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ALUMINIUM


THE SHOW IS OVER ON WITH THE SHOW


With the Olympics now over, CAB Chief Executive Justin Ratcliffe reflects upon the current market conditions and what approach his sector needs to take.


A well-known main contractor whispered to me very recently that while he had been totally entranced by the London Olympics, from a work point of view, he could not wait for it to finish as so much work had been put on hold as a result. While this may be true, it is still becoming clear that contractors who were looking at £100M projects not so long ago are having to make do with £20M-£30M projects.


Location still seems to be key, with the pipeline of projects in central London looking to pick up to the end of the year. Te latest Construction Products Association market survey does not contain a lot of comfort, but they do still maintain that the construction sector will grow overall in the second half of 2013 and that we will see this come through in 2014. Te key disappointment is still that the private sector has not been able to make up for the fall back in the public sector.


Realising this, the Government


have pledged a few schemes such as ‘UK Guarantees’ and the ‘Temporary Lending Programme’ primarily to get projects that were nearly there ‘over the line’. While there is no investment actually being made here, there is still a sense of frustration from contractors and architects at the manner in which the £2.4Bn Priority Schools Building Programme has been planned so that only £400M has been actually released to date. Te balance is awaiting a thorough review of schools refurbishment


requirements - apparently a matter of years rather than months before further funding is released.


So what does all this mean to the aluminium in building sector? We were buoyed by a highly positive start to 2012, the number of fabricators wanting to include aluminium in their portfolio is still increasing and the market for vertical sliders and bi-fold doors is still attractive. CAB’s next regional meeting at the end of October again looks at Specification and in particular ‘the specification journey from concept to site’.


Tere is still a view amongst


architects that our sector must continue more than ever to innovate and come up with yet more ideas for material substitution opportunities. One of our speakers, an architect from the East Midlands will speak about his extensive work with schools and in particular working with pod systems, highlighting the partnering that went on between the architect and manufacturer to develop the system. He will be encouraging the aluminium sector to take on a similar approach even in these difficult times of tight margins and concerns about being paid. What he and a consultant speaker will address is how CAB member companies can become/ continue to be organisations that others want to work with. It may sound simple but in challenging times ahead this quality will be crucial to the success of not only our sector, but also the wider construction industry.


For more details of CAB’s work and how to become a member, contact the Association on 01453 828851 or email julie. harley@c-a-b.org.uk


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Clearview NMS « September 2012 « www.clearview-uk.com » 41


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