New framework’s £16 million savings potential

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) launched on 1 April a new Construction Consultancy Services Framework, which it says is expected to save the public sector some £16 million over the next four years. Enabling NHS and wider public sector

organisations to access services such as quantity surveying, civil engineering, and architecture, it provides a fully compliant route for public sector purchasing teams to access a comprehensive range of construction consultancy services. It replaces the current Agreement that has been in place since 2014, and has saved the public sector over £12 m, ‘thanks to typical savings of between 10-15% compared with buying direct’.

The new Framework includes over 200 suppliers – ranging from SMEs to national

providers; new specialisms added for 2018 include Fire Safety, Energy Efficiency Products and Services, and Principal Designer Services. Last year over 300 organisations

purchased construction consultancy services via the NHS SBS Framework, with almost two-thirds non-NHS organisations. The new Framework allows organisations to award contracts directly, or to hold a mini-competition, and provides a range of pricing options and discount structures, plus the option for volume spend rebates.

Existing Framework customers will be able to access the former Construction Consultancy Services Framework for a further six months, if

Phil Davies. Reliable protection and maximum flexibility

Assa Abloy says its new eCLIQ electronic locking system features a

‘pioneering’ chip and 128-bit AES encryption, and has been developed to offer high security and resistance to electronic attack. Its ‘proven technology and advanced

microelectronics’ ensure quick, secure communication between lock and key, while the eCLIQ cylinders and programmable keys are ‘robust enough to withstand the harshest weather conditions’. Assa Abloy said: “As the security demands placed on buildings become increasingly complex, eCLIQ’s flexibility means security managers can easily update access authorisations when required. Furthermore, lost eCLIQ keys can be quickly revoked, eliminating the time and

money spent on changing lock cylinders and re-cutting keys. The system also offers time or area-restricted authorisations for an eCLIQ key. For example, contractors could be given access rights for the

duration of a specific job. Once the job is completed, access is then withdrawn from the key.”

“The eCLIQ cylinders and keys meet the latest industrial standards for electronic locking systems, including DIN 15684 and VdS 2156-2. The range includes cylinders that work in temperatures from –25˚C to 85˚C. The durable, reversible electronic key is also waterproof to IP67. Installation is simple, and requires no wiring. Cylinder electronics are powered by an easy-to-replace standard battery with a 30,000 cycle lifetime.”

World’s first ‘design school’ for dementia held

People with dementia and a supporter were able to work together with design experts to learn the skills needed to become more involved in the process of designing dementia- inclusive environments at what is claimed to have been the world’s first design school for people with dementia, held at Birmingham’s Crowne Plaza Hotel last month. The event was staged by the Dementia

Centre, an international research, education, and consulting service operated by charity, HammondCare. It was co-hosted by Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, the Centre’s director, and Agnes Houston MBE, who has lived with dementia since 2006, and campaigns to improve the lives of people with the condition. The event will be the first in a series of design schools which the Dementia Centre hopes ‘will result in a rich bank of knowledge about dementia-inclusive design that then can be used by architects, planners, developers, and


needed, to allow them to renew contracts under its terms and conditions.

Phil Davies, NHS SBS Acting

Procurement director, said: “The Construction Consultancy Services Framework enables clients from the NHS and other public sector organisations to commission construction consultancy services in a simple, streamlined, and cost-effective manner. The major benefit is the breadth and depth of suppliers we work with, including many smaller suppliers that public organisations may otherwise struggle to identify.”

Solar modules can enhance façades

Professor Colm Cunningham and Agnes Houston.

service-providers, to create better buildings and spaces for people living with dementia’. Associate Professor Cunningham said: “The idea for the design school came from a discussion I had with Agnes Houston. We felt there was a real need to increase the involvement of people with dementia in design. People living with dementia have in many cases learned to live with environmental barriers, and developed personal solutions to these challenges that people who do not have dementia could learn from.”

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki are collaborating with industrial partners to investigate opportunities to extend integration of visually attractive solar modules into the architecture of building façades. VTT Technical Research Centre says it has developed a mass production method – based on printing technologies to manufacture patterned organic solar modules – that ‘enables freely customised solar modules to meet the architectural requirements of buildings, and to add value to their visual appearance in addition to energy production’. The Centre said “Organic solar modules can even form visually attractive multicolour graphical images. Thinness and flexibility allow the modules to be integrated in glass, or adjusted to integrate into a freeform surface in building façades. They can also serve as intelligent interior surfaces that collect energy from indoor lighting, for devices such as sensors that gather information from the surrounding environment as part of ‘Internet of things applications’. PES Architects, one of the project partners, has developed and designed an innovative building façade concept in which solar modules symbolising ice crystals through Chinese calligraphy are brought into glass façades. The concept was the winning proposal in the design competition for the Sino-Finnish Congress Centre in Nanjing, China.

©PES Architects

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