NIBuilder 32-1

Vol 32 No 1 - 2021

SouthernRegional College OHMGdelivers amaster class for Banbridge campus

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THE OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR - CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS FEDERATION

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NI BUILDER

Inside this issue...

Issue 32-1 - February/March 2021

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34

46

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NI BUILDER IS THE OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR - CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS FEDERATION FOR THEIR LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES - SEE PAGES 11-15

News &Views 4 VAT reverse charges

Products 8 Ronseal

In Focus 18 Hinch Distillery

Read the low-down on the new VAT domestic reverse charge for construction that comes into play on March 1

McCorley Mechanical and Electrical deliveries a bespoke installation for brand new Hinch Distillery

New products, improved formulas and an extended colour palette: Ronseal relaunches ultimate range to help ‘do decking right’

20 Southern Regional College, Banbridge

11 CEF The Voice

30 OKTOair

Latest updates from the Construction Employers Federation including findings from the CEF State of Trade Survey

College project gets top marks for contractor/client and sub-contractor co-ordination

OKTO Technologies unveils its newWellness Division, OKTOair, offering a suite of innovative AI solutions.

46 Written in Stone

54 New Chair for CIOB

We chat to self-taught stonemason Emmet McGirr about what inspired him to take up the hammer and chisel and how masonry has changed in recent years

34 Focus on exteriors

Newly appointed Chair of the CIOB Belfast Hub committee, Roger Gillespie, sets out his ambitions for his two-year term of office

NI Builder profiles some of the leading names in the world of Exteriors.

CONTACT US: The Forge, 13b Lisburn Road, Moira, Co. Armagh, BT67 0JR T: Moira: 028 9261 2990 T: Dublin: 01 696 8319 E: northernbuilder@kmpltd.co.uk www.northernbuilder.co.uk

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THE TEAM: Managing Director Karen McAvoy Editor Heather Campbell Sales Manager Karen Jess Production Manager Julie Anne Guiney Digital Creative Manager Jo Wilson Digital Content Editor Cathal Delea Photography Gordon McAvoy Printed by W&G Baird

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With reference to the Misdescriptions Act, please note that the measurements and artist’s impressions within are for illustrative purposes only and may not be accurate. Reproduction of whole or in part of this publication, without prior permission from Karen McAvoy Publishing Ltd, is strictly prohibited.

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BUSINESS ADVICE

KEIR THOMAS-BRYANT, SAGE’S DEDICATED SMALL BUSINESSES EXPERT, GIVES THE LOW-DOWN ON THE NEW VAT DOMESTIC REVERSE CHARGE FOR CONSTRUCTION…

VAT CHARGE GOES INTO REVERSE

2. What VAT rates does the VAT reverse charge for construction services apply to? It applies to both standard and reduced-rate VAT supplies. It doesn’t apply to zero-rated supplies. 3. Why is the VAT reverse charge for construction services being introduced? HMRC says it will combat fraud, whereby construction businesses charge VAT for the services they supply but then disappear without paying their VAT bill. 4. Who does the VAT reverse charge for construction services apply to? It applies only to VAT-registered businesses who are supplying/ receiving services that are reported under CIS. In other words, it applies to

As of March 1, 2021, those working in the UK’s construction industry might have to handle and pay VAT in a different way following the introduction of the new VAT reverse charge system. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. 1. What is the VAT domestic reverse charge for construction services? The VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services, to give it its full title, is a change in how VAT is handled for certain kinds of construction services in the UK, along with the building and construction materials used directly in those services. In simple terms, for services they provide affected by the reverse charge, sub-contractors will require the contractor employing them to handle and pay the VAT directly to HMRC.

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BUSINESS ADVICE

“For services they provide affectedby the reverse charge, sub-contractorswill require the contractor employing themto handle andpay theVATdirectly toHMRC.”

works forming, or to form, part of the land, including (in particular) walls, roadworks, power lines, electronic communications apparatus, aircraft runways, docks and harbours, railways, inland waterways, pipelines, reservoirs, water mains, wells, sewers, industrial plant and installations for purposes of land drainage, coast protection or defence • Installation in any building or structure of systems of heating, lighting, air conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection • Internal cleaning of buildings and structures, so far as carried out in the course of their construction, alteration, repair, extension or restoration • Painting or decorating the internal or external surfaces of any building or structure Remember that the reverse charge applies to the services listed above plus any construction materials used directly for those services. This is different to the CIS scheme, which does not cover materials. 6. I’m a sub-contractor. What does the VAT reverse charge for construction services mean for my business? In theory, it means very little because when you issue your VAT invoice you will merely be passing on the VAT charge that you would have had to account for in any event. You will, however, need to expect a change to the way you reconcile customer’s payments against invoices issued, as any VAT registered customers will be withholding the VAT element for

any CIS related supplies. You’ll need a different kind of invoice. It might also affect your cash flow because the VAT you previously held before passing it monthly/quarterly to HMRC as a payment will no longer be available for any uses you might have put it to. 7. I’m a contractor. What does the VAT reverse charge for construction services mean for my business? If you’re a contractor (i.e. purchase CIS regulated construction services) then, in theory, it means you need to ensure that when you receive reverse charge VAT invoices you correctly account for them. You’ll need to pay any VAT due directly to HMRC as part of your normal VAT settlement process instead of paying the VAT on CIS related supplies to your supplier. This may require an update to your accounting software if you do not use cloud software. You may gain a cash flow benefit because the VAT you previously had to pay when paying sub-contractors, but could not reclaim until your next VAT return, is simply netted off in your VAT return. There should be no net impact on your overall VAT bill. You will need to complete your VAT Return differently.

services supplied between the majority of construction sub-contractors and contractors in the UK. 5. What construction services does the VAT reverse charge apply to? According to HMRC, the reverse charge applies to the following: • Construction, alteration, repair, extension, demolition or dismantling of buildings or structures (whether permanent or not), including offshore installations

• Construction, alteration, repair, extension or demolition of any

“If you’re a contractor (i.e. purchaseCIS regulated construction services) then, in theory, it means you need to ensure that when you receive

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an abridged version of a blog post kindly supplied to us from Sage Advice. To read in full, visit: http://1sa.ge/34fm50DDsW3

reverse chargeVAT invoices you correctly account for them.”

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NEWS

RADIUSGROW DEVELOPMENT

Leading housing developer Radius Housing has appointed two RICS chartered surveyors to their development team as part of their drive to build more social and affordable homes across Northern Ireland and help stimulate the economy as we begin the Covid-19 recovery. The new appointments, Charlotte Sythes and Andrew Lennon, will join the company’s development directorate, and bring a wealth of professional experience from projects across the UK. Speaking about the new appointments, Anita Conway, Director of Development at Radius Housing said, “We are delighted that Charlotte and Andrew are joining our dedicated team at Radius, as we expand to meet our ambitious targets for construction of new social and affordable homes. The professional experience they both bring will complement and enhance the diverse skill set of our team, and will help us as we look towards new development opportunities and aim to ensure even more high quality housing is delivered across Northern Ireland. www.radiushousing.org TEAMTOBUILDON HOUSINGAMBITION

Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director of Gilbert-Ash, at Merchant Square

GILBERT-ASHSTARTSFITOUTFOR LANDMARKMERCHANTSQUARE

Gilbert-Ash has begun work on a ground-breaking office project which will accommodate up to 3,000 employees at the former Oyster and Royston buildings, in the heart of Belfast’s business district and adjacent to the City Hall. The award-winning company was appointed as fit-out contractor at Merchant Square, which will see the creation of 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over nine floors, exclusively let by PwC. The office space is set to be one of the most advanced digital spaces in the city. Gilbert-Ash Managing Director Ray

Hutchinson said the company is delighted to be working on one of the most prestigious projects to be undertaken in Belfast in recent years. He said, “It is always great to be working on a landmark building in our home city of Belfast, but this is extra special as Merchant Square really will be a leader on the international stage. We have been working with excellent local partners to bring this stand out fit-out project to life, with advanced logistical planning and management during what has been a challenging year for many industries, including construction.”

WHENARTIFICIAL ISTHENATURALCHOICE

Belfast-based Laydex

inflatable swimming pools and goal posts has played havoc with the condition of natural lawns.

are a leading supplier of artificial grasses in Northern Ireland supplying high quality lawns made from the finest fibres available in a range of sizes and thicknesses. Artificial grass, also known as astroturf, or synthetic grass is ideal for today’s environment and busy lifestyles. Requiring little weeding or maintenance they

Which is why Laydex’ child-friendly artificial

grass ranges are becoming more popular. With a life expectancy of 15 years and UV colour stabilised to prevent discolour or fade in natural sunlight, artificial is the natural choice to get that pristine lawn look all year round. Artificial lawns also work

Before

Charlotte Sythes, Development Manager, Radius Housing

After

have become a viable solution thanks to our adverse weather conditions. Throughout lockdown, the family garden has been a safe play haven for children. However, the presence of trampolines, adventure climbing frames, swings,

well in areas that are limited in space or difficult to access such as roof areas, terraces, balconies and city gardens and have many other commercial applications. To find out more, call: +44 (0)28 9038 2223 or email: sales@laydex.com

Andrew Len- non, Develop- ment Officer, Radius Housing

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PRODUCT NEWS

NEW PRODUCTS, IMPROVED FORMULAS AND AN EXTENDED COLOUR PALETTE: RONSEAL RELAUNCHES ULTIMATE RANGE TO HELP ‘DO DECKING RIGHT’...

Ronseal does it right withUltimate Decking relaunch

They’ve been at the forefront of decking care for decades, and now Ronseal is offering its most extensive range yet to help customers ‘do decking right’ in 2021 and beyond. The DIY giant has just announced the relaunch of the Ultimate Decking range - including amazing colour choices, improved formulas and brand new products. Available throughout Ireland, it includes everything customers and tradesmen need to keep decking looking great and protected from the elements. Ronseal’s new Ultimate Protection Decking Paint offers brilliant performance and coverage, so can be used on new and old decks. Available in 13 colours, including new Sage, Willow and Blackcurrant shades, it’s a workhorse for anyone looking to make outdoor space ‘summer ready’. The strengthened formulation can be used on old and new wood and after two coats, will lock down splinters and fill cracks. The launch is supported by How To Guides. Including hints, tips and step-by-step videos, they make application easier than ever. Jane Ryder, Ronseal’s European Marketing Director said, “We have a proud history of providing the best specialist decking products - developing a range that helps householders show their outdoor spaces the love they deserve. “We’re delighted to be extending the range to include even better performing products and great colours.”

Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Paint in charcoal

Ronseal Decking Rescue Paint in Warm Stone

Ronseal Ultimate Protection Deck- ing Oil in Natural Oak

Ronseal launches Direct toMetal Paint

Finding products that are easy to use and offer long-lasting protection against rust and the elements can be a challenge but Ronseal’s new Direct to Metal Paint does just that. Water-based and easy to use - even without primer - it can be applied to a massive range of surfaces, including those affected by rust.Ronseal is expanding its popular Performance Paint range to launch the Direct to Metal Paint this Spring. Offering 15 years of protection, it can be used directly on aluminium, cast iron, galvanised/stainless steel, bare metal, wood and PVC. Customers in ROI may have used the product before, when it was sold as the popular Triflow Total Metal care. Now its improved formulation sees it join the Ronseal family, alongside the Performance Paint range. The versatile colour palette includes gloss, satin and matt finishes. Touch-dry/showerproof in 30 minutes, it’s low-odour, water-based and has a re-coat time of 2 - 4 hours. Sold in 250ml, 750ml and 2.5L, it’s perfect for any job.

Direct to Metal Paint – perfect for outdoor metal furniture.

For more details contact your local TSM or orders@ronseal.ie

NEWS

Research from Northern Ireland’s largest insurance comparison website shows jobs in the trade industry have increased throughout the pandemic by 63%, with the top two revealed as joiner / carpenter and builder. The data from CompareNI. com compiled the top ten list of trade occupations for 2020 and compared them to the 12 months previous. Number one on that list was carpenter /joiner with a 66.6% increase followed by builder / bricklayer at 57.7% increase. Handyman moved up from 8th to 5th position and was the biggest overall change with a 123% increase from 2019. Followed by painter / decorator with a 122.7% increase - the only new entry to the table, in at number 10. Responding to the data, CompareNI. com Founder Greg Wilson DEMANDFOR TRADESPEOPLE JUMPS63%DURING PANDEMIC

GRAHAMCOMPLETES£15MVICTORIA TERMINAL 2 FORBELFASTHARBOUR

GRAHAM has completed a £15m redevelopment of the Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2) ferry terminal ramp, which services the Belfast to Birkenhead route. The existing berth has been upgraded to handle the next generation of modern Roll- On / Roll-Off (RoRo) ferry vessels, Stena Line’s new E-Flexer series ships. The project involved the installation of a new double deck linkspan that allows vehicles to be loaded or discharged simultaneously over two decks of the ferry. This investment will allow Stena Line to increase capacity, reduce turnaround

times, improve customers’ experience and enhance connectivity to one of Northern Ireland’s key markets. GRAHAM’s project team also constructed new berthing infrastructure including dolphins, walkways and automatic mooring system, and a new approach

ramp to the linkspan upper deck. To increase the efficiency of piling

operations during the scheme, the project team designed and fabricated a hydraulic piling gate that was utilised on a floating crane barge on site, reducing the time taken to complete the piling works.

comments: “With the nation in renovation mode throughout

lockdown, it is not so surprising that demand for trade skills is spiking but it is great news for tradespeople and could even provide opportunities for those who have been made redundant recently.”

WEARABLESOCIALDISTANCEMONITOR FORSITEWORKERS

WorkSpace has just launched the WorkSafe Spacer – a ground-breaking device that helps keep worksite users safe by sounding the alarm when another wearer comes within the two metre Covid-19 safe distance. An innovative social distancing monitor, the lightweight, wearable Safe Spacer™ is helping businesses to reopen safely and create a

Covid-secure workplace. With a compact design, the WorkSafe Spacer, can be worn on a wristband, belt loop or lanyard and can adapt to any workplace, without compromising existing safety protocols. There’s a choice of visual, vibration or audio to suit any work environment or individual need and the device can also log contacts to provide fast contract tracing in the event of a reported exposure. The device uses cutting edge ultra- wideband radio-frequency technology to achieve precise distancing and is up to 10 times more accurate than traditional Bluetooth. For more information email: info@globalworksafe.co.uk or visit www.globalworksafe.co.uk

2020 - year of renovations.

The WorkSafe Spacer social distancing monitor.

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T H E V O I C E O F T H E I N D U S T R Y

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS FEDERATION UPDATES MEMBERS ON ONGOING ISSUES...

Work in progress

C onstruction

embracing new procedures to maintain supply chain across the Irish Sea.

now that the Brexit Transition period has ended. The CEF continues to work with other business organisations and the NI Executive to ensure that the Protocol operates as smoothly as possible. PLANNING REVIEW AND ENGAGEMENT PARTNERSHIP Department for Infrastructure are shortly to take forward a formal review of Northern Ireland’s planning system in the context of challenging factors such as timely responses from statutory consultees and ever lengthening pre- commencement conditions. As part of this, the CEF sits on a Ministerial panel considering changes to pre-application community consultation for major and regionally significant planning applications that is due to complete its work by the autumn.

Employers Federation represents the interests

not only of its members but those of roughly 65,000 skilled workers engaged within the wider construction sector. The following gives a flavour of the many strands of work ongoing by CEF: NI PROCUREMENT BOARD Two meetings in and this newly constituted Board is starting to gain traction in reforming public procurement. Early progress addressing CEF requests includes a review of existing guidance notes and commitment that policy will be implemented across all public sector consistently.

NI EXEC BUDGET The NI Executive draft Budget for 2021/22 shows an uplift in capital expenditure which will be crucial to many contractors as the sector begins to rebuild. In our engagement with Government, we are focusing on the urgent need for detailed spending breakdowns as well as, in the longer term, multi-year budgets to ensure greater efficiency and productivity in government spending. UK PUBLIC PROCUREMENT COMMON FRAMEWORK While most procurement rules remain the same across the UK after Brexit, under threshold procurement may possibly be restricted on a local authority basis in, particularly, England. This could cause issues for NI-based firms and we are highlighting this with CPD, the Department for the Economy and the NI Assembly’s Finance Committee. BREXIT - REMINDER ABOUT TSS It is crucial that any firm bringing goods in directly from GB be signed up to the Trader Support Service. This is the best means to ensure that any goods are delivered in a timely manner

CONSTRUCTION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

After attending a number of briefings on CLC’s progress on many fronts, CEF as part of the Senior Advisory Panel has been able to support, question and offer opinion on matters including zero carbon, Covid SOP, skills and Brexit.

NI WATER CEF continues to work closely with NI Water to identify engineering solutions that can be taken forward on some sites where significant capital upgrades to nearby WWTW remain some time off. New processes are in place to consider each new housing application individually and the industry is strongly encouraged to submit a pre- development enquiry to NI Water for a site as early as possible in the process.

BUILD UK CEF joined the Build UK in writing to the Treasury and supporting the social media #stopReverseVAT campaign. CEF also highlighted to fellow trade associations in GB the importance of understanding and

T: (028) 9087 7143 E: mail@cefni.co.uk www.cefni.co.uk

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C O N S T R U C T I O N E M P L O Y E R S F E D E R A T I O N T H E V O I C E O F T H E I N D U S T R Y

SAFETY REBOOT

#SafetyReboot

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1

CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES FROM ACROSS NORTHERN IRELAND TAKE PART IN SAFETY REBOOT INITIATIVE ON HEALTH AND SAFETY... Support for SafetyReboot

J anuary saw a huge number of construction companies from across Northern Ireland taking part in the Construction Employers Federation’s Safety Reboot initiative, which was aimed at encouraging members to take fifteen minutes each week throughout the month to stop work and engage with their employees on key areas of health and safety.

Jonathan Caughey, Federation Manager, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many companies get involved in the Safety Reboot initiative. It was evident from the great response on social media that lots of members used the resources provided by the CEF health & safety committee to discuss topics including working at height, mental health and slips, trips and falls. This was a brilliant way for Northern Irish construction companies to showcase how seriously they take health and safety. “By including sub-contractors when discussions took place on site, it significantly widened the reach of the initiative, so many companies and their employees have benefitted from a refresh on the critical areas that Safety Reboot covered. Construction companies have had to adapt so they can follow Standard Operating

Procedures to keep sites open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, so the start of the new year was a great time to refocus on the ‘bread and butter’ health and safety issues that companies have to manage daily.” Declan McLogan, Director of SHEQ at McAleer and Rushe and Chair of the CEF Health & Safety committee said: “I think we achieved the committee’s aim of getting companies discussing important areas of health and safety. Providing the resource packs online made it easy for companies to get involved and they will continue to be a valuable resource for CEF members. McAleer & Rushe rolled out the initiative on all our sites across the UK and the feedback was excellent. It’s important to engage staff in these discussions to make our sites safer places to work.”

Felix O’Hare

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Leading construction companies from across NI took part in the initiative, including Henry Brothers, Felix O’Hare & Co, Heron Bros, and LM Services NI.

The resources provided for the Safety Reboot initiative included question packs on eight different topics and discussion aids that could be used to help facilitate conversation between staff. The following feedback shared by an employee of Henry Brothers highlights how employees benefitted from being involved. “I took part in a CEF Safety Reboot discussion about mental health. It was reassuring that Henry Brothers recognises the importance of mental health and mental health awareness at work. Things playing on your mind can affect work and manifest itself in potentially harmful ways. It was good to be involved and useful to talk. The fact that someone is there to listen to us is something I’m very grateful for.” One important aspect of the initiative was that it ran throughout the month of January so gave companies a chance to get involved on multiple occasions. Aisling Sloan, IMS Advisor at Felix O’Hare, commented:

the importance of these to our workforce/supply chain while undertaking daily site activities. For each of the topics we held presentations and discussion sessions across FOH sites, as well as in our Workshop at Head Office. “Safety Reboot received very positive feedback from those taking part and provided an opportunity to refocus on health & safety topics as well as encouraging increased conversation and interaction.” The CEF would like to thank all of those who participated in the Safety Reboot initiative and remind members that resources will remain available on the CEF website for use at any time throughout the year.

JAN 2021 #SafetyReboot

Safety Reboot resources developed by the CEF Health & Safety Committee consist of questions and discussions aids on the following eight separate topics related to construction and health and safety: • Site Reinduction • Working at Height • Slip, Trips & Falls • Mobile Plant & Equipment • Mental Health • Occupational Health (Vibration, Noise & Dust) • Temporary Works • Fire Safety They can be accessed at https:// www.cefni.co.uk/news/safety- reboot-resources

T: (028) 9087 7143 E: mail@cefni.co.uk www.cefni.co.uk

“It’s important to engage staff in these discussions to make our sites safer places towork.”

“We were able to reflect on key aspects of health, safety and wellbeing and promote

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C O N S T R U C T I O N E M P L O Y E R S F E D E R A T I O N T H E V O I C E O F T H E I N D U S T R Y

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS FEDERATION RELEASE STATE OF TRADE SURVEY SHOWING THE IMPACT OF LAST SIX MONTHS OF 2020 ON NI CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY... CEFState of Trade Survey finds contractors facing into ‘perfect storm’

K ey findings from the Construction Employers Federation State of Trade Survey has shown a resilient sector in the second half of 2020 – but one with significant concerns about workloads, profit margins and supply chain delays. The survey, which was conducted in early January and covers the last six months of 2020, contained the responses of 80 Northern Ireland- headquartered construction firms with combined turnover of £1.5bn and reflected an industry that got back on its feet with the lifting of restrictions on its activity but which, at the start of 2021, looks into what may be the most uncertain future it has seen since the 2008 recession. Mark Spence, Managing Director of the CEF said of the survey: “The CEF is immensely proud of its members, their employees and

supply chains who did so much throughout 2020 to put in place the infrastructure that enabled our health and wider public services across these islands to meet the challenges of the pandemic head on. “Our survey very clearly shows that, with the easing of restrictions on construction activity in the second half of 2020, many firms were able to recover a large part of the turnover lost in the first half of 2020 and, crucially, do it in a Covid-secure manner. “However, what is equally apparent from the survey is that many contractors believe we are facing into a perfect storm. “With a subdued commercial market this year, and likely next, there will undoubtedly be more competition for public works. While this, in many ways, should be seen as a good thing – it must be acknowledged

that this is occurring at a time when a significant number of public sector works are being procured as ‘price only’. The absence of ‘quality’ with respect to tender scoring has the capacity to drive the market down to unsustainably low pricing. “The challenges are exacerbated by the early year impacts on materials supply and pricing. While well publicised issues on matters like steel imports will, likely, begin to resolve themselves on the supply side – where the price will settle is, at this stage, harder to gauge. That, alone, puts massive pressure on contractors now to price appropriately for both one off projects and, more alarmingly, longer term arrangements such as measured term contracts. “The draft Northern Ireland Executive Budget for 2021/22 that is currently out for consultation shows a growth in annual capital expenditure that is to

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C O N S T R U C T I O N E M P L O Y E R S F E D E R A T I O N T H E V O I C E O F T H E I N D U S T R Y

“Eight out of ten construction firms have experienced delays in their supply-chains as a result of either COVID-19or Brexit.”

be welcomed. To build confidence within the industry it is important that its detailed planning its speedily undertaken and published by Departments – and that Government Clients fully understand the multitude of pressures that contractors are currently facing. As we move into the new financial year, it will then be crucial that the Executive works with the industry to develop and embed a recovery strategy that seeks to incentivise the commercial sector to recommence investment. “We know from the experience of the 2008 recession that the construction industry always feels a lag in terms of the worst effects of an economic downturn. The warning signs are already there. It is incumbent on those that value the sector to ensure it doesn’t come to pass.” Commenting on the latest survey findings, Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, said: “Three key challenges evident in the latest CEF Survey concern demand, supply-side disruption and inflationary pressures. In turn, the interaction of these factors will put pressure on profitability. Indeed, the spectre of negative profit margins may become more widespread this

year like it was a decade ago. “Eight out of ten construction firms have experienced delays in their supply-chains as a result of either Covid-19 or Brexit. Supply- chain disruption is not just down to Brexit and Covid-19 as the global shipping industry is struggling to deliver what the world wants to buy during lockdown, impacting on manufacturers, consumers and the construction industry. “Resilience and patience are two qualities exemplified by the construction industry. And these virtues will be tested in the coming months. Indeed, local construction firms face a perfect storm of uncertainty as far as public procurement and tendering are concerned. Supply-chain disruptions alongside significant price rises

for construction related materials make it difficult, if not impossible, for firms to accurately price tenders on a profitable basis. Given that Northern Ireland’s public procurement tenders are awarded on ‘price only’ evaluations this presents risks to both firms’ profitability and the quality of the projects undertaken. A lack of sufficient workloads could lead to a race to the bottom on price. While this may appear desirable from a value for money perspective, it is not sustainable – nor in the interests of the local economy – to have an unprofitable construction sector.”

For more information on the Construction Employers Federation,

T: (028) 9087 7143 E: mail@cefni.co.uk visit: www.cefni.co.uk

Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank.

CEF Managing Director, Mark Spence.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

FMBcalls for NI retrofit strategy - now CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY STANDS READY TO PLAY ITS PART ON PATH TO NET ZERO...

W ith the Department of Economy releasing their latest report into energy efficiency, the need for a retrofit strategy here in NI has never been so urgent. However failed schemes such as RHI are still fresh in the memory and draining the Executive’s bank account. Sadly, it has tarnished the perception of any scheme that looks at improving the Energy Efficiency of our building stock. But a well-planned and delivered retrofit scheme has long-term health, social and economic benefits for NI. WHY IS THIS NEEDED? Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. If the UK Government and NI Executive are to deliver their targets of emissions reduction by 2030, and net zero by 2050, household emissions need to be addressed. NI has some 800,000 dwellings, the vast majority of which need improving by having retrofit work carried out. Retrofit should be carried out alongside all other improvements. When typical home improvement works are undertaken, these represent opportunities to trigger measures to help us along the path to net zero. The industry can deliver this strategy, but there are critical elements that can only be delivered by the Government. While industry can mobilise some of the capital that is needed, the Government must also invest to instil confidence in the sector. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INVESTING AND IMPLEMENTING A RETROFIT STRATEGY? Economic - The Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) sector would probably be the main deliverer of retrofit work. Retrofit has the potential to create new and higher skilled jobs in every region and community and boost existing firms. There would be a need to work with professional bodies in design and delivery that would ensure quality. This would have a huge positive impact for the economy and offer

a clear transparency for the funding. This speaks directly to the Executive’s jobs, and skills agendas. Social - For individual households, additional disposable income from lower energy bills, the health benefits from improved air quality, a more comfortable home and improved value of their major asset are all important factors. A staggering stat in recent research highlighted of the 31,100 excess winter deaths in 2012/13 – across the UK, 30 to 50% were due to cold homes! FMB calls for immediate, wise, long-term investment has deep social and financial value in savings for the NHS. Heating water for use in the kitchen and bathroom accounts for 10% of energy bills. The NI Executive has been challenged to reduce fuel poverty. Again, a retrofit strategy helps the public do this within their own homes. Environmental - Reduced carbon emissions from our homes will help create a low carbon-built environment and position the NI as a global leader in the low carbon economy. If the Executive are serious about making a real change to our Environment, industry stands ready to help them by working on the basic building block of society, the family home. HOWWILL RETROFIT BE IMPLEMENTED? We need to see a clear plan and process developed. Here in NI the existing workforce cannot deliver the ambitious programme that could transform both our building stock and the existing construction industry needs. So, with this in mind a scaling up approach is needed to meet the volume of work needed. There is a clear need for Departments such as Finance, Economy and Communities to have a joined-up approach in delivering this. The Construction Leadership Council, a composite advisory body representing each facet of the Construction Industry to Westminster Departments, recently proposed a scaling up programme period

from 2021 until 2040 in England, and their vision could well be applied to NI includes four distinct phases: • Phase 1 - underpin capability, including an endorsement by the Government of this strategy. • Phase 2 - a slower start focussing on the education of householders and the wider industry through a clear communications campaign as well as an intensive training programme for new entrants to the industry. Piloting and field trials would also be taking place. • Phase 3 – a ‘quick’ middle period based on a mature supply chain eco-system and strong customer protection. • Phase 4 - a ramp down of pace towards the end focussing on hard-to-treat properties, and a phased redeployment of resources to alternate sectors. Industry stands ready to play its part as a partner in this initiative. We look forward to seeing the Executive work alongside us as we safeguard our communities, homes and public buildings.

Federation of Master Builders, Unit 10, Kilbegs Business Centre, Plasketts Close, Antrim, BT41 4LY T: +44 (0)28 9446 0416 - E: fmbni@fmb.org.uk www.fmb.org.uk - www.findabuilder.co.uk

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PROJECT

HINCHDISTILLERY, BALLYNAHINCH

McCORLEY MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL CRANK UP THEIR MAJOR ELECTRICAL PROJECT DELIVERIES WITH A BESPOKE FULL-SCALE INSTALLATION FOR BRAND NEW HINCH DISTILLERY... McCORLEYS FIRE UP HINCH DISTILLERY

M cCorley Mechanical and Electrical’s recent project at the £15m Hinch Distillery, Ballynahinch showcase’s the outstanding quality of works carried out by the company’s expanding electrical division. The 30,000 sq ft, two-story building includes a large whiskey and gin distillery producing the Craft Hinch Irish Whiskey and Ninth Wave Gin brands. It also features an interactive visitor centre, coffee shop, retail area, outside courtyard space and multi-purpose events spaces. Previously known for their mechanical works, McCorleys added an electrical division in 2016. Under the guidance of their new Electrical Contracts Manager, Stephen O’Loughlin, the division is growing in size and scope. From maintenance to full electrical installations,

McCorleys are fully resourced to fulfill schemes large and small. The electrical works amounted to 75% of the Hinch Distillery scope carried out by McCorleys. Stephen said, “This was a highly bespoke job involving specialist process control, ATEX and LEL compliant equipment along with bespoke architectural lighting. As well as the full domestic installation of general power and lighting, low voltage switchgear, fire alarms, intruder alarm, CCTV, door access control and so on. “The biggest challenge was in the ATEX area that housed the stills. This was obviously a potentially explosive environment so precautions needed to be made. Suitably rated and protected electrical equipment were used throughout to prevent the possibility of ignition from a

“The electrical works amounted to 75%of theHinch Distillery scope carriedout byMcCorleys.”

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PROJECT

PROJECTNAME HINCHDISTILLERY, BALLYNAHINCH

installation nevertheless stood out for its installation of Calor BioLPG tanks. The first widely-available renewable gas for homes and businesses, Calor BioLPG was chosen in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and increase the distillery and visitor centre’s environmental performance. Unlike conventional LPG, which is a by-product of oil and gas exploration. BioLPG is made from recycled materials, including recycled waste and residue materials and sustainably-sourced renewable vegetable oils. This high-profile project is a serious feather in the cap for McCorley Mechanical and Electrical. It’s expected to become a major tourist attraction, able to accommodate more than 100,000 visitors a year. Trained guides will bring visitors on an interactive and informative journey that will include a history of Irish whiskey and its unique distilling process, tutored tasting sessions, a specific gin tour and the opportunity to produce and bottle their own gins. Commenting on the successful job, John McCorley, Director said, “It was a

spark, or other source of heat. “Also, the installation of internal lightning protection in addition to external protection was required to safeguard against potential explosive reactions.” A sophisticated process control system added to the complexities of the project, as did the building’s architecture. “There were a lot of architectural features that didn’t lend themselves to be serviceable, which meant onsite co-ordination was paramount,” said Stephen. “We met weekly and then fortnightly with the design team and closely collaborated with the main contractor, Corramore Construction, which helped build strong relationships between us. There was a lot of co-ordination and collaboration with Corramore who were great to work with. They implemented stringent Covid-19 measures and controls during the restrictions period which ensured the site was a safe environment to work in, with limited downtime due to these measures.” MECHANICAL The mechanical aspect of the project although smaller than the electrical

PROJECTTEAM... Client: Hinch Distillery Ltd Main Contractor: Corramore Construction Electrical Contract Manager: Stephen O’Loughlin (McCorley Mechanical and Electrical) Mechanical Contract Manager: John McCorley (McCorley Mechanical and Electrical) complicated project but well designed and thought-out by Semple McKillop pre-construction, which simplified the installation. We are delighted to include this prestigious project to our portfolio. It illustrates how far the capability of our relatively young electrical division has developed. From small to large schemes, we now have the resources to scale up or down to deliver world-class installations – both mechanical and electrical.”

Consultant Engineers: Semple McKillop

T: +44 (0)28 7965 0823 E: info@mccorley.me McCorley Mechanical & Electrical

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PROJECT

SOUTHERNREGIONALCOLLEGE, BANBRIDGE

COLLEGE PROJECT GETS TOP MARKS FOR CONTRACTOR/CLIENT AND SUB-CONTRACTOR CO-ORDINATION... A LESSON IN GOOD RELATIONS

O HMG (Holdings) Ltd delivered a state-of-the-art £15m campus for Southern Regional College to provide an outstanding centre of learning and innovation for the region’s student body. The new campus at Banbridge is a designated Centre for Multimedia and Digital Design. Built on the previous college site, the approx. 4,500 sqm facilities include a dedicated Learning Resource Centre and an innovation hub fitted out with the latest technology and educational resources. Divided into three phases, the project began with the construction of a temporary access and car park to facilitate the existing college staff and students before construction of the new campus began. At the end of phase 1, the existing college decanted into the new build and demolition of the old campus took place. Finally, external works and external landscaping on the demolished campus

CHALLENGES “Covid-19 was a major challenge,” said Nigel. “Unfortunately, in late March 2020, we had to temporarily close the site for six weeks. Before recommencing on site, we had to prepare site-specific Covid-19 risk assessments, provide an enhanced completion programme, site logistic and resource schedules to demonstrate and provide a safe working environment. These documents provided the client with the confidence to recommence site operations. Those systems were maintained until completion. With good cooperation OHMG were able to work alongside the client to decant the existing college early. “The client allowed us early access and possession of the existing college building for demolition. This allowed us to accelerate an element of the external works, so despite having lost six weeks, we actually handed over the scheme as a whole on the planned project completion date.”

created a new main car parking area. Nigel Spratt, Project Manager described the project as a great success. “From the outset, the early engagement and coordination with the client, the end user and design teams generated good relationships,” said Nigel. “They were engaged early in the design meetings and workshops, which helped build relationships and good lines of communication. “At first fix stage, we set out all teaching space floor boxes on a room-by- room basis to suit the room furniture arrangements, this avoided clashes and created a work environment tailored towards the staff and students. The attention to detail and co-ordination was something that the client really appreciated. We enabled early access for the client IT team and supply chain fit-out which helped us to achieve milestone dates throughout the commissioning programme.”

“In terms of engagement with the client and the end-user thiswas the best project I’ve been involvedwith.”

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PROJECT

SOUTHERNREGIONALCOLLEGE, BANBRIDGE

On spec...

Client: Southern Regional College, Banbridge PROJECTTEAM... Main Contractor: OHMG Architect: Todd Architects Project Manager: Nigel Spratt M+E Contractor: Harvey Group Bespoke extraction units were installed in the joinery workshop and the paint spray booth. The works include all internal and external lighting, emergency escape lighting, standby lighting and illuminated signage. The BMS has a full calendar year with programmable time schedule, which can be adjusted to cater for events and areas requiring ventilation and temperature control. The new build was constructed using a piled foundation and steel frame and precast concrete floor slabs, with a lightweight steel framing (SFS) to the external envelope with a brickwork outer leaf. A range of external finishes were incorporated including rendered blockwork and striking bronze-coloured rainscreen cladding and briese soleil. There are two atriums; one includes a 27m long velux roof light opening over three floors of the teaching. The entrance features full height curtain walling glazing, a full-height atrium and a metal work feature staircase. The heating demand for the building is met by the 3 No. gas fired boilers, located within the central boiler-house. Two separate pumped circuits heat the building - radiant panels, fan coil units, AHU heating coils, duct heater batteries and underfloor heating.

SUB CONTRACTORS “M&E was the most substantial package on the project with a highly detailed commissioning phase. Our M&E contractor Harvey Group took a pro-active approach delivering the scheme at all the co- ordinated milestone dates.” “What surprised us was the uptake of BIM software by many of our sub-contactors, and how well it worked on site. We used DALUX software - a BIM viewer field management software program - on this project. The design team uploaded all the federated models to the DALUX software, which allows the site management team to review the interfaces in detail when we’re onsite. “Many of the sub-contractors used the software following the training sessions which we arranged onsite. Trades such as dryliners and electricians would be reviewing the model on their phones and having discussions regarding the interfaces between their works. Our drylining sub-contractor even invested in a full-size iPad Pro because they seen the efficiencies with utilising the software.” “That was the first time I have ever seen the software being used to that extent from a sub-contractor perspective.”

SUCCESSES “In terms of engagement with the client this was the best project I’ve been involved with,” says Nigel. “It was open and honest throughout, great relationships were formed with the entire OHMG site team and sub-contractors.” Another success was the commissioning programme. “We ensured the client was involved at all of our commissioning meetings, so if there were any factors contributing to the function of the building post-handover, discussions and problem solving could occur at design and construction stage. The client really appreciated that close involvement.” The level of co-ordination with the client extended to problem-solving from the teaching staff themselves. As Nigel explains, “The College’s motion capture studio has a bespoke curved radius wall that acts as a green screen for filming. We needed to plaster that wall, which isn’t straightforward when it’s a curved radius. We spoke about that issue with the college technician and he created a bespoke trowel using the college machinery, which allowed the plasterer to work with the curve to establish a high quality finish.”

OHMG, Carnbane House, Shepherds Way, Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry, BT35 6EE T: +44 (0)28 3026 4662 - E: carnbanehouse@ohmg.com www.ohmg.com

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PROJECT

SOUTHERNREGIONALCOLLEGE, BANBRIDGE

CATERING EQUIPMENT

S tephens Catering Equipment (SCE) designed, manufactured and supplied all catering equipment for the SRC, Banbridge project. Headquartered in Broughshane, SCE is a leading commercial catering equipment supplier covering Ireland and the UK. They are committed to developing new products, systems and procedures with the

This followed on from us supplying all the catering facilities to the SRC Armagh Project the previous year.” The Banbridge facility is a self-service restaurant and the company designed, manufactured and

supplied all the equipment and fabrication including the extraction canopy, service counter, bespoke equipment and specialist stainless steel units. Commenting on the project, Ian said, “We have worked with OHMG many times over the years and are looking forward to continuing working with them in the incoming years.”

focus on energy-efficient equipment designed to make the end-user’s life easier and more profitable. Ian Manson, Sales Director for SCE said, “On this project, SCE were asked to design the catering facilities for the new SRC Banbridge Campus.

T: +44 (0)28 25 861711 E: info@stephens-catering.com www.stephenscateringequipment.com

STRUCTURAL STEELWORK F abricat Ireland Ltd fabricated and erected the structural steelwork and purlins for the new SRC campus in

Banbridge. Based in Pomeroy, Fabricat provides an in-house drafting facility, specialist CNC manufacturing equipment and a highly qualified and skilled workforce. By continuously investing in technological advances, Fabricat ensure they deliver the most precise fabrication in the shortest production time to offer their clients the most cost-effective solution. Their modern, highly efficient manufacturing facility also helps to reduce waste. Works undertaken include schools, hospitals, commercial and retail projects in Ireland and the UK. The SRC college campus is the latest in a long line of high profile projects carried out for main contractor OHMG. PJ Mc Gee, Director said, “We were delighted to be involved on such a stand out project once again with OHMG and look forward to continuing our long standing relationship with them in the future.”

“Fabricat ensure they deliver themost precise fabrication in the shortest production time to offer their clients the most cost-effective solution.”

T: (028) 8775 8948 E: enquiries@fabricatireland.com www.fabricatireland.com

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