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he Construction Product Association’s State of Trade Survey for the second quarter of 2015 indicates construction product manufacturers’ sales increased for a ninth consecutive quarter, driven by growth in all key areas of the UK construction market, together with a rise in export demand.

Among the key points are:

 A balance of 78% of heavy side firms and 73% of light side firms reported that sales rose during the second quarter of 2015, compared to a year earlier;

 78% of heavy side product manufacturers and 50% of light side product manufacturers reported that they anticipate a rise in sales over the coming year;

 Exports increased for 20% of heavy side firms and 40% of light side firms;

  T

 23% of heavy side firms and 38% of light side firms anticipate a rise in exports over the next year;

 33% of heavy side firms reported capacity utilisation of over 90% during Q2. 28% of heavy side firms and 15% of light side firms reported operating at over 90% capacity over the last 12 months;

 89% of heavy side firms and 47% of light side firms increased employment in the year to Q2;

 72% of heavy side firms and 50% of light side firms anticipate increasing investment in plant and equipment over the next 12 months. CPA economist, Rebecca Larkin, said: “The construction recovery has broadened beyond private house building to the commercial, industrial and infrastructure sectors, which has increased demand for construction products and led to a sustained

Leaders spell out business case for rapid low carbon transition


n a new report from the Aldersgate Group*, leaders from multiple sectors of the economy, academia and civil society set out the key policy priorities in this parliament that will allow the UK to meet its carbon targets on time, on budget and in way that will be beneficial to the UK economy. The report, A Brighter, More Secure Future: Low carbon priorities for the new government, gathers contributions from leaders drawn from sectors as varied as the telecoms, manufacturing, finance, retail, construction, cement, energy and engineering consultancy industries as well as prominent academics, consumer groups and NGOs. In it, the Aldersgate Group urges policy makers to provide clarity as soon as possible on the funding and level of ambition for low carbon technologies beyond 2020, prioritise the improved energy efficiency of the UK’s infrastructure, continue the positive work done to date in international climate negotiations and provide the necessary support to vulnerable parts of society and the economy in doing so.

The report argues that the environmental and low carbon goods sector is already playing a key role in the UK’s continued economic recovery, with an annual turnover in excess of £122bn in 2013. But the sector is now at a crossroads and needs clear policies for the decade ahead to ensure its continued growth. Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate

Group said that the recent report from the Committee on Climate Change showed that decarbonising the UK’s economy could be done affordably. This report shows that tackling climate change can provide significant economic opportunities for the UK and make our economy far more competitive and resilient to shocks in the future.

Contributors set out key policy recommendations that would ensure the UK’s transition to an efficient and low carbon economy stays on track and is delivered in a way that is as economically beneficial as possible to the UK. Joan Walley, Chair of the Aldersgate Group said: “One crucial area for government engagement will be to continue driving ambition to achieve binding commitments at the climate change negotiations in Paris at the end of this year.

“But as many businesses in our report make clear, the UK’s positive stance in international negotiations must be backed up by credible and stable policies at home to grow an efficient and low carbon economy rapidly. The government now needs to set out its plans for the low carbon economy in the very near future.”

*The Aldersgate Group is an alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy.

Johnson Controls creates interactive learning lab for Harlow college


ohnson Controls has created ‘The Box’ – an interactive teaching environment, equipped with building management system – for the Sir Charles Kao University Technical College (UTC) in Harlow.

“‘The Box’ brings added value to students’ experiences with innovative technologies that are becoming more and more relevant. Energy efficiency and sustainability are increasingly part of our everyday life and working environment,’’ says Jonathan Williams, Technology and Integration Sales Manager at Johnson Controls Building Efficiency UK.

“Employers are constantly struggling to find candidates with emerging technologies or manufacturing skills. ‘The Box’ will help these students prepare for future job opportunities.” Principal Michael McKeaveney said: “The installation of ‘The Box’

will enhance the innovative learning experience we offer students, and I am delighted with the result. The Box exemplifies the employer-led, current and pioneering approach to education we deliver.

“I’m delighted to be working with the high calibre sponsors that we have here at the UTC. Johnson Controls will provide a top rate experience to ensure all our young people understand the sophisticated systems involved with what Johnson Controls do that will allow our students to develop their employability skills.” Johnson Controls designed, supplied, installed and delivered the Metasys Building Management System for the project. Integrated in a normal classroom setting, ‘The Box’ measures temperature, light and humidity and has been configured with two spaces: a teaching space and a plant/maintenance space. Johnson Controls equipped the


Waterloo backs injury free working environments

period of growth among manufacturers. “The increase in demand has seen production increase and manufacturers have begun to absorb spare capacity, particularly on the heavy side, where a third of firms reported operating at over 90% capacity in Q2. In turn, increased capacity utilisation has been reflected in manufacturers reporting higher costs. “Wages and salaries were reported to be higher for 100% of firms on the heavy side and 93% on the light side in Q2, but firms have increased hiring despite the upside pressure on wage bills. 89% of heavy side manufacturers and 47% of those on the light side also increased headcount in Q2.”

mployees at Waterloo Air Products plc have taken part in and given their support to an Injury Free Environment (IFE) training initiative delivered by Skanska UK. Waterloo is encouraging employees to adopt a culture of actively promoting a safer work place.


“Businesses are taking a more concerted look at how they can improve the safety of their workplaces,” says Ron Edmondson, Managing Director of Waterloo. “People should feel safe and secure at their place of work. We welcome Skanska’s approach. Any steps Waterloo can take to encourage employees to adopt standards that deliver a safer environment benefits everyone,” adds Ron.

Skanska encourages its subcontractors and business partners to participate in promoting safer environments, as their collaboration is essential

in the prevention of injuries. “We work closely with Skanska UK on many projects, we’re delighted to support the company and that so many of our staff were able to take part,” adds Rachel Roots, Waterloo’s Business Development Manager, who was one of the proud recipients of the Injury Free Environment orientation certificate presented by Skanska UK.

Skanska initially implemented behavioural policies as part of their own injury free strategy. IFE is a culture adopted by increasing numbers of businesses, where everyone in the company is empowered to take responsibility to be personally involved in the prevention of harm to themselves and their colleagues.

By inviting subcontractors and business partners to take part, the industry is proactively embracing safer working practices and setting new standards.

rooms with a Metasys Building Management System, air handling equipment and environmental controls devices. These are all connected via a new ICT architecture providing live interaction with the environment. Students will be able to program a Building Management system, measure air temperatures and humidity, calculate energy consumption, automatically control lights, control systems remotely over Wi-Fi via tablets or their own smartphones, etc.

Lords appoint committee on the built environment

The Committee, chaired by Baroness O’Cathain, was expected to publish a Call for Evidence in July and was due to report before the end of the current session of Parliament.


The Committee’s remit is to consider the development and implementation of national policy for the built environment. Its report will include recommendations to government. Areas the inquiry is expected to touch on include housing, infrastructure and how to ensure excellence in planning and design.

The Committee members are: Baroness O’Cathain (Chairman); Earl

of Lytton; Baroness Andrews; Lord Macdonald of Tradeston; Baroness Finlay of Llandaff; Baroness Parminter and Lord Freeman.


he House of Lords has appointed a new ad hoc committee on the development and implementation of national policy for the built environment.

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