install.

  • Strip curtains: these inexpensive doors are made of PVC and are very durable and versatile. Perfect for cold store areas, strip curtains are used for the opening of large warehouse. They reduce temperature loss and allow the passage of people and machines.
  • Folding doors: the perfect model if you need robust and wide closures, folding doors can be personalized and equipped with windows to improve visibility.
  • Sliding tends: this model is notably appreciated because it is a cheap solution for both large and small spaces.
  • Fire doors: it is necessary to use this type of doors in all of those spaces where there is a high fire risk. Fire doors are an important protection for both people and goods and need to be certified and built in accordance to specific norms.
  • Flap doors: a cheap solution that you can use when you need to isolate various rooms inside the same building but you do not want to prevent people and machines to move easily from one room to the other. Made of PVC, flap doors are resistant and flexible.

These are some of the types of industrial doors that you can find on the market. Choose the one you prefer according to your needs and to the field of application!

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/24/a-brief-guide-to-industrial-doors-from-sliding-tents-to-high-speed-doors/

New national Vulnerable Road Users course for construction industry

CLOCS commends new national Vulnerable Road Users course for construction industry

Considerate Constructors Scheme creates e-learning course on Best Practice Hub to achieve greater awareness of vulnerable road users

London, United Kingdom, 18 January 2016: The Best Practice Hub – the construction industry’s free to access online platform for sharing best practice – has produced an e-learning course about Vulnerable road users.

Launched on 9 January, the course is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the risks construction activity can pose to vulnerable road users and provides practical methods which can be adopted to minimise these risks. It is available to all registered Best Practice Hub users.

A fundamental part of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of CLOCS – the national standard for Construction Logistics and Community Safety – and how it can be adapted for any type of construction activity across the UK.

Other learning sections include current road safety legislation, the Highway Code and details of other important road safety programmes including FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme.

The course, which is eligible for CPD, has already received a huge uptake, with hundreds of individuals from Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers completing it.

To drive higher standards nationally, the Scheme has also introduced a dedicated section about the CLOCS Standard on the Best Practice Hub as well as additional questions about CLOCS in the 2017 Monitors’ Checklist.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “All types of construction activity can involve potential risks to vulnerable road users. It is, therefore, essential that the industry knows and understands these risks and does all it can to minimise them, both for the general public and the workforce.

“The Vulnerable road users e-learning course and section about the CLOCS Standard on our Best Practice Hub provides an easily accessible and practical way for everyone within the industry – including site managers, contractors, suppliers and clients – to raise safety standards for every road user and pedestrian affected by construction vehicles.”

CLOCS Project Director Derek Rees commented: “The CLOCS team commends the Considerate Constructors Scheme for creating the Vulnerable road users e-learning course and providing a dedicated CLOCS section on the Best Practice Hub. Both resources provide an invaluable way to help raise awareness of the daily risks presented to pedestrians and cyclists and how the industry can effectively manage the impact vehicles accessing sites have on the local community and workforce.”

Click here to visit the Best Practice Hub.

Click here to take the Vulnerable road users e-learning course.

Click here to view the CLOCS section.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/23/new-national-vulnerable-road-users-course-for-construction-industry/

5 tips for tackling a listed property restoration in 2017

5 tips for tackling a listed property restoration in 2017

If you have been thinking of getting your listed property spruced up, whether it’s an extension or re-structuring the foundations, there are fundamental things that you will need to consider before.

Sarah Khan, a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and Jonathan Clark who is a member of the RIBA conservation group share their top tips on approaching a listed building restoration.

  1. Be particular with restoration scale

According to RIBA accredited Conservation Architect Sarah Khan if you plan on doing work to both the interior and exterior of the building, you’ll need to apply for listed building consent and planning permission. If your listed building is in a conservation area, you’ll need to take this into account.

  1. Restore for reasons of practicality not trends

Late last year it was announced that the Buckingham Palace will undergo a 10 year refit. Work will start in April 2017 and will focus on replacing 33-year-old boilers, electrical cables and pipework. The most common misconception people have is that just the façade of a property is listed says Sarah, find out everything you need to know about your property from your local council.

  1. Materials will shape how far you can restore

The restoration projects of the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) includes using original gold paint for the face of the clock, prepare yourself for the fact that the use of cheap, modern materials will often not be possible, advises Sarah.

  1. Surround yourself with the right craftsmen and architects

The biggest challenge we faced was undoubtedly dealing with the conservation officer. It was a process of negotiation and convincing them that our proposals would materially enhance the building and bring it into the 21st century in a sympathetic way – says Jonathan Clarke, founder of Jonathan Clark Architects.

  1. Strike a balance between replica and restoration

Your restoration plans should clearly highlight how you will be preserving your listed building, it could be anything from not chopping down an old tree in your garden to using 10,000 bricks from original building (part of Battersea Arts Centre restoration plan.)

Sarah and John share their experiences working with listed building restorations as part of the Hiscox cover stories campaign, read their full interview here.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/19/5-tips-for-tackling-a-listed-property-restoration-in-2017/

Construction firms’ risk losing custom by playing generic music on hold

January 17, 2017 – Construction firms’ call handling standards have come into question as the result of a major new study into telephone practice.

The research conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, which audited 185 firms in the construction industry, discovered the large majority risk losing custom by subjecting customers to generic music and audio while on hold.

Typically, waiting on hold is seen as a major bugbear but 54 per cent of construction companies still leave customers listening to nothing but generic music. A further 26 per cent subject them to beeps, while 16 per cent leave callers in silence and four per cent force them to listen to ringing.

No companies were found to employ brand-consistent voice and music messaging – viewed as the best practice approach to handling calls – less than the national average of two per cent.

Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at PHMG, said: “Call handling remains a critically undervalued element of customer service and marketing. A previous study of 1,000 UK consumers found 73 per cent will not do business with a company again if their first call isn’t handled satisfactorily.

“Therefore, it is important companies do their utmost to improve the experience. The research shows there is still work to be done in providing an experience that keeps callers engaged and entertained.

“Generic music, beeps, ringing or silence convey a message that the customer is not valued, which will only serve to compound any annoyance felt as a result of being made to wait on hold.”

The research also found 92 per cent of construction firms do not even use auto attendant messaging to greet customers who call up outside of normal working hours.

It also seems call handling standards have not significantly improved when comparing the results to a similar study conducted in 2013. The number of companies playing repetitive music has increased by 23 per cent during that period while the number using brand-consistent voice and music has stayed the same.

“The trends over the past three years suggest construction firms believe generic music is enough to keep callers entertained but this can actually have the opposite effect,” added Williamson.

“An existing, generic piece of music should not be repurposed to convey a message it was never intended to, as its characteristics may not match those of the company.

Hearing is one of our most powerful emotional senses so the sounds customers hear when they call a business will create a long-lasting impression. Every element of a music track, whether tempo, pitch or instrumentation, will stir different emotions so traders should ensure they convey the appropriate brand image.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/01/17/construction-firms-risk-losing-custom-by-playing-generic-music-on-hold/