BREEAM, operational rating, Kings Place

London building achieves highest-ever BREEAM operational rating

The BREEAM operational rating of 95% achieved by the Kings Place mixed-use building on London’s Regent Canal is the highest ever achieved in the UK, and has been acknowledged by the building winning the in-use category of the 2017 BREEAM awards.

CIBSE, Peter Wong

New CIBSE president focuses on the art in engineering

Peter Wong, president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, used his inaugural address to change perceptions about building-services engineers and argue that they should see themselves as artists and practitioners. He is from Hong Kong and was the chair of CIBSE HK Branch and the founding chair of the building-services division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, of which he was elected President in 2008.

BESA, Building Engineering Service Association
Putting forward industry needs — Rob Driscoll.

BESA calls for special sector deal

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has called for the new Government to do a ‘sector deal’ with the built-environment industry that reflects the important role buildings play in human health, wellbeing and productivity. The call was made when the election campaign was in full swing.

BCIA, awards

Building Controls Industry Awards 2017

The winners of the 2017 Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) Awards were announced at the prestigious ceremony and gala dinner on 11 May 2017 at the Hilton Metropole, Birmingham.

Commissioning, Commissioning Specialists Association, CSA

CSA announces finalists for 2017 industry awards

2017 marks the third year of the annual awards of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association (CSA). From the entries and nominations received, the judges have shortlisted 27 finalists across the six award categories to be part of the presentation ceremony being staged on 15 June at the Copthorne Effingham Park Hotel near Gatwick.

Ameon boosts turnover with major contract wins

Building-services-engineering specialist Ameon has secured a raft of contracts worth over £15 million, as its turnover approaches £50 million. The turnover boost for 2017/18 includes high-profile new developments in Manchester and Salford. One is the £2.4 million contract to install all M&E services for a block of 135 apartments and the £2.5 million fit-out of new offices over four floors for global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

London office completions reach long-term high

The largest volume of new office space completed in central London for a 6-month period in the last 13 years was achieved in the period to May — at 362 000 m2. Shaun Dawson, author of the London office crane survey at Deloitte Real Estate, said, ‘The sheer volume of completed space is no surprise given the surge in development activity 18 months ago. In total 408 000 m2 was completed in 2016, and this momentum has continued into 2017. We expect this year’s annual total delivery to be the highest since 2003.’

G&H Building Services, contractor

G&H wins first project with Keepmoat

G&H Building Services has been awarded the M&E services contract for the new £7.6 million extra-care scheme in Buxton. Community regeneration specialist Keepmoat is building the 73-bed project on behalf of Housing & Care 21 and Derbyshire County Council. It will comprise 53 extra-care apartments with two bedrooms and a specialist 20-place residential care centre. Communal facilities will include a restaurant, salon and health suite.

Vital Energi

Vital Energi reaches new heights in London

Vital Energi has won the £6.7 million design-and-build contract with Mace to provide the low-carbon energy solution for what is set to be the tallest residential building in London’s tech city — the Atlas Building at 145 City Road. which will be 152 m high and have 40 storeys.

Engineering-services market survey shows continued optimism for the sector

Almost 80% of engineering-services firms reported increased or steady turnover during the first quarter of this year in a sector-wide ‘Building engineering business survey’ sponsored by Scolmore. Looking ahead to the second quarter of the year, 88% of businesses expect their turnover to increase or remain steady.

Briggs & Forrester, contractor

Briggs & Forrester wins redevelopment in Soho

Briggs & Forrester Special Projects is working on the £2.3 million M&E installation for phase 2 of the redevelopment of Walker’s Court in London. The site is in Soho, and work includes the infrastructure for the new commercial office headquarters for property company Soho Estate, the revival of the Boulevard Theatre, new apartments, shops and restaurants and two existing nightclubs, including theatre of varieties The Box.

Tridonic, lighting

Tridonic opens London demonstration suite

Tridonic, which specialises in LED drivers for lighting, has opened a demonstration suite in the Business Design Centre, Islington. The facility will enable Tridonic to meet the many consultants and end users located in central London who would otherwise need to travel to the company’s UK headquarters in Basingstoke.

Daikin, air conditioning, VRV, VRF
Central London area sales manager for Daikin UK — Simon Chapman.

Daikin UK opens office in central London

Daikin UK has opened a new office in central London. It is close to Tower Hill underground station in modern offices that feature an open ceiling showcasing the latest Daikin VRV technology.

Heathrow looks to stimulate offsite construction

Heathrow Airport is to use a £16 billion expansion to push the growth of off-site construction in the UK. In a first for a major infra-structure project, Heathrow invites communities across Britain to showcase why their areas should host one of four new offsite logistics hubs. They are key to Heathrow’s plans to build as much offsite as possible, making the project more affordable and environmentally sustainable, while driving growth across Britain.

A1 Flue Systems, flues

A1 Flue Systems investment boosts productivity

Flue manufacturer A1 Flue Systems has boosted productivity by 30% in a year following a £250 000 investment. It included new machinery, key infrastructure upgrades and reconfiguring the flow of its manufacturing assembly line. Eight new jobs have been created

JS Wright, contractor

JS Wright to fit out major housing development

Building-services provider JS Wright has secured a £7 million-plus contract to regenerate a former industrial district of north London into a residential community. The company will fit out 252 new homes, including 82 affordable homes, at the London Square Caledonian Road mixed-used development in Islington.

Rehau, district heating, space heating

District-heating workshops

Rehau’s free district-heating workshops head to Birmingham on 27 June to offer consultants, contractors, local authorities, developers and housing associations the chance to find out more about the benefits, and practicalities of district heating.

Rinnai, training, DHW, domestic hot waer

Demand escalates for Rinnai training

Rinnai reports an upsurge in demand for its training on gas-fired continuous-flow water heaters for commercial, domestic and renewable integration. The courses are CPD certified.

ICS Cool Energy, Carbon Trust Acceditation

ICS Cool Energy achieves Carbon Trust Accreditation

ICS Cool Energy has been added to the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Directory as an accredited supplier, providing independent recognition of this temperature-control specialist’s skills and services.

CITB, offsite construction, prefabrication

CITB seeks to boost offsite construction

Offsite construction could revolutionise the construction industry and provide a solution to the UK housing shortage, but only if the sector develops the right skills, according to a report* from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The report shows that 42% of construction-industry companies with over 100 staff expect to use offsite methods in five years’ time. At present, however, offsite construction accounts for just 10% of industry output.

CIBSE, ASHRAE
Future gazing — ASHRAE president Tim Wentz.

Engineers are encouraged to seize future opportunities

ASHRAE* president Tim Wentz has called on engineers to embrace the potential of technology to deliver more comfortable and effective buildings. Speaking at CIBSE’s Technical Symposium at Loughborough University last month (April), he emphasised the dramatic changes that are being driven by digital technologies.

Apprentices, Apprenticeship Levy
Not a numbers game — Tony Howard.

Apprenticeship Levy is ‘not a numbers game’

Following the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy early last month (April), the industry has expressed concern about a critical report from the all-party parliamentary Education Committee that dubbed it a ‘blunt instrument’ that would do little to tackle the skills gap without significant change. The committee said the levy would drive up numbers of apprentices, but not necessarily in the industry sectors and regions where they were most needed.

CIAT, air conditioning, Chillers, heat pumps

CIAT tour comes to UK

CIAT’s 2017 international tour of more than 70 cities across three continents is in the UK during May, visiting six cities from 15 to 22 May and ending in London on 23 and 24 May. Atallah Musleh, sales director for Europe, says, ‘Over the past 18 months, CIAT has transformed its offerings with new products and services. The tour is a great opportunity to demonstrate our new capabilities and engage with our customers by bring our expertise and extensive range solutions directly to their doorstep.

Briggs & Forrester, Briggs, Forrester, contractor

Briggs & Forrester develops residential business

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.

Swegon, air management, grilles, diffusers, ventilation

New paint plant reduces lead times for Swegon

Swegon Air Management has reduced manufacturing lead times for its Air Diffusion range of internal ventilation grilles and diffusers with the installation of a state-of-the-art paint plant. The £150 000 investment enables the company to bring painting in house, dramatically speeding up the process and cutting lead times for customers.

Glenigan
iStock/Pashalgnatov

Boost for first-quarter construction starts

Non-residential project starts in March saw a surge in March, with their value being 7% ahead of the same period in 2016, according to the latest Glenigan Index. The surge was supported by a stabilisation in hotel and leisure starts and increases in private housing, industrial, retail, amenity, and health and community. Residential starts were 1% higher than a year earlier as a rise in private-housing starts was offset by subdued activity in the social-housing sector.

REL Electrical, contractor

REL takes on refurb of historic building

The transformation of the historic town hall in St Albans into a museum and art gallery will see REL Electrical delivering a £1.1 million M&E contract as part of the £7.75 million project. The contract for this Grade II listed building was awarded by Willmott Dixon Construction.

Gilberts, Blackpool, grilles, louvres, diffusers, ventilation, natural ventilation

Gilberts installs laser cutter for metal parts

Gilberts has updated the equipment at its Blackpool factory with the installation of a laser cutter to replace a traditional CNC punch press for processing 2-dimensional components for ventilation grilles, louvres and diffusers. The Platino 200 Lpt21530 laser cutter is more than twice as fast as the former CNC machine, increasing capacity capability.

BSRIA

BSRIA seeks to INSPIRE engineering talent

As part of its INSPIRE programme to help engage young people in engineering, BSRIA recently welcomed a group of year 9 (aged 13 and 14) pupils from Ranelagh School in Bracknell to its test facilities. They were presented with a challenge before their visit to design and make their own prototype ceiling grilles, which were then tested in a classroom mock-up.

JS Wright, contractor

JS Wright wins major Birmingham project

Building-services specialist J S Wright is to provide M&E services for 323 apartments in two high-rise blocks at Arena Central in Birmingham. The £3.5 million project for the 17- and 22-storey blocks is for Galliford Try Building. Work starts on site in August 2017 and is due for completion in February 2019. It is the tenth project for Galliford Try Partnerships in the past eight years.

Briggs & Forrester

Briggs & Forrester wins £6.8 million contract at University of Warwick

Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services has won a £6.8 million contract to provide M&E services for the new 6-storey Mathematical Sciences building at the University of Warwick. The work also includes upgrading the existing energy centre to support the new and existing facilities.

Viessmann, boilers, heat pump, renewable energy, space heating

German chancellor opens Viessmann’s innovation centre

German chancellor Angela Merkel has opened Viessmann’s Technikum innovation centre, the group’s new €50 million technology research and development centre. It is the biggest single investment in the 100-year history of this family enterprise.

Uponor, pipework, plastic, underfloor heating

Uponor moves to Watford

Uponor, which provides sustainable solutions for heating, cooling, infrastructure and building-services applications, has moved its UK headquarters from Leicestershire to Watford. UK managing director John Fahy (pictured) says, ‘Our new headquarters provides us with space to grow and has allowed us to create a customer-experience centre where visitors can get to know our solutions first hand and gain insight into the projects we’ve helped to deliver worldwide.

Encon Insulation, pipework,  ductwork

Complete HVAC support from Encon Insulation

Independent distributor Encon Insulation has set up a technical support team to work alongside its internal sales specialists and offer end-to-end technical advice from the earliest design stages of a project right through to on-site support and handover.

Grundfos Pumps

Grundfos reports turnover growth

Grundfos Group has reported results for 2016 that saw net turnover increase and an improvement in earnings before interest and tax. Group president and CEO Mads Nipper (pictured) explained, It is estimated that the global pump market that we can serve remained flat in 2016. Our modest full-year sales growth means that we have bolstered our position as the globally leading pump-solutions provider.’

BESA, Building Engineering Services Association
Badge of quality — Kevin Kingaby.

BESA steps up focus on specifiers

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.

EPC, MEES, Minimum Energy Efficency Standards
iStock.com/Maxiphoto

EPC simulations presents shock ahead of MEES deadline

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.

Patrick Parsons

Announcing the building-services woman of the year

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

BCIA, Building Controls Industry Association, controls, BMS, BEMS
Exploiting the full benefit of controls — Malcolm Anson.

BCIA stresses need for greater understanding of building controls

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.

LG, Space Air, air conditioning, VRF, Neil Afram

LG appoints Space Air as new distributor

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.

BSRIA Briefing

Sir Ranulph Fiennes to speak at BSRIA Briefing

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, T level, T-level, Building Engineering Services Association
Positive response to T Levels — Tony Howard.

BESA welcomes T Level technical qualification

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

Idom Merebrook secures high-profile project in Manchester

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 launches combined air-filtration business

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 success with R32 refrigerant training

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.

Buildings sector shows positive start to year

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

Imtech Inviron helps keeps trains on track

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, BREEAM, refurbishment

Land Securities wins BREEAM refurbishment and fit-out award

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.

Briggs & Forrester

Briggs & Forrester develops residential business

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.

Skanska

Skanska wins refurb contract in Old Street

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.

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