LAST UNDEVELOPED SITE AT BATTERSEA REACH GRANTED PLANNING APPROVAL

Planning permission has now been granted for the nine-storey building at 262 York Road on the site of a Shell petrol filling station – the last undeveloped site at Battersea Reach, a mixed-use development fronting the River Thames.

Multi-disciplinary consultancy Meinhardt UK is using its expertise in modern methods of construction and structural engineering to realise the architect’s vision for a new build-to-rent development despite a unique set of challenges.

 

Working with clients Angle Property and architects TP Bennett, Meinhardt was originally asked to look at a scheme that would have seen the development rise above the petrol station. Although that plan achieved planning consent, the client decided to acquire the lease of the filling station and demolish it, and the revised application, for a building of approximately 10,000 sq m of floor space, has now achieved planning permission.

 

The development includes a commercial unit at ground floor with office, retail space and a lobby, ground floor car parking and a one-storey partial basement, which will house bike storage, plant and back of house. Removing the filling station made room for an additional storey of residential accommodation adding a further nine units. The apartments are a series of duplex units designed to stagger over the course of each level.

 

Large protruding balconies are a key element of the development, and Meinhardt coordinated extensively with the architects to accommodate these, and to incorporate the thermal break requirements in a twin wall construction frame. There is a terrace at first floor level and residents’ amenity spaces on some floors. Penthouse flats on the top, stepped back from the perimeter, are built around a lightweight steel frame.

 

Meinhardt’s design does not hinder the overall architectural solution because it sits on a transfer platform from which the structure can fly up. The MMC solution is predominantly twin wall and precast lattice slab over the insitu concrete transfer deck. That will accelerate the construction programme, and so that it does not impede the architectural layouts, Meinhardt’s team designed around tricky features such as a central corridor, which would otherwise have impeded the use of twin wall construction, and circumvented tricky sun rooms with steel beams.

 

Following planning permission, the client intends to tender for a contractor in autumn with start on site in the early 2018. Meinhardt will work with the contractor through an anticipated 18-month construction period to a mid-2019 completion.

 

Despite the decision to remove the petrol station, the site still poses all the underground complications of having been occupied by one. Meinhardt will work with geotechnical specialists to tackle complications including contamination. Obstructions such as the fuel tanks serving the filling station will have to be removed. A search of the site’s history revealed the ground also conceals a gas tank, likely a reinforced concrete wall with basement construction, which will either have to be removed or designed around.

 

The Meinhardt team has spent a year developing the design from work on the original idea through to planning consent on the current one to replace the filling station, and will now work with the contractor to see the project through to completion. The key outcome is enabling the use of MMC without impeding any of the architectural layout.

 

This is the second PRS scheme employing MMC in London that Meinhardt has worked on during the pre-planning process, the other being Greenford Green, Ealing, the UK’s largest purpose designed build to rent scheme, which will create almost 2,000 new homes.

 

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/25/last-undeveloped-site-at-battersea-reach-granted-planning-approval/

Call for ‘gas safe’ style register for all trade contractors

Specialist engineering contractors and construction union Unite are both calling for a licensing system to be introduced across all construction trades following the Greenfell Tower disaster.

Gas safe
Call for mandatory licensing for trades like the Gas Safe scheme in the heating sector

The register would be in line with the existing gas engineers licence scheme operated by Gas Safe, which means that it would be illegal for non-licensed practitioners to undertake specialist work.

Already many trade associations run robust accreditation schemes for technical performance but are frustrated that public bodies rarely require compliance.

Professor Rudi Klein, group chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors, said: “Accreditation schemes set up by trade bodies belonging to the SEC Group could form the basis of a new licensing scheme in the UK.

“It is something that the United States and Australia have done successfully across most trades.”

Klein has also called for a national enforcement agency for building control to be set up as concern grows about inspection regimes that have allowed unsafe cladding to be fitted to more than 100 tower blocks.

“There is clearly a need to consider how to improve enforcement process for building control after Grenfell,” he added.

Calling for a radical new approach to regulations and safety laws, Unite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay, said that all construction companies should be registered in order to undertake public sector contracts.

“We now need to have a major sea change in the way that we view regulations. Rather than a knee jerk reaction to cutting red tape we should be educating people to understand that properly enforced laws and building regulations are essential in ensuring safety.

“In particular, we need to professionalise the construction industry by introducing a licensing and company registration system so only fully accredited workers and bona fide construction companies can undertake construction work on all future public sector contracts, especially involving safety critical work.”

Today, the Prime Minister revealed that retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick would head the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Inquiry will have the power to compel the production of documents, and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath. The Inquiry will be held in public.

Theresa May said: “We must get to the truth about what happened. No stone will be left unturned by this Inquiry, but I have also been clear that we cannot wait for ages to learn the immediate lessons and so I expect the Chair will want to produce an interim report as early as possible.”

“The immediate priority is to establish the facts of what happened at Grenfell Tower in order to take the necessary action to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

“But beyond that immediate focus it is also important that all the wider lessons from both this catastrophe, and the inspections of other buildings around the country that followed it, are identified and learnt.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/24/call-for-gas-safe-style-register-for-all-trade-contractors/

Recent Self-Building Influx Increases Health and Safety Risks

With more and more people deciding to build their own properties, more people are putting themselves at risk of injury on building sites. From simple building extensions to 3 bed houses at some point those who work on the project will need to wear the correct safety equipment, but often health and safety regulations are only followed by contractors and those who regularly work in this sector.

In this article, we will be exploring why the sudden increase in injuries and risks can be quickly averted…

 

Self-Building Safely

Self-Building is a rewarding and brilliant way to save money, however maintaining site safety is a must, even more so if you do not work in the building sector. A lot of the time when people are to self-build, they spend their spare time such as evenings and weekends to complete the project. This can cause many problems, the biggest of which is laziness and cutting corners.

Something as simple as putting on the correct safety equipment can become a chore, with the popular thought being “I’m only going to do a bit, not worth putting it on”. Well not wearing safety equipment can quickly increase the risk of injury, whether that injury is minor or major.

Cutting time doesn’t save lives.

Areas such as the hands and feet are usually the first place to have injuries with hazards such as sharp objects, you can easily find yourself with a minor if not severe injury. Protective gloves and boots can quickly reduce the risk of these injuries but there are many other potentials you will need to protect from. Hard hats are a must on a building site and can quickly reduce the impact of an object on the head. And strong thick clothing can reduce the chance of scuffs and abrasions, however specialised PPE will need to be used in other circumstances.

Remember if you do not have the correct protective equipment then you shouldn’t be working, no matter the complexity of the task.

 

Not sure what PPE to wear?

If you do not understand which PPE you should wear before you begin the task you need to speak to an expert. Whether this is specialist which will also provide equipment for you and your team or a PPE and Workwear company. Both will help you choose the correct items which are rated for the type of work you are undertaking.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/21/recent-self-building-influx-increases-health-and-safety-risks/

Revised plans for 800 homes on Soho Loop site in Birmingham

Apsley House Capital and Galliard Homes have acquired a 12-acre regeneration site in the centre of Birmingham.

Apsley - Soho Loop 6.17

The two companies have bought the Soho Loop site near City Hospital from City and Provincial Properties.

The joint venture teamed up with Claremont Property Group to purchase the site which will now be subject of a revised planning application to build 800 homes.

Birmingham City Council has already given planning consent for 500 homes on six key plots.

Vacant and derelict buildings will make way for a variety of energy efficient homes that will help to address the city’s housing shortage.

Robin Norstrom, director of Apsley House Capital, said: “We are really excited about the Soho Loop development.

“It is going to transform what is a neglected and derelict area of Birmingham into a canal-side quarter of high quality homes with character in a green pocket.

“It is an ambitious project which will deliver well-managed good quality housing. We see it as an innovative response to today’s changing needs in accommodation.’

Soho Loop sits next to Icknield Port Loop and features in the Greater Icknield Masterplan, part of the Birmingham Development Plan, which has outlined plans for 3,000 new homes and 1,000 new jobs in the area.

Apsley House Capital is also working with Galliard on another site in Birmingham’s Southside district on a development of 385 apartments.

Norstrom added: “We have identified Birmingham as a key city in Europe for further investment.

“We really believe it has an enormous amount to offer both now and in the future with the arrival of major projects such as the new HSBC headquarters, the Paradise development and the start of work on HS2. Birmingham is calling.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/19/revised-plans-for-800-homes-on-soho-loop-site-in-birmingham/

Hill to build 450 homes near Cambridge Airport

Cambridge major landowner Marshall Group has signed up to a joint venture with house builder Hill to deliver 450 homes around the city’s airport.

Cambridge Hill Wing--2-

The new development, Wing, will sit on a 160 acre parcel of land owned by the Marshall Group and is the business’ first major residential development project.

With a masterplan that allows for a total of 1,300 homes, the first phase of the development will be delivered by Hill and when complete, will comprise 315 private homes and 135 affordable homes – including shared ownership and affordable rent tenures.

Designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects, this first phase will offer a range of properties including 1-3 bedroom apartments and 2-5 bedroom houses.

The scheme includes a primary school, sports pitches, allotments and retail and commercial space.

New transport infrastructure will also be delivered as part of the development and nearby Newmarket Road will be upgraded.

Andy Hill, Chief Executive of Hill, said: “Having developed over 1,000 homes in Cambridge over the last five years alone, we take great pride in being able to provide a variety of homes for a range of people.

“We are therefore thrilled to be partnering with Marshall on this development and hope that it marks the start of a successful long-term relationship between two like-minded family firms committed to making Cambridge one of the best cities to live in the UK.”

 

Sales are expected to launch at Wing in late 2019, with the first homes expected to be complete in the summer of 2020.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/17/hill-to-build-450-homes-near-cambridge-airport/

Nine firms scoop £1bn Government fit-out bonanza

The Government has selected its preferred nine firms to deliver a massive programme of fit-out work on its estate reorganisation programme.

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HMRC is looking at Cardiff’s Central Square scheme as a home for one of its regional hubs

The Government Hubs office closure and relocation plan will run over the next seven years and promises up to £1bn of fit-out work.

This will be shared between a line-up of big industry players and several smaller firms like Shaylor Group and BW Interiors.

All three lots: Mace, Interserve, Overbury, Wates Construction.

Lots 2+3: BAM Construction, ISG Fit-out, Shaylor.

Lot 2 only: Styles and Wood. Lot 3 only: BW Interiors

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/07/nine-firms-scoop-1bn-government-fit-out-bonanza/

LOOK TO THE FLOOR TO INCREASE BENEFITS OF NATURAL SUNLIGHT IN BUILDINGS

When it comes to maximising natural daylight in buildings, understandably perhaps, much attention is paid to the type of glass used in windows or the shades of finish applied to walls – but what about the colour of the flooring?

In commercial properties especially, staff not only benefit from a smooth, reliable, hard-wearing surface, its colour can have a large bearing on creating an environment conducive to a happy, healthy, productive workspace.

 

In a good light

As industrial flooring specialists of many years’ experience, we have seen how lighter-coloured floors can help optimise natural light in buildings for the good of the company and environment. Daylight is an even more precious commodity for those working inside; therefore it’s particularly important this natural resource is fully-harnessed as its rewards are plentiful.

Naturally-lit buildings increase the feel-good factor for occupants, and in commercial terms, a contented workforce is proven to be more productive. Lighter, brighter environments reduce instances of sick-building syndrome among staff, which leads to less absenteeism. Letting more daylight into offices and factories can also help reduce conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), an illness which is thought to occur due to lack of exposure to sunlight, particularly in winter.

As well as the health benefits, buildings with a predominance of natural lighting will use far less energy than those flooded with artificial illumination. Electricity used for lighting is considerably more expensive in terms of CO2 than gas used for heating, and as reducing carbon emissions is paramount to achieving Part L Building Regulation compliance, the importance of making full-use of natural energy cannot be overstated.

 

Reflective glory 

A recent refurbishment Zircon Flooring carried out at SFS Intec, a self-drilling screw manufacturer in Leeds, gives a perfect example of how a light-coloured floor can utilise available daylight. The 7,300m2 new surface of its plant comprised a low-viscosity resin: Sikafloor-161, and Sikafloor-263 SL, a multi-purpose binder.

The top coat’s light-grey colour provided the ideal shade to best reflect the natural daylight and enhance the building’s overall brightness.

Sika’s support was paramount to the successful specification of the aforementioned flooring system. The guidance and knowledge of its technical teams meant the selected products were absolutely appropriate for the floor’s required performance. As well as providing excellent thought leadership, Sika’s support teams remained available throughout the floor’s installation to ensure the process was completed successfully and to the highest quality.

Extolling the benefits of light-coloured flooring doesn’t guarantee clients will take the notion on board. Some will continue to insist on having black or dark flooring as it is felt shadier tones will mask dirt or markings, which is far from the case. Reds, greens, dark greys, blacks and browns are all no-no flooring colours if natural daylight reflection is the goal.

Sikafloor has any number of light-coloured finishes to maximise daylight in buildings. Each shade has a RAL number, ensuring it meets international colour standards. Scientific study has proved interior colours can have a major influence on our mood and sense of wellbeing. Therefore, taking a lighter approach to the shade of flooring we choose can give our working environment a lift in so many welcoming ways.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/07/05/look-to-the-floor-to-increase-benefits-of-natural-sunlight-in-buildings/