Fiona Fletcher-Smith, group director development and sales at L&Q, expressed her strong concerns regarding the banking sectors apparent reluctance to provide financial funding for, in particular, offsite projects. Warning that the banks reluctance posed a serious threat to the progress of housing portfolios that featured offsite construction methods.


Speaking at this years Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference in Manchester, Fiona said, “We need to make sure there’s a better conversation about what’s going on with the banks, If we cannot secure debt against these portfolios then we will not make this work.”


She stressed that her own Housing Association would need to use modern methods of construction in order to meet their target of 100,000 new homes over the next ten years.


Fiona continued, “In the next few months, you will hear much more from L&Q about how MMC will be a major part of that journey.” L&Q signed a deal in February with Stewart Milne Timber Systems to deliver frames for more than 1,500 homes, demonstrating its commitment to offsite methods.


She told delagates that she believed MMC would improve the quality of new housing and sited an L&Q home build by traditional methods where sprinklers had not been connected to the water system and nor fire alarms to the electricity, thus rendering them useless, “We are putting people’s lives at risk and it’s not good enough,”


She said that although offsite manufacturing was still expensive, the improved quality could result in long-term savings. “It’s the long-term management costs that matter to us as well,” she concluded. “I see MMC as saving more over the whole life cycle of a building.”


London and Quadrant Housing Trust

Why the octogenarian engineer Max Fordham claims ventilation is the worst excess of the building industry.


Max Fordham’s house is “simple and practical” and mostly all natural.

There has long been skepticism about Passive House, or Passivhaus in the original German. Passivhaus expert Monte Paulsen listed some of the misconceptions in a Green Building Advisor article a few years ago, including “too expensive” or “too stuffy” or “too complicated” or “too rigid” or “too ugly”. But in the years since it has become clear that none of these are true, and a lot of those skeptics have been won over.

According to Jason Walsh, writing in Passive House Plus, physicist and engineer Max Fordham used to be a bit of a skeptic and critic of the Passive House concept. But he independently developed his own approach to building energy efficient buildings, and it was looking more and more like Passive house. Fordham tells Passive House Plus that ventilation is the source of “the worst excesses of the building industry.” He then goes on about one of my regular gripes, radiant underfloor heating:

In particular, once you’ve solved the ventilation problem you’ve got a building that doesn’t really need any heating. What’s happening a lot with passive houses we’re seeing built is that people are demanding things like underfloor heating… I think it’s a conservatism: people are afraid, but it’s [passive house] then being adopted and people are adding underfloor heating to the brief. That’s the worst kind of heating to have, in a way, because if you have a thermally heavy [passive] building it doesn’t actually need any heating. So, if you don’t need any heating, you’d better not put in a heating system that is difficult to control and slow to control. It may look very luxurious and nice, but you can’t really turn it off. It’s just wasting heat.

Justin Bere, architect for the house, explains a bit of Max Fordham’s conversion:

Throughout his career he has, in his own way, developed his own version of passive house. He was on the same wavelength but didn’t know about it, and in this he brought together what he was doing and what the Passive House Institute was doing, saying: ‘Were both on the same mission to fight for the planet.’

One very interesting thing about this house is that it is on three levels, and there doesn’t appear to be much of a concession to the fact that Max Fordham is in his eighties, other than the stairs do not have winders in them. Jason Walsh writes that “there is a focus on accessibility; it is possible to live entirely on the ground floor, for example, while cork flooring provides some safety against falls.” And the bathroom door on the ground floor opens outwards, but that is about it, and it is a tight ground floor suite.

But it is a very small mews site and Fordham almost seems to be treating this more as a physics experiment than a house. He tells Passive House Plus:

I’m just getting some feedback on the energy use. It’s very interesting: the top has the most glass and is getting the heat. It’s very cosy. The ground floor tends to need a little heat so I’ve just written a note that says that we need to increase the internal air flow. It’s very exciting getting some real feedback.

Readers should visit Passive House Plus for the technical details, but the house hits only .38 air changes per hour (PH limit is 0.6) and costs almost nothing to heat. It is built with natural and renewable materials including wood fibre insulation and wood cladding. There is a little electric heater coil in the Heat Recover Ventilator and a heat pump domestic hot water system.

One of the reasons that there used to be so many of the misconceptions about Passive House is that there really wasn’t a lot of experience with them. That has now changed. The builder, Bow Tie Construction, notes that some architects still don’t understand it.

Yesterday I spoke to an architect who said to me, ‘I don’t want to have to learn all this [in advance]. I want you to show me.’ One really interesting thing that comes to mind is that we try to specialise in passive house but [some] architects look at the costs and see us as too expensive or unapproachable. We’d like to see more co-operation between builders like us and architects.

When builders, engineers, architects and clients all understand what they are doing and why, most of those problems and extra costs will just disappear.


by Lloyd Alter


SOURCE: Treehugger

There has been a great reaction to the recent launch of Sidey’s new-look website. Scotland’s strongest fenestration company has already received superb feedback and attracted hundreds of new visitors.

The website has been designed to show Sidey’s impressive range of products to all market sectors, comprehensively catering to homeowners, trade, new build & developers and local authority & housing associations.

With fresh page designs and stunning photography, a simple navigation process and upgraded content, the site has been developed to be tablet and mobile friendly, enabling visitors to find the information they need easily, whatever platform they are using.

Containing in-depth information on the products and services that Sidey provide, news, history, accreditations and other resources, each different sector on the site also features the relevant information for that market, including specific product details, downloads and case studies.

“It was vital that the new site would be able to accommodate all the different aspects of our business and make available the necessary information that each market sector needs,” says Mandy Gunn, Sidey’s Marketing & Bid Writing Manager.

“Not only have we achieved that, the site looks great and is easy to use across all platforms. We know that a huge percentage of people now use mobile phones to access the internet and we’ve reflected that in our design.

“The hard work we put into the planning, development and content of the website has worked well and we’re very pleased with the results.

“Not only have we seen a significant increase in traffic, but we’ve also had lots of great feedback from visitors to”



Knauf’s Deflection Head Fire Seal takes the hassle out of constructing deflection head details, simplifying the installation process and delivering peace of mind when meeting the ever-stringent fire protection standards.

New to the Knauf range of drywall accessories on July 1 2019, and ensuring full system compliance, Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal reduces complexity when installing drywall systems, so simple that when installed correctly, it’s guaranteed to do its job.

An alternative to the arduous traditional plasterboard fillet deflection head, this elastic polyurethane foam with intumescent firestop additives acts as a firestop and acoustic solution at the partition top track whilst providing up to 25mm deflection capability.

Using Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal saves contractors a significant amount of time on site, provides a clean environment, can be cut to size without creating dust and is a lightweight easy-to-handle product. Gone are the days of having to attach plasterboard strips and laboriously lifting the heavy top tracks into place. This reduction in site practices not only simplifies the build process and ensures quality, but saves time, money and onsite waste.

The guarantee of quality assurance doesn’t stop there. Because Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal can be integrated within Knauf drywall systems, Knauf can provide a full System Performance Warranty, reducing the associated risks and reassuring clients.

Available in four standard widths, the Knauf products provide a friction fit for all common track sizes with a further double width option accommodating larger track widths and a cost-effective solution for double stud systems.

Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal is also space saving and easy to manoeuvre on site. One box of 20 rolls, covering 60 linear metres of top track, has a mere 0.3m2 footprint compared to the alternative pallet of plasterboard fillets at 3.6m2 and at less than a tenth of the weight.

As a market leader, Knauf understands the importance of offering solution-based systems that cater to the needs of customers and their clients. By offering full Knauf systems, our customers can enjoy the backing from Knauf’s technical expertise but also feel safe in knowledge that the system is backed by a System Performance Warranty.

The introduction of Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal is part of Knauf UK’s commitment to build for the world we live in where product development goes hand-in-hand with customer insights and innovation is driven by their needs.

A newly commercial British technology which converts waste plastic into clean energy is being lauded as the answer to the non-recyclable waste crisis.

This technology, which has been ten years in development by PowerHouse Energy, is known as distributed modular generation (DMG). It takes non-recyclable mixed waste plastic and through a chemically engineered process operated at very high temperatures it vaporises the plastic in the absence of oxygen to produce gas which comprises hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide. The hydrogen can be used to power vehicles, typically using hydrogen fuel cells, and the other gases in the mix can be used to generate clean electricity.

R&D has been undertaken in conjunction with the University of Chester with a demonstrator unit being located on the University’s Energy Park in Thornton. The technology received independent validation that it works in November 2018 from DNV-GL, one of the largest companies in the world which independently certifies new technologies.

A key attribute of this technology is its relatively small size and modular construction meaning it can be located where the waste is situated and it needs only half an acre of land to operate on and can be up and running in just 10 months. A typical DMG powered plant will convert 25 tpd (1 truck full) of plastic waste into enough energy to power 4000 homes for 24 hours and 60 000 miles of hydrogen powered car motoring or for 20 HGVs each to travel 300 miles.

Furthermore, this process has the benefit of producing clean energy at a commercially attractive price, in particular with regards hydrogen, the cleanest fuel on the planet, which is produced at a cost that competes with that of diesel and petrol.

A compelling example of how this technology could be usefully adopted would be to locate a DMG plant on a UK waste management sites, and on the same site locate a hydrogen fuelling station to power super-green hydrogen powered local buses to service the local community.

“We can do this and relish the opportunity to show just what can be achieved with our energy recovery process, which alongside other commendable initiatives being deployed is the responsible thing to do ”, commented PowerHouse Energy’s Chief Executive, David Ryan, the man behind the company that created this technology.

He adds: “Our process regenerates the energy contained within the plastic, producing a clean gas for electricity and hydrogen for road transport, the cleanest fuel on the planet, at a cost which makes it a realistic contender to replace petrol and diesel, and that has to be a benefit to all of us everywhere.

“The scope of application for this technology is truly global and with the support we are seeking from governments and commercial partners across the world it is ideally placed to make a significant impact in helping win the war on plastic.”

Tom Mostyn


SOURCE: Hydrocarbon Engineering

Erwin Boermans examines how an Australian university has rejected ductwork for hydronics when it comes to heat and air management.

Swinburne University’s Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC) is unlike most educational buildings in Australia.

It uses hydronics – water pipes embedded in the floors and walls – for heating and cooling, and fresh air is drawn into the building through windows via the atrium, without the use of ductwork for airconditioning.

In Australia, we’re quite wedded to the idea that large buildings need ductwork blowing warm or cool air around the building to maintain a specific temperature.

Quite uncomfortable.

This has several negative health implications that are quite well known overseas and are starting to be understood better here.


Health implications of ducted air

When she was researching causes of death in the elderly, Technical University Eindhoven’s Emeritus Professor Annelies van Bronswijk, a microbiologist, analysed various different thermal energy distribution systems and observed that ducted airconditioning and ventilation systems were harbouring significant biological hazards.

In Australia, we’re quite wedded to the idea that large buildings need ductwork blowing warm or cool air around the building to maintain a specific temperature

This ductwork was creating “sick” buildings and, in turn, the sick buildings were creating sick people.

The sickness was coming from the biological hazards in the ductwork often exacerbated by a low relative humidity that can make people more vulnerable to golden staph infections, and the influenza virus due to the drying out of their mucous membranes.

These kinds of environmental illnesses in people are not easy to fix medically.

Healthy people in healthy buildings tend to work better and feel more comfortable.


The 1970s oil crisis as a turning point

The 1970s oil crisis was a turning point for building standards in Europe, and particularly The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

Sweden legislated highly energy-efficient “low-temperature” thermal energy distribution systems as the standard for all buildings.

In turn, the buildings use natural ventilation – windows and ventilators – to bring fresh air inside.

Fans and ductwork are generally limited to exhaust applications so the opportunities to spread microbes around the atmosphere inside the building are limited.

In contrast to the sick buildings identified by Professor van Bronswijk, Sweden has relatively few sick buildings compared to other countries – especially Australia.

In The Netherlands, electricity generation was decentralised to farming communities and waste heat and carbon dioxide are sold.

Waste carbon dioxide is used by the farmers who use it to accelerate the growth of flowers and food crops in highly controlled greenhouses. Waste heat is exchanged locally for heating and cooling.

Switzerland, which has no fossil-fuel resources, transitioned early to manage the seasonal energy with heat pumps, hydro power, waste-to-energy and solidly built, energy efficient and well managed buildings.

The space advantage of hydronics

As well as being a healthy option, because the heat or cold is moved around the building in energy-dense water rather than air, hydronic systems occupy about an eighth of the space of ducted air systems – in real estate terms, that’s extra saleable or lettable space within the building envelope.


Implementation at Swinburne

The design brief for the AMDC was executed by Sinclair Knight Merz (now owned by Jacobs Engineering) and architectural firm WilkinsonEyre.

The most obvious architectural expression of the building’s environmental credentials is its sculpted vertical fins – inspired by turbine blades – that dominate the exterior, including a set of distinctive “fish gills” on its William Street elevation.

Other concessions to the neighbourhood include the retained Victorian façade on the Burwood Road elevation, to preserve the historical character and human-scale of the streetscape.

Much of the cleverness hides behind the impressive façade.

Electricity for the building is provided by a trigeneration plant on the roof that runs on natural gas to produce electricity, and produces heat as a by-product.

The heat is stored in a water tank. It is circulated directly through the heating circuit of the building and sent to the absorption cooler to create chilled water, which is stored in another holding tank and circulated through the cool water circuit.

These two circuits allow different zones of the building to be heated and cooled at the same time. For example, heat generating areas such as the data centre and some manufacturing areas can be cooled, even in winter, and the heat they generate can be fed back into the heating circuit for further efficiencies.

The system is a “four-pipe” system, using a flow and return pipe for heating and another flow and return pipe for cooling.

Some buildings overseas are using their rooftop fire suppression tanks to store thermal energy, and one building in Hong Kong uses them for food production in tropical fish farm as fish grow quicker in warm water.

Relative humidity – which can be a problem in buildings with poorly designed or managed hydronic systems – is controlled through careful management of heating and cooling throughout the day. Temperature and relative humidity, both key to human comfort, are managed using the building management system.

In the building, fans are used to draw exhaust air out of the building, and fresh air in through windows and vents.

The result is Swinburne University’s second 5 Star Green Star building, with a healthy environment that its occupants enjoy.

Photograph courtesy of Swinburne University



Erwin Boermans was born in The Netherlands, is an electrical & HVAC engineer, educator and founder of Pty Ltd, a transformation consultancy. He was invited by Swinburne University to specify key features of the in the initial design brief for the AMDC building.


SOURCE: TFE Special Reports

The Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street, was recently taken on a guided tour of a West Midlands based modular housing company Totally Modular, which is hoping to contribute to the region’s ambitions to increase housing output.

Managing director of Totally Modular, John Connolly, and operations director, Mick Pettitt, guided the West Midlands Mayor around the company’s Cradley Heath HQ, where he was able to see a range of house types suitable for single occupants or families and met some of the skilled staff who design, construct and install them on sites around the country.

The company’s volumetric building method allows 97% of its homes to be completed offsite, before being transported to their permanent locations. It can then take as little as 48 hours from arriving on site, being put in place, and connected to utilities before welcoming its new residents.

Andy Street said: “It was great to visit Totally Modular and see first-hand their innovative house-building methods. The West Midlands Combined Authority is committed to tackling homelessness and increasing the number of homes being built in the region and it has been really helpful to talk with Totally Modular about new ways we can do this.”

The Mayor was accompanied on the visit by David Warburton, head of land and development at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), who said: “It was of great interest to see how the company can create much-needed quality housing, suitable for a range of people, in such a short time. I think modular homes could really speed up the entire process, and should be seriously considered by all housing providers.

“The WMCA is committed to embracing the benefits of modular construction leading to an enhanced delivery in terms of speed, quality and cost with a view to making the West Midlands the epicentre of the UK’s offsite construction sector.”

Totally Modular is looking to expand its operations throughout the West Midlands, and hopes to create up to 450 jobs in each of its regional facilities, through direct employment and with local supply chain partners.

Mick Pettitt, operations director, said: “It was good to see exactly how interested and impressed our guests were. They are so obviously determined to take practical measures to address homelessness and the housing shortage, and I believe Totally Modular is in an ideal position to help.

“Because our units are built under controlled conditions, workmanship is of the highest standard, minimising the need for site inspection and virtually making redundant the dreaded ‘snagging lists’ synonymous with new housing. The speed at which we can create these homes will allow for an increase in productivity when it comes to housebuilding in the West Midlands and across the UK.

“Our link with Dudley College and local Universities is also a great way of attracting young people into the industry and helping to bridge the skills gap. By teaching them advanced modular building techniques, we can provide the foundations for a multi-skilled career within the industry at a time when this is hugely lacking. ”


On June 10th, the government is set to publish its final proposals for the long-awaited Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). By the end of the year qualifying suppliers with more than 150,000 customers will be legally required to offer terms of payment for the surplus power that new solar homes put on the grid. Smaller suppliers are also able to offer a Smart Export Guarantee on a voluntary basis. 

The STA wants to see a competitive market develop to purchase power from smart, solar homes. It will be watching the market very closely for developments and ranking all offers via its online Smart Export Guarantee league table, so that new solar households can easily understand which companies are making the best offers.

Currently only Octopus Energy, on a voluntary basis, has a tariff for solar exports, for which it is offering a fair market rate.

STA Director of Advocacy and New Markets Léonie Greene said; “We will be watching the market like a hawk to see if competitive offers come forward that properly value the power that smart solar homes can contribute to the decarbonising electricity grid. The net zero energy transition we need cannot happen without the active engagement of the public so it is vital that, as very small players, they are treated fairly in a very big system. It is a requirement under EU law to offer fair, market-rate payment for small-scale solar power exports and government has decided to leave this to a market that it does not trust to supply power at a fair price. 

Nevertheless we are hopeful that there are innovative electricity supply companies who understand the importance of incentivising homeowners who want to install solar, battery storage and EV charging as we move towards a smart energy system. Barriers still need to be resolved and it is incumbent on government to remove these to encourage as thriving and competitive a market as possible, including for aggregators.”

Innovative supplier Octopus Energy have already taken steps towards meeting the requirements of the SEG with the first truly ‘smart’ export tariff offer, which includes both a simple fixed payment for all surplus power exported to the grid at a fair market rate of 5.5p/kWh, and a ‘smart’ tariff, which will enable homes with solar and battery storage that can control when they export power to the grid to potentially benefit from even higher rates because they can export at ‘peak’ times when power is more expensive.

However, while this initial offering is positive, it does have its limits. In order to benefit from Octopus Energy’s offer, you also have to be a customer on the supply side. If other suppliers follow this format, there is a risk of consumers being saddled with opaque package deals that cloak the true economics of household power use and supply. Furthermore, this offer only applies to the domestic market. Since April 2019, small-scale commercial and community energy generators have been left with no route to market.

Details released on the SEG so far are scant, so the STA is not yet able to comment in depth, however, it is expected that MCS certification or the equivalent will be a requirement to qualify for a SEG, helping to safeguard high standards in the industry.

The announcement is expected to fall short of demands to mandate a minimum price following a vigorous lobbying effort including politicians and the public alike. MPs such as Antoinette Sandbach and Douglas Ross have been particularly vocal on the matter, as have campaign group 10:10 Climate Action. Should the market fail to provide and sustain fair offers there will be immediate pressure on Government to intervene.



We hear a lot about the role of females in the UK construction industry, or lack of, but this story from across the Atlantic should be an inspiration to any female thinking of construction for a career, not sure what health and safety would have to say about the high heels though!!!

The construction business is no bed of roses — cutthroat competition makes it hard to stay on top. But one construction and design firm has been making its mark on some of our biggest landmarks.

Cheryl McKissack Daniel now sits atop the oldest African-American-owned and female-run construction company in the nation — a business her family truly built from the ground up. In the male dominated world of construction, McKissack Daniel feels right at home — even in a hard hat and heels.

As president of McKissack & McKissack, she manages projects ranging from a park in downtown Brooklyn to getting many of New York’s trains to run on time. Her company is on board to revamp Long Island’s railroad hub, which runs underneath the Brooklyn Nets’ home.

In fact, McKissack Daniel’s business is assigned to just about every major infrastructure improvement project financed by the city and state, including the current construction at LaGuardia Airport and the new Terminal One at JFK.

McKissack Daniel says competing in construction’s big leagues “takes relationships, and getting people to realize that you bring value to the table something unique and different.”

The nation’s oldest African-American-owned and female-run construction management firm dates back more than two centuries to a Tennessee slave named Moses.

Moses McKissack was taught the trade of making bricks by his Scottish slave master. The trade was passed down to her grandfather and great uncle, who incorporated the family business in 1905. Over the next 60 years, they built homes, hospitals, and colleges. McKissack said her grandfather built the Tuskegee air force base where black pilots trained to desegregate World War II.

In 1968, McKissack Daniel’s father William took over, laying the foundation for his three daughters. “We would go to work with him every Saturday starting at ten years old, walking construction sites, tracing documents, you know, learning about building systems early in life,” McKissack Daniel said. “It was all ingrained in us.”

When her father suffered a stroke in 1982, her mother, Leatrice B. McKissack, stepped in.

“I don’t know if my husband’s gonna live or die,” she recalled. “But the next morning at 8:00, I had five major architectural and engineering companies callin’ me, ’cause the message had already got out that my husband was seriously ill.” The business was so good, she said, that they all wanted it.

But with no training in architecture, the former school teacher used good sense and her master’s in psychology to find her way. She found courage in liquid form.  “[My husband] had a bar in the conference room. So I said […] ‘I’m goin’ in this bathroom and get fortified for this crazy board meeting,’” she said. She did well, managing a $50 million complex at Howard University and a project at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

By 2000, McKissack Daniel took over the helm, and moved the headquarters from Nashville to New York. But breaking into the the Big Apple was only made possible by affirmative action, she said.

“People do business with people who look like them.” she said. “All the work that we’ve done outside of New York, it didn’t matter in New York.”

Cheryl McKissack Daniel CBS News

But McKissack Daniel’s work mattered to the communities she served, beginning with her own. Sixty-one percent of her hires are minorities, and 34% are women. When her company worked on the $325 million patient pavilion at Harlem Hospital Center, it accepted job applications from locals in the neighborhood. She said she received 7,000 applications from people looking for work.

She hired 200 of those people, and later, she developed a job training workforce program to try to place the rest in other fields across the city.

She wants to show women of color “that the construction industry can build wealth” and that the construction industry can look like them.

But it’s not an easy sell, even for her own family. McKissack Daniel has two daughters, and her sisters have three – but “not one” is showing signs of wanting to take the reins, she said.

“I may have to hold on for the grandkids,” she said with a laugh.



Rare archive images showing engineers working on a secret construction project that became pivotal to Britain’s success at the D-Day landings have been released as part of a new film marking the 75th anniversary of the campaign.

The Mulberry harbours were artificially-constructed floating docks that enabled ships carrying vital supplies, military vehicles and troops to safely anchor off the French coast, on a stretch of land lacking any safe harbours. They were designed and constructed in secrecy by around 200,000 British engineers in the seven months leading up to the landing in June 1944, and helped soldiers who recall ‘fighting the sea’ at the same time as they battled against the German army.

British construction company Wates Group has now unearthed a series of rare images from its archive of its engineers constructing the harbours in the lead up to one of the most significant moments in the Allied war effort. Wates made a significant contribution during the war building aerodromes, army camps and factories. Having developed a specialty in pre-cast concrete structures, Wates supplied the concrete pier and pierhead pontoons for the Mulberry harbours.

The harbours were designed and built at yards and docks across the country including at Southampton, in Mitcham and the West India Docks, before they were assembled at Selsey in Sussex and towed across the channel to Normandy in sections after completion in April 1944.

Wates was among an alliance of British companies that joined forces to build the harbours. Wates was particularly involved in the construction of the concrete piers and pontoons known as ‘Beetles’. While one harbour was destroyed in a storm after just a couple of days, the second was operational for 10 months, making a significant contribution to the Allied war effort. In total, the harbour enabled 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tonnes of supplies to land before it was decommissioned.

As the international community marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Wates has worked with D-Day Revisited – a charity established to commemorate the anniversary – to create a film celebrating the harbours.

MEMORIES OF MULBERRY  click for video

The film, titled “Memories of Mulberry”, includes rare photographs from the Wates archives, showing engineers working on the huge concrete and steel parts, as well as insight from leading historian Guy Walters.

Ted Cordery, 95 and from Oxford, who served on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Belfast from 1943-1944 as a Leading Seaman Torpedoman, is one of two D-Day veterans interviewed for the film about their memories of the historic landings. He said: “When I look back on my career in the Navy, I felt I spent more time fighting the sea than I did the Germans. You could never rely on it. It always turned one way or the other. The harbours minimised the possibility of this and you can’t have a better contribution than that in my opinion.”

Jack Quinn, also 95 and from Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, who was a Corporal in the Royal Marines, added: “We wondered what they were at first, when we saw them. ‘What are they going to do with them? They are going to load men and vehicles on them.’ We were surprised they towed them all that way. But the soldiers were glad to get in a lorry and drive off a Mulberry harbour instead of getting in a landing craft and getting wet through. Speed was the essence.”

Historian and author Guy Walters added: “When you think of inventions during the Second World War you think of the bouncing bomb, you think of radar, but for my money Mulberry harbours are right up there. They’re a classic example of British ingenuity and inventiveness.”

The video, which has been published on the Wates website, ends by thanking the servicemen and women who played their part.

James Wates CBE, Chairman of the Wates Group, said: “Wates has a proud history as an innovator in construction, and nowhere is this more evident than our involvement with building the Mulberry harbours. I remember my grandfather [Sir Ronald Wates] speaking to me about them when I was a boy, and I know he was so proud of what we were able to do.

“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the D Day landing, we look back with pride at our role in bringing an end to World War Two, and supporting our armed forces. Our purpose today remains as it was then: to work together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.”

To this day Wates Group continues to support the work of the armed forces, working with the Ministry of Defence and its supply chain – including building the base of the new Lightning jets at RAF Marham; BAE System Submarines’ new training base for apprentices; and maintaining housing for services personnel and their families.  Wates has also pledged to honour the Armed Forces Covenant, including a commitment to provide work opportunities for veterans.


Wates Group