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Contractors urged to stop asking site chefs for skills cards

Contractors are being told to stop turning away non-construction staff from sites if they don’t hold CSCS skills cards. The drive for blanket card-carrying on major sites has raised standards but created problems for non-construction related workers on jobs. Workers like chefs, vending machine installers and pest controllers can be refused entry to sites for not holding a CSCS card. CSCS Head of Communications Alan O’Neile said: “CSCS cards are intended for construction related occupations only. “Due to the wide range of skills required on construction projects, there are times when a worker arrives on site to perform a non-construction related activity, for example catering staff, delivering materials or cleaners. “These individuals do not require a CSCS card and CSCS has stopped issuing cards for these and many other non-construction related occupations.” But some construction sites still operate a 100% carded workforce policy. The policy is often reinforced in client’s prequalification documents or by head office insisting all workers and visitors to site should carry a CSCS card. O’Neile added: “The rigid enforcement of a 100% carded workforce results in legitimate, non-construction related, workers being refused entry to site as they do not hold a card. “This indicates a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the construction industry’s desire for a fully qualified (not carded) workforce. “We are not asking site managers to allow just anyone on site. If a worker is there to carry out a construction related activity then a card is required as proof of their training and qualifications. “If they are there to perform a non-construction related activity it becomes the responsibility of site managers to induct and escort these people to ensure they remain safe at all times when on [...]

By |June 24th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Project Management – The Benefits of Good Time Management

Organisational Skills Let us now start with a look at the personal skills that a project manager should exhibit. He or she should be able to manage effectively. The starting point is always being able to manage oneself. If you can do this, you will be able to manage projects and programmes effectively. Managing yourself means exhibiting good time management. Good at time management shows that you are professional. If you are professional you will gain respect from your peers, your clients and your bosses. This leads to happy clients, happy bosses and your peer group responding in a positive manner. If you have respect and show that you deliver as required you become trusted. Being trusted to do the job is a great motivator. So how does that translate at a personal level? Good organisational skills, time management skills, being respected and trusted means that you develop more confidence, become less stressed and have more time to do the things that you want to concentrate on such as leisure pursuits, hobbies, family, friends and relationships. Being stressed is very common, but being organised can really help to reduce stress levels. Source: RICS Construction Project Management

By |November 13th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Contractors slam architects for being “non commercial”

Only 31% of contractors are satisfied with the way they work with architects on projects. The damning figure in a Royal Institute of British Architects report highlights how unhappy contractors are with designers. Contractors attacked architects for a lack of “commercial understanding.” And the report warned: “The larger the project contract value, the more dissatisfied clients are.” One contractor complained of “too complex design and detailing, despite trying to get the architects to understand our commercial drivers, they were not able to temper the design.” Another added: “The architect was very focused on visualisations and not build-able details as that is what they thought the client required as this was the service they had provided previously. “This architect didn’t have the required technical detailing that suited the fast-paced programme” RIBA ambassador for collaboration Dale Sinclair described the results as “disappointing but no surprise”. He said: “Architects frequently work for contractors after they have been novated to the role on design and build projects. “As part of better conveying design status, novated architects need to disclose more detail on design risks with the contractor’s perspective in mind. “What aspects of the design are robust? Where is further design development required? What aspects of the design have still to be drawn? “Explaining the rules-of-thumb underpinning our work would communicate our designs better and allow the project team to make more considered decisions about cost and risk.” Source:

By |November 9th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Dangers of Selecting the Lowest Tender

Within this blog we will look at the dangers of selecting the lowest bidder, predominantly from the client’s perspective, however these points will be equally important to Main Contractors when selecting their supply chain on single stage projects. For the purpose of this reading, when we talk about ‘selecting the lowest tender’ it is important to note that we are not talking about abnormally low bids. Abnormally low bids are generally described as those which are ≥ 25% below the average bidder and are normally discounted by all but the most unscrupulous of QS’s (Secret Surveyor). I want to look at those which are say 10-15% less than the other bidders, which on face value are alluring. Evaluation, the assessment of tenders against a client’s requirements, is the most important part of the procurement process. All too often during bid selection it is irresistible to focus on the initial bottom line, without considering the damage on quality, time and final exit price. There are of course a few reasons for this such as; prevailing market conditions, internal procedures requiring demonstration of value or external stakeholders requiring demonstration of the same, e.g. publicly funded projects. You could further argue that the process is a ‘necessary evil’ to ensure competition and competitiveness, however when we look at the potential pitfalls inherent in this process… well, make up your own mind in your race to the bottom. The Facts of life If a Contractor has tendered too low and failed to source materials and Subcontractors at rates which generate a margin, they will have difficulty securing materials and Subcontractors to carry out the works. This will undoubtedly cause delays to their procurement and inevitably the works. The Contractor [...]

By |May 20th, 2016|Categories: Announcements|Tags: |0 Comments

London office building soars 18%

The total volume of space under construction across central London has risen once again, rivalling levels last seen in 2009. London office construction has climbed 18% in the last six months to 11.1m sq ft, with 26 new schemes starting construction over the period, according to the latest London Office Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate. Total space now under construction in central London is 11.1 million sq ft, spread across 77 schemes. Steve Johns, head of City leasing at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “Cranes will be dominating London’s skyline for the foreseeable future as construction activity keeps pace with healthy occupier demand. 4.3msq ft of the 11.1m sq ft under construction has already been let, up 22% from our last survey. “Looking ahead, developers’ sentiment remains high, as 21 of the new starts totalling 2.6m sq ft are speculative developments.” Construction in the City is up by a quarter, with 13 new starts adding a further 2m sq ft into the pipeline. This takes the total amount of space being built in the City market to 5.7m sq ft. Activity has also risen in Midtown, where six schemes have started and a total of 1.3m sq ft is now underway, while the West End has seen a 5% increase in activity this survey, bringing its pipeline total to 2.4 million sq ft. Leasing of buildings under construction is dominated by technology, media and telecoms firms taking 44% of space. This is followed by the financial sector taking 27% of space. “The financial sector has increased its share of the space on six months ago and we believe that this trend will continue with requirements from financial firms fulfilled by taking space under construction,” adds [...]

By |November 13th, 2015|Categories: Announcements|0 Comments

11 Reasons Why Estimates go Wrong

The estimate establishes the viability of the building project — so making sure it is accurate is essential. Bob Branscombe analyses why it so often isn’t In most cases, cost control takes the form of firefighting to contain costs within the original allowances. But if the cost estimate is poor in the first place, no amount of value engineering (the concept of putting cost efficiency at the forefront of every decision with a view to reducing ongoing costs) will bring your project home to a standard and cost that you are happy with, and the taint it leaves on the scheme is palpable. Estimates are crucial to project success — it is the stage at which you try to establish that your project can be built to the budget you wish to spend, covering all the works you want to carry out. It establishes viability and, therefore, needs to be factual and totally accurate. So why, when the actual process of estimating is relatively simple, do these estimates often go so wrong? The actual elements of work are often catered for correctly, the overall project is well understood by you, but why does the estimate often turn out to be inaccurate? False Benchmarking Benchmarking is an ‘early doors’ means of guessing how much a project will cost. Note my deliberate use of the word ‘guessing’. In essence, you take a previous project, measure it in m2, and multiply this cost by your new dimensions (a little more to it than that but that is the bones of it). Then you apply this rate to your own project. The trouble is you are comparing your scheme to one which was built at a different time, in [...]

By |September 26th, 2015|Categories: Announcements|0 Comments