Friday, 26 March 2021





 







Concepts which could change the course of construction. 

 

Construction is an ever-evolving industry and with new technologies, and skill progression, the future is exciting. There are many different concepts and systems which are progressively becoming more popular, for example, BIM. 

 

BIM has been around for a while, but it is now becoming more widely used. This system helps with materials, scheduling, and even giving a representation of the build itself before construction happens. BIM can really help with providing information. You will be able to see what materials will best suit your build, and you can also keep an eye on the progress of your project. It is easy to see why this is as popular as it is. It really is a time-saver and on a construction site, that is vital. This technology is a must see; this description only scratches the surface! 

 

Smart buildings really can provide the construction industry with valuable information. The idea here is to build ‘intelligent architecture’ which will not only adjust with time, but will also collect data. Smart buildings will use sensors to collect this data, which can then be used to ‘build better’ in the future. If we know how buildings, or even cities, are being used, we will know exactly how to cater for them; knowledge is power after all. Having these systems installed will also allow for these buildings to perform better, which not only means a healthier living environment for the occupants, but also a more energy efficient home. 

 

Prefab construction is yet another concept which is turning heads. Essentially you design your home, but a large part of it would be made elsewhere. The on-site build time for this type of project is relatively short. However, you do need to ensure you consider the time in the factory. These predesigned structures can fit many budgets, depending on the design. This concept is becoming more popular and you can really understand why! I think we might be seeing a few more of these in the years to come.

 

Green buildings are thankfully becoming more important to people. The concerns over sustainability are growing and, individually, we are taking the steps to secure our future. There are many different levels to building green, and although it is ideal to be as sustainable as possible, any step in the ‘green’ direction is progress. Solar energy, and the equivalent, play a massive role in green buildings. The idea is to use as minimal energy as possible. Don’t forget though, just because solar is mentioned a lot in relation to this concept, this is not the only technology to consider when building green. There are many other technologies which can help with your eco project. Also, you must remember how important your design is, this really can impact your energy efficiency; build tight, build right!

 

As you can see, construction is changing. Who can complain though when it provides us with some amazing designs and ideas, and also looks after our planet? The way we build now is likely to be very different to the way we will build in the future. But the only way we can have progress is by learning, not only from our achievements, but also by our mistakes!

Friday, 19 March 2021

 









How do I organise my construction job?

 

When we start on a build, we need to know what to do and when to do it. If this is your first time then you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. What you need to remember is, there are a lot of lists out there to help and guide you. These will vary depending on your build, but you should be able to get some guidance from them. 

 

Now, just in case you’re searching Google and you’re still not sure or, you’re unable to find what it is you’re looking for, I have set out a basic guide just for you.

 

Site set up

Foundations

Drainage 

Ground Floor

Scaffolding 

Timber Frame

Felt and Batten

Fascia and Soffits

Roof Covering 

Guttering 

Windows and Doors

External Cladding 

Pinch Battens 

Brickwork

Battening and Boardwork

Render

External Silicone

Scaffolding down

1st Fix Carpentry 

1st Fix Plumbing 

1st Fix Electrics 

Decorating 

Carpets 

Air/Vent Test

Patios

Externals 

Snagging 

Service Connections 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You can use the above list to help set out your project. It will give you an idea of what to do and when. What you have to remember, is that although construction is a hands-on job, there is still a required amount of paperwork that needs to be completed before you start to build. 

 

The chances are, if this is your first build, you have spent a lot of time thinking about this. These decisions are not made off-the-cuff. You’ve received your planning consent, you’ve got all of your finances in order and you have filled in all of the other blanks. You’re ready!

 

The above list is set out in an order of stages and as I have said, each project will vary, so make sure you adapt to your needs. Just take from the list what works for you. 

 

There is a lot of organising to be done when building, so you need to make sure that you have an excellent team. If you’re taking on the role of site manager then you need to ensure that you have everything in place. You must have excellent communication and organisational skills for the site manager position, regardless if it is you, or someone else, taking on the role. Make sure that you have a team you can trust! Trust is the biggest factor in any team, and most importantly, enjoy every step because the end result will be more than worth it. 

 

 

 

Friday, 12 March 2021










Are construction conferences really worth it?

So, this is a question which I get asked a lot. Conferences are used in many sectors of the work place and their value is real. But, are they as important in the construction industry? 

Really this depends what you’re looking for. Each conference is designed around a certain area of construction, so you need to make a list of what it is you want to get out of them. Once you have that list, you can make more informed choices. 

These conferences are excellent ways to network. You might find a product which will make your life much easier, and it just so happens that the said product is to be showcased at the conference. To you, your projects and your clients, this is invaluable information and you could potentially be one of the first to use this product on your builds, and therefore be ahead of the game. 

At the moment, with the world the way it is, there is a lot of uncertainty. We may have issues on site which are a direct result of the lockdowns, or even Brexit. So much has had an impact on the way we work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. If there is something we all have to remember it is, if we can’t change it, change with it. 

These conferences showcase innovative designs and new technologies, and can answer questions you’ve got stored away. So yes, they really can be beneficial, in my opinion. Assuming you know exactly what you’re going for, pick the right one for you and go with the right attitude. You’re not going to be excited by every part, but, if you come back with more understanding than you went with, that’s a win.  

Also, what you need to remember is that at these conferences they tend to have ‘high achievers’ delivering the speeches. Pick their brains, ask questions, find out what is going on in the background. How is your industry changing? What are they going to do with the change? How are they handling it? It might not be the ‘hands on’ work that you normally do, but you can get a lot of knowledge from these conferences, and from the people working them. 

This year, there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to conferences, not just for our industry, but for all industries. Currently the UK’s construction week is 5th-7th October 2021 and is to be held in Birmingham NEC. The London dates are 3-5 May 2022. If you’re interested, they do have some virtual dates and information of these can be found here https://www.ukconstructionweek.com/visit.

Remember, whatever your industry, you get out what you put in. So, make the most of all the opportunities you have. Even if you learn one thing, that’s one thing you didn’t know yesterday!


Thursday, 4 March 2021









 What are ‘as built’ drawings?


There is a lot of terminology which we can get bogged down with when we take on projects. This can seem overwhelming for those who are doing this for the first time, or even for those who dreaded it all the first, second and third time. What you should remember is that once you know exactly what is required, the whole process becomes a lot easier. 

 

One question which seems to crop up a lot is, what exactly are ‘as built’ drawings? We all know we have drawings to start a project. We need these to enable us to get planning permission, to allow us to cost the project, to know exactly what we’re building and how to build it. We have to realise that although we have these done at the start of every project, things can change. Alterations can be made due to many factors, such as a change in materials, problems with existing plans, among many others. So, plans need to show these revisions. They need to be an exact copy of what has been built!

 

Not only should these plans show ALL alterations, they also need to contain all approvals to the changes. So, with this information in mind, it is essential that you have someone on site who is in charge of documenting the changes as, and when, they occur. This will eradicate the need for a mad rush at the end to go round and get all of the information together. Plus, by doing it as you go along, you will make sure that nothing is missed. These are important documents and you need to remember that you can’t just bury your head and ignore the process. 

 

Are as-built drawings compulsory?

 

As built drawings aren’t always compulsory, (this is something you would need to check on regarding your particular build) they are however, invaluable to both the customer and the construction team. If the customer, down the line, decides to make changes to the property, or even to sell the property, these drawings will provide great support in achieving these goals. 

 

As built drawings don’t need to consume your time. What you have to remember is if you note each change, whether big or small, the process will be done in no time. Whereas the initial drawings are completed by the architect, the as built drawings can be altered by the contractor. Don’t let these weigh you down. As long as you’re organised it really is a case of record keeping. If a change is made, make a note of it, and keep all relevant paperwork related to said change. It can seem overwhelming if you leave it all to the last minute. Take pride in your work and ensure that everything is completed to the best of your ability. Don’t forget, you’re only as good as your last build! 

  How Important is Air Tightness Consultancy?   Air tightness testing is where the air loss from the fabric of a building is measured.  Most...