News in brief

...short summaries of key new stories• Grants worth £2 million for investment in solar-energy projects throughout the UK have been announced by Energy Minister Stephen Timms. Among those set to benefit are local councils, higher education, businesses and housing. The money will help ensure continued growth of the the PV industry in the UK. • The Energy 2004 exhibition is expected to be about 1000 m2 larger than last year’s event. It will be held at Telford International Centre on 8 and 9 September. Details from Western Business Exhibitions, tel. 01342 3143300 • Richmond Fire Station will become the first in the UK to be totally solar powered, as the result of a £118 000 scheme to install PV cells with an output of 23 kW. The project was supported by a £70 000 Government grant. BP Solar will install the cells during water-proofing work on the station’s roof. • An investment of £20 million in energy efficiency by the Scottish Executive will help save up to £70 million over the next five years. Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace said, ‘Hundreds of public buildings across Scotland will become more energy efficient as a result of this initiative — the first of its kind and scale in the UK.’ • Building control officer is the latest occupation to join the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. 182 occupations are now covered by CSCS, and over 586 000 industry workers have now been awarded cards. • Dalkia has won a further extension to its 5-year contract to provide comprehensive facilities services to the National Assembly for Wales. In addition to the principal buildings in Cardiff, the contract involves nearly 60 locations throughout Wales — a total estate of some 100 000 m2 of mainly office accommodation. • Daikin is in discussions to acquire the UK’s fastest-growing air-conditioning supplier — MacQueen Air Conditioning. Established in 1980, the company has 50 staff and offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Maidstone. It is on track to record orders in excess of £16 million in the current financial year, a growth of over 15%.

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Grenfell is the building industry's Piper Alpha says CIBSE

The recent passage of the Building Safety Act is a welcome recognition of the fact that making safe buildings is a highly skilled operation says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, endorsing the need for more effective regulation and a profound change in culture.

Underlying project-starts uptick indicates gradual recovery, Glenigan data suggests

  • 13% rise in detailed planning approvals against the preceding three months
  • 18% decline in main contract awards against the previous year
  • 9% increase in underlying starts during the three months to May

Glenigan has released the June 2022 edition of its Construction Review.