The Royal Liver Building to pay respects to fallen heroes with commemorative light display

Liverpool’s most recognisable building, The Royal Liver Building, will pay tribute to the Armed Forces, veterans and allies through a specially commissioned commemorative light display.

Following on from the inaugural light show, Flight, which launched this year’s River of Light festival, the Remembrance Day display at the 108 year old building will be a tailored light show that will illuminate the exterior of Liverpool’s globally recognised landmark.

The display will allow people to pay their respects every hour between 6pm and 9pm on both Sunday 10 and Monday 11 November.

The display has been organised by real estate consultancy practice CBRE and designed by engineering and consultancy firm, Arup. Prior to creating the story, Arup’s lighting design team brainstormed what Remembrance Day means to them. The team then used these ideas to develop a series of scenes depicted with light during the five minute tribute. Starting with the poppies in Flanders Fields and honouring the graves, recognising the Armed Forces and then the sun setting on the day, the display will be a memorable and fitting tribute to past and present armed forces.

Lauren Blow, Senior Lighting Designer at Arup said:

“The Remembrance Day light display is a tribute to all those who have lost their lives in the line of duty and is designed to be calm and respectful, with slower fades and transitions of light. It extends the Remembrance Day tributes into the evening, using the fabric of the Royal Liver Building as a canvas – a building which was once connected to the war efforts, having housed HMS Eaglet.”

Ian Edwards, Senior Building Manager at the Royal Liver Building, commented:
“There is a deep-rooted connection between the Royal Liver Building’s history and Remembrance Day. Many previous Royal Liver employees, who worked for the company for many years, return to the Royal Liver Building each year to host a small ceremony to honour previous workers who lost their lives during the wars. We are proud to offer people a place to pay their respects to loved ones.”

For more details about the Royal Liver Building’s Remembrance Day tribute please visit

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What is powder coating?

First developed in the 1960s, Powder Coating has become an increasingly popular alternative to liquid paint, and now makes up over 15% of the industrial finishing market. Versatile in its applications, long-lasting and durable; powder coating is an ideal metal finishing method well suited to a diverse range of projects and industries.

But what exactly is powder coating, and what is it that makes it so desirable?

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coatings can be thought of as being like paint, but minus the solvent. They are made up of a polymer resign, such as epoxy or polyester, combined with curatives, levelling agents, pigments and other additives. These ingredients are melt mixed, cooled and ground into a homogenous powder.

The powder coating process is generally broken down into three stages:

• Preparation & Pre-Treatment

• Application of the Powder Coating

• The Powder Coating is then cured under heat

Typically used to finish metals, the coating is usually applied as a free-flowing dried powder using a spray gun. This particular method applies an electrostatic charge to the powder which causes the particles to be attracted to the ground substrate prepared in the pre-treatment process. Once the powder has been applied, the coated parts are then cured in an oven, wherein the temperature causes a chemical reaction that produces long molecular chains of high cross-link density. In addition to metal substrates, powder coatings can also be used on a range of non-metallic surfaces such as plastic.

What are the benefits of Powder Coating?

From items you use every day to heavy-duty industrial machinery; powder coatings are used to provide an attractive and durable finish for all kinds of products across a range of industries. There are several benefits to this finishing process that make it superior to traditional liquid paint in many applications.

From a functional standpoint; powder coatings offer a greater level of durability. Powder-coated surfaces provide significant resistance to everyday wear and tear. Unlike liquid paints that are delivered using an evaporating solvent; they can be applied in thicker coats without sagging, dripping or running. For industries such as construction, automotive, electrical engineering and agriculture; this reduces the need to replace equipment as powder coating can last for decades, ultimately saving businesses money over time.

In addition to its durability, powder coatings are more Eco-friendly than traditional paint finishes. Because this method does not require the use of solvents, they offer less of a carbon footprint. The process of powder coating also cuts down on the amount of waste, not only that but in many cases – it can even be recycled. This reduction of the wasted product presents significant cost savings, not only because less product goes further, but also it reduces the burden on companies to dispose of volatile organic compounds and remains compliant with industry regulations.

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It is well documented that the construction industry faces the continual challenge of a skills’ shortage, with an ageing workforce and shrinking talent pool.

According to the Federation of Master Builders, 22 per cent of the current construction workforce is over 50 and 15 per cent are in their 60s. At the same time, the industry is also losing younger workers to competing sectors where work is perceived as more stable or appealing and pay is more competitive.

This is why SITECH, the UK’s premier Trimble construction technology provider is supporting Plantforce, leading supplier of plant hire machinery, to deliver new technology-focused, training courses designed to tackle the skills’ issue head on.

The new site-ready operator training packages will serve a dual purpose. First, helping to upskill existing construction workers to operate machines on a digitally enabled, high performing construction site thereby retaining valuable skills within the industry and second; training the next generation of employees on modern machine control in order to attract much needed talent into the sector.

The new courses are the first of their kind in the UK and will be delivered at Weston College’s Construction Training Centre in Weston-Super-Mare, with a view to expanding the training to other colleges across the country as demand increases.

Alongside Plantforce’s significant investment in technology for use by students, the courses will provide access to the latest Trimble technology, with SITECH offering expertise on how to utilise machines to their full capability.

Steve Breen, General Manager at SITECH said,

“It’s encouraging to note that 60 per cent of employers in the construction sector already have some kind of skills’ development system in place, with 71 per cent of businesses recognising that technology plays a role in attracting talent.[1]

“At SITECH, we want to take this further and believe the key to developing talent is to ensure that employees are equipped with the latest digital skillsets that are so sought after across the industry. These skillsets are now a key requirement for many Tier one contractors delivering services to some of the country’s major infrastructure projects, where machine control and ‘dig to design’ technologies are now an expectation – helping to drive health and safety standards and improve productivity and profitability.”

Dale Hawkins, Marketing Manager from Plantforce added:

“Ensuring operators are ‘site-ready’ and have the necessary skills and competencies for Tier one projects requires different skillsets than much of the standard training available on the market can deliver. Rather than taking a basic excavator course and earning a beginner’s licence, our exclusive five-day training package provides the operator with experience of the latest technology, a practical test and simulator profiling alongside a medical examination. This provide customers with peace of mind that their operators are fully conversant with the latest practices.”

Simon Werkshagen, Head of Commercial Construction Training and Logistics Centre at Weston College concluded:

“Weston College is rated Ofsted Outstanding, plus offers a quality training environment; delivering group sessions through to individual upskilling. This unique partnership with Plantforce and SITECH, enables us to offer simulated training after the basic course; bridging the gap that currently exists, by creating a virtual construction site and teaching people how to use the various pieces of technology that are required for higher level contracts.”.

To watch how the training centre helps reduce the skills gap, follow the link

The Centre also offers apprenticeships and other construction and logistic training programmes. To enquire about our training offer or for more information please go to, email or call 01275 465555.

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ENGIE secures£90m long-term carbon and cost savings deal with Edinburgh St James

  • £1 billion mixed use development

ENGIE, leading energy and services specialist, has partnered with Edinburgh St James, the 1.7 million sq ft development, to develop and operate a new low carbon decentralised energy scheme, worth £90m.

The 33 year partnership will develop and operate a new low carbon energy scheme at Edinburgh St James, which will:

  • Offer substantial savings in terms of capital and operational expenditure;
  • Save occupiers the costs of onsite plant provision;
  • Serve all homes and businesses at the site with affordable heat and chilled water for cooling (where needed)
  • Ensure cost-savings and a low carbon footprint
  • Encourage sustainability and recycling throughout the site, by using electricity generated from the Energy Centre to supply power elsewhere.

By using a low carbon and cost-effective energy solution through the onsite Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) energy centre, ENGIE, who is committed to long-term consumer cost-savings, will meet all residents and occupiers energy needs, right on their doorstep.

CCHP typically has an energy efficiency of over 80 per cent compared with 56 per cent for a more conventional system. In addition, allowance has been made for expansion of the service into even more sustainable technologies as they are developed.

The new energy centre is a part of the Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) agreement between Edinburgh St James, the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council. The funding from this innovative partnership is helping to regenerate the capital’s east end, with ENGIE’s recent deal the latest in a series of projects that have already benefitted the local community and city as a whole.

ENGIE has been working closely with Edinburgh St James since 2016 when it was appointed preferred bidder, to agree future sustainable energy proposals for the site. Under the terms of the new partnership, ENGIE will design and fit out a basement energy centre and adopt the district heating and cooling network from Edinburgh St James and provide ongoing operation and maintenance, including lifecycle responsibility for the scheme.

Andrew Hart, Managing Director for ENGIE’s Urban Energy business, said: “This hugely significant project will be transformational for the city of Edinburgh. We have been involved in conversations surrounding the future of the scheme for several years so it’s fantastic to have agreed our part in bringing it to fruition.

“Too often, energy is an after-thought when it can bring remarkable benefits to a scheme of this size. The fantastic thing about Edinburgh St James is that they saw very early on, how important a factor this would play in the successful delivery of the scheme. It will also play a role in supporting City of Edinburgh’s target of net zero carbon by 2030.

“We have several similar schemes across the country and our unparalleled expertise in district energy, coupled with our capabilities in construction and services, means we are ideally placed to deliver this important project.”

Martin Perry, Director of Development at Edinburgh St James, said: “It became clear from the outset that ENGIE’s commitment to cost-savings in a low carbon environment aligned with ours, CEC and the Scottish Governments aspirations for our existing and future partners, residents and occupiers within the development.

“This deal marks another milestone on the road to completing this transformational project for Edinburgh. To have been fortunate enough to agree a partner of the quality of ENGIE takes us another step closer to the project completion and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with one of the very best energy centre operators in Europe.”

Cllr Kate Campbell, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

“We have set an ambitious target of net zero carbon by 2030, so it’s very welcome that the Edinburgh St James development has plans for a low carbon, energy efficient scheme. The energy centre, which will be delivered as part of the infrastructure agreement with the council, will provide homes and businesses at the site with affordable heat and encourage sustainability by generating power to be used elsewhere”

ENGIE is anticipated to complete the centre in late 2019. The retail element of Edinburgh St James is set to open in October 2020.

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The Stig helps shift GAI awards into top gear

Former Top Gear Stig, Ben Collins, has been announced as this year’s guest speaker at the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) Education Awards.

Ben will join the awards, which?recognise the outstanding educational achievements of the door hardware industry, at the?Royal Lancaster?hotel in London on 7 November.

Ben started his motorsport career in 1994, competing in Formula First, Formula Vauxhall Junior and International Formula 3. He is best known as The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear, but throughout his career he has also been a television presenter, author, stunt driver and World Record holder.

The?GAI?Education Awards?include?Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for the top students in the GAI Diploma, as well as the Pinnacle Award, sponsored by?Eurobond Doors,?for?the student with the best aggregate results over the three years of the Diploma programme.?

The GAI Diploma?is designed to?give students?a high level of?product knowledge and?the ability to write?accurate hardware specifications and quotations.?The qualification?is particularly suited to those in customer facing roles, contract management, scheduling and estimating, and sales.?

GAI president, Julian Newman, said:

“Scrutiny of the skills and competence of everyone in the building industry has never been higher, and each part of the supply chain needs to prove its worth. The GAI Diploma makes this possible in our sector – it is the only recognised architectural ironmongery qualification to British and European standards in the world.

“As we celebrate the fantastic achievements of this cohort of students, it’s important to reflect on how far the education programme has come and to recognise the hard work of our members and committees that have shaped the course to ensure it is always relevant to today’s ironmongery professionals.”

The Guild’s education programme has?been running for?more than?50 years, training future generations of architectural ironmongers to British and European standards.??

This year’s?GAI Education Awards?is?sponsored by?ASSA ABLOY opening solutions.

To book your tickets to the 2019 GAI Education?Awards, visit the GAI website.

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International conference looks to the future in building preservation

A national trade body conference, which provides insight into the latest thinking and technology in the preservation and protection of buildings across the UK, has unveiled its agenda for this year’s event.

The 2019 Property Care Association International Building Preservation Conference takes place at The Slate, University of Warwick, on Thursday, November 21.

Speakers will include Lady Renee-Marie Young, of the National Landlords Association, as well as representatives from Nationwide and Historic England.

The full list of speakers and booking details can be found at:

James Berry, PCA’s Technical Manager said: “Over the years, the conference has built up a reputation as a key event for anyone looking at how to tackle moisture issues in buildings.

May 12th 2016: PCA Conference & Gala Dinner

“With challenges including a greater airtightness in buildings to meet environmental performance requirements, fuel poverty and a changing climate, the issue is becoming more and more significant in both the public and private sector.

“The format for the conference is a series of expert speakers and Q and A sessions.

“The day is designed to create engagement between speakers and delegates, all with the common goal of finding new and innovative ways to adapt to the challenges we face.

“Damp, uncomfortable homes take their toll on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in them and can really impact on a person’s quality of life.

“Such conditions can also lead to costly defects in a building’s structure and fabric.

“The PCA International Building Preservation Conference sets out how new technologies and advances, coupled with time-proven expertise and knowledge, can be drawn upon to address the issue.”

For the first-time in the Association’s conference history, the preservation event will run concurrently with the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Conference, at The Slate.

More details on the agenda for that can be found at

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