Master Builder Magazine: April-May 2020

APRIL-MAY 2020 £4.25

THE MAGAZINE OF THE FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS

EYE IN THE SKY How drones are helping FMB members to showcase their projects

IMPROVING BUILDING SAFETY The Government has committed to deliver major changes in building safety

CREATING AHEALTHYWORKPLACE The importance of promoting positive mental health

HAVE YOUR SAY The FMB is reviewing its governance and wants to hear your views

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Contents APRIL/MAY 2020 17 Industry update

Features

24 Bird’s eye view

How drones are helping FMB members to market their businesses

26 The digital age

How can technology help you to improve your business?

28 Going green

6 Welcome

Stimulating the retrofit market

Brian Berry talks about licensing and engaging with Ministers and MPs

30 Safe as houses

The Government’s announcement on major changes in building safety

7 News

The latest headlines from industry news

12 Viewpoint

Your FMB

The FMB’s viewpoint on the issues affecting the UK construction sector

33 FMB Insurance

Spotlight

If disaster strikes, are you covered for loss of income?

21

34 Policy and Public Affairs

13 Interview: Tom Parsons

The latest on the BATJIC 2020/21 wage rates and addressing the skills shortage 36 Connections The benefits of working together 37 FMB events Details of upcoming events 38 Social media marketing Using social media marketing to attract clients 39 Governance review The FMB is reviewing its governance and we want to hear your views 40 Members update See which firms have joined the FMB and which have been expelled 42 Board update An update from the FMB National Board 43 Regional updates News from around the regions and devolved nations

Tom from FMB member company Olive & Umber, talks about mental health 15 Protecting against fire Shaun Mace talks about the importance of passive fire protection measures 17 New lease of life Daco Construction transforms a former private Georgian residence into commercial premises Business support How third-party fire door certification can give you peace of mind 21 Getting your finances in order How the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) could impact your business 23 Energy matters Why you should always check energy ratings labels 19 Fire doors

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Master Builder has been carefully prepared but articles are published without responsibility on the part of the publishers or authors for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any view, information or advice included therin. Articles published in Master Builder do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Federation of Master Builders Ltd nor can the Federation of Master Builders Ltd, the publishers or authors accept any responsibility for any claims made by advertisers.

Editorial Editor Michelle Gordon Head of Marketing Danika Ferguson Designer Will Williams Picture editor Claire Echavarry Publishing director Joanna Marsh

Advertising Advertising manager Frazer Blake +44 (0)20 7025 2900 frazerblake@fmb.org.uk

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Welcome BRIAN BERRY

W elcome to the April/May edition, which is packed Parsons talks about the impact of mental health, which is an issue that affects many working in our industry. One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year. Many building companies are now training mental health first aiders to help tackle the problem, and some FMB staff have also completed this training. We all have a responsibility to destigmatise mental health and to talk openly about it. FMB Governance I mentioned in the last edition that the FMB is reviewing its governance and this work is continuing to progress. The national FMB Board is widening the scope and is inviting the Area Boards across the UK to submit ideas to Regional Directors. Regional Presidents are also being invited to a joint meeting in London to discuss how the Area Boards work and what can be done to improve their effectiveness in representing your interests and concerns. Given the scale of the challenge and the need to get members’ views it is now expected the review will extend into 2021. Any member wanting to know more should contact their Regional Director – details can be found at: www.fmb.org.uk/members Contact with Government The re-election of the Conservative Government has meant the FMB has been busy engaging with new Ministers and MPs. Letters have been sent to the 140 new MPs, a meeting has been held with the now former Housing Minister, Esther McVey MP and a telephone meeting with with a wide range of articles that I hope will be of interest to you. FMB member Tom

We all have a responsibility to destigmatise mental health and to talk openly about it

the Construction Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP. Further meetings have been arranged with the Secretary of State for Business and the Energy Minister. Our pre-Budget submission to the Chancellor focused on incentives to get more small to medium- sized construction businesses (SMEs) into house building; the need for a national retrofit strategy; and the need to support SMEs by cutting the rate of VAT on repairs and maintenance. Licensing Members will be aware that the FMB is leading a campaign for all construction companies to be licensed. The industry Task Force chaired by Liz Peace CBE has been discussing how such a scheme might work. It is working on a draft concept that seeks to use the existing bodies in the construction sector but with a possible enhanced role for the Government endorsed scheme TrustMark as the overseeing licensing body. Further work and research is needed and much more discussion but the proposal has the support of a wide range of organisations.

Responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) The FMB is here to support our members during this difficult time in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK. We are bringing together guidance for members so that you can best prepare and plan for how the virus may impact on your business. Visit www.fmb.org.uk for the latest updates.

BRIAN BERRY, Chief Executive of the FMB

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News

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY NEWS

Go ahead for HS2 P rime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that, after careful consideration of the independent Oakervee Review, HS2 will go ahead alongside radical improvements to local transport networks across the country. A multi-billion-pound package to transform buses and cycling will deliver at least 4,000 new zero emission buses, higher frequency services, more affordable, simpler fares, and new priority schemes to make routes more efficient. Over 250 miles of high-quality separated cycle routes will also be built, alongside dozens of ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes to make town centres safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The Prime Minister has also pledged further upgrades for local connections. “Delivering better, faster and more reliable transport connections is the way to close the opportunity gap across this country but it is not and never will be an ‘either/or’ between big projects and

project, extending high-speed rail from the West Midlands to the North and the Government will draw up an integrated plan for rail in the North, informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission. Recognising that better East-West connections are a priority for local leaders, the Government will also look at how best to accelerate the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail, including options for a new delivery body. HS2 is committed to opening up supply chain opportunities to local small to medium-sized businesses. To find out more, visit www.competefor.com/hs2

local services,” said Johnson. “Dramatic improvements to local transport and the decision to proceed with HS2 will shift this country’s centre of gravity away from the capital and transform connectivity between our towns and cities.” Work on Phase 1 of HS2 (between London and Birmingham) is set to start in April. The Government will revive the legislation to deliver Phase 2a (connecting Birmingham to Crewe) as soon as possible so that preparation works can move forward. The Prime Minister told Parliament that he is committed to Phase 2b of the

Worker knocked unconscious in fall from platform

pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs. After the hearing HSE inspector, Andrew Woodhall, said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning, managing and monitoring the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place.”

Safety Executive (HSE) found that Greens Property Developments Limited had failed to ensure that, so far as was reasonably practicable, construction work was carried out without risks to health and safety by failing to plan, manage and monitor work at height. Greens Property Developments Limited of Chester Road, Sunderland,

A construction company has been fined after a worker was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken wrist in a fall from a raised platform. The worker was undertaking work to fit rafters to the roof at Old Eldon Farm, Shildon, when he fell approximately 2.2 metres to the floor. An investigation by the Health and

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INDUSTRY UPDATE NEWS

UK construction shows true social and economic value

Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science, part of The University of Tokyo, have developed a new procedure for recycling concrete with the addition of discarded wood. They found that the procedure can yield a new building material with a bending strength superior to that of original concrete. Finding the right proportion of concrete and recycled wood was critical to obtaining concrete with the most strength. The researchers adjusted the mixture proportion, pressure, temperature, pressing duration, and water content. Wood gets its rigidity from lignin, which are highly crosslinked organic polymers. In this case, lignin fills the gaps in the concrete and functions as an adhesive when mixed with waste concrete powder and heated. The strength was also improved by higher temperatures and pressures during pressing. “Most of the recycled products we made exhibited better bending strength than that of ordinary concrete,” said senior author and lecturer Yuya Sakai. “These findings construction industry that not only reduces the stores of waste concrete and wood, but also helps address the issue of climate change.” The recycled concrete is even likely to be biodegradable, because the concrete waste is attached to the wood component. The method could also be extended to recycle other types of discarded plant matter, instead of wood, or even brand-new concrete made from plants, sand, and gravel. Researchers use discarded wood to recycle concrete can promote a move toward a greener, more economical

T he Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) new Real Face of Construction 2020 report puts the economic influence of the UK construction sector at almost double that of the officially recorded figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The sector officially accounts for about 6% of economic output of the UK and provides employment for 2.3 million people. However, the CIOB says that the narrow ONS definition of the industry ignores the work of architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors, as well as manufacturers dedicated to the sector and many other firms that support construction such as builders’ merchants and plant hire providers. Caroline Gumble, Chief Executive of the CIOB, said: “The quality of our built environment affects every member of society; our work influences productivity and wellbeing at home and at work. It is both far-reaching and life-shaping. Our purpose for this report is to help educate policymakers about the true value of the built environment and the need to work in closer partnership with the industry to realise its full potential, particularly at a regional level where it can rebalance local economies and offer people a quality career unlike many others.” The CIOB report demonstrates the wide variations in regional performance and output that have occurred since 2013, indicating

the need for careful, integrated policy making at a local, regional and national level. The report examines the number of construction businesses, output from the industry, stock of buildings, number of people employed by the sector, annual earnings and key projects, demonstrating construction’s importance as an employer and driver of prosperity in each regional area. The CIOB is calling for a better measure of the construction industry that includes all aspects of the design and construction process, not just the assembly on site. It makes the point that the UK construction industry has not reached its full potential. It will only do so if the industry has a clear vision, an understanding of regional needs, and a focus from policymakers based on with good quality data about this economically important sector. The report argues that by including all aspects of the design and construction process, construction GDP could be close to double in size.

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INDUSTRY UPDATE NEWS

T he average

Tradespeople have double the DIY jobs to do at home

work schedules are mainly to blame for tradespeople having so many jobs left undone at home, with over a third of trades saying they just never have the time. A quarter of tradespeople said they often made a mental note to fix something around the home but ultimately went on to forget it. While one in five

tradesperson has more than twice the DIY and

household repair jobs to do at home than the rest of the population, according to a new study of 2,000 people by Draper Tools. It found that those who worked in a trade such as construction, plumbing or electrics had on average 18 DIY and maintenance jobs currently on their list to do at home. By comparison the average person had just eight. Furthermore, tradespeople will spend an average of five weeks each year on their

walls, bleeding radiators and cleaning patios. Other neglected jobs included building flat pack furniture, hanging picture frames, and clearing out the shed. Hectic lifestyles and busy

own home improvements, whereas the rest of the public will spend around three weeks a year. Among the most common tasks on UK tradespeoples’ to-do lists were painting

tradespeople admitted they didn’t have the right tools for the jobs on their list.

£1 billion for small and medium-sized builders

Reinald de Monchy, Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale, British Business Bank said: “The ENABLE Build Programme is a great example of using a cross-government approach to tackle an important, complex issue. “Working in partnership with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Homes England to address both access to finance and the UK housing shortage, the ENABLE Build programme will allow us to build on our ENABLE Guarantee’s success in supporting smaller housebuilders that have traditionally struggled to access the funding they need.” Since the scheme opened for applications in May 2019, the Government has received interest from specialist and mainstream lenders – including high street banks.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed £1 billion of Government finance to support small and medium- sized builders. The British Business Bank’s ENABLE Build Programme will shortly begin guaranteeing millions in new loans for local, independent construction businesses to deliver new homes. Local builders will be able to secure loans from participating banks to help the Government deliver its commitment of at least a million new homes in the next five years. “Small housebuilders are vital to building the homes this country needs but too often struggle to access affordable finance,” said Jenrick. “I am giving the green light to a scheme that will help to fix this. Supporting £1 billion of new loans so that local builders can kickstart building, level up the country and turbocharge the housing sector.”

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NEWS

NEWS IN NUMBERS

Investment levels in construction have increased by 78.07% since the EU referendum, reveals research by peer-to-peer lending platform Sourced Capital. 78.07 %

Well-paid careers for construction apprenticeships

construction bosses are struggling to hire bricklayers; 53% are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners and 35% are struggling to hire plasterers. There are plenty of vacancies in construction for young people with a willingness to learn, said Berry. He added: “Builders face numerous challenges going into the new decade that will require the creativity and fresh approach of the new generation to solve. These include tackling climate change, building thousands of well-designed homes, and digitising the built environment.”

“There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship in construction,” said FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry, after research highlighted that tradespeople can earn more than £50,000 a year. The research, which was released by the FMB to mark National Apprenticeship Week, showed that bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers can command an average day rate of £175, equating to £53,200 a year, while some tradespeople are paid up to £275 a day for their work. It also highlighted that 54% of The Government has made all of its business support schemes accessible via a new Business Support website. “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. As part of delivering this ambition we are putting all of government’s business support together in one place to ensure more businesses can unleash their potential,” explained Business Secretary Alok Sharma. Schemes are divided into four areas: 1 Finance and business planning – Funding for new businesses and support to help existing business grow, deal with late payments, and equity and debt finance. Support for businesses

3 X

UK homes lose heat up to three times faster than their European neighbours, says study by intelligent home climate management company tado° .

2 Leadership and talent – Mentoring schemes, help with recruiting, developing

leadership skills or joining a network. 3 Innovation and technology – Funding for innovation, adoption of new technology, intellectual property and finding partners for innovation. 4 Exporting – Support for doing business internationally and expanding online. You can access the Business Support schemes at: businesssupport.gov.uk

More than a million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built, according to Local Government Association analysis. million

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INDUSTRY UPDATE VIEWPOINT

The FMB gives its viewpoint on the headlines affecting the sector Viewpoint

1

Calls for VAT cut The FMB has welcomed the call for a cut in VAT in the final report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. The report recommended that VAT on repair and renovation work should be zero-rated or at least charged at 5%. FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “I am glad the Commission has

Protecting against rogue developers

old buildings, rather than restoring them, due to our archaic VAT regime, which puts a zero-rating on new build but charges 20% for repair and maintenance. If we want to restore and maintain our beautiful heritage it is vital we correct this anomaly in the tax system.” The FMB has been calling for a cut to VAT for many years and our research has found that it would lead to a reduction of 240,000 tonnes of CO 2 across 92,000 homes.

The creation of a New Homes Ombudsman to protect homebuyers from rogue developers has been welcomed by the FMB. The independent Ombudsman will step in to help homebuyers with issues from sloppy brick work to faulty wiring, and will have statutory powers to award compensation, ban rogue developers from building, and order developers to fix poor building work. “This announcement is a step in the right direction for consumers and house builders alike,” said FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry. “As the FMB had demanded, it is correct that the New Homes Ombudsman will be backed up by law. We are pleased that the Government has recognised that the new system must not be burdensome to small and medium-sized house builders.” While the announcement is welcome, the drive towards ensuring quality for the consumer cannot be fully achieved without an industry- wide adoption of a licensing scheme, added Berry.

highlighted the perverse situation where people are incentivised to demolish

The introduction of the new points- based immigration system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, threatens construction delivery, said the FMB. The new system will award points for specific skills, professions, salaries or qualifications/attributes and there will be a minimum general salary threshold of £25,600. “If we are to have an infrastructure revolution and build a million new homes over the next five years, we will need to have an immigration system that allows for key construction workers of all skill levels to come to the UK,” said FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry. “The announcement that there will no longer be a route for ‘low Immigration system threatens delivery

skill’ workers to come to the UK after next year will hamper the construction industry’s

capacity to deliver on key projects. “We will need general labourers as much as architects or surveyors. They are a core part of the construction industry and it’s simply unrealistic to assume the domestic workforce will fill this gap in the next nine months.”

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SPOTLIGHT TOMPARSONS

Tom Parsons, Director and Founder of FMB member company Olive & Umber, talks to Master Builder about the importance of promoting positive mental health in the workplace CREATINGAHEALTHY WORKPLACE CULTURE

C reating a workplace where which operates an open-door policy for all staff and sub-contractors. “My mental health has been something that I have battled with my whole life and it is very close to my heart to be able to offer support in the workplace and the wider environment,” explained Tom. “We operate a total open-door policy for everybody within the business and people can come to me, as a first port of call, with any issues. Not everybody takes it up but if you have got issues at home, or financial worries, or whatever it may be, having that sounding board really helps. “Having a good core relationship with all the people in the organisation is very important and is something that we strive to do. We encourage all of our employees and people that we work with to really communicate. Having that opportunity to communicate and to feel that they are being listened to and heard, I think, is invaluable.” The company offers flexible working practices and Tom believes that understanding people’s individual needs is important to creating a healthy workplace. “Offering flexibility and tailoring your approach to an individual is something that we do as standard practice and will continue to do as we expand as a company,” he explained. “Feeling that they can come to me and say ‘actually I would like to start a couple of hours later today’ has meant that the retention of staff in our business is great.” Staff retention, is an unexpected business benefit of the policy, said Tom, along with a more productive workforce. employees feel that their voices will be heard is vital for Tom Parsons of Olive & Umber,

“We encourage all of our employees and people that we work with to really communicate”

“We have found that it has also been a great tool for us on the commercial side as I feel that we get the absolute best out of our employees and sub-contractors by offering that open-door policy,” he said. “By offering levels of support, generally across the board, not just with mental health issues, our retention is really good, and our productivity is great. I can probably count on one hand how many sick days our guys had last year just from the fact that they want to come to work and they are happy to be there, it is a good environment.” Tom believes that more needs to be done within the construction industry to promote the importance of positive mental health and to recognise that good mental health is just as important as good physical health. “I think the industry over the last 10-15 years has been hell-bent on keeping people ‘safe’ on job sites from trips and falls and all the rest of it and a massive amount of legislation has been put in place, but when it comes to mental health I don’t think they are even scratching the surface,” he said. “If somebody cuts their hand you see the cut, you can see the blood, you can act accordingly but when it comes to mental health, it can be quite a lonely place for a lot of people if they don’t feel they have got an outlet and it can really go unnoticed.” The industry as a whole needs to be more outward facing, he said.

The Construction Industry Helpline offers confidential 24/7 support for all construction workers and their families. Call 0345 605 1956 if you need support.

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SPOTLIGHT MD FIRE SOLUTIONS

M D Fire Solutions is owned and run by Andy Laws and Shaun Mace. The pair, who started their careers as apprentices – Andy as a carpenter/joiner and Shaun as a bricklayer – have around 75 years’ experience between them. Andy and Shaun deliver project renovations alongside specialist passive fire safety works, which have taken off over the past two years, with turnover rising from £78,000 a year to £400,000. With fire safety in buildings coming under increased scrutiny and the introduction of a new building safety regulatory regime, they are likely to remain busy but any growth will be carefully managed.

spreading are reduced as much as possible. MD Fire Solutions has

“We are not expanding the business; we want to keep it small and specialist,” said Shaun. “We pride ourselves on getting it right.” That attention to detail is vital for passive fire protection installations, which under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 must be carried out by a “competent” person with the appropriate training. MD Fire Solutions is certified by the Nationwide Association of Passive Fire Installers & Specifers and is able to certify, as well as install, passive fire installations. Passive fire protection works ensure that buildings are structurally resistant to fire, protected against the effects of fire and that the risks of fire

and installs fire protective materials in floors, ceilings, walls, cavities and roofs, as well as installing fire barriers and curtains. It recently completed a large contract at The Forum in Norwich carrying out essential fire stopping in service risers. Installing, upgrading and maintaining fire doors is another service the company offers, and a recent project included existing period doors at Earlham Hall, a Grade II Listed building. The doors had to meet current standards for fire safety doors, while retaining historic features. The building also required the installation of fire curtains and barriers into historic walls, wooden panelling and floors. The penalties for getting it wrong when it comes to passive

carried out compartmentation works on dozens of properties and recently formed a complete corridor, from the top floor of a care home to the basement, providing a means of escape in the event of a fire. “Compartmentation in roofs to stop the spread of fire is a big one at the moment and that has primarily been one of the things that we have been doing,” said Shaun. The company also identifies and corrects compartmentation breaches, where holes have been drilled to install cables, for example,

PROTECTING AGAINST FIRE Specialist passive fire protection company, and FMB member firm, MD Fire Solutions has grown significantly since it was set

fire installations are severe, from heavy fines to the potential loss of life, and members should always look

This original door at Earlham Hall was painted with intumescent paint to improve its fire resistance

to work with a specialist installer on such projects.

up eight years ago. Director Shaun Mace talks about the journey so far

See page 30 for information on changes to Building Regulations.

Earlham Hall. Norwich

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SPOTLIGHT DACO CONSTRUCTION

HISTORYMEETS GLAMOUR INTHENORFOLK COUNTRYSIDE Less than two hours from

open firepit cooking range takes careful planning and a lot of skill,” said Ben. “The building couldn’t be altered structurally, and we also had to protect its fabric from further deterioration – and we had to bring the 21 st century into it!” The team were then asked to come back and work on stage two; the creation of six boutique style bedrooms at the back of the building. The bedrooms feature decorative brickwork and abstract plastering, which proudly displays Daco’s innovative approach to their work. The rooms are all finished to a high standard and in the theme of golden film stars of the past; from the Marley to the Monroe; they complement the main house beautifully. The project was fully completed in 2019. A piece of history restored and rejuvenated; giving the building a new lease of life and enjoyment for many more years to come.

The project involved a lot of reconfiguring to

redefine and maximise the space, which included moving the original central kitchen. As work progressed, pieces of history from the building’s past kept resurfacing. A central fireplace that had walkthroughs on both sides was discovered, and was maintained in the refurbishment, alongside many other architectural details. Some modern pieces were also added to complement the overall aesthetics, such as a striking glass wine cellar, which is a central feature on the first floor and an open fire cooking pit. “Converting a listed Georgian house into a contemporary restaurant with a modern kitchen and

London and set in the heart of North Norfolk, in the village of BurnhamMarket, is a real gem of a project by a Master Builder

L ocated halfway down Market Street, within a classic Georgian Grade II listed building dating back to the 18 th century, is No Twenty9; a unique and vibrant lounge bar and restaurant, full of character and history. The story behind this former private Georgian residence was rediscovered in 2017 when work began on restoring and rejuvenating the building to convert it into commercial premises. The owner, Tim Roberts, had a vision to bring the former character of the building back to life, preserving its features and history, but he also wanted it to become a vibrant part of the village itself. The brief involved restoring

the past, while incorporating the modern; blending the old with the new, which required a sensitive approach and careful planning. The team behind the build are Ben Connolly and Steve Dawes of Daco Construction. Daco, which is an FMB member, worked closely with architect ACS Architectural to ensure the brief was met. The

build took part in two phases. The first stage was the creation of the lounge, restaurant and bar. Set over two floors, the rooms were created to respect all the original features of the building.

Daco Construction is a member of the FMB and

insures its builds through FMB Insurance. Visit the portfolio section of its website to see more images of this stunning project: www.dacoconstructionltd.co.uk

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BUSINESS SUPPORT FIRE DOORS

HOWCANTHIRD-PARTY FIRE DOORCERTIFICATION GIVE YOUPEACEOFMIND?

F ollowing the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, fire rated products have come under greater scrutiny, with the Government introducing stricter guidance around fire safety products and recommending third-party certificated fire doors.

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Fire Door Alliance advocates strongly for builders and specifiers to use fire doors that have been third-party certificated

of the door’s journey through the construction supply chain. When a fire door is manufactured or modified by a BWF Fire Door Alliance member, a label with a unique number is placed on the top edge of the door. This allows the original fire door certificate and specification to be sourced, enabling on-site checks to be carried out against the door’s original standards. It’s vital that the specification is adhered to and only compatible components are used in repairs or replacements because proof of compliance can be requested under the Building Regulations Recent Government guidance supports third-party certification as a means of ensuring building safety. In the Government’s Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors guidance it is recommended that non-fire- resisting flat entrance doors are replaced with doorsets ‘that are third party certified as providing at least 30 minutes’ fire resistance.’ All third-party certificated timber fire doors tested by the Government in 2019 passed the minimum 30-minute burn time requirement. Timber fire doors manufactured by members of the BWF Fire Door Alliance provide crucial evidence of their ability to perform as they should – helping to compartmentalise the fire and save lives. or the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO).

Demystifying third-party certification So what do we mean by third- party certification? In simple terms, it means that the fire door manufacturer or fire door processor is audited by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) approved third-party organisation that checks that the product is tested appropriately and produced to a consistent standard. For BWF Fire Door Alliance members, this involves passing a comprehensive audit that includes submitting a full-sized fire door to be tested at a UKAS accredited test facility. This is an independent manufacturing audit by a UKAS accredited product certification body to ensure consistency of manufacturing processes, and regular scrutiny of the fire door to ensure that the testing was not a one-off result. A closer look at the benefits of third-party certification This thorough certification process offers peace of mind that the fire door will perform as designed in the event of a fire. It also provides visibility and traceability

For more information, please visit: firedoors.bwf.org.uk

This article is a guest contribution by Helen Hewitt, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation.

19

Master Builder

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8. ,5(/$1'

ALLSAW AS175 The new generation Allsaw’s functionality has been significantly enhanced and it continues to be a safe alternative to the Diamond Grinder. The Allsaw cuts with superior dust control protecting the user from breathing in silica dust and is still the only masonry tool that cuts deep, square, with high precision and no overcut. This package includes General Purpose Blades, Plunge Blades and a Dust Boot. With an improved motor and belt, this is an essential tool for trade applications. Target Market Tuck pointers, Electricians, Tradesmen, Brick Restorators

553… $6 $6

SINGLE BRICK REMOVAL

PRECISE INSTALLATIONS

TUCKPOINTING AND MORTAR RESTORATION

FAST AND EASY TOOTHING

CUT SQUARE WITHOUT OVERCUTTING

REDUCE HARMFUL DUST

What’s New: 1400W Tool has been highly enhanced for better performance with a more powerful motor and extended brush life, which enables a more seamless cutting experience. Improved Belt Drive with the addition of a heavy duty triple V belt, along with a more efficient power transmission allows for a longer lifetime and faster cuts. Heavy Duty Dust Boot collects most of the dust generated when connected to a vacuum. This keeps the worksite clean and reduces silica dust particles in the air. Vibration reduction further enhances ergonomics, allowing the tool to be used for an extended period.

What’s Included: • AS175 1400W Tool • General purpose Blades • Plunge Blades • Dust Boot • Ian Key • Spare blade bolts (x4) • Arbortech Carry Bag

Parts/Accessories:

ITEM

CODE

563

Allsaw AS175

…

$6

Heavy Duty Dust Boot

… … … …

$ $

Ian Key

General Purpose Blades

%/*+3 %/3+3

Plunge Blades

Product EAN code: 9313478902273 Packaging dimensions: 78.5 x 39 x 12.5 cm Weight: 4.0kg Packing weight: 7.8kg

Contact Addex: T: 01432 346850 | E: sales@addex-group.com

BUSINESS SUPPORT FINANCE

THEENDOFLIBOR WHAT ITMEANS FOR

LENDERS AND BORROWERS

Do you know how the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate will impact your business?

W hile we have heard a lot about ‘transition periods’ in recent months, we should not overlook the period to end-2021 which marks another important transition for financial services businesses and customers, namely the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). LIBOR is a series of interest reference rates used as a basis for calculating many interest rates for financial products. It is used everywhere, from business loans through to derivatives markets. It is likely to be discontinued in all its forms by the end of 2021 and lenders and borrowers will need to prepare for a world without it. LIBOR seeks to represent the rate at which banks lend to one another. However, in recent years the number of transactions which underpin the calculation of LIBOR has drastically reduced, raising questions about how representative it is. In the UK a cross- sector working group, the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates, has selected SONIA (the Sterling Overnight Index Average) as the replacement for many sterling products. While it can feel like acronym-central, it is important housebuilders consider the implications for them. During 2020, new products referencing LIBOR are likely to cease to be available. You may find an increasing number of available

products are linked to alternative rates, such as SONIA. Lenders may contact you to discuss what this will mean for your borrowing arrangements if they are linked to LIBOR and end beyond 2021. LIBOR is not used in all lending agreements, for instance your loan might be a fixed rate or linked to the Bank of England base rate in which case no changes will be required. Within the construction sector, LIBOR may also be used within finance documents as the rate of interest applicable in an event of late payment, or other contractual relationships. While the industry and regulators have sought to minimise the impact on customers of transitioning from one rate to another, changing rates may have some implications for the calculation of rates in contracts and repayments at the end of each interest period. For businesses, it is important to be aware of where these changes affect you. It is sensible to start by making an inventory of LIBOR exposures, particularly any outside lending agreements, analysing and assessing the changes. If you are exposed to LIBOR, you may want to

consult your finance provider to discuss the impact of these changes and to review the pros and cons of other rates (SONIA is only one option of several). You may also wish to review other commercial contracts to identify if LIBOR is referenced (for instance late payment clauses, intercompany agreements etc) and consider what changes you may need to make if LIBOR is not available. The pace of the transition is likely to step up significantly in 2020. In mid- January, financial services supervisors in the UK called on financial services firms to accelerate the LIBOR transition. This will make 2020 a key year for the transition and it is worth preparing before you are approached by finance providers. UK Finance’s Guide to the Discontinuation of LIBOR is a useful place to start as you speak to your finance providers and advisors. Visit ukfinance.org.uk

This article is a guest contribution by Daniel Cichocki, Director, UK Finance.

21

Master Builder

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12 YEARS IN CONSTRUCTION.

600 BRICKS LAID A DAY.

3 TONS OF MORTAR MIXED IN A WEEK.

12 FREEZING WINTERS.

1 CUT-OFF MACHINE.

STIHL LIFE. ƒ

Tom Massey, Construction Worker, with the STIHL TS 480i

AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL STIHL DEALER. STIHL.CO.UK

BUSINESS SUPPORT ENERGY RATINGS

E nergy ratings have never been more important. A new wave of environmentally conscious homeowners are hitting the market who have a greater awareness of their carbon footprint and the energy performance of their homes. Homeowners are also more aware of how investment in high- quality products can help to save money on energy bills. This is why an independent ratings body such as the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC), and its energy ratings labels on windows and doors, have become an essential part of conversations with homeowners. that all newly installed windows must meet the requirements of a C rating. However, it’s only when a window has an A rating that it means the homeowner won’t lose energy (i.e. they only lose as much heat as they let in from the outside) and can save money on their energy bills. The rating is calculated using a formula that takes into account the window product’s overall thermal efficiency, air leakage and solar gain − how much heat from the sun passes through the window. Energy ratings allow you to compare potential savings and are modelled on a computer- based simulation, which is incredibly accurate. It is therefore As a builder, if you use the BFRC rainbow labels, you can prove the performance of the products thanks to independently verified ratings. If you’re buying your products from a BFRC approved manufacturer you can also piggy-back off their licence and have your company logo on the labels themselves. What do the ratings mean? Current building regulations require correct to say the higher the rating, the higher the saving.

What to look for

Windows and doors with an energy rating of 0 or higher (A to A++) are considered to be energy positive. Highlight to homeowners that only when a window is ‘A-rated’ or higher does it become energy neutral. BFRC assesses the performance of windows and doors and gives them a rating between A++ and E. Genuine BFRC-rated products are labelled with a small sticker on the inside of the frame and often a large rainbow label on the surface of the window or door − clear, visible proof it will perform as promised. Visit brfc.org to see a list of approved suppliers. When buying from them you can guarantee to homeowners that the products you’re fitting have been independently tested. Use an online calculator to check how much energy, carbon and money your clients can save on bills and share this with them: myglazing.com/ ggf-energy-savings-calculator

ENERGY RATINGS: WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL Energy efficiency in a home is invisible, so if homeowners can’t see the performance of their windows and doors why would you take the time to talk about it?

Questions from homeowners about energy performance are set to increase so it is essential for the construction industry to buy in to providing high-quality products that will perform for years to come. This article is a guest contribution by the Glass and Glazing Federation. Builders should ensure they have the appropriate professional indemnity insurance when offering guidance or advice to clients. Speak to FMB Insurance to find out more: fmbinsurance.co.uk

23

Master Builder

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FEATURE DRONES

W hile there are countless benefits to using drones on site, there are also some considerations that need to be made. Three FMB members talk about their experiences. Drones are increasingly being used in the construction sector for a host of reasons, frommonitoring safety to marketing, but how do you get started? EYEIN THESKY Three Pines Building Company Three Pines Building Company Ltd in Wolverhampton has been using drones on site for approximately two years to capture sites before, during

Bishops Percy new-build

A development of 16 homes, ranging from three bedrooms to a five-bedroom property with four bathrooms, have been built on this nine-acre site, which was previously occupied by a derelict battery farm, workshop unit and various other buildings. FORMER FARM, SEISDON

SCHOOL ROAD DEVELOPMENT

This project on the site of a former school comprises 12, two to four-bedroom new-build houses and five renovated two-bedroom town houses. The scheme implements modern building methods and utilises energy saving components such as solar panels, where possible, while remaining sympathetic to the original building and retaining the original school bell tower.

and site logistics,” explained Sian Haughton, HR and Marketing Manager. “We mainly use drones to produce promotional material where we upload the media footage and digital photographs to our website and social media platforms to showcase the works carried out. By using drones for advertising and marketing purposes it allows you to see the project from a completely different angle.” Three Pines Building Company uses an external company to operate the drones and Sian recommends doing your homework before introducing drones onsite.

and after builds, to showcase the development from an aerial view.

“There are multiple uses for drones in construction, from site survey inspections to progress reports

BISHOPS PERCY NEW- BUILD, BRIDGENORTH While work continued on the main building at Bishop Percy’s House in Bridgenorth, the demolition of the former Bridgenorth Boy’s Club started to make way for two new- build properties. During this project careful consideration had to be given to the local community and surrounding area.

“Our top tip for anyone looking at implementing drones into their business

would be to do your research,” she said.

“Find out exactly what you want to gain from introducing drones on sites and research the effective ways to go about this whether it is using external professional companies or doing it in-house.”

School Road development

24 Master Builder

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