Monthly Archives: January 2012

Fewer University Applications Will Not Hit the Building Sector

Despite the fall in university application numbers, the building sector is confident it will complete development programmes across many universities in the UK- leading student accommodation builder “Unite” told Construction Enquirer today.

With fees rising to up to £9,000 per year from 2012, there has been a decrease of almost 9% in the number of students applying to universities in the UK – university applications’ body UCAS announced yesterday.

However, that will not hit university development programmes according to “Unite” because the actual number of students enrolling for a university place would remain close to the existing figure.

The building giant argues the reduction in applications means that 2012/13 applicant numbers are broadly in line with those of two years ago, meaning it will not hit any major redevelopment projects in the building construction sector.

The firm said: “Demand for university places still outstrips supply by approximately 32% and means that more than 156,000 students applying to study in 2012 will fail to secure a place.”

Unite does not expect the decline in applications to translate into a reduction in actual student numbers which could have a negative effect to the industry.

They said: “Based on our current reservations for 2012/13, which are in line with the same point in 2011, we remain confident of achieving rental growth of 3-4% for the year.”

There have also been signs of an increase in EU students applying to the UK, demonstrating the continued appeal of UK Universities for students from abroad.

 

Do you think the increase of tuition fees is the main reason for less student applications at universities? What affect is it going to have on the major redevelopment programmes across Universities in the UK? Share your thoughts by commenting here:  

The Internet Could Help Plumbers to Gain More Customers

Digital marketing provider “Yell” has urged plumbers across the UK to use the Internet to boost their business and gain more customers.

The announcement comes after statistics from Google show that there are 823,000 searches for the keyword ‘plumbers’ in the UK every month, meaning more people needing a plumber are looking online to find one.

New infographic (refer to the picture) has been released today showing how plumbers can best use the Internet as an opportunity to boost their business. It highlights the regular demand for plumbers with many Google searches being location-specific, for example, there were 40,500 queries each month for ‘London plumbers’ alone.

According to the infographic, 58% of all purchase decisions now begin a search through a search engine on the Internet. This suggests the Internet is becoming one of the main search tools for anyone looking for a product or service. Therefore, it is important for plumbers to have online presence on the Internet and make themselves known to the customers.

However, Yell admits that many plumbers feel that the best way to market themselves is by word of mouth and personal recommendation; which remains one of the most reliable ways for plumbers to gain more customers.
Some of the main online channels which plumbers can use to promote themselves include e-mail, online advertising and creating their own website to turn search queries into real customers. Yell also suggest that UK plumbers who do not have a website could be missing out on customers.

Do you think the Internet could help you to boost your business and gain more customers? Tell us how by commenting here:

Building Work for New UBS’s London HQ to Go Ahead

Swiss investment bank UBS has been granted permission for its new 700, 000 square foot building in the City of London.

The new £340 million headquarters of UBS in London’s financial district is expected to be completed by 2014, meaning it could create more jobs for people in the building construction sector.

The Swiss bank has signed a pre-letting agreement with developers British Land and Blackstone for the construction work to start in April this year. Demolition and site preparation work near Liverpool Street station is currently underway, leading publication, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

UBS is the largest tenant in the 30-acre Broadgate development in London’s City financial district which will include four trading floors that can be adapted into normal office space.

The new building will pay attention to sustainability using photovoltaics and solar thermal panels to generate green energy while rainwater harvesting will reduce water consumption.

British Land said: “Demolition of the existing 4 & 6 Broadgate buildings is well underway and will be completed in April; with delivery of the new bespoke building on schedule for the first quarter in 2014.

“The joint venture has already placed or tendered around 60% of the project’s construction costs within budget and programme.”

Tim Roberts, Head of Offices for British Land, told Construction Enquirer: “This is another significant milestone in the development of the new UBS building at 5 Broadgate and a real boost for the City.

“The Broadgate estate continues to evolve to serve the needs of a range of city occupiers and the 30,000 people based there.” – Mr Roberts added.

The two developers, British Land and Blackstone, said UBS will occupy the new building for period of around 18 years.

Do you welcome the move of the Swiss bank giant UBS to build its headquarters in London? What does the £340 million investment mean for the building construction sector? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:

UK Contractors Could Win Major Projects around the Globe

Prompt and successful completion of the building construction work for the Olympic Games in London this summer could be a chance for UK firms to get work all over the world – a leading publication in the trades, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

One of the UK’s leading International Consultants, McBains Cooper, has urged the Government’s trade teams to introduce more building contracts from abroad for the building construction industry in Britain.

McBains Cooper state that London 2012 is an excellent example of how a major project should be built and UK firms should use their management expertise to export their skills and knowledge to make major projects worldwide equally as impressive.

The successful construction of the Olympic venues triggers a world-wide interest for many countries which will host similar events in the future. The building of venues for the Olympics in London 2012 will give UK firms the unique opportunity to showcase their expertise and professionalism to potentially participate in big projects around the world.

An increasing number of building companies across the UK are considering applications for construction work ahead of major events in Qatar, Brazil and Russia. McBains Cooper, which has an alliance in Brazil for the venue of the 2016 games, expressed its determination to negotiate with all regions that are candidates for the 2020 games to secure future contracts.

Chief executive at McBains Cooper, Michael Thirkettle, said: “Everybody involved in construction, whether in Brazil or the 2020 candidate venues, has commented on the success of the planning and construction of everything London games-related. More often than not it’s accompanied by some positive reference to the UK construction industry, and its professional advisers and consultancies being the best in the world.

“The fact is that in comparison to any other recent major sporting event – and some recent Olympics – London 2012 construction has run far faster and more efficiently. That has been noted by other countries, and, frankly, because of our reputation, British construction and professional consultancy businesses are amongst the very few who can travel the world to help drive and deliver major projects for other venue cities.”

Mr Thirkettle thinks that every business in the UK has the unique opportunity to promote itself and bring more investment from abroad.

He said: “The Olympics is a fantastic global shop window for British management expertise, design and construction skills, and that expertise can be exported to make other games equally impressive.”

 

Do you see the successful construction work of the Olympic venues as an opportunity for your business to win more contracts in future? Tell us how optimistic are you about exporting your business abroad?

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Andrew Kent talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Andrew Kent is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Andrew to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Andrew’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills   

Thousands of solar jobs have been saved today as the government lost its case to cut solar funding

Today, the solar industry has won an appeal against the government’s attempt to cut subsidies for solar panels in the UK.

Three judges today rejected the government’s decision to reduce renewable energy tariffs through which people in Britain are paid for the electricity they generate.

The Solar industry welcomed the news as a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector in Britain.

Ben Warren, a partner at Ernst and Young, told the BBC this morning that the decision from the court was a big breakthrough for the entire renewable sector across the country.

Mr Warren said: “This decision has very important implications for the whole renewable energy sector in the UK.”

The government proposed a new tariff of 21p per kilowatt-hour opposed to a previous tariff of 43p per Kilowatt-hour which sparked anger from environmental groups and installers across the country. The new changes were expected to come into effect from 1 April this year.

As the High Court ruled today that changing the tariffs in this way was “legally flawed”, the government should now re-consider its approach to providing funding for the renewable energy sector.

The proposed change to significantly cut solar subsidies had disappointed industry as it affected projects which have already been commissioned but not installed – costing businesses millions of pounds and thousands of jobs for people in the renewable industry.

Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, the UK’s leading solar energy company, expressed optimism about the court ruling said the news was a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector.

Mr Leggett said: “Today we have reminded government that it will be held to account when it acts illegally and tries to push through unlawful policy changes.

“We would much prefer not to have taken this path but ministers gave us no choice. Our hope now is that we can work together again to restore the thriving jobs-rich solar sector that has been so badly undermined by government actions since October.”

What is your opinion on the government’s attempt to reduce solar subsidies for the renewable energy sector? What would have been the drawback of such decision if the High Court had not recognised the issue in its ruling today? Share your thoughts be commenting below:

Building Olympic Terminal at Heathrow Airport Will Create New Jobs

Heathrow Airport has unveiled its plans for dealing with high volume of extra passengers expected to arrive ahead of this summer’s London Olympics, which could fuel civil engineering recruitment.

As reported earlier this week, Heathrow Airport has announced to build a new terminal for the London Olympic Games to ease the increased traffic of people at one of the busiest airports in the world.

Building work at London Heathrow will create new jobs, transport networks and regenerate 6th runway in Heathrow Airport, which expects nearly 50% more passengers arriving on July 26, the day before the opening ceremony.

As part of preparations for the new terminal at Heathrow, building construction work will take place to build specialist lifts for Paralympians and improve facilities from which participating athletes will depart.

Nick Cole, Heathrow’s head of Olympic and Paralympic planning, asserted: “The London 2012 Games will be a unique operational task and a massive challenge for Heathrow.

“The airport is one of the most popular international airports in the world and already operates close to capacity.”- Mr Cole added.

Work is also currently underway on Heathrow’s new £2.2 billion terminal two, which will replace its existing terminals one and two once completed in 2014, with around 5,000 people to be employed on the site of this project.

 

What is your opinion about the plan of building a new Olympic Terminal at Heathrow Airport? If you are working in the building construction sector, do you think that could be a good opportunity for you/your business?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

 

 

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Adedayo Idowu talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Adedayo Idowu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Adedawu to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Adedawu’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

Bids for £22 million London NHS Unit Open for Builders

King’s College NHS Trust is looking for a building contractor to build a three-storey critical care unit at one of its campuses in South London – a leading publication in the building sector, Construction Engineer, has announced today.

Firms are invited to express an interest in the redevelopment of King’s College NHS Trust until 22nd February for invitation to tender a month later.

The winning contractor will build a new steel frame building over an existing block, which will remain operational, and complete the shell before demolishing elements of the existing structure.

It is not clear yet how many builders will be employed as a result of King’s College renovation, but the scale of the project suggests it will create new jobs in the building sector.

International construction and property consultancy Sweett will attain the building through a two stage process which further details will be revealed in March.

The scheme has been designed to allow the existing theatre block to continue to operate whilst building work is being carried out.

The project will deliver a consolidated critical care facility at Kings College Hospital Denmark Hill Campus in line with current Department of Health guidelines and will develop the hospital as a Major Trauma Centre.

King’s expects the contract will be at its final stage by August this year.

For more information on how you can express an interest and put your bid forward please visit Tenders website.

 

Do you think that your (business’s) bid could be a successful one? If you are working in the building sector are you more optimistic about finding a job? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment here:  

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Manuel Aquino talks about training as an electrician with Train4TradeSkills

Manuel Aquino is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills.  Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Manuel to find out how his course is going.

You can listen to Manuel’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills