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 Government must prioritise skills and innovation if it is to improve productivity and deliver the housing and infrastructure projects highlight in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, according to the Building Services Engineering Services Association (BESA). The association welcomes the announcement of a new ‘pipeline’ of projects through the Government’s planning framework. It also applauds the focus on improving productivity, which is at the heart of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s economic ambitions.
Airedale has reported that its unit sales for the week beginning 21 November were the highest since it returned to the Rawdon site (pictured) in January 2016 following a major fire in September 2013. In the interim, the company relocated to temporary facilities while the old building was demolished and redeveloped.
Musicians from the Birmingham Conservatoire music academy perform on the roof of their new building as the final rooftop bricks are laid. The £57 million building is being built by Galliford Try and is set to open its doors in September 2017. It will have five performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall. There will also be more than 70 music practice rooms. It will be home to Birmingham’s only dedicated jazz venue.
Building-services provider JS Wright has won a contract worth over £3.5 million for a striking new riverside development in east London. The design-and-build project is for 144 energy-efficient affordable homes in the second and third phases of New Union Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. It includes a CHP energy centre for the scheme of six blocks, which replaces an aging 1970s housing estate, for developer Hill.
SPIE UK has been awarded a 3-year M&E maintenance contract worth £447 000 with the Design Museum in London. As part of the tender process, the company’s facilities services division presented an approach demonstrating its experience and the care and consideration it could give the museum’s collection.
Ruskin Air Management has been rebranded Swegon Air Management following its acquisition by the Swedish company Swegon AB from Johnson Controls International. Swegon AB specialises in air handling, cooling and ventilation. The former Ruskin brands of Actionair, Air Diffusion, Naco and Airolution now operate alongside Swegon’s existing UK businesses to create a total combined operating turnover of more than £30 million with a workforce of 330.
Edmond Shipway is acting as M&E consultant for the Rigby Group’s £50 million Imperial Park development at Coventry. The scheme will transform land previously occupied by Coventry Airport’s passenger terminal into a manufacturing and distribution hub designed to meet increasing demand for high-quality warehouses with excellent accessibility to the UK’s regions and major cities.
The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has launched an initiative to recognise some of the most talented younger professionals in building-services engineering. Called Power Players, its is aimed at people aged up to 39 on 31 December 2016 and will open for entries in the spring. It is aimed at people who have made a positive impact in their organisation.
The Briggs & Forrester Group has reported an increase in turnover of over 10% over 2015 to reach £183 million. Group chairman Mike Stanton (pictured) said, ‘Secured orders are at a healthy level and are supported by a good pipeline of potential opportunities going forward. During the year, we secured our largest-ever project, Principal Place with Multiplex, with a value in excess of £40 million.’
Waterloo Air Products has enlarged and reorganised its factory in response to a significant increase in sales volumes for its air terminal devices. 1000 m2 of space has been added, with extra manufacturing workstations, additional warehousing for storing materials and finished products, a revamped paint shop and a doubling in the packing area. The team grew by 25% in the second half of the year.
Vital Energi is completing work on a £1.5 million energy centre for the new Greenbank halls of residence (pictured) at the University of Liverpool. The company has a longstanding relationship with the university and has previously installed the district-heating system and converted the Grade II-listed former mortuary building into a CHP-powered energy centre.
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.
The creation and management of product data templates (PDTs) for BIM (Building Information Modelling) has moved a major step forward with the launch of BIMHawk by CIBSE at its recent annual conference. This website and software plug-in enables the creation of standard parameters for use in BIM objects. The software has been developed by Paul Marsland, NG Bailey’s design and BIM development manager.
The Building Services Engineering Association (BESA) has launched a ‘wiki’ to help it develop the building-services industry’s first technical guidance and standards for systems in tall buildings. Responding to the surge in demand for detailed information about the specific challenges of designing systems for the growing number of existing and planned high structures, BESA is supported by CIBSE and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) in its aim to capture all the available knowledge on this subject.
Delivering ‘wellbeing’ in buildings is more than ensuring that buildings ‘do no harm’ but to go beyond that to achieve buildings that ‘do good’ according to BSRIA’s new technical director Lynne Ceeney speaking at last month’s BSRIA Briefing ‘Making buildings better’. However, while wellbeing is a hot topic, she explained that there is no universally accepted definition for it — partly because wellbeing depends on context and task.
Following the announcement that the sector skills organisation SummitSkills is to close from March 2017, two organisations that helped to set it up have responded. They are the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).
The merger of Flakt Wood, and DencoHappel has been completed following the acquisition of Flakt Woods by funds advised by Triton and approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities. This merger is described as creating the new European market leader for energy-efficient air-technology solutions. The combined company generated revenues of about €700 million (pro forma) in 2015 and has about 3800 employees. Triton expects the combination to be earnings accretive immediately, with further upside potential from cross-selling, manufacturing and other synergies.
Specialist off-site fabrication halved the time to carry out elements of the M&E works for the new University Technology College 2 (UTC2) in Sheffield. G&H Fabrication took just two weeks to build, test, deliver and install most of the main plant room and plate exchanger — instead of four weeks if the work was carried out on site.
Interserve has been awarded a £10.6 million contract by Alumno Developments to design and build two new student accommodation buildings in Leamington Spa. They will be next to the Grand Union Canal and close to the University of Warwick.
21 apprentices at NG Bailey have received their graduation certificated at a special event at the company’s headquarters new Ilkley in Yorkshire. They have also secured full-time employment with the company. David Hurcombe, chief executive, said, ‘It makes me proud to see how our apprentices have developed their technical skills and knowledge, as well as how they have grown as individuals as they have progressed through the programme.’
The Copyright Building, a major development in the East End of London was topped out recently in an event hosted by Derwent London and Skanska. Over 120 people came together to congratulate the project team on completing the building’s main structure. Works are expected to be completed in autumn 2017.
Synecore was named ‘M&E contractor of the year’ at the Electrical Industry Awards. Based in Detling, Kent, the company provides professional electrical design and installation, commercial refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation for the hospitality, leisure and retail industry.
Space Airconditioning, one of the UK’s longest-established independent air-conditioning distributors has been placed into administration. On 11 November, Neil Afram, Space Air’s founder and managing director, announced, ‘It is with great sadness and regret that after more than 36 years as an independent Daikin distributor, we have been forced to cease trading and place the company into the hands of administrators.’
Tamsin Tweddell (centre), a senior partner at Max Fordham was named ‘Woman of the year’ at the recent Building Awards. The prize acknowledges and rewards stand-out achievement by a woman in the construction industry, in an effort to highlight positive role models to enhance the sector's appeal for other women.
80% of electrical and building-services engineering firms enjoyed increased or level turnover during the third quarter of 2016, according to a survey from the Electrical Contractors’ Association. The findings cover the three months from July to September, almost immediately after the Brexit referendum. The responses indicate that, overall, there was only a modest pre- and post-referendum impact on the sector.
Imtech Inviron has added another international law firm to its client portfolio. The 3–year contract with Berwin Leighton Paisner will see the company managing the technical services at the 12–storey Adelaide House in the City of London. The contract is serviced by a team of engineers, supported by Imtech Inviron’s internal 24-hour helpdesk, which is instrumental in providing clients with efficient and planned reactive maintenance.
Servest, a facilities-management provider, has acquired building-services contractor Arthur McKay as part of its growth and diversification strategy. Arthur McKay has offices throughout the UK and delivers services ranging from M&E to networks and FM services. The acquisition will help Servest expand and develop its technical expertise and extend its geographical reach.
Claimed to be the biggest community-owned solar roof is this installation at CTG, a Banbury-based site of UTC Aerospace Systems. It has an electrical output of 712 kW from its 2590 panels and will generate over 593 MWh a year. CO2 emissions of 5800 t will be avoided over the 20 years of the project’s lifetime.
SPIE UK’s approved-contractor status with Boots UK ;has seen work carried out at the Perth branch in Scotland (pictured). The project included installing a new dispensary with power and data/communications, a shop front (including doors and windows) and a new sales floor that required replacing existing wiring with busbar trunking throughout. SPIE is also managing the replacement of store distribution boards and main LV panels.
The Vinden Partnership has given an upbeat response to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI showing business activity in October increasing at its fastest pace since March. Chris Duffill, director with The Vinden Partnership, points to the October figure being 52.6, up slightly from September’s 52.3 and above the threshold for growth of 50.
To enhance professional development and the understanding of cable cleats, Ellis has launched an online learning platform. The company has taken its UK-accredited CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course ‘Cable cleats: a device for short-circuit protection’ online for use by engineering professionals.
Hoval Group has acquired Yados, a leading provider of local- and district-heating solutions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Hoval has maintained a small shareholding in the company since its was founded in 2009 and has now purchased 100% of the shares.
- 07 - 09 March, 2017Ecobuild
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- 29 March, 2017, 9:30Data centre design and energy effiicency
- 31 March, 2017Annual awards of the Commissioning Specialists' Association - closing date for entries
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- 15 June, 2017 - 23:55CSA Awards
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