Promoting the expertise of building-engineering contractors to local authorities, consulting engineers, architects and key end-user groups is a central part of the strategy being pursued by BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) this year. The association has created the new position of key accounts manager to spearhead a programme aimed at creating stronger links between specifiers and BESA members to help ensure projects meet clients’ expectations and commercial objectives. Kevin Kingaby, former Travis Perkins senior executive, has been appointed to the position.
A third of commercial real estate with EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) rated D and E on the platform of Arbnco (previously CO2 Estates) dropped into the categories of F and G on resimulation. Under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation coming into force in April 2018, such properties will not be permitted to be let, either via new leases or renewals.
Elaine Bissell (right in picture), technical director with multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Patrick Parsons, has been named engineer of the year for building services at the Women in Construction Awards. This year’s awards were presented by former royal correspondent Jennie Bond
With a view to improving the energy performance of buildings, the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) is urging the industry to work together to make significant changes in how building controls are understood by the wider public and other sector.
Air-conditioning and energy-solutions provider LG Electronics has appointed Space Air as a distributor to its business in the UK. It is a new company built on the foundations of Space Airconditioning Plc, which went into voluntary administration at the end of 2016. The new company is headed by Neil Afram (second from right in picture), who was managing director of the previous company.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to be the guest speaker at this year’s BSRIA Briefing and lunch on 17 November. The event will look at the issue of performance and wellbeing beyond compliance and will be held at The Brewery in London.
BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) has responded enthusiastically to a major boost for vocational training announced by the Chancellor Philip Hammond in his recent Budget. He announced £500 million to develop new ‘T Levels’ in 15 vocational categories, including engineering and construction. T Levels are designed to give technical subjects equal status alongside A Levels so that students pursuing a vocational route are not disadvantaged in the eyes of potential employees or dissuaded from taking a non-academic path by their parents.
Idom Merebrook, a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy based in Manchester, has been appointed to manage the outline design for all M&E works on a high-profile residential development in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Worth over £9 million, this scheme is on an infill site bordered by Red Lion Street, Church Street and Union Street. It has been granted planning permission by Manchester City Council.
Swegon Air Management is combining its two filtration brands (Trion and Envirco) to form a single air-filtration business called Airfiltrera. Trion provides electrostatic filters for manufacturing facilities and commercial buildings — including shopping centres, hotels and restaurants. Envirco has been designing and manufacturing commercial clean rooms for over 50 years.
Daikin UK has trained over 550 installers from over 470 companies on the use of the low-GWP refrigerant R32 since the launched of its training course in November 2016. Designed and launched by Daikin UK, the course provides a comprehensive understanding of the installation, commissioning and servicing of R32 systems.
The buildings sector of the construction industry showed a strong start to the year, with the value of non-residential project starts on site in the three months to February being 13% ahead of the same period a year earlier, according to the Glenigan Index for February 2017. There was also a marked improvement in the social-housing sector, with the value of projects starts being 17% higher than a year earlier. In contrast, private residential starts were down by 8%.
Imtech Inviron has been awarded a contract with Hitachi Rail Europe to maintain its new purpose-built £80 million depot near Doncaster railway station. The depot is more than a mile long, and Imtech Inviron will provide all HVAC planned and reactive maintenance, electrical and building-fabric maintenance services.
Land Securities’ commitment to putting sustainable design at the heart of its new head office in Victoria, London, has been recognised with the BREEAM offices refurbishment and fit-out award for 2017.The company chose the 10-year-old building at 80 to 100 Victoria Street for its new head office, demonstrating the resilience of its assets, and reinvigorated it into a high-performing office that is sustainable, energy-efficient and creates a great working experience for its people.
Skanska has won the £73 million contractor to refurbish 207 Old Street in London, a mixed-use development also known as The Tower. The contract was awarded by Helical. The building is part of a larger scheme called The Bower development on Old Street roundabout and will bring over 15 000 m2 of offices and 680 m2 of retail space to the area.
Briggs & Forrester MEP is planning to expand its residential business from £60 million a year towards £100 million a year by 2020. The group’s overall turnover is £180 million, and the residential business has grown from £40 million to £60 million over the last three years. To better reflect the company’s operations and provide greater sector differentiation for clients, the business has been renamed from Briggs & Forrester MEP to Briggs & Forrester Living.
The University of Bradford has been named Building Performance Champion, for the second time, for its pioneering Ecoversity programme at the CIBSE Building Performance Awards for 2017, which have been running for 10 years. The university was carbon champion in 2012 and has continued transformational work on its aging infrastructure estate over the last decade to reduce its carbon footprint by 35%. It has also become the only university in the world to maintain three BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rated buildings in its portfolio.
Criticisms of the Government’s plans to boost apprenticeships are missing the ‘big picture’, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).
Now in their eleventh year, the BCIA awards continue to go from strength to strength, with a record number of entries for 2017 covering all aspects of the industry. The awards are now the leading event in the building controls calendar and will this year take place on Thursday 11 May at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
JS Wright, one of the UK’s longest-established building-services suppliers, has been bought out by its senior management team. The company is now owned by its team of five executive directors (pictured), who have run the business for the past 10 years. This M&E specialist was founded in 1890 and has its headquarters in Birmingham and offices in Bristol and London. Turnover is projected to reach £50 million this year.
Airflow Developments has created an Air Academy at its head office in High Wycombe to showcase the benefits of effective ventilation systems in commercial and domestic properties. It also introduces visitors to the pioneering technology behind the company’s product portfolio and will provide education and training on best-practice installation methods.
40% of building clients are ‘unfamiliar’ with the heavily used phrase the ‘Internet of Things’, according to survey findings from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), CIBSE and SELECT, the Scottish electrical-trade body. In addition, 55% of respondents, which include consultants, engineers, end clients, local authorities and facilities managers says that a ‘lack of clear advice/knowledge’ is a barrier to installing connected technology in their buildings. 61% of respondents say they don’t have any plans to ‘evaluate and install connected technology’.
SES Engineering Services has completed a £6.5 million contract to provide a full range of M&E services for the £30 million student residences at the University of Hull. The company was appointed by main contractor Sewell Construction for the project, which included the installation of building-management systems, heating, ventilation, CCTV and access systems, as well as small power and lighting and dry risers.
Sweco, a leading European engineering, environmental and design consultancy, has partnered with BAM, which has been appointed to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) construction partner framework to provide design and construction services for the modernisation of research facilities in the Antarctic. The £100 million programme has been commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and will take place over the next 10 years. It will enable British Scientists to continue research into major issues facing the planet.
Pegler Yorkshire is supporting children and young adults find their ideal occupation by invoking enthusiasm from an early age for careers in its industry. Among the initiatives is participating with Doncaster Metropolitan Council in a programme of community engagement with 10 and 11-year olds and sponsoring a high-achieving student at a Doncaster secondary school.
Briggs & Forrester Group and its subcontracted workforce had no RIDDOR-reportable accidents in 2016. In excess of 7.4 million main hours were worked, continuing the trend of the last few years for growing project turnover, number of man hours worked and number of workers — all with a year-on-year reduction in accidents and lost-time injuries.
RPS Group’s building-services consultancy has embarked on the next stage of its growth strategy with the appointment of three new professionals in its M&E and vertical-transportation teams. The company is currently engaged as building-services consulting engineer on several high-profile city-centre developments in Manchester. They include SK Developments’ Greengate Embankment office-led mixed-use scheme, Select Property Group’s City Suites residential development on Chapel Street and Balfour Beatty Investments’ PRS scheme at New Cross, Ancoats.
Elta Group, which specialises in fans, air movement and distribution, has boosted its noise-control offering with the acquisition of the business and technology of UK-based acoustics specialist Acoustica. Acoustica is a specialist engineering company involved in the control of industrial and environmental noise and vibration. By positioning the brand alongside its existing noise-control and acoustics capabilities, Elta Group will benefit from an enhanced knowledge and experience of highly effective noise-control solutions.
NG Bailey provided all M&E communications, fire and public-health services for the recently opened new Tottenham Court Road Station in London, part of the Crossrail project, in a contract valued at over £36 million.
Proposals for a new Clean Air Act should include measures supporting the role of buildings as ‘safe havens’ from Pollution, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). While tackling emissions from transport is vital, BESA believes that much could also be achieved in a shorter time frame by focusing on how building occupants can be protected from rising external pollution.
Platinum Facilities Management Services has been appointed sole M&E contractors for the London Bridge City property portfolio of eight buildings covering an area of about 150 000 m2 of mixed commercial office space. The contract covers all mechanical, electrical and fabric assets.
Ideal Commercial Boilers has marked the completion of its 30 000th Evomax commercial condensing boiler since this wall-hung range was introduced in 2011. It is the company’s best-selling commercial boiler and is available with seven outputs from 30 to 150 kW.
Hamworthy Heating’s Stratton mk2 range of compact wall-hung boilers is now on the Government’s Energy Technology List, qualifying it for the Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme. All six models, from 40 to 120 kW, are eligible.
Cavendish Engineers has signed an agreement with Honeywell to become an official CentraLine partner across the entire range of building-management services. Based near Old Spitalfields Market in east London, the company has been in the industry for over 20 years.
Three leading construction-industry bodies have moved to resolve growing confusion over the process of standardising product information for use in BIM (Building Information Modelling). The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Construction Products Association (CPA) have agreed on the respective roles of the LEXiCON and BIMHawk tools in developing standardised product data parameters and structures.
Ant Wilson, director for sustainability and advanced design at multi-disciplinary consultancy AECOM, and perhaps one of the best-known figures in the building-services industry, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. He has worked for many years promoting and advancing engineering and sustainability. This includes being a STEMNET ambassador since 2002, which sees him making regular presentations in schools to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and, in particular, engineering as a viable long-term career option. This includes changing the perception of built-environment engineering from the traditional construction industry and aligning it to the reduction of energy consumption and carbon usage.
There was an optimistic close to 2016 with two major organisations reporting positive news for the construction industry. The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI (purchasing managers’ index) showed growth in new orders hitting an 11-month high in December. And the Glenigan Index reports starts in the final three months of the year being 2% higher than a year earlier.
The solarPV industry is ready to move to a new stage with the effective scrapping of the feed-in tariff (FiT) and the closing of the Renewable Obligation scheme, believes Jonathan Bates, managing director of Photon Energy as he reflected on his company being 10 years in the business. His view on the two schemes is that ‘by and large, they have done their job’.
The National Trust is installing a biomass boiler at its Polesden Lacey Edwardian house and estate in Surrey to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% compared to the current oil-fired system. The work is being carried out by Baystar for the estate, which has been reliant on up to 60 000 l of oil a year to heat the house, making it one of the largest uses of oil in the NT’s London and south-east region.
Veolia has acquired Cynergin, an energy-services company and specialist in energy performance contracts. Over recent years, Cynergin has achieved notable success in a number of high-profile projects for hospital trusts and public building-energy projects. They include the Yeovil and Warrington & Halton Hospital Trusts and Somerset House.
Engineering consultancy Cundall provided full MEP. acoustics, fire engineering and sustainable design for ING UK’s new 12 500 m2 London building at 8-10 Moorgate. The key challenge was to design systems to support a wide range of uses — from financial trading areas and an historical archive to a fine-dining kitchen and commercial restaurant, including MER/SER rooms
Building-services consulting engineers Banyards has become one of the first consultants to achieve formal certification for BIM Level 2 for construction and design. The assessment involves the ability of the team, as well as the quality of the systems and processes that support the applications of BIM.
Building-services provider JS Wright has won a record-breaking £5 million contract to fit out an innovative award-winning residential scheme by PegasusLife for active older people. Hampstead Green Place in north London will be equipped with the largest combined M&E services package since JS wright expanded into the electrical sector.
Work-based training company JTL has received its fifth consecutive ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted. The inspection took place in November 2016,and the report was published last month.
The sustainability division of G&H Group has won a contract to design and install solar panels for the £140 million Rushden Lakes shopping and leisure scheme being built in Northamptonshire. The company will install some 600 solar panels across 667 m2 for roof space.
Mitsubishi Electric is working with work-based learning company JTL to train 50 apprentices for its partners in a national scheme to encourage more apprentices in the building-services industry. The company was looking for an alternative training organisation after its previous supplier received a negative report from Ofsted, and a large number of apprentices have been transferred to the new arrangement.
As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, building-services engineering company Ameon raised £50 000 from the proceeds of a charity ball and associated prize auction. Brian House Childrens’ Hospice in Blackpool, where Ameon itself is based, was the nominated charity.
The Government’s confirmation of the available budget for the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) up to 2020/21 in its response to the consultation on the RHI has been widely welcomed by the industry. In her foreword in the response, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State for Energy & Intellectual Property, says, ‘We will be reforming the scheme to ensure it focuses on long-term decarbonisation, promotes technologies with a credible role to play in that transition and offers better value for money.’
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and BRE have set up an agreement between them to seek alignments between the WELL Building Standard and BREEAM that will make it easier for projects pursuing both standards. The organisations will mutually identify specific credits whereby submitted documentation will be recognised by both organisations, saving project teams time and the costs associated with submitting documentation twice.
The BACnet communications protocol for controls and building-management systems is increasing its dominance in the progress towards open communications protocols, according to BSRIA’s manager for intelligent buildings and homes Zoltan Karpathy (pictured), driven by the demand for increased integration. The trend is revealed in the recently published BSRIA market-intelligence study ‘World building automation and control systems 2016’.
The £25 million biomass energy centre and district-heating network of the University of St Andrews has won the sustainable-development category of the Scottish Green Energy Awards. Vital Energi worked with the university to develop a campus-wide low-carbon energy system by transforming an old paper-mill building into a biomass-based energy centre.