JCB, the world’s number one telehandler manufacturer, is extending its portfolio, with the launch of a totally new JCB rotating telescopic handler.

Recognising the growth in popularity of rotating machines with heavier lift capacities across Europe, the company will initially launch the JCB 5.5-210, offering a maximum lift capacity of 5.5 tonnes and a maximum working height of 20.5m.

Features will include:
•  Highly versatile rotating telescopic handler offering 20.5m lift height
• Maximum lift capacity of 5.5 tonnes
• Rapid set-up time boosting productivity
• All-round visibility improving site safety
•  Wide range of options including winches and aerial work platforms

With more than 40 years of expertise in the telescopic handler design and manufacture, JCB has designed the rotating machine to meet the needs of specialist lifting contractors and the rental market. Utilising a robust boom construction and a familiar driveline, JCB has focussed on reliability, versatility, productivity, ease of use and safety, as a means of delivering improved uptime and increased customer profitability.
To ensure that set-up time is minimised, the outriggers have Auto one-touch deployment, stowage and levelling. Competitive lift end cycle times and high auxiliary flow rates for efficient winch work, boost productivity further. With a lower chassis engine layout, the machine offers excellent access and class-leading serviceability. A low, clean boom design gives excellent all-round visibility, augmented by comprehensive work light options and camera kits, including a boom head camera for precise placement at height.

 

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The machines are powered by JCB’s proven highly efficient Ecomax engines, offering a high degree of parts and service commonality with other Loadall models. The JCB LiveLink telematics system is fitted as standard and will incorporate features that enable operators to fully exploit the performance of this versatile machine.

With a maximum lift capacity of 5.5 tonnes, the machine offers excellent highly competitive load charts. Easily selectable lift end speed profiles and lift envelope limits help the operator to optimise the machine for specific tasks. A range of specially developed JCB attachments using RFID technology can be identified by the machine, to automatically offer the correct load chart for safe operation.
At launch, the company will offer pallet forks, a 5.5 tonne carriage winch, a 2 tonne x 2m jib winch, a reduced height jib, 5.5 tonne hook, light duty buckets and a range of fork-mounted accessories, such as waste skips and concrete placing skips. Remote lift end operation and access platforms will also be offered.
The JCB 5.5-21 will meet the changing requirements of contractors across the world, as a greater use of off-site pre-fabrication calls for heavier lift capacities and increased on-site versatility. Rotating telescopic handlers have become a genuine cost-effective replacement for smaller mobile cranes, offering rapid set-up and the ability to carry out technical lifting operations.

www.jcb.com

Leading construction connector manufacturer Simpson Strong-Tie has released their all-new 2020 catalogue; a comprehensive product guide which showcases the company’s most recent innovations and product line extensions.

 

Alongside the UK’s largest collection of connectors for timber and masonry construction, sit numerous new products, including the GPC, Gable Panel Connector, a high movement timber frame tie, decorative and a heavy duty post bases, an adjustable mini hanger, purlin anchor, twisted restraint strap and a 4mm reinforced angle bracket.

The catalogue also contains comprehensive technical data, performance characteristics, safe working loads, plus easy to follow installation instructions.

Managing Director, Malcolm Paulson explains: “It’s been a busy time for Simpson Strong-Tie, we’ve really pushed the boat out to increase our core product range, engineered to stand the test of time.

With our new enhanced product lines, along with our rapid made-to-order service, we really can say that if we don’t have it – you don’t need it”.

Available now in print on request, and online in the Resources / Literature section at the below website.

www.strongtie.co.uk

 

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Delivering those 300,000 homes per year is a challenge and attention is very focused right now on Modern Methods of Construction. But what does MMC actually mean?

It’s an important question as much government money (for example, through the Homes Building Fund or Affordable Homes Programme) is aimed at encouraging the development of MMC solutions.

Which is all fine as long as we are clear about what is an MMC solution.

The MHCLG has commissioned Mark Farmer (as in, Modernise or Die) to look at the issue and suggest some ways of dealing with what is becoming a politically charged terminology.

Very sensibly, his report focuses on the desired outcome: more high-quality new homes, faster, and includes a range of approaches to reach that objective.

It suggests seven categories of MMC, from improvements in site practice at level seven to full-scale modular construction at level one.  

By using a stepped approach, this encourages all organisations to identify ways to improve their current building practice and to “move up” the levels in time.

So far, so good. As aircrete manufacturers, we are very comfortable with this as a number of our technical solutions will fit happily within the “seven stages” of MMC, allowing developers to take advantage of time and labour savings while also retaining the robust, durable performance advantages of aircrete.

Second on the agenda is acceptance. As Kit Malthouse pointed out in a recent talk at Housing 2019, we have been here before in terms of developing offsite solutions, and the industry – just as importantly, the mortgage and finance industry that supports it – is nervous.  Nervous of using new methods without guarantees of durability and robust warranties.

Where warranties are concerned, we need robust warranties that certify the whole building, not just the individual elements from which they are constructed, and we need a minimum life expectancy.

The Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS), designed to deal specifically with non-traditional buildings, produces a certification that includes a 60-year design life expectation. Our own I-House solution was one of the first to achieve this accreditation and NHBC warranties are likely to follow suit.

And one further issue is the lifetime performance of MMC buildings. What happens in twenty years’ time when a homeowner wants to convert their loft or extend their kitchen? Who will know what the structural design of the property is or what alterations it is likely to be able to withstand?

Aircrete houses, with significant structural strength and well-understood performance, are ripe for this type of alteration. And they need to be – according to research by Savills the average house buyer will now live in their home for 23 years.

The proposed solution is a central register, a database of how all housing stock is built, linked to standard definitions and certification status. This logical solution does pose some pretty big questions, however. Such as who is going to collect, store and pay for this data? And who is going to persuade the builders to share their intellectual property?

Aside from these practical considerations, it is hard to ignore the need to embrace new methods and at H+H we’re well up for that.
Aircrete as a material may not have changed much in the 50 years since it was developed, but methods of building with it have definitely moved on. We would be delighted to see our Thin-Joint and Celcon Elements adopted more widely and are pleased to see a growing UK interest in these modern building methods – already tried, tested and trusted across Europe.

Does aircrete have a future? You bet it does. A long, long future.

 

H + H Celcon

 

By Graham Cleland, director at Berkeley Modular.

 

Faced with the problem of having to explain a complicated notion it is sometimes helpful to draw on an analogy. The conundrum of how to capture the golden thread of information through a design and build cycle to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a residential development could rightly be considered one such complicated notion. 

In many cases, drawing on an analogy with a natural phenomenon is particularly useful if an audience already has some semblance of understanding of the physical entity, and can therefore easily link related concepts. In this instance, I am going to employ the idea of a river as the natural phenomenon that has parallels with the task of capturing the golden thread of information.

In terms of relevant characteristics of rivers, it is worth highlighting certain features which will hopefully assist in bringing the analogy to life. As the graphic below shows, such features contribute to the overall eco-system of a river and can include the following: sources of water; water flow; the concept of a water course; tributaries; a channel; a meander; a watershed; volume and velocity; and a delta: See Fig 1.

Consider how, with a river, the volume and velocity of the body of water at the mouth forming the delta is directly influenced by the sources that contributed to the initial flow, plus any further rainfall that might have occurred as the body of water gradually builds over the entire water course.  The sources of a river typically flow through independent tributaries before combining at points over the water course to form the main body of water flow.

Consider also that a river does not typically follow a linear path in travelling from sources to destination: it meanders contingent upon the topography of the land it traverses over, but is largely directed to flowing in channels between watersheds that have become defined over time due to effects such as erosion. Since some water is always lost to factors such as evaporation and spillage to flood plains, the volume and velocity of the body of water at the mouth of the river only comprises the water that needs to form the delta before spilling into an ocean.

Capturing the golden thread

The challenges associated with creating a complete and accurate digital record for a new residential development from conception, through the design and build cycle to practical completion, are typically pernicious.  As with the analogy, the golden thread of information for a residential development emerges from multiple sources and there are many potential points across the design and build cycle where this information can be amended or embellished, or indeed where new information can be created.

Like a river, these multiple sources and additional downstream activities have the effect of causing the body of information to steadily grow. Accordingly, the complexity of capturing the golden thread of information for a residential development can be likened to controlling flow in a digital river. Often, the initial sources of the golden thread of information are manifold, comprising inputs from the manufacturers of raw materials, components and equipment (i.e. assets) that might be incorporated in a residential development. Subsequent activity facilitates ever-increasing definition of product comprising these assets and also elaboration of build logic which further enhances the body of information forming the golden thread, with the volume and velocity of information generation increasing with time. Again, as with the analogy, a typical design and build cycle does not follow a linear path and is often highly iterative in nature, much like the meandering of a river.

Unlike the case with the physical entity, topography in the human-made landscape is actually defined using artificial constructs such as model inter-operability scheme, execution plans, stipulations relating to organisational information requirements, and information management maps. Additionally, a framework such as the RIBA Plan of Work which helps define broad stages of the design and build cycle to practical completion from Stage 0 (Strategic Definition) to Stage 6 (Handover and Close Out) is usually employed to help maintain design and build activity within the confines of boundaries. These multiple artificial constructs are often configured to be bespoke to individual organisations, or indeed projects within the same organisation, and can be considered similar to the concept of channelling a river between watersheds.

In recent times, there have been advances in technology such as digital design software solutions and common data environments that can be used to help create a complete and accurate digital record for a residential development. These tools can be considered to represent additional artificial constructs that can help facilitate control of information flow, so in a sense they are also akin to the concept of channelling a river between watersheds. But equally, there have been important changes in the way parties engaged on a project work together which are also yielding influence. Furthermore, we have seen the emergence of new standards and codes of practice associated with the likes of naming conventions, common language definition, data exchange and building of information models, all of which also constitute artificial constructs which are intended to make the process of capturing the golden thread easier. This wealth of change in working practice is equivalent to adaptations in topography in the analogy.

Under normal circumstances, it is easy to comprehend how the fragmented nature of conventional construction approaches cause complexity in terms of information authoring and liability, and subsequent revision control, which acts to thwart and frustrate the process of capturing the golden thread of information to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a completed residential development. This complexity might arise due to a lack of foresight regarding the need to capture and manage information from potential sources ab initio, or from a lack of application of the artificial constructs required to control information flow over the design and build cycle. In contrast to the re-generative nature of a river eco-system which essentially constitutes a closed loop system, it is often the case that the lack of application or even inappropriate artificial constructs can lead to the evolution of a form of extractive process which is overly linear with many disconnects and embedded wasteful logic reflecting an ineffective approach to capturing the golden thread.

Notwithstanding, it is reasonable to take a perspective of end-state requirements and attempt to categorise the information that should constitute a complete and accurate digital record for a new residential development. Such end-state requirements would be somewhat akin to the body of water that needs to form a delta being directly influenced by all sources that contributed to the flow. At high level, these requirements should include:

  • Why was it built?
  • What was actually built?
  • When was it built?
  • Who played a part in the design and build process?
  • How was it built?

This information, constituting a definition of end-state requirements, is captured on the graphic below, along with a rough mapping of the RIBA Plan of Work stages through to practical completion. This definition of requirements provides useful insight insofar as it cements a really important concept regarding information which will provide the basis of the golden thread cannot be created in a single moment in time ex nihilo towards the end of the design and build cycle. See Fig 2.

Indeed, it is plainly the case that since information is continuously authored from the very outset of a project and evolves progressively through the design and build cycle, there are manifold problems to overcome associated with managing currency, relevance, accuracy and robustness of the same from conception to practical completion and handover.

Starting at the source 

The fact is that despite all the technology improvements, and the significant cultural shift towards more collaborative working, conventional construction approaches are still largely inefficient, and frequently flawed in terms of capturing the golden thread. It is interesting to note that even today there are many organisations across the construction sector involved in residential development who adopt a default position of employing junior level resource towards the end of a project to try to collect and collate relevant information falling in the categories referred above.

Whilst such a position is admirable in the sense it at least represents an attempt to capture the golden thread, it is common that this sort of approach can result in critical information being missed or lost, akin with the concepts of evaporation and spillage to flood plains in the analogy. Of course, it could be argued that these organisations do not really comprehend what creating a complete and accurate digital record implies, because what it should definitely not mean is curating a plethora of scanned drawings and other relevant project documentation that cannot properly support effective operation and maintenance.

Much is being made at present of the importance of the construction sector finding ways to leverage productivity, and organisations involved in residential development are not exempt from this challenge. There have been numerous publications, including material from central Government that sets out the aspiration to transform performance with more focus to be brought to bear on leveraging productivity, driving innovation and developing and training new talent. In the simplest terms, the productivity problem can actually be characterised as either generating higher levels of output using the same levels of input, or generating the same levels of output using reduced levels of input.

Nothing in the typical, conventional construction approach to capturing the golden thread of information is helping to yield improved productivity. This is because the resource typically being employed to collect and collate relevant information are not authoring information, nor are they really managing the same, and often the task is deemed to be unglamorous, so at best they could be considered to represent additional input cost which has limited likelihood of generating the required quality of output from fragmented input sources.

Charting a unique course

At Berkeley Modular, we have sought to examine everything from first principles. We are a business focused on the offsite manufacture, as opposed to offsite construction, of three-dimensional primary structural product (i.e. Category 1 in accordance with the recently published MMC definition framework). We have been afforded the luxury of time to conceive how we can apply lean thinking to information authoring, capturing and revision control, as well as to our manufacturing and assembly logic.

The result of this thinking time has yielded a transformative methodology for creating digital connectivity compared to conventional construction approaches. The work we have undertaken to create a Digitally Enabled Agile Manufacturing (DEAM) platform has focused on how technology can help resolve the conundrum of capturing the golden thread of information from the very start of the development process to the point of practical completion and handover. This DEAM platform we have developed has been configured to encompass the following:

  • Digital capture of information from source – We have deployed certain options from the coBuilder suite of software to configure the DEAM platform to facilitate a single source of truth for all assets to be incorporated in a residential development. These options represent the tributaries that allow information to be authored by manufacturers’, and subsequently filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital creation of design information – With the help of Majenta, we have deployed certain options from the Autodesk suite of software to configure the DEAM platform to facilitate a product lifecycle management tool wherein digital geometries and build logic definition are automatically linked to asset information in a common data environment. These options represent the topography that allow Berkeley Modular to author design and build definition, and subsequently filter and feed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital creation of manufacturing instruction – Working with DAS, we have deployed computational rule-based logic to obtain high levels of design automation to support the efficient creation of data-rich, fully federated digital models and related manufacturing machine code. This logic represents watersheds that afford authoring of automated build definition by Berkeley Modular, which can be filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital management of supply chain, operations and finance activity – We have deployed certain options from the Oracle Fusion suite of software to configure the DEAM platform with an ERP environment which facilitates a single source of truth for all aspects of operational activity at Berkeley Modular comprising a design and build cycle. This environment represents further topography that allows capture of all transactional information authored by Berkeley Modular, and subsequent filtering and feeding to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital instruction of manufacturing and assembly activity – We have deployed certain options from the Siemens suite of software to configure the DEAM platform with an MES environment which facilitates a single source of truth for organising and communicating all facets of physical activity performed by Berkeley Modular. These options represent final elements of topography that afford capture of work instruction to both machine and human resource across all factory and site operations, which can be filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform

The challenge of creating a productive business operation whilst simultaneously addressing the conundrum of how to capture the golden thread of information has required us to think carefully about digitisation in general, but in particular about responsibility and liability for information authoring, and subsequent revision control. The technological platform outlined above represents certain of the artificial constructs we needed to configure, but in reality this platform is actually supplemented with a combination of other industry-standard and customised constructs that help shape the topography to allow the channelling and progressive capture of information in an efficient, lean manner.

There are plentiful example initiatives from across the construction sector wherein investment has been made into new technological platforms with an expectation that the same will readily yield increased productivity and capture of the golden thread, Despite these examples being many in number, it is somehow still common for expectation associated with the investment to be inflated, yet finding the right solution is not easy and often people easily become disenchanted and disillusioned which impacts the intended outcome. Hopefully the insights presented here regarding the complexity of creating a complete and accurate digital record to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a residential development being likened to controlling flow in a digital river represent a useful contribution to the field and will help steer future initiatives towards more successful and rewarding outcomes.

 

www. berkeley-modular.co.uk

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 www.sidey.co.uk.”

 

www.sidey.co.uk

 

 

In 2016 Taylor Wimpey launched the Project 2020 Design competition in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

 

Making a mark

 

In a constantly evolving world that is becoming more and more technology and innovation driven, we, as a sustainable company, have a responsibility to look at the future trends and advances in our industry so that we can future-proof our Company. That’s exactly what ‘Project 2020’ is all about.

 

‘Project 2020 and its competition is a very visible sign of how we continue to move towards a customer centred business. It’s about building homes to match how our customers want to live, with construction methods and materials that will deliver the quality they expect.’

Nick Rogers, UK Head of Design andTechnical (Taylor Wimpey)

 

Bringing big ideas to life

 

In 2016 Taylor Wimpey launched the Project 2020 Design competition in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The two-stage competition invited architects from across the globe to design new house type typologies with the brief of being innovative, pragmatic, cost effective, capable of high-quality mass production and would appeal to future customers and their changing needs.

With over 100 entries from 14 countries, it was the ‘Infinite House’ designed by Open Studio Architects, based in London, that impressed the judging panel the most.

 

‘The Project 2020 Infinite Houses offer significantly enhanced daylight levels, flexibility of internal planning, and diverse construction techniques, enabling Taylor Wimpey to offer high quality, responsive and adaptable homes, which we believe can fundamentally change both what houses can be, and how they are delivered.’

 

Jennifer Beningfield, Founding Principal Director (Opendstudio Architects)

 

So, what exactly is the Infinite House?

 

There are four types of the Infinite House design, each of which aims to promote adaptability and customisation that helps improve flexible living. These unique house types have the potential to accommodate multiple configurations to suit different demographics, and their spaces can be adapted to offer separate living areas or open plan living, enabling its inhabitants to customise their homes to their specific living requirements.

All four house types have been designed to offer easy expansion in the roof, with windows strategically positioned to increase the levels of daylight and sunlight, whilst the exterior of the buildings offer the flexibility to be adjusted depending on the changing densities or cladding materials required. And what’s more, the homes designed based on the Infinite House concept are expected to naturally fit in anywhere, from rural locations to urban areas, thanks to the careful selection of materials, giving extra flexibility during the planning process. Another proposed benefit of the Infinite House type is its ability to adopt the all-important fabric-first approach, off-site and traditional construction methodologies.

 

Building homes for the future

 

In total, there will be nine prototype units built across TW businesses in West Scotland, Manchester and Oxford, where the regional teams will be reviewing different build methodologies and new technologies, as well as suitable materials, to meet the innovative design, functional and technical requirements of the Infinite House concept.

Each region will be trialling a different method of construction to explore flexibility in build methodology and evaluate if the prototypes are equally buildable in varying construction methods.

 

The most unfamiliar method of construction which has not previously been used at Taylor Wimpey, will be Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). This will be implemented by our Oxford region, across the 5 prototypes they are building at Great Western Park, Didcot.

Scotland will be implementing two different versions of Timber Frame on each of the two prototypes being built at Dargavel, Bishopton; One will be in traditional open panel timber frame and, the other will be a more complex advanced closed panel timber frame which will also seek to achieve Gold Standard accreditation and promote innovation. Manchester will be using familiar traditional masonry build for the two prototypes being built at Arnfield Woods.

 

Today and beyond

 

Although only one element of the more widely scoped Project 2020, the findings and lessons learnt from building the prototypes will be invaluable in informing Taylor Wimpey’s strategy for the future, ensuring the homes that are built for the next generation of customers meet and exceed their expectations and suit their changing lifestyles.

SOURCE: Taylor Wimpey

If the ambition of 300,000 homes was met by home building using current construction methods, it would require an additional 195,000 workers by 2025.

Read the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) report summary.

This research was carried out to consider the effect that increased uptake of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in home building could have on the workforce requirements for delivering new homes in England as the Government looks to deliver on its Housing Ambition.

The analysis shows that increased uptake of MMC can influence future workforce requirements and help to mitigate some of the occupational demand pressure.

The impact of modern methods of construction on the skills requirements for housing

This research was carried out to consider the effect that increased uptake of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in home building could have on the workforce requirements for delivering new homes in England as the Government looks to deliver on its Housing Ambition.

The analysis shows that increased uptake of MMC can influence future workforce requirements and help to mitigate some of the occupational demand pressure.

If the ambition of 300,000 homes was met by home building using current construction methods, it would require an additional 195,000 workers by 2025.

However, increased use of MMC could reduce this to around 158,000 additional workers.

The report also highlights that the home building sector looks set to face a series of challenges:

  • In the short term it will need to grow and develop workers to support homes built using the current construction methods.
  • While in the medium to longer term it will be necessary to maintain the onsite workers at the same time as developing the offsite workforce to deliver MMC builds.
  • There is also the need to upskill existing workers to cover the site management, integration, onsite placement and assembly that will be increasingly required for MMC.

You can read the full report here.

 

SOURCE: Construction Industry Training Board