World Architecture Festival announces international ‘Super-Jury’

The World Architecture Festival has announced its 2018 Super-Jury, made up of the most influential names in international architecture. The ‘Super-Jury’ will judge the Festival’s World Building of the Year award on Friday 30th November at the RAI Amsterdam.

The WAF Awards, the ‘Oscars of architecture’, sit at the heart of the World Architecture Festival and celebrate global architectural excellence across completed buildings, future projects and landscape projects. Shortlisted entrants will compete for prizes across 33 categories on the first two days of the three-day Festival.

Solar powered Christmas tree sales double as councils tighten their belts

Solar powered Christmas trees are seeing a massive surge in popularity among local authorities across the UK as councils seek new ways to minimise public spending.

The news comes from the country’s largest provider of plant displays, Plantscape, which has seen sales of its cost-effective alternative to traditional yuletide offerings double since 2015.

The company, which has been providing floral displays to the public sector for the past 16 years and solar powered trees for a decade, is anticipating even greater interest in its products as councils wise up to the financial, energy saving and hassle-free benefits of a new style of festive illumination.


Westminster City Council, in collaboration with representatives of East Mayfair, has launched a major street enhancement programme that will ensure this important part of historic Mayfair remains a thriving cultural hub for bespoke tailoring and modern and contemporary art.

Working closely with its partners The Pollen Estate and Savile Row Bespoke, Westminster City Council has been developing a long term plan for the area.  The initial concepts were launched last year in major study – A Vision for East Mayfair. Other partners to have contributed to the Vision include the Royal Academy and O&H Properties.

NM Group builds on apprenticeship success with half million investment

National construction and engineering firm NM Group (North Midland Construction Plc) is set to invest £500,000 in training and development over the next 12 months – building on the success of its apprenticeship programme.

The company has a long-standing heritage with British apprenticeships. It currently employs 100 apprentices working throughout the business – about seven per cent of its workforce – and is recruiting new apprentices throughout 2018.


One of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, intu, is giving a new level of customer experience.

intu Merry Hill has become the latest retail venue to open a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet, to enable any shoppers who may need help (in terms of carers or equipment) to go to the loo can do so appropriately, and with dignity.

Smaller Businesses are Leading the Way in the Construction Industry

Eamonn Daly, Director of ITC Concepts, explores the benefits of being an SME

In the construction industry, creative solutions and technological innovations are developing thick and fast, and there is something that all the businesses that are pioneering these advances have in common: their size.

Whilst the larger construction companies might dominate the column inches in this space, the idea that it’s only bigger businesses leading the way and that SMEs follow in their footprints is misguided. SMEs make up the majority of the industry, their size allows the flexibility to be creative, which helps to position them at the forefront for innovation.


Exeter-based Coastal Recycling has achieved a major national quality mark. It is the first waste resource management organisation in the south of England to be awarded the BSI standard national quality mark, PAS 402. The quality mark recognises its commitment to reducing waste, specifically for the construction and demolition industry.

The focus for the waste industry continues to shift from landfill to recycling or energy recovery and PAS 402 is a nationally recognised quality waste management standard marking this. The standard follows a rigorous process set by the BSI (the national standards body of the UK) to meet the particular needs of the construction and demolition industries.

Thomas & Adamson appointed project manager for the UK’s first Virgin Hotel

India Buildings Limited announces the appointment of global construction and property consultancy, Thomas & Adamson as project managers and quantity surveyors for the landmark development of the first Virgin Hotel outside of the US.

The 225-bed project will occupy the 19th century India Buildings on Victoria Street in the Old Town of the Scottish Capital and is set to open in 2020. India Buildings forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, bordered by the historic Cowgate and the Grassmarket to the South and Victoria Street to the North, which leads up onto the world-famous Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

A Nation Detached?

Modern Masonry launches research into UK homemakers’ aspirations

  • Over 80% of respondents place performance-related issues at the top of the agenda when looking to buy a property
  • One in three people aspire to live in a detached house and two-thirds in a suburban setting
  • Less than 10% live in a house a decade old and only a fifth live in a house under 20 years old
  • More than half of us want to move within the next five years, but only a third will be in a position to do so
  • A quarter of people think they’ll never be able to buy their own home
  • Over a quarter feel that the current government housing policy does not meet their needs and half feel they do not know enough about it to comment


NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors), the UK’s largest and most influential roofing trade association, has launched its new logo at ecobuild 2018.

NFRC Members can use the logo once they have passed the NFRC’s strict Code of Conduct and standards of quality. As such, it is a powerful mark of approval, which singles out NFRC Members as trustworthy, dependable and reliable roofing contractors to their customers.


Building and civil engineering business, Britcon, has appointed Heath Williamson as Regional Manager at its base in Wakefield.   The appointment follows strong performance from the Yorkshire team which has doubled in size to 12 members in the last 12 months.

Heath, who is a Chartered Construction Manager, brings particular expertise in heavy engineering with over 27 years’ experience working in senior management roles for a number of leading regional and national building and civil engineering operators.  He was most recently responsible for overseeing pre-construction activities for a £65 million biomass import terminal for Lynemouth Power Limited, at the Port of Tyne.


Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM), a leader in the design, development and manufacture of door entry and intercoms, has launched a new portfolio of IP-based solutions.

The range comprises a selection of outdoor panels and indoor monitors to target specifiers and M&E consultants considering door entry and access control products for new build developments and refurbishments of apartment buildings.

Grant Jenkins, who heads up ISM’s Door entry division, says the new products complement the existing Ultimate stable of Intercoms and door entry equipment that are already well-established in the UK:


Showcase your ‘Skills On Site’ for the chance to win money-can’t-buy exposure for your business at the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.

To celebrate the talent and hard work of tradesmen up and down the country, Checkatrade have launched their ‘Skills On Site’ competition, a chance for individuals to showcase their talents to win ‘money-can’t-buy’ exposure for their business at the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium, live on Sky Sports.

Aluprof Systems Awarded Further Q-Mark Certificates’

Leading European systems company Aluprof have been awarded further prestigious Q-Mark Product Certifications by Exova BM Trada, for several of their window and door systems.  The Q-Mark scheme offers independent and impartial third party assessment of manufacturers claims as to product performance and quality.

Specifiers are beginning to place more emphasis on the Q-Mark scheme as it not only confirms the products claims, but also can be followed through to site installation by using the ‘Q-Mark window and door-set survey and installation scheme’ for installers.  Whist initial audits are carried out when certificates are successfully awarded to systems suppliers and installers, retaining certification requires passing future company audits.  Both schemes ensure that specifiers obtain the expected quality of the finished installed product.

Move or improve? Britain’s fascination with home improvements continues with the 110th edition of the Ideal Home Show

Ideal Home Show 2018 sponsored by Zoopla*, heralds one of the busiest times of the year for the DIY and home improvements industry. Taking place at Olympia London from 17 March to 2 April, the show celebrates 110 years since its inception. Despite the average property shrinking, the nation’s obsession with home improvements continues to expand.

With the number of dwellings grown in Great Britain from 7.7 million in 1908 to more than 23 million in 2017^, the average home today is smaller than when the Ideal Home Show started in the 1900s. Research from the National Association of Estate Agents+ shows the average 1920s dwelling was around 153 square metres, while almost 100 years later the average home has nearly halved to 83 square metres.