Construction Trends for 2019

Construction Trends is always a talked about topic and 2019 is expected to be a breakthrough year for the Construction Industry. With the industry continuously evolving and the skills and technology developing at the pace they are, there is no doubt we are going to see some groundbreaking trends for 2019 and beyond.

Construction Technology in the last year alone has increased by 30% and that is only set to be on a rise over the next decade. So, what are the top construction trends set to make 2019 the breakout year?

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is going to open many new opportunities for the construction industry due to its ability to provide a lot of information. One of these is through accuracy, as it will be able to show the entire project before it even starts, saving a lot of time and money. It will offer everyone that is part of the project the ability to finalise details before the construction begins, providing a much more efficient process.

Self-healing Concrete
Many of the industry’s experts believe we will start seeing self-healing concrete being used on roads, buildings and homes. Self-healing concrete is a concrete that heals itself when it comes into contact with air and water that then produces an outer protective layer. This is going to save the industry a lot of time in the years to come. They even predict that by 2030 there will be 5 billion metric tonnes of concrete used in the industry.

BIM Technology
It is said that BIM technology will be the catalyst for a fundamental change in how we manage, design and develop a construction project. 85% of construction stakeholders believe that BIM can enable a better design insight.

Drones
Drone technology continues to rapidly evolve in its accuracy and precision due to its ability to save time, increase safety and keep projects on constant track. It will enable you to keep clients up to date on projects at any time of the day because it will be able to take images on an ongoing basis throughout the project, getting views that are not possible by a human. The use of drones will enable projects to run much smoother due to being able to send them into a building instead of a person, which will improve the safety of the industry.

Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is going to be a big part of the future of construction. It is said to be able to provide better health and safety on site and boost the efficiency of the lifecycle of a project. It is predicted that 250 million smart wearables will be in use by the end of the year.

Do you think these construction trends are going to be a breakthrough for 2019 and continue to evolve and develop the industry? Are you using any of these already? Tweet us @highfieldrec and let us know!

Why Drones are taking over the Construction Industry

Drones are no longer just an expensive high-tech toy for those of us who are lucky enough to be able to afford the hefty price tag and are highly into gadgets. They are now largely being used in billion dollar industries like construction to keep ahead of its competition.

In 2016, consumer drone popularity hit an all-time high, being the number item on a Christmas list that year. In 2016 2.5 million drones were sold in the world, which was almost double than that of 2015. It is predicted that this will increase to around 8 million a year by 2020.

So why has it become so popular for drones to be a crucial part of the construction industry? Well, there are many reasons and it doesn’t look like the use of drones within the industry is slowing down any time soon, with it being the number one trend to continue in 2019. If you want to keep an edge on your competitors then a drone will keep you ahead of the game.

Time

A project in construction can take time, especially at the initial stages. You will need surveys and if there is a way in which this could take as little time as possible and cost you half the money, then you will want to use it. Drones in construction have made surveying much easier by playing a huge role in making data collection simple and capturing the best angles and views.

Clients

You will be able to show clients the progress in a much more quick and efficient way. If your client cannot be at the site, then a use of a drone will be able to capture development in an inventive way that can show angles and images that are better than a photo. You will also be able to keep the client updated on the progress of a project in real time.

Safety

Safety Regulations are crucial for the construction industry and can be difficult to maintain at all times. With a drone, you will be able to capture views that you may not have seen with a naked eye. A drone will be able to view a site in real time from all angles, this can help with safety, especially if you may be dealing with a dangerous structure. It will mean you will be able to send drones into areas that are not necessarily safe for a worker to enter.

Keeping on Track

Keeping on track of a project is important, you are wanting to make sure that everything is running how it should and that you are keeping to budget where possible. Being able to monitor your sites with the use of a drone you will be much better prepared to remove anything that may impact additions to the project time and cost.

 

Do you use drones in your industry? Do you think they are going to help? Let us know by tweeting us @highfieldrec

Women in Rail Event

This evening we are proudly sponsoring the Women in Rail event which is taking place in Wiltshire, this event is to celebrate the launch of the WR South – Wiltshire regional group.

Women in Rail was created to improve diversity in the UK rail industry through providing networking opportunities and support for all women within the sector.

“With just 16% of jobs in rail filled by women, we need to understand how we can encourage others to join our industry and not just attract women to the railway, but also to keep, develop and promote them.  We need more women – not just directors and managers but engineers, signallers, graduates and apprentices too – helping us to build the better, more modern railway that Britain needs.” – Women in Rail

The event will be hosted by Anna Delevecchio, commercial Account Director for Amey and lead of the Women in Rail – South alongside Ebony Soltani-James. The event will include a number of speakers from influential people in the Industry as well as Q&A session.

There are a number of events going on in the UK for the next couple of months so don’t miss out on the opportunity to network with influential people in the Rail Industry. Check out the Women in Rails website for more information on events and latest news. http://womeninrail.org/

Are you attending the events put on by WR? Tweet us @highfieldrec to let us know what you think.

World Water Week 2018

World Water Week started back in 1991 in Stockholm, it has become the main event to discuss the water issues across the globe and has become the pivotal event of the year to reflect and make a difference to the water issues we have globally. It is organised every year by Stockholm Internalize Water Institute (SIWI).  Back in 2017, over 3,300 individuals and around 380 convening organizations from 135 countries participated in the Week.

Poor water management and strained ecosystems cause poverty and violent conflicts, and to avoid a global water crisis, more nature-based solutions are needed. Each year the event focuses on a new theme, in 2018, World Water Week will address the theme “Water, ecosystems and human development”. Previous themes have consisted of, Minimising Harmful Fluxes from Land to Water, Water and Food Security, Water for Development and many more important issues that affect the globe.

Additionally they offer a recognised prize to an individual who has made a difference to the water crisis. The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prominent award for outstanding achievements in water-related activities. The prize honours women, men and organisations whose work contributes to the conservation and protection of water resources, and to the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. All who have made extraordinary water-related achievements are eligible.

This year’s main focal point of discussion has been for nature based solutions. Many of the speakers expressed their confidence for nature based solutions and the possibilities they were able to achieve from nature. An example is the work of Stockholm Water Prize winners Professors Bruce Rittmann and Mark van Loosdrecht. Bruce Rittmann said in an interview about this; “Microorganisms live in water and when we use microorganisms we are making water a key part of the solution to many of our environmental challenges.” He added: “We want to have a merging of environmental and economic interests. We don’t want to make pollution control and environmental protection just a cost to society, we want to turn that also into a generator of resources and economic value”.

Are you following world water week? What has been your highlight so far? Tweet us @Highfieldrec to let us know! 

The Construction skills shortage continues

The construction skills shortage has been a hot topic throughout 2017 and it seems that it is continuing throughout 2018. As of now the skills shortage in construction has hit a record high. In response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim report, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said the industry requires a serious delivery plan in place for post-Brexit skills and immigration policy.

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim update, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Migration Advisory Committee’s Interim update has set out the concerns and evidence which construction and a wide range of industries have presented.”

In their quarterly report on the current state of the construction industry, the FMB found that those that are affected are finding it particularly hard to recruit carpenters and bricklayers, as well has a huge shortage for skilled electricians, plumbers, and plasterers.

With the Government’s promise of building 300,000 new homes a year in England alone. The questions of “Who will build all of this?” stands. With the increasing demand for skilled workers, the wages are increasing, and the cost of materials are at a new high. This is clearly causing a negative effect on the construction companies dealing with this issue.

With Carillion recently announcing its liquidation, a move that affected the jobs of thousands of employees, it is surprising that this has not been an issue in regard to the skills shortage saga. The FMB confirmed that it was currently co-operating with the Construction Industry Training Board as well as the Department for Work and Pensions to place former Carillion employees with small construction firms needing skilled workers.

So, what can be done to combat this skills shortage? I think there may be some simple things that can be tackled to cut the skills shortage.

Gender diversity is a hot topic at the moment in all ways imaginable. However, it may be something that could really help bridge the skills gap. Making the industry much more inclusive could mean more women in the trade. This would encourage a whole new talent pool of candidates that could ultimately begin to mend the current issues.

Making construction a bit more well known could really boost the industry. Currently the construction industry isn’t ever really put out there, especially on the mainstream media. It is a possibility that if construction was portrayed better across all avenues, this could help improve this skills shortage. Construction is so important to help our economy grow; without construction workers there will be no more new homes, or new educational buildings or hospitals. It is something that needs to be considered.

Education on the industry in schools could help inspire the new generations of workers. Showing young people the choices they have within the industry could really push them to take the vocational route and undertake apprenticeships in the trades currently seeing themselves in a skills shortage. Whilst not a short term fix, this could prove a long term solution.

What do you think? Are you a construction worker? Do you agree with the skills shortage saga? Tweet us at @HighfieldREC to let us know.

Architecture around the world

Now the cold weather has begun to pass, and Spring is now upon us, it is the time that we all start to kick back and dream of our summer holidays. Whether you are chasing the sun, culture or just the beauty of a new place, it is time to start making a choice on where you want to go. If you love architecture, sun and beautiful cities then I have some great picks just for you! Some of the worlds best architectural cities are a must see; here are my top five picks.

Dubai
Dubai is famous for many reasons as a holiday destination and this is mainly due to the gold sandy beaches and glorious sunshine. However, if you wish to visit somewhere that boasts tremendous architecture then, Dubai is the place for you. Wherever you are in Dubai all you must do is stand still and look up and you will be surrounded by some of the best architecture you will ever see. Famous for being the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khlaifa stands at 2,723 feet tall. This piece of modern architecture is incredible to see up close and it will not disappoint. It’s three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. It has the longest single running elevator, which is 140 floors. The elevators go 10 meters per second and are among the fastest in the world. It will take you approximately only one minute to reach the observation deck on the 124th floor.

New York
New York is a fast-paced city; if you love the hustle and bustle then New York is the place for you. It is known for its incredible sky scrapers and architectural history – you will not be disappointed. Now there are many different architectural buildings in New York that will take your breath away. From the Rockefeller Centre to The Empire State Building and all those in-between. The Empire State was constructed in a race for the world’s tallest building in the late 1920’s. It was completed in record time, from start to finish it was done within 20 months.

Beijing
Beijing is well known; it was home to the Olympic Games in 2008 and this made the city a popular tourist destination. Well known is the Great Wal – architects began building the Great Wall of China during the 7th Century BC to protect the Chinese empire. The length of the Great Wall is 21,196.18 km, and it is more than 2,300 years old. So, the oldest in my top five. It is one of the few landmarks that you can see from space. Something completely different from the Great Wall is the home to China’s Central Television Centre. It is located in the busy commercial area of the city, close to World Trade Centre. The tower was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, and was created to look like to inverted “L’s” connecting. This building stands out due to it breaking away from the traditional architecture that is situated in the city. It stands at 234 metres high with 52 floors.

Barcelona
Barcelona is beautiful city, boasting amazing culture. One amazing piece is La Sagrada Familia which was designed by Antoni Gaudis. Antoni Gaudis’ work can be spotted throughout Barcelona; you will simply not be able to miss it. Construction for the Sagrada Familia project began in 1882. When Gaudí died in 1926, only a quarter of the basilica was completed. Gaudí made sure to spend his last few years dedicated to the project. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be finished during his lifetime, with an estimated completion date of 2026. Back when construction began in the late 1800s, there were no computers or digital animation to rely on for the project. In the past, builders had to rely on paper sketches to correctly put together this massive structure.

Paris
Paris is well known for being the city of love. This is evident from the Love Lock Bridge which is now situated at Point de Neuf due to it causing damage to the original bridge. Every single building you come across is absolutely beautiful and it is like no other city. The Notre Dame is well known for many reasons; it is known famously for its French gothic architecture. It is one of the largest religious buildings in the world. The famous twin towers go as high as 69 meters (226 feet) and it have 387 steps. The Eiffel Tower was completed on March 31, 1889, and the tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. It is 324 metres tall and weighs 10,100 tonnes. Paris has many other amazing architecture fascinations that you must see, here a few; The Louvre, The Arch De Triomphe and The Sacre Couer.

 

What are your favourite architectural cities? Are there any I haven’t mentioned that you love? Get in touch with us by tweeting us @HighfieldREC and let us know!

Challenges of population growth for the British Pumping Station

The UK is at the forefront of the water industry worldwide. However, the UK sector faces challenges from population growth, climate change, changing customer expectations and the transfer of private pumping stations all over the UK. So what are the British Pumping Station?

The supply of water and wastewater in England and Wales was privatised in 1989. Originally ten companies were formed to supply water and wastewater. Their responsibilities included abstraction, treatment, collection, and the return of waste water to the aquatic environment. These services are provided by 32 privately-owned companies in England and Wales. Water companies in England and Wales will invest more than £8 billion in 2018-19. The investment comes in the fourth year of a £44 billion spending promise from 2015 to 2020. Over that 5-year period, the funding will guarantee that more than 370 million litres a day is prevented from leaking from pipes, nearly 5000 less properties will be flooded with sewer water, and there will be cleaner water at more than 50 beaches. Now over 50 million household and non-household consumers receive good quality water, sanitation, and drainage services.

On the 1st October 2016 thousands of private pumping stations transferred to water companies in England and Wales. This was the biggest shake up of the water sector in the last twenty years. In some cases, the adoption amounted to a significant addition to companies’ asset base. Some of the stations were difficult to access, many were in poor condition and all will continue to require ongoing active maintenance and monitoring to mitigate risk.

Some homes or businesses have drainage systems with pumps located inside large manholes, also known as wet wells, that pump the wastewater into the nearest sewer network. The stations are usually accompanied by a kiosk, normally green or grey in colour, which house the electrical equipment.

The main issues that faced the water companies throughout the transfer was based on the condition and location of these pumping stations. Thousands of pumping stations are untraceable, in bad condition and difficult to locate. When the agreement was made in 2011 to start this transfer, water companies predicted thousands of stations would have to be transferred. Original research shows that Northumbrian Water had over 2000 whilst Thames Water had between 10-40 thousand.

During Utility Week Live, Anna Hodson (Customer Experience Manager at Thames Water) explained that there are four core areas to understand if they are to comply with their customer’s needs.

CORE 1:   Owner-Tracking down the owner of the pumping station

CORE 2:   Hosts-  Is the pumping station on a residential property.

CORE 3:   Users- Who uses the pumping station?

CORE 4: Neighbours- How will the transfer affect local resident surrounding the station.

For a smooth transfer during these months it was important for water frameworks to understand these areas. Customer satisfaction was a priority, however there were other potential implications to consider for the UK water industry going forward.

Over the next ten years there will be an increased demand for water and sewerage services and the cost of maintenance will increase. The UK population is expected to increase to 73.3 million by 2037, an increase of ten million since 2013. Increased surface run off from household buildings and urbanisation will increase the risk of overloaded sewers.

What do you think about this? Did you agree with the transfer of the pumping stations? Let us know by tweeting us @HighfieldREC

Blog Post written by Tom, Recruitment Consultant for Highfield Professional Solutions

The Rise of Renewable Energy

The rise of renewable energy is still a huge talking point, therefore it is no big surprise that the debate of nuclear vs renewable energy is still at the forefront of most headlines. As we start to see just how much renewable energy is on the incline, can we really be sure that renewable energy is the way to go?

We know that renewable energy is on the rise due how convenient it is. It is much faster to install and much more scalable than nuclear power is. There is a myth that we need to build more nuclear power if we want to cut electricity emissions quickly. This is something than renewable energy is keen to suppress, especially with it fast becoming the most popular source of power.

There are many advantages of renewable energy. One major advantage renewable energy has over nuclear is that it can typically be installed much faster. Nuclear power plants can require 5-15 years to complete and some have taken much longer than this. There is no doubt that this is obviously going to sway people to choose renewable energy over nuclear.

To make a clear example of this, installing a solar power farm can be completed in a number of months, depending on the extent and complexity of the project. The same can be said about wind farms, which is also only a matter of months depending on the projects complexity. In 2017 alone, China managed to install around 52 MW of solar, this is around 330 acres. The continued popularity of this energy source is bound to go from strength to strength if it continues to become this easily available.

If this continued popularity continues to flourish, the cost of renewables is more likely to keep decreasing, especially as fossil fuel usage declines. With more demand and adoption, it will continue to increase the innovation to make renewables more and more efficient which will in turn boost their effectiveness and the speed at which you can get large amounts of power onto the grid.

Renewable energy is more scalable and better to address global warming than nuclear, mainly because it costs much less, takes less time to install, and doesn’t carry the problem of potentially causing disastrous damage.

All in all, it seems that renewable energy is the way to go, with it being more cost effective and much faster to install we are bound to see this become the most popular source of energy in years to come.

What do you think about this form of energy? Do you think that this is the best way to go or do you think nuclear will always win? Tweet us @HighfieldREC to let us know.

Will the construction sectors skills shortage affect the Governments plans to build?

The skills shortage in the construction industry is not fresh news. However, it seems to be more evident now than ever before. Will the skills shortage affect the Governments plans to build?

As we have witnessed in the last couple of weeks, 2018 has already proven that there is a strain on the construction industry due to the collapse of Carillion. It seems now we are seeing an even bigger stress with shortage in skills for the industry hitting the worst level on record. This is going to hugely affect the industry due to the number of projects that are planned over the next year.

The current skills shortage is threatening the government’s grand plan to build hundreds of thousands of houses annually. The government has set itself an ambitious target to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone, so this current issue is going to cause huge problems. According to the Federation of Master Builders quarterly report, they found that construction companies are struggling to recruit bricklayers and carpenters when they are in such a high demand at the moment. The demand for skilled plumbers, electricians and plasterers is also in high demand.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB has said “Skills shortages are skyrocketing, and it begs the question: who will build the new homes and infrastructure projects the Government is crying out for?”. The struggle to hire bricklayers is a huge setback for the government as this is one of the key trades in the building industry.

The FMB have said that wages are rising sharply for skilled tradespeople. This, along with the increase in cost of materials, is causing a massive blow to construction companies. With the uncertainty of Brexit still looming, many construction companies are calling out the government to ensure that they make the best decisions when it comes to the construction industry. Without skilled labour from the EU, the skills shortages the construction industry faces would be considerably worse.

The current positivity that the FMB is taking from this news is that the collapse of Carillion has meant that there will be many skilled tradespeople looking for employment, and hopefully this will mean that the skills gaps will get better.

The FMB have said that they are now working with the Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Construction Industry Training Board to matchmake ex-Carillion workers with small construction employers in need of skilled workers.

The Executive for FMB said, “We’re also working hard as an industry to rehome the 1,200 Carillion apprentices who are the innocent victims of the major contractor’s demise,” Mr Berry said.

“It’s in everyone’s interests to ensure that these young people continue on their path to a rewarding career in construction.”

Hopefully this will be the last we see of the skills shortage in construction for a long time. What with Brexit negotiations still on going, and the hope to place ex Carillion employees to fill the current gap, will we start to begin to bridge the current collapse.?

What do you think of the current skills shortage in the Construction Industry? Have you been affected at all? Let us know, tweet us @HighfieldREC.

Architecture Trends for 2018  

Architecture and design is continuing to evolve, and there is an influx of demand for new technologies and new designs. Therefore, the industry is continuing to make changes to keep up with these growing demands and the Architecture trends we see are always changing.

Let’s take look at the biggest architecture trends that are likely to be seen throughout 2018.

Open Plan Living
Open Plan living is becoming increasingly popular and is starting to take shape in a lot of homes. The open plan space is designed to blur the lines between the different sections of a house, and encourage sociability and openness between people in different areas.

This new idea is giving homes a communal, friendly, and welcoming feel. It is becoming increasingly popular for families, ensuring that children grow up in a less segregated home.

This new trend is also taking shape in the place of work in order to maximise space and encourage cooperation and team work among employees.

Multiple Master Bedrooms
As property and rent prices continue to rise, it is becoming more difficult for first time buyers to afford housing and families to afford living costs. Therefore, is it becoming increasingly popular for people to house share. This is creating opportunity for more self-contained living spaces within one property. So, the use of multiple master bedrooms is now necessary to have.

Integrated Electronics
As smart devices continue to evolve and become a demand for many people, it is becoming a necessity for most homes. Smart devices are now more common and more accessible in terms of cost and ease. For example, it is now popular for furniture to come with wireless charging pads built-in. It is being noted that eventually we will just be able to walk into certain rooms in our home and our phones will be able to charge through wireless technology.

Natural Lighting
Natural Lighting is an increasingly popular trend that is set to take wave in 2018. Glass walls and bigger windows are going to start showcasing the wonders of natural lighting. This trend is said to become popular due to it being most visually pleasing and complimentary to both the inside and outside of buildings.

 

Are there any other architecture trends we should be looking out for? What would you like to see in 2018?? Tweet us @highfieldrec to let us know your thoughts.