New housing registrations jump 18%

New figures from NHBC show that 18% more houses were registered in the UK in the first quarter of this year than in the same period of 2014.

In total, 40,281 new homes were registered – 30,691 in the private sector and 9,590 in the public sector – compared to 34,163 (24,428 private sector; 9,735 public sector) in the first quarter of 2014.

This represents a year-on-year 26% increase for …

Contractors groups agree merger

Trade bodies NSCC and UKCG have confirmed their intention to merge to give contractors a stronger voice.

The National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC) and the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) had been in discussions about the possible merger. They have now reported overwhelming support from members of both organisations to join up the contracting supply chain. The first meeting of a new strategy board has taken place.

NSCC president Kevin Louch …

Safety report highlights dangers of knocking down walls

The latest Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (Cross) update highlights the dangers of knocking down walls in terraced housing.

Confidential reports that are submitted to Cross are de-identified before being reviewed by a panel of experts. The panel then makes comments that are intended to assist those who may be faced with similar issues. Five of the eight topics covered in the latest report cover issues that occurred during construction.…

Industry swift with advice for new government

With the newly elected Conservative government starting work this week, there is no shortage of unsolicited advice coming its way from the construction industry and business lobbyists.

The Conservative Party surprised all pundits and pollsters last week by winning a clear majority of House of Commons seats at the 2015 general election. David Cameron secured another five years as prime minister, this time with a clear majority, winning 331 of …

Skanska makes no impact with deep green offices

Skanska says that its new office building in Yorkshire is its greenest-ever project in the UK.

Skanska says that the re-building of its Bentley Works facility in Doncaster has resulted in ‘facilities that have a near-zero impact on the environment’.

During the construction phase no hazardous materials were used and zero waste was sent to landfill.

The facilities will deliver net zero primary energy performance, making them ‘deep green’ as …

NHBC reports 18% rise in first quarter registrations

New figures from the National House-building Council (NHBC) show that more than 40,000 new homes were registered in the UK during the first three months of 2015, an increase of 18% on the same period last year.

In total 40,281 new homes were registered in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 34,163 registered during Q1 2014.

Private sector registrations in the first quarter increased by 26% from 24,428 last …

Contractors ‘sleepwalking into danger’ over fire door errors

Most fire doors are being fitted incorrectly, official figures have revealed.

On the third anniversary of the creation of the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), Europe’s first qualification and inspection scheme for fire door safety, it has emerged that 61% of fire doors inspected had problems with fire or smoke seals.

Fire door inspector Clive Reilly, who in 2012 became the first person to qualify as a fire door inspector, …

Exhibitors line up for Showcase Buyer fair

Major contractors, local authorities and the newly formed Highways England are among the companies exhibiting at Constructionline’s second annual Showcase Meet the Buyer & Conference next month.

The industry supply chain networking event for construction contractors, consultants and material suppliers takes place at The Kia Oval (Surrey County Cricket Club) in London on 3rd June 2015.

The free event, organised by the Constructionline prequalification service, includes seminars on new …

ISG strengthens engineering services team

ISG has recruited a pair of new directors to support its growing engineering services business.

The new appointments are expected to strengthen the company’s data centre leadership team in the wake of recent major project wins across western and northern Europe.

Stephen Henley has joined from Mace as European operations director. His role includes responsibility for health & safety and quality.

Chris McDermott joins ISG as commercial director from EC …

Skills shortage gets worse for specialist contractors

Skills shortages are preventing 28% of construction firms from bidding for work they would have previously taken on.

The latest state of trade survey from the National Specialist Contractors Council found that 47% of contractors reported that difficulty in recruiting skilled labour had got worse; only 2% had seen any easing of the problem.

The number of specialist contractors struggling to recruit skilled labour is at its highest for 14 …