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Construction Materials Online

CMO Magazine published from Construction Materials Online. Read your complimentary copy here.

Construction Materials Online Team Talk

We are pleased to announce two big office anniversaries this year. Two of our longest-standing employees; Roofing Superstore Brand Manager, Chris and Roofing Superstore customer service team member Jason, celebrate 5 years with the company. Congratulations to them both! Chris said ‘I can’t imagine ever working anywhere else!’ We like this!

We also welcome another new member, who has joined our Customer Service Team. Angus started working with us in August and has a background in customer service.

Riding high for CMO team member, Adrian

The CMO team are a pretty fit bunch, and a number of keen cyclists are part of our group. It therefore came as no surprise when eCommerce Director, Adrian, took part in this years’ Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, a 100 mile cycling sportive. Adrian previously cycled the event in 2014, when he raised money for MacMillan Cancer Support. That ride took place in torrential rain and was cut short to 80 miles due to the severe weather conditions. Adrian wanted a second chance at the course and so, 2 years later, undertook his personal challenge, lining up alongside 26,000 participants. Adrian, who cycles 3 times a week, recommends taking part, “It’s awesome, I loved it! Sunshine, riding my bike, and the privileged position of cycling through the City of London with all its sights and absolutely NO cars on the roads!”. Adrian finished the 100-mile route in 4 hours, 37 minutes with an average speed of 21.6mph.

Construction Materials Online shortlisted for London Construction Awards 2016

Construction Materials Online is thrilled to be shortlisted as a finalist in this years’ London Construction Awards for the Supplier of the Year category. Winners will be announced at a presentation evening on 26th October, so we will all be keeping our fingers crossed!

In the news

We’ve been in the news in the last few months, including: RCI Magazine, who featured Roofing Superstore Brand Manager, Chris Graham with his observations on recent roofing trends where CMO Director of eCommerce, Adrian Saunders discusses what eCommerce brings to the construction industry: Online publication Building Talk with Operations Director, Callum Tasker, talking technology and construction.

Meet the Construction Materials Online Team

Abby is the Senior Marketing Executive for Construction Materials Online and manages the campaigns and promotional activity for Roofing Superstore. Abby works with the Roofing Superstore team and its suppliers to identify product trends, monitor pricing, deliver special offers and to better understand our customers. Abby particularly enjoys the challenge of composing the weekly Roofing Superstore email campaign. Abby’s top marketing tip: ‘Set a budget at the beginning of the year for marketing and plan it around your business goals. This avoids running knee-jerk advertising which can be costly and ineffective.’

Environmental News

New high void content concrete could be solution to surface water management

Aggregate Industries has developed a solution to reduce storm and surface water with its new Hydromedia concrete. The specially manufactured concrete has a higher void content (15-30%), than typical concrete, so allows water to flow through it and dissipate below. The three products available (Hydromedia Pedestrian, Hydromedia car park, and Hydromedia underlayer) could mean a cost-effective and immediate solution for flood management in the UK.

Major new developments will be ‘zero carbon’ or will pay the price, says Greater London Authority

From 1st October, the Greater London Authority (GLA) will apply a ‘zero carbon standard’ across all major new residential development schemes. Previously, developers’ energy strategies needed to comply with policies 5.2 to 5.9 of the London plan, which included a commitment to demonstrate a minimum 35% improvement over Part L of the 2013 Building Regulations. This is now extended to include a ‘zero carbon’ target. Effectively, this means all qualifying developments will continue to meet the minimum 35% reduction in CO2 and that all remaining emissions will need to be offset in the form of a ‘cash in lieu’ contribution. This contribution will then be used to secure future carbon dioxide savings in other areas.

NYC project to build underground park, complete with natural light

With more skyscrapers and tower buildings being constructed in New York City, the need for green space to counteract this rising skyline is growing. The Lowline is a project that plans to build an underground indoor park in a disused trolley terminal on the Lower East Side. Solar technology includes impressive solar collection dishes which divert sunlight from the surface through ‘helio tubes’ to reflective domes underground in order to disperse natural light to the Lowline park. After the success of the concept exhibit in an abandoned warehouse to help visualise the Lowline, together with a green light from City officials in July 2016, the project is more viable than ever. The project must now raise $10 million in funds, hold between 5 and 10 public design meetings and submit its design proposals to the city. If successful, the underground park concept is likely to be replicated throughout the world, with global City officials already discussing similar projects with the Lowline team.

New STEM development in South West

Work has begun on a £13m STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) centre at Devon’s City College Plymouth. The Royal Academy of Engineers forecast a need for 830,000 scientists, engineers and technologists in the UK by 2020, and this new building will provide 5 storeys of classrooms and IT facilities, developing employable skills to help recruit highly-skilled technicians, apprentices and interns.

Plans for the steel-framed building include ‘breakout’ spaces, a blue and white façade exterior (matching City College’s colour scheme), floor to ceiling windows and solar panels on the roof. The building is tipped to be an attractive, modern addition to the Plymouth skyline.

With funding from Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Plymouth City Council and the Regional Growth Fund, the build is expected to complete and open to a new intake of students in Autumn 2017. Director of Marketing, Corporate Relations and Enterprise at City College Plymouth said: “The centre will have a substantial impact on the training and education of STEM-related subjects for the City and wider region”.

Industry News

House builder Barratt eschews traditional house building methods in favour of timber frame and light gauge steel

Nationwide home-builder Barratt plans to increase timber frame constructions by next year as they increase use by a third from 2016. The venture back into timber frame housing for Barratt is in order to increase production of new homes and in theory will make the timber frame homes slightly more affordable. Having previously trialled light gauge steel frames as a method of faster and safer home building, Chief Executive David Thomas said that as the firm reported record profits for 2016 so far, an efficient drive away from traditional house building is important.

CSIC Chief Executive prompts construction industry technology revolution

Chief Executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has said that Scotland’s construction industry is in need of a technology revolution if it is to continue turning a profit and maximising efficiency in the 21st century. Stephen Good also said “There is a massive opportunity to use technology to build in a more profitable and efficient way.” CSIC encourages collaboration between construction firms in a bid to further innovation in the industry with CSIC itself preparing to invest £1.5m in robotics and large scale 3D printing.

PMI Survey shows UK construction industry up from seven-year low in July

Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey has shown that the UK construction industry showed recovery signs during August. The figure for July was 45.9 but rose to 49.2 in August. However, the level determining a contraction in the industry is 50, with July 2016 being the lowest on record for the last 7 years. Economist Tim Moore has stated: “Construction firms cited a nascent recovery in client confidence since the EU referendum result” which provides a positive outlook for the rest of the year.

JV between Balfour Beatty and Vinci pegged for £800m M4 smart motorway development

A 32-mile section of the M4 is due to be developed with 11 new bridges and a 5 lane motorway around Heathrow. Due for completion in 2021 the joint project between Balfour Beatty and Vinci will cost an estimated £800m to upgrade the stretch of roadway to smart status. On completion of the project road users can expect smooth traffic flows, fewer collisions and less noise.

Foster and Partners floating glass Danish HQ

Foster and Partners have begun construction works on 39,000m2 glass headquarters building for Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Built in Kastrup on the coast in Denmark the building features a large stone base, creating a ‘floating glass’ illusion. Incorporating laboratories, office space, large meeting rooms, and conference centres the triangular building will house all of this beneath glass facades for maximum natural light.

Construction Materials Online talks to Lindab Marketing Manager Heather Wolfenden

Could you summarise Lindab and what Lindab offers as a company?

Lindab is an international manufacturer of cost effective, steel products for the construction and heating and ventilation industries. I manage the marketing for the Building Products division here in the UK, which focuses on lightweight steel rainwater systems.

How does the company differ from its competition?

The company philosophy is to ‘simplify construction’. Behind this however, our Rainline range has been developed over 50 years. On an ongoing basis, each component is checked, tested and modified. As a result of this consistent system innovation, our products offer a quality of fit and ease of use which customer feedback indicates is unrivalled in the industry. 50 years of research and development is not easily replicated.

How did you come to work for Lindab?

In 2014, the new Commercial Manager for Lindab Building Products identified an increased need for customer focus and success. With a view to taking the company in this direction and having worked in the manufacturing and water systems industry for a decade, I was approached to join the business as its Marketing Manager.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since you’ve worked in roofline drainage?

The biggest change has evolved in the last 10 years. Homeowners want to be involved in the design of their rainwater systems. Television programmes like Grand Designs have given the general public confidence to oversee their own research and project management. Lindab’s inclusive language and communications makes it easier for trade customers to explain our solutions to their customers. The end user better understands what their roofing or building contractor is recommending, speeding up the decision-making process.

What trends have you noticed in the industry most recently?

With a sharp rise in extreme weather conditions being experienced in the UK, work on the design of rainwater systems has an even greater emphasis on durability. The good news for us is that our metal guttering solutions have been designed in Sweden, where some regions have coped with severe weather conditions for many years.

What’s the most notable project that you’ve worked on with Lindab?

In July, we launched the Magestic range. This is a brand new rainwater range for us and a big first for the technology. Lindab is first to market to improve its galvanised steel rainwater product by strengthening the design with a magnesium zinc alloy coating. I was able to be more creative with this launch campaign, introducing the concept as ‘the King of Galvanised Gutters’. We’ve had an excellent response in a short space of time, which is always reassuring.

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