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Ways the UK construction industry is adapting

The last few years have been difficult for many industries, but for the construction industry, it’s been particularly trying. Since the 2016 referendum, ongoing uncertainty within the sector has meant construction businesses have had to deal with the world’s hesitation to tie themselves into a British project of any kind.

Brexit isn’t the only challenge facing the construction industry. The effects of an aging workforce, the growing demand for more eco-friendly alternatives to traditional construction methods, and the introduction of many new technologies has meant that the sector must adapt rapidly.

2019’s challenges

Let’s look in more detail at these ongoing challenges for the industry this year. From profitability to sustainability, economic, social and political factors all play a part in the success of firms within this industry. Here is a selection of the major problems that the construction industry is fighting against in 2019:

Retirement and skill shortages

Last year saw the worst recorded level of skill shortages within the construction industry, and it’s only set to continue. From bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers, to electricians and plasterers; the scarcity of employees is reportedly across the board. An aging workforce means more retirement, which means the gap needs to be filled with new workers. But with less than one in 10 young people considering a job in construction, the sector needs to do more to entice the next generation of employee.

After all, the sector isn’t looking particularly appealing to foreign workers anymore, thanks to Brexit. In fact, a third of EU construction workers are said to be considering leaving the UK, further widening the skills shortage for the sector. On top of this, while skill shortage is a large enough issue, it is also having another detrimental effect on the industry — cost. Due to the lack of skilled tradespeople, wages are rising for jobs within the sector, which, along with a rise in material cost, is impacting on profitability for building companies.

Leaving the EU (and everything that comes with it)

The problem of uncertainty is rife when it comes to Brexit. While there is speculation regarding how the construction sector will fare after 29 March 2019 — the official leaving date — negotiations are ongoing, and we don’t yet know how taxes, imports and labour between the UK and EU will pan out.

But it’s not just labourers from the European Union that the sector stands to lose out on. According to government data, around 60% of imported building materials come from the EU. Combine this with a potential negative change in VAT and tax, and a loss of access to the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund — major investors in construction SMEs — and we could see higher product prices and less capital for the construction sector.

Worrying for the world

There’s also pressure on the construction sector to adapt to greener methods too. According to the World Economic Forum, the construction industry can account for up to 40% of the world’s carbon emissions. With a global drive to crackdown on carbon emissions, any sector that doesn’t assist with this initiative could run the risk of incurring sanctions and fines — another potential hit that could affect the construction industry’s profitability.

New technology

The construction industry also needs to keep up with all the latest technological advances in order to stay relevant on a global scale. From robotics to BIM — building information modelling — there’s a wave of new technologies and gadgets available to help make construction more efficient and profitable. However, this is only possible if building firms of all sizes are willing to get on board with a new way of working.

Ways the sector can adapt

The problem of labour shortages

First, the industry must address the matter of its workforce. The Chartered Institute of Building claims that the construction sector will need to secure 157,000 new recruits by 2021 if it wants to keep up with demand. One method of enhancing the construction workforce is perhaps to encourage more apprenticeships in the industry — and positively, apprenticeship starts are at a record high in the UK construction industry at the moment.

With skilled workers from the EU no longer as readily available, the sector needs to work on homegrown talent. If the industry wants to prosper down the line, it will need to keep encouraging young workers to take on apprenticeship programmes as soon as possible, whether this is via positive workplace initiatives, bonuses or a closer relationship with schools.

Imports

It’s impossible to predict the full impact of Brexit right now. However, it’s clear that material costs and the ease of employing the labour of EU nationals are the sector’s greatest concerns. To keep material costs down, building companies must keep a detailed inventory of what they have and what they need. Replacing can be more costly than simply repairing and vice versa, while not ‘shopping around’ for the best local prices can mean bargains are missed. Although we may not see a significant increase in charges and tax for EU imports, it may be worth sourcing UK- and none EU-based alternatives now to ease the pressure in 2019.

Keeping it green

Going green isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. The government is determined to lower carbon emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. So, the construction industry needs to be active in reducing its contribution to emissions if it wants to avoid potential financial penalties.

Highlighting the need to recycle in the sector will certainly help. Furthermore, many construction vehicles and equipment, such as work platforms, come with eco-friendlier hybrid motors or can be powered by batteries, while utilising solar energy panels, non-toxic paint, locally-grown timber, and low-energy lightbulbs during the construction process will all contribute to a greener industry.

Continuing to bring in new technology

The construction industry also needs to stay ahead of the technology game. Construction software that eases communication between different teams on a single building project is growing in use and popularity across the sector, as are BIM and augmented reality technologies which help project managers spot potentially costly issues before the physical construction. Similarly, robotic machines are helping ease the pressure of a lack of low-level workers while making potentially hazardous jobs easier to complete, and advances in materials — such as self-healing and permeable concrete solutions — are solving longstanding problems, like cracked building foundations.

There are many benefits to this. For example, it’s possible that construction companies can help protect themselves from using inefficient, labour-intensive and environmentally-unfriendly methods by learning about new technologies and bringing them into their workspaces.

The construction sector is certainly in the midst of a difficult time. However, a bright future is not unattainable. By adopting eco-friendly processes, being responsive to new technology, having a plan in place for Brexit, and encouraging apprentices to come on board, the sector can thrive in 2019 and beyond.

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Wood for Good Marketing Summit to put health and wellbeing into practice

Promoting timber’s health and wellbeing benefits is the focus for Wood for Good’s next Marketing Summit on 12 March at CILIP in London.

Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign director, said:

“The Summit is an opportunity to pinpoint how we can position, develop and market timber products within the health and wellbeing agenda.

“Our previous summit identified the opportunities and challenges for the timber market, now it’s time to look at how we get our products up to speed and ideally ‘healthy material’ certified.”

The Summit will be in a workshop format with speakers including Christos Michael from CapitalHolz 100, Colin Wheatley from Medite Smartply and Kevin Underwood from the British Woodworking Federation. Christos and Colin will be sharing their experiences of bringing health and wellbeing to the forefront of their marketing and product development, while Kevin will delve into the results of BWF’s cradle-to-cradle feasibility study for joinery products.

The discussion will cover the key issues raised in the previous summit including certification and the practicalities of doing this, identifying sales channels and ideas on how to promote products as healthy.

On the morning of the Summit, a workshop with Wood for Good supporters will take place to discuss the next six months of the campaign’s activity.

Following both events, attendees are invited to the Building Centre for the launch of the annual Wood Awards plus an opportunity to view the Forest of Fabrication exhibition.

Book your space for the Wood for Good Spring Marketing Summit.

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Gold card approval from CSCS for Past Graduates of TSA Surveying Course

Past graduates of The Survey Association’s (TSA) Surveying Course can now obtain a Gold Card from The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

Following an application by TSA, CSCS, the UK’s leading skills certification scheme within the construction industry, has agreed the waiver for the 381 Survey School graduates who started the Course before April 2018.

Director of Operations at CSCS, Gordon Jenkins said, “CSCS is pleased to be able to work alongside TSA to reach an agreement that benefits the Construction industry and aligns with the objectives of the Construction Leadership Council.”

“Working with the standard setting body we have concluded that the TSA Surveying Courses in Surveying, which started before the Level 3 Diploma, meet the required standards for this occupation.”

Students who started the TSA Surveying Course after April 2018 will not be able to use it to get a CSCS card. They must instead complete the Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Surveying.

TSA Council Member and Survey School Governor, Nathan Spencer said, “This recognition by CSCS, is testament, both to the quality of our graduates and the survey training provided on the TSA Course.”

“The Course has been the foundation for the Level 3 Diploma and Level 3 Apprenticeship, ensuring the next generation have the skills required to support the construction industry. It is very positive news for the surveying industry that CSCS recognises TSA’s contribution.”

How to Apply

To apply for the Gold Card, with endorsement as Engineering Surveyor, candidates will need to present their graduation certificate and a letter of authentication to CSCS.

To obtain these documents email The Survey School at office@surveyschool.org.uk The cost for this is £80 + VAT. The Survey School can provide a duplicate certificate, if needed.

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Climbing up the building career ladder

This week is National Careers Week – an opportunity for people (young and old) up and down the country to give some thought to their future career and increase their understanding of how they can land their dream job.

Building surveying as a career choice would appear to be relatively Brexit-proof. A recent survey of industry salaries by Building magazine and the recruitment firm, Hays, found that as a result of skills shortages, salaries in building surveying are rising more rapidly than inflation. Specifically, the survey showed that the average salary for a senior surveyor is £46,125 – 3.5% above the national average increase, and for an associate building surveyor, £54,583 (3.4% above).

Data compiled in relation to the survey also demonstrated a wealth of career opportunities in the sector, highlighting the case of engineer Mott MacDonald, which has more than 800 vacancies (80%-90% of them UK based) across its 6,500-strong EU business.

Trident Building Consultancy – one of Property Week’s 50 Best Places to Work in 2018 – values graduate recruitment, staff development and career progression highly. Trident is keen to invest in its graduates, paying for training and RICS fees during the APC process, and is also happy to accommodate those who wish to work part time. Here, some of our employees share their experiences:

Case study: Usmaan Mehboob is currently completing his APC in Trident’s Leeds office

I moved to Trident from a large national firm and into the role of assistant building surveyor. My previous role was assisting on a project for a national housing association and I soon realised that I needed to gain wider experience in order to achieve my APC.

When I arrived at Trident, they knew my experience was limited, so they sent a more experienced colleague with me at first to make sure I knew what I was doing. They showed me the ropes on the first day, then leave me to it. Over the past twelve months, I’ve developed both the understanding and confidence to carry out a range of services on my own.

As a practising Muslim, I pray five times a day and Trident has been so good in making this possible – providing a space for me in the office and acknowledging my faith in a positive way.

Case study: Associate Director Vicky Green has moved swiftly up the career ladder and is exceling at the forefront of property technology

I did a degree in Building Surveying, which included an industry placement, and then joined a national surveying firm. Once I’d completed by APC, I was made a senior surveyor and I joined Trident in 2015. My role also has a strong emphasis on all things PropTech: I have been tasked with expanding our use of technology to provide an enhanced service to the consultancy’s expanding client base.

Over the past few years I’ve been really pleased to introduce new systems to the company, improving the efficiency and the quality of building surveying, and also our other service lines. The deployment of these simple yet powerful tools means that Trident can provide a level of independence to clients; our clients can now manipulate their own data and create reports that are actually useful, ensuring that the most accurate results are given, which has resulted in an increase in repeat business.

In addition to product development, I’ve taken on the challenge of speaking at conferences, chairing events and contributing to RICS guidance notes. I’ve also enjoyed supporting and mentoring new graduates at the company – making sure that competent junior staff excel, regardless of who they are.

Case study: Muhammad Hamzah completed a unique accelerated degree from the University of Salford and is now an Assistant Building Surveyor at Trident.

When I first applied to study at Salford, it was for a standard three-year degree, but as soon as the Accelerated Degree programme was offered, I had to take it up.

The idea that you could gain the same amount of knowledge in less time was really appealing to me. In my eyes, I was still being given the opportunity to learn such valuable information, with the bonus of moving into the industry quicker. I’m very lucky that it’s worked out exactly that way for me, as I moved straight into a job from university.

I think people misunderstand the structure of your year when you’re on the Accelerated Degree Programme, as you do get time off. It’s not the four months off like other students have, instead we have several weeks off at certain points of the year such as Christmas and Easter. We also get a summer break, around two or three weeks. All-in-all the two years aren’t as intense as people may think.

I’m now a graduate building surveyor at Trident and I’m loving it. About a month ago I started my training to become a Chartered Building Surveyor. This will take me two years and will broaden my career prospects.

If you’re interested in joining Trident Building Consultancy visit www.tridentbc.com and contact recruitment@tridentbc.com

Trevor Dowd, Executive Director, Trident Building Consultancy

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New product manager joins the ARRONE brand at HOPPE

HOPPE has appointed Jonathan Walker as ARRONE product manager.

Jon has over 25 years’ experience in the door and window hardware industry, specialising in new product development and market research. He has previously worked for Paddock Fabrications and Yale, and joins HOPPE (UK) from Avantis International where he was group sales and marketing director.

Jon says:

“In the short time I’ve been with HOPPE, I’ve seen the wealth of experience and the volume of knowledge that the technical teams have; they are a real authority on what they do. I’m looking forward to tapping into this, and talking to customers to find out exactly what they want and need from ironmongery products to ensure that we tick all right boxes.

“My aim is to give our customers confidence that they can choose any product from the ARRONE range and that it will always be of the highest-quality and tested beyond industry standards. Whether it is a product that has been tried and tested for years or a product we’ve recently added to the range, they will get the same exacting standard of quality.”

Based in Wolverhampton, HOPPE (UK) Ltd is a market leader in door and window hardware. As a member of HOPPE Group, HOPPE (UK) provides architectural hardware products that have been tested to meet the most stringent European and British standards.

www.hoppe.co.uk

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Austrian summer school shares pioneering approach at Futurebuild

Visitors to Futurebuild can learn about the unique attributes of the Green.Building.Solutions. summer university, which has become a magnet for architects and building professionals who want to understand how to put the environment first in their careers.

Representatives from OeAD-Housing Office will be at the London expo to share insight and information on the award-winning programme, from the Advantage Austria pavilion, stand number B100.

Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS) takes place in Vienna this year from July 20 to August 11, with the city providing a live case study in passive house developments and sustainable, smart city expertise.

In 2018, GBS attracted 42 participants from 27 different countries to the Austrian capital, and with all study and social activities carried out in English, the not-for profit programme is well-suited to participants from the UK and Ireland.

This year the OeAD-Housing Office – part of Austria’s national agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research – will once again provide a unique opportunity for global collaboration between like-minded individuals.

Participants develop new skills and inspiration to design and build sustainable cities, through workshops, lectures, fact-finding visits and also gain insight from world-leading academics.

The knowledge accrued is then channelled into a group work project, where teams design homes of the future, with the environment in mind.

The project work brings together different elements of international thought, with features including a greater emphasis on social interaction and connectivity within buildings, measures to adapt to a changing climate and the innovative use of sustainable materials.

Places are limited for the programme, which is relevant to students and professionals alike in the fields of architecture and the built environment, including construction management, project management, building engineering and surveying.

Günther Jedliczka, CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office, said: “GBS attracts like-minded people who aspire to make the world a better place through the built environment.

“Those taking part gain the understanding and inspiration to apply their learning throughout their careers and build an international network of other professionals with the same outlook.”

Run in association with six national partners who contribute to the content, including Vienna’s BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and the Vienna University of Technology – and supported by a further 21 universities around the world – the course is priced at €2,490 for professionals and €2,000 for students.

This cost includes all social activities, lessons and tours, as well as accommodation for participants throughout the duration of GBS in one of OeAD’s passive house student residences – giving an added perspective to participants’ experiences in Vienna.

The accommodation is also included as part of the fee for almost a week after the programme, enabling those taking part to explore the city at leisure.

As well as GBS, the OeAD-Housing Office also operates the Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems programme (AEMS).

AEMS analyses how economic, political, monetary and environmental factors need to change to be more sustainable and takes place from July 24 to August 9, 2019.

More details about GBS can be found at https://summer-university.net/study-abroad/green-building-solutions-vienna/

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IronmongeryDirect listed in Top 350 internet retailers

UK’s leading supplier of ironmongery to the trade, IronmongeryDirect, has been named as one of the top internet retailers in the UK.

The company has appeared, for the first time, in the Internet Retailing UK Top 500, entering within the first 350 businesses.

The IRUK Top 500 report ranks retailers by revenue, store networks and website traffic as well as undertaking in-depth analysis into an organisation’s approach to customers.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, said while they had experienced their best financial year to date, the Basildon-based wholesaler was not resting on its laurels – with further expansion planned in 2019 and beyond.

He said: “We are thrilled to have made it into the IRUK Top 500 internet retailers. To be included in a list of companies that consist of the likes of Amazon, John Lewis and Argos is a great reflection of our achievements and is an indication of the positive direction that IronmongeryDirect is heading in.

“In the digital age where the standard 9-5 working hours are becoming less applicable, IronmongeryDirect is leading the way and continually evolving our business strategy, placing our customers firmly at the centre.”

IronmongeryDirect has recently completed a major expansion of its warehouse and is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year.

Wayne continued: “The expansion has enabled us to improve our service offering whilst continuing to grow our product range, bringing the total range to over 17,000 products.

This further cements our position as the leading supplier of ironmongery and related products to the trade in the UK.

IronmongeryDirect is the UK’s largest specialist ironmongery supplier, with over 17,000 products in stock, available for next day delivery when you order by 8pm Sunday to Friday and by 4pm on Saturday. Free delivery is available on orders over £45 together with free returns.

For more information, visit IronmongeryDirect.com or call their team of specialist advisors on 0800 168 28 28.

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National Apprenticeship Week sees firms still slow to train next generation

A leading provider to major construction and utilities firms, Develop Training Limited (DTL), says too few businesses are making a commitment to apprenticeships despite government initiatives to promote them.

DTL, which has centres in Linlithgow near Edinburgh, Romford, York, Derby, Bolton, Swindon and Lisburn, Northern Ireland, highlighted the issue while giving its backing to National Apprenticeship Week 2019, which runs from 4 to 9 March.

In the run up to the week, the government launched a new promotional campaign, Blaze A Trail, to convince more individuals, families and employers to embrace apprenticeships. Previous initiatives have included Trailblazer Apprenticeships in England and the controversial Apprenticeship Levy.

Yet DTL points out that government statistics for the academic year 2017/18 showed a drop of almost a quarter in the number of apprenticeship starts.

John Kerr, DTL’s Director of Training & Education, said: “It’s clear that businesses in the construction and utility sectors – in common with other industries – have not committed to apprenticeships as enthusiastically as the government hoped. The difference with some industries is that we face an enormous skills gap in construction and utilities, so it’s crucial that the sector responds, including embracing apprenticeships. The levy was intended to nudge them in the right direction but so far, if anything, it has had the opposite effect.”

He highlighted comments from senior HR professionals at DTL’s Industry Skills Forums that the levy had caused confusion and even suspicion with some delegates labelling it a stealth tax. Others said the chance to recoup the levy was not enough incentive when set against the long-term commitment to run an apprenticeship programme.

The training company, whose customers includes some of the biggest names in water, gas, electricity and construction, hopes that attitudes are changing.

“We and our customers have no doubt that, managed well, apprenticeships do work,” said Mr Kerr. “Businesses have now had nearly two years to decide how to respond to the levy, and in April the funds that big firms have paid in will begin to be taken by the Treasury. That should refocus attention on the question of apprenticeships.”

He said it wasn’t clear how uncertainty around Brexit, including the availability of foreign workers, and concerns about global economic slowdown would affect decisions about apprenticeships and other HR programmes.

“There have been reports of a contraction in the construction sector because investors are delaying decisions, but that doesn’t mean the UK can afford to put its infrastructure on hold,” said Mr Kerr.

He said the rise of offsite construction was an opportunity to develop apprenticeships in a factory environment, which is easier than on construction sites. The continuing housing shortage could also lead to incentives by this government or a future one to stimulate building through any potential recession.

“Whatever happens to the economy, we need a new generation of skilled operatives to replace an ageing workforce,” said Mr Kerr. “If we delay making a commitment to apprenticeships for whatever reason, that would be a serious mistake. I hope that National Apprenticeship Week and the campaigns around it will help to generate momentum so that more businesses invest in what are highly cost-effective ways to deliver a loyal and skilled workforce. As approved providers under the levy, we are 100 per cent committed to do all we can to ensure that this happens and to help our customers to maximise their return on investment in people.”

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Campaign to tackle plastics and packaging in construction launched

Survey reveals shocking use of plastics and packaging in construction

18 February 2019: The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched its industry-wide campaign ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ to raise awareness and showcase best practice in how the construction industry can reduce, reuse and recycle plastics and packaging.

The launch of the campaign – which features on the industry’s Best Practice Hub – comes in response to startling findings from a Scheme survey of over 900 people working within the UK and Irish construction industries.

The survey discovered that although over 95% of respondents said the industry needs to be doing something to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging, over half of respondents (51%) have little understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding plastics and packaging, and only 44% know how to recycle different plastic and packaging materials.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 98% said the over-consumption of plastics and packaging is a global issue.
  • 92% believe plastics and packaging are extremely dangerous to the environment.
  • 81% said the construction industry is not doing enough to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging.
  • 31% said they frequently use plastics and packaging that cannot be reused or recycled.

With the construction industry being the second largest consumer of plastics in the UK, it is imperative that the construction industry reconsiders the way it consumes and disposes of plastics and packaging to protect the environment and all life.

The Scheme is calling on all construction sites, companies, suppliers and clients of construction projects to drastically reduce their consumption of plastics and packaging. Not only does this offer significant improvements for the environment and society as a whole, it also makes commercial business sense, with many organisations reporting significant cost savings achieved.

‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ provides a suite of resources to help the industry to address this issue. It includes a range practical case studies and guidance from contractors, clients and service suppliers including: AMA Waste Management; Aztec; Balfour Beatty; Crossrail; Environment Agency; Griffiths; Knight Build; Protec; Right Waste Right Place; Mace; Morgan Sindall; Multiplex; Skanska; Sir Robert McAlpine; Wates and Ward.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy said: “As construction is the second largest consumer of plastic in the UK, our industry has one of the greatest responsibilities to society, and to the environment, to ensure that we are working tirelessly to improve our standards in minimising waste from plastics.

“The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign provides resources, practical support and guidance helping everyone to take effective measures to tackle this issue. While considerable progress is being made – with over 76% of Scheme-registered construction sites setting targets to reduce, reuse and recycle waste – it is clear that a concerted effort to raise further awareness, and to provide the necessary support, is needed to achieve this drastic reduction in waste from plastics and packaging.”

‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ follows a number of hugely successful industry campaigns which the Scheme hosts on the Best Practice Hub. In 2018, the Scheme launched the ‘Spotlight on…air pollution’ and ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ with follow-on e-learning courses in each topic. These campaigns have received over 48,000 views to date, with over 50,000 courses being taken.

Click here to access the ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign.

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Recycling Buildings: 10 Building Materials That Can Be Reused After Demolition

Recycling Buildings: 10 Building Materials That Can Be Reused After Demolition

Construction and demolition waste are one of the heaviest and most voluminous waste streams generated in the EU accounting for approximately 25%-30% of all waste generated.

Demolition recycling is an important step in a building’s life cycle, as material reclamation and good recycling practices can divert over 90% of the building’s material from the landfill. RubberBond have been investigating what materials can be recycled and what they can be turned into.

Concrete, Bricks & Blocks

Research indicates that the average wastage level of concrete is about 4%, while brick and block is around 6%.

Method

Concrete and brick can be recycled by crushing them into rubble.

Repurpose

Once sorted, screened and contaminants are removed, reclaimed concrete or brick can be used in concrete aggregate, fill, road base, or riprap.

Gypsum

Stat

The landfilling of gypsum and other wastes with a high sulphate content together with biodegradable waste has been banned in England and Wales since July 2005. This is to prevent the build-up of hydrogen sulphide gas which is both toxic and odorous.

Method

Gypsum is relatively easy to recycle. Contaminants need to be removed, such as screws and nails, and separate the paper.

Repurpose

It can be ground into a powder or turned into pellets. The resulting material is sold to manufacturers that use gypsum for different applications.

Wood

Stat

Wood waste from all sorts of building sites – including new builds and refurbishments – amounts to around 0.85mt per year.

Method

Wood can be reused, repurposed, recycled, or burned as bioenergy.

Repurpose

Wood can be used in pathways, coverings, mulches, compost, animal bedding, or particleboard.

Glass

Stat

The UK manufactures 750,000 tonnes of flat glass each year, three-quarters of which goes into glazing products for buildings. Currently, the recycled content of flat glass produced in the UK is between 20%–30%.

Method

There are various methods of recycling glass in order to make it fit for repurposing such as crushing, screening to remove contamination, air classification, optical sorting, size classification and washing and drying.

Repurpose

Glass can be used for pretty much anything including decorative materials, fluxing agent in the manufacture of bricks and ceramics, insulation, containers and even sports turf applications.

Metals

Stat

Britain exports 15 million tonnes of industrial waste each year, half of which is valuable scrap metal

Method

Metals are collected, sorted and then shredded. The scrap is then melted and purified and finally allowed to cool to solidify.

Repurpose

Metals—including steel, copper, and brass—are valuable commodities to recycle. Like glass, they can be repurposed into a vast array of items such as appliances, furnishings, fixtures and lighting.

Aggregates

Stat

Approximately 275 million tonnes of aggregates are used each year in the UK as raw construction materials, but a lot of it goes to landfill.

More than half (54%) of waste recorded as ‘Recycling and other recovery’ is ‘Mineral wastes’, while a further 12% is soils.

Method

Concrete aggregate collected from demolition sites is put through a crushing machine. Crushing facilities accept only uncontaminated concrete, which must be free of trash, wood, paper and other such materials.

Repurpose

Aggregate can be reused as a base material under foundations, roads and railroads.

Plasterboard

Stat

Up to 1.3 million tonnes of plasterboard waste is generated within the new-build construction and refurbishment sectors each year.

Method

Composting.

Repurpose

Standard plasterboard, which hasn’t been contaminated by paint or similar, can be added to an aerobic composting system and is likely to have a neutral or beneficial effect when added to the soil, especially clay soil.

Plastics

Stat

According to National Geographic and the National Geographic Society, 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.

Method

All plasterboard recycling goes through a thorough process which takes away all of the added material which is left on the plasterboard when it’s removed from the wall or ceiling.

Repurpose

In construction, plastics are generally used for pipework, interior fittings, window frames, scaffolding boards and kerbstones. These can be repurposed into packaging, textile fibre and clothing, street furniture to name only a few.

Floor & Wall Coverings

Stat

Almost 600,000 tonnes of flooring is disposed of each year, of which less than 2% is recycled. A small quantity is incinerated but the vast majority, over 90%, goes to landfill.

Method

Fibresolve – subjecting wood fibre to a vacuum and pressurised steam with mechanical agitation at a high temperature.

Microrelease – using microwaves to reclaim wood fibres from the resin.

Thermohydraulic processes – separating the adhesive from the wood fibres.

Repurpose

There tends to be a lot of wastage when it comes to floor and wall coverings due to over ordering, pairing this with the fact that a lot of it can also be recycled afterwards, materials such as ceramic and terrazzo tiles, wallpaper, carpet, carpet tiles, vinyl and linoleum and laminate flooring can be repurposed into many things including road cone manufacturing and animal bedding material.

Insulation

Stat

In just 23 housing projects in the UK, the average amount of insulation wasted was 1.0m3 per 100m2 floor area.

Method

Insulation can be recycled by returning materials through take-back schemes offered by manufacturers, but reclamation and reprocessing can only happen after removing impurities such as nails and screws.

Repurpose

Similarly, materials involved in insulation such as glass and stone wool, polystyrene, sheep’s wool, spray foam, polyurethane and fibreboard can be transformed into concrete blocks, fibreglass board and fibreglass ceiling tiles.

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Bespoke Surveying

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We utilise technology extensively to provide clients with bespoke surveying solutions that deliver on reporting requirements whilst improving overall time and cost efficiency.

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country-wide surveys

Our unique multi skilled national service allows clients to avoid duplication of expensive professional roles. Maximising efficiency and improving report delivery times.