BESA, low margins, Lord Adonis, Rob Driscoll, Tim Rook
Driscoll: Adonis insensitive and detached from reality.

BESA slams Adonis’ criticism of industry’s worries over margins

The Building and Engineering Services Association (BESA) has reacted in the strongest terms to Labour peer Lord Adonis as he dismissed fears over low margins in the construction industry.

Panasonic
Panasonic acquires AMP with sights set on UK growth

Panasonic aims high in UK air conditioning market

Electronics giant Panasonic has its sights set on major growth in the UK and European markets. At the start of September this year, Panasonic made its first move with the acquisition of AMP Air Conditioning, one of UK’s largest distributors.

Ofgem, National Grid, electricity market, load shedding
All change in the business electricity market
Shutterstock: RTimages

Ofgem and National Grid propose changes to business electricity charging

Two of the national bodies for distributing and overseeing the country’s electricity market are working on proposals that will impact how businesses pay for their power – and how much.

Aldi, CO2 refrigeration
Green grocer: Aldi invests in renewables and efficiency

Aldi commits to renewable and low energy technologies

Supermarket success story Aldi has committed to converting all of its UK stores to CO2 refrigeration. By the end of 2018 up to 100 stores will be converted, at a cost of £20 million.

Whitbread, Ofwat, water retail market
Whitbread wins self-supply licence in open water market

Whitbread becomes its own water supplier

The UK’s largest hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator, Whitbread, will supply its own water and wastewater services. It has been granted a self-supply licence by economic regulator Ofwat following the opening up of the water retail market earlier in 2017.

Grundfos

Grundfos announces encouraging half-year results

Grundfos Pumps has released half-year results for 2017 that show that the Group have gained global market share with a net turnover increase of 5.8%, as well as seeing EBIT increase to 26.9% in comparison to the same period in 2016.

RHI, The Heat Pump Association, HPA, Mike Nankivell
Nankivell: heat pumps important to achieve carbon targets.

HPA welcomes revised RHI regulations

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has responded to government reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

BEIS aims to push UK to forefront of battery technology

The Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched the £246 million Faraday Challenge to boost UK expertise in battery technology.

CIBSE, Society of Digital Engineering
More building services engineers are entering the digital sphere as new technology impacts on the industry.
stock:alphaspirit

CIBSE launches Society of Digital Engineering

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has launched the Society of Digital Engineering (SDE). At the launch on 12th September, CIBSE president Peter Y Wong said: “The formation of the Society of Digital Engineering demonstrates the importance of digital technology in the building services sector and the commitment of CIBSE to develop the art and science of digital engineering.”

BESA

BESA President focuses on showcasing excellence

Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) president Tim Hopkinson (picture left) focused on showcasing excellence at the President’s Lunch event on 28th September. He also officially launched the Association’s Future Leaders initiative.

BCIA appoints new members to management committee

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) has appointed three new members to its management committee: Sandy Damm, Terry Sharp and Paul Wetherfield.

EMEX, Lord Rupert Redesdale
Redesdale: Energy is a growing cost to business

EMEX set for biggest year yet in 2017

The Energy Management Exhibition (EMEX) is now in its third year and looks set for its biggest event yet. With 100 speakers lined up for 80 seminar sessions, the event has grown rapidly in a short time.

MBS, Modern Building Services, Karen Fletcher, Ken Sharpe

"Modern Building Services" announces its new editor

Karen Fletcher has joined the MBS team as editor. Her background in journalism and PR for the building-services sector means that she brings a wealth of technical knowledge and media expertise to the role.

Glenigan, construction starts

Construction starts fall, but there is reason for optimism

Delays in public-sector projects are highlighted by Glenigan as one of the reasons for construction starts in the three months to July being 10% lower than a year earlier. Non-residential project starts were 15% down on the same period in 2016, led by falls in retail, education and health projects Residential starts were unchanged. However, on a seasonally adjusted basis starts were 6% higher that for the period February to April 2017. Civil-engineering starts were 23% lower than a year earlier.

Arbnco, performance gap
iStock.com/OnBlast

Research aims to close energy performance gap

The Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU) at the University of Strathclyde has partnered with software provider Arbnco on a ambitious knowledge-transfer partnership (KTP) that aims to address the so-called ‘energy performance gap’ as buildings often underperform when compared to design expectations. The energy performance gap is the difference between design predictions and operational performance in buildings. It creates market confusion, with the predicted asset performance of a standardised building becoming disconnected from operational reality.

Mansfield Pollard, ventilation, sound management

Mansfield Pollard rebrands

Air-management specialist Mansfield Pollard, which supplies energy-efficient ventilation and sound-management equipment to a global customer base, has rebranded. The new look and new brands consolidates the company’s areas of expertise and reinforces its wide and varied product and service offering.

JS Wright, contractor

JS Wright wins east-London regeneration contract

Building-services provider JS Wright has secured a contract worth over £10.5 million to help regenerate a former industrial district of east London. The contract is for the first two phases of a new 580-home development at Fish Island Village in Hackney Wick.

Bennetts Associates, Woolwich Creative District

Major step towards creating Woolwich creative district

Bennetts Associates has been appointed architect for the transformation of part of the historic Royal Arsenal riverfront site in Woolwich into a 16 500 m2 creative hub. The Woolwich Creative District will turn the unused Grade II and Grade II*-listed buildings into a space that will include a 450-seat theatre, a performance courtyard seating up to 600 and 10 rehearsal studios, as well as a base for internationally acclaimed theatre companies.

Vital Energi, Multiplex, Royal Albert Dock

Major energy contract awarded for business district in London’s Docklands

Vital Energi has been appointed to the £7.9 million design-and-build contract with Multiplex for the first-phase energy scheme for the massive new business district at London’s Royal Albert Dock. Vital is preferred partner of Chinese developer ABP to build, operate and maintain the temporary energy centre and district-heating and cooling networks that will serve the first phase of the 440 000 m2 mixed-use development. The first phase is due for completion in early 2019.

BSRIA, sound, testing, sound absorption, Rebecca Hogg

BSRIA introduces sound-absorption testing

Sound-absorption testing is now offered by BSRIA as part of its UKAS-accredited services. Tests are carried out in accordance with BS EN ISO 354:2003 and BS EN 11654:1997. BSRIA provides acoustic testing to determine the sound-absorption coefficient and rating of sound absorption for a range of materials — including insulation, carpets, wall panels, ceiling tiles and office screens.

SCS Group, Investors in People. energy management, natural ventilation

SCS strikes gold with Investors in People accreditation

SCS Group, which specialises in smoke control, building energy management systems and natural ventilation, has been awarded gold accreditation against the Investors in People (IIP) standard, joining the top 7% of accredited organisations across the UK. The company has offices in Cardiff, London and Dorset.

SPIE, contractor, building services

SPIE completes office refurbishment for BT

SPIE UK has completed the refurbishment of the sixth-floor office space at BT Lancaster House in Liverpool, working as principal contractor. The scheme included fabric, M&E and fire-alarm works. It has transformed the space to accommodate 76 work stations, meeting and training rooms, as well as a staff welfare space.

Ductclean (UK) is acquired by Marlowe Plc

Ductwork-cleaning specialist Ductclean (UK) has been acquired by Marlowe Plc for a total enterprise value of up to £10 million. Established in 1998 and operating nationally from headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Ductclean is a UK market leader in ventilation maintenance, ductwork cleaning and management, kitchen-extract cleaning and contamination remediation services, including asbestos remediation.

Imtech Inviron, facilities management, technical facilities management

Imtech Inviron secures Plymouth shopping-centre contract

Technical-services provider Imtech Inviron has secured a new contract for the Drake Circus shopping centre in Plymouth. This 3-year retail contract was awarded by Broadgate Estate. Imtech Inviron’s role includes planned and reactive maintenance of the 40 000 m2 centre in central Plymouth, which has over 60 shops, restaurants and cafes.

Elmsbrook, Perch, zero carbon

Business centre aims to be zero carbon

Work has started on a new zero-carbon business centre at the Elmsbrook development in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Perch, Elmsbrook is one of two new co-working spaces brought to Bicester by Cherwell District Council (CDC) and is subject to support from European Regional Development Funding.

BSRIA Briefing

BSRIA announces two more speakers for its annual briefing

BSRIA has announced two more speakers for its annual BSRIA Briefing in London on 17 November. The theme of this year’s briefing is ‘Tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings’, and the latest speakers are Jane Vass, director of policy and age research at Age UK (pictured left) and Alan Kell, managing director of I&G Systems (pictured right).

Grundfos Pumps

Scope of Grundfos Ecademy is extended

Grundfos has boosted the scope of its on-line Ecademy to include a new audience whose focus is on larger applications. This now means that consultants/specifiers as well as relevant distribution partners working on large projects and applications will be able to get access to a range of on-line training modules.

2018 Editorial Programme for Modern Building Services

The 2018 Editorial Programme for MBS is now available for download in PDF format. 

Barbour ABI
Residential leads construction bounce-back.
iStock.com/Petmal

Construction industry bounces back after recent stall in growth

Contract awards in the construction industry increased by 12% in the latest survey from Barbour ABI, as a number of high-profile projects were given the green light. The latest edition of the company’s ‘Economic and construction market review’ from the company reports that the levels of construction contract values awarded in June across all regions of Great Britain totalled £5.5 billion based on a 3-month rolling average, an increase on the £4.9 billion from May.

BESA, Building Regulations
Weaknesses in the regulatory framework — Paul McLaughlin.

BESA welcomes planned review of Building Regs

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has welcomed BBC reports that a full review of the Building Regulations is to be carried out following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Chief executive Paul McLaughlin said that BESA had been flagging up weaknesses in the regulatory framework for many years and had long been a champion of tighter enforcement.

Glenigan
Positive forecasts for rest of 2017 and 2018 — Glenigan.
milanvirijevic

Glenigan gives positive mid-year forecastGlenigan gives positive mid-year forecast

A 1% rise in the total value of underlying new project starts for the rest of 2017 is predicted in Glenigan’s latest mid-year forecast, followed by a further 2% in 2018. Glenigan comments, ‘Political uncertainty and doubts over the Brexit negotiations will inevitably take their toll on the industry’s prospects for the coming two years. But while slower economic growth is likely to impact on new project starts, particularly in the private sector, the good news is that overall activity across the industry is set to continue expanding.’

Wiring Regulations

Reluctant support for 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’

Only one in 16 electro-technical businesses ‘absolutely support’ the proposed 18th edition to the ‘Wiring Regulations’ according to a major survey from the Electrical Contractors’ Association. 28% of respondents said that the planned changes were ‘unfavourable’ or were ‘strongly opposed’ to them. 61% of firms said they ‘somewhat supported’ the proposals.

residential scheme, Liverpool

Major residential scheme approved for Liverpool

Liverpool City Council has approved plans for a residential scheme with 656 apartments on the edge of the city centre. Submitted by Vinco Group, Freemasons on the junction of Leeds Street and St Bartholomew Road consists of four separate residential towers of 16 storeys around three landscaped courtyards.

Consultancy, Sweco

Sweco opens office in Stockton-on-Tees

Engineering, environment and design consultancy Sweco UK has opened an office in Stockton-on-Tees. Sweco was launched in the UK in April following its acquisition of Grontmij and has experienced strong growth after securing a number of high-value multi-disciplinary projects.

JS Wright, contractor

JS Wright staff become heat network consultants

Four engineers from building-services contractor JS Wright have received accreditation from CIBSE as heat-network consultants. They passed an examination on the CIBSE code of practice for heat networks in the UK, jointly developed by CIBSE and the Association for Decentralised Energy.

contractor, NG Bailey

NG Bailey to build new hospital energy centre

NG Bailey has been appointed principal contractor by North Tees & Hartlepool Foundation Trust to construct a new energy centre at the University Hospital of North Tees. This £14 million project will be on the existing hospital estate and house a new primary intake substation.

Gilberts, air distribution, grilles, diffusers

Gilberts enlarges its warehouse capacity

In response to growing demand for its products, Gilberts Blackpool has increased its warehousing capacity by almost 10%. The company is experiencing a significant increase in demand for its grilles, louvres and diffusers, and natural-ventilation products, both in the UK market and overseas.

Sudlows, data centres

Sudlows and Indectron create new digital hub

Sudlows is working on a new state-of-the-art data centre for digital firm Indectron, which will provide highly secure colocation for a range of organisations. Shield House is in Gloucester and has a power capacity of 3 MW. It will be used as a protected environment for data and critical systems connected with a wide range of networks and cloud service providers.

SES Engineering Services

SES wins major police services contract

SES Engineering Services has won a £5 million contract to provide a full MEP package for the new headquarters of Lancashire Constabulary’s West Division in Blackpool. Marking the force’s largest investment in its history, the 3-storey building in Clifton Road will replace outdated facilities at Bonny Street.

BSRIA sets up northern facilities in Preston

BSRIA has opened an office and laboratory complex in Preston to serve the north of England. It includes a training suite for many of the BSRIA courses, and Instrument Solutions has expanded its equipment-hire, calibration and sales operations into this northern base.

BESA, President, Tim Hopkinson
Looking to attract young people into the industry — Tim Hopkinson.

BESA’s new president focuses on youth

The new president of BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) has declared his main focus for the year will be ‘to drive emerging talent into our industry’ and empower young people to set the agenda for the association’s future. He will also be unveiling a major new initiative at the BESA’s president’s lunch in September that will set a new direction for the sector’s ‘future leadership’.

SPIE, contractor

SPIE wins major M&E education project

SPIE UK has been awarded an £8 million contract for M&E works at East Ayrshire Council’s new William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock. Named after the world-renowned author, who was born and educated in Kilmarnock, the £45.3 million, 18 360 m2 campus will accommodate about 1465 secondary, 383 primary and 160 early-years pupils from ages two to 18 and will be provided by East Ayrshire Council and Hub South West Scotland through Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

NG Bailey, contractor
Strategy delivers results — David Hurcomb.

Strong growth in sales and profits for NG Bailey

NG Bailey has reported a 23% growth in sales and a doubling in operating profits for the year ending 24 February 2017. The group’s forward order book grew by 10% to £902 million.

Rinnai, DHW, domestic hot water, continuous flow hot water

Rinnai provides support for the whole of the working day

Rinnai, which specialises in continuous-flow water heating, has introduced a service to give contractors access via telephone or Internet to unlimited technical support and management. The service is free to installers, premises owners and facilities managers with Rinnai units or systems on side.

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