Styles & Wood merges operations under parent rebrand | News

Manchester-based Styles & Wood was bought out by venture capital firm Central Square Holdings LtD for £42.5m in December last year.
The venture capitalists also bought furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) specialist Southerns in March.
The newly branded Extentia Group is made up of 11 specialist businesses offering asset management services alongside design, project management, optimisation, FF&E solutions and facilities management.
Alongside Styles & Wood, the 11 Extentia subsidiaries include engineering and environmental design consultants GDM, risk management specialist Arctick, property software firm iSite, and facilities management specialist Concourse FM.
According to Extentia, the combined group has forecast revenues of £230m for the year to June 2019, up from £185m for the year to June 2018, with underlying profit expected to grow.
Extentia chief executive Tony Lenehan (pictured) said: “Our 11 businesses have distinct identities and established brand equity with blue-chip clients. Together they represent an end-to-end capability which is unique in the market.
“This collaboration is already bearing fruit and we will continue to drive integration across the business.
“Following a productive and exciting period spent realising the rationale for bringing these businesses together, my management team and our backers are raring to begin this new chapter of growth and investment in the business.”
Extentia Group has 700 employees across 12 UK and Ireland offices.  

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Styles & Wood merges operations under parent rebrand | News – (Tim Clark) – 2018-11-12 07:50:00

5 Ways Drones in Construction Can Improve Your Projects Now

No longer a futuristic vision, drones are now common on construction sites. Today, the business case for using drones in construction is clearer than it was even two years ago, and companies are already benefiting from their many uses. Here’s how…
5 Ways Drones In Construction Improve Projects:
1: Prevent Costly Mistakes

Camera equipped drones send visual data to software like 3DR Site Scan to pinpoint challenges early on
Drones can be equipped with cameras, geo-location sensors, infrared sensors, and more to capture precise details about the environmental and physical site prior to and during construction. The high-resolution images captured by a drone are then turned into accurate 2D orthophotos and 3D models, creating a rich digital representation of your jobsite. Then, drone data platforms like 3DR Site Scan make it easy to overlay design files onto drone maps, enabling you to  pinpoint constructability challenges in preconstruction, spot mistakes, and measure progress during construction.
2: Provide Better Project Updates

Drone imaging can provide instant ROI by providing rich data to share with project owners on a regular basis
Owners and other stakeholders understandably demand progress updates on a regular basis. This can be a pain for you, if you have to walk the site or send someone to take photos. Drones can make this aspect of the job both a painless experience for you, and a better experience for them.
When it comes to project updates, “drones can provide instant ROI,” says Josh Cheney, Industry Manager of Construction Technology at Autodesk. “Drones can be operated autonomously, on your own schedule.” Scheduling a regular flyover is simple and inexpensive, and provides rich data to share with project owners.
3: Improve Safety 
The leading cause of private sector worker fatalities on the construction site is falls, representing nearly 39% of all deaths. Drones can be used to keep workers’ feet planted firmly on the ground when they might otherwise have to climb to take manual measurements or engage in other activities that can be replaced with a drone.

Drones minimize the need for workers to climb to dangerous heights, eliminating risk and improving safety on the job site
4: Improve Collaboration
“Collaboration is key,” says Nico Bonnafoux, Senior Customer Success Architect at 3DR. “You save money if you get everyone moving in a unified direction.” Drones improve collaboration by collecting data on-site and distributing it through a platform like BIM 360. Virtual design teams, engineers, superintendents, owners, and contractors can then access aerial views and related data from their iPads and other devices. This enables everyone to see where things were yesterday, compare progress over time, and catch any discrepancies before they become serious problems.

“Collaboration is key. You save money if you get everyone moving in a unified direction.”
Nico Bonnafoux, Senior Customer Success Architect, 3DR

5: Mitigate Risk
Contractors carry significant risk on every project. From being overbilled on one side, to being underpaid on the other, to mistakes, rework, missed deadlines, and legal challenges, few industries provide as many opportunities to lose money.
Data from drones can help mitigate many of these risks by identifying problems before they arise, providing accurate data regarding disputes, and documenting the process against legal challenges.
 “For example,” says Bonnafoux, “one of our customers used their drone data to help win a dispute with a subcontractor who was significantly overcharging them. By having accurate daily site documentation, our customer quickly resolved the dispute and saved over $100,000 without having to go to court.”
Once a vision of the future, drones are here now, and their use in construction industry is only going to grow. 

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5 Ways Drones in Construction Can Improve Your Projects Now – (Hugh McFall) – 2018-06-29 19:26:11

Acquisition takes Balmoral Tanks into service sector

Balmoral said it plans to retain the current management and workforce of 25, integrating WET into its own company structure.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Established in 1992, WET operates throughout the UK and has been providing legionella sampling and risk assessments, water hygiene monitoring services, tank cleaning and remedial works since the first edition of the Approved Code of Practice L8 was published by the Health & Safety Exceutive in 1991.

Balmoral Tanks, part of Aberdeen-based Balmoral Group Holdings Ltd, opened a new £10m factory in South Yorkshire in January 2018 with an epoxy coating line and in-line shot blasting.

Managing director Allan Joyce said: “Our stake in WET provides a platform to extend our service offering to our global client base. To date in 2018 almost one third of our UK manufactured products have been exported around the world.

“We have known the management team at WET for many years and admire the way in which they have built an excellent reputation. The core values of their business are very much aligned with Balmoral and we look forward to building on their strengths and taking the company forward.”

He added: “The acquisition underpins Balmoral’s strategy of differentiation in the market place. Our ambition of being the number one tank design, manufacturing and services company in the world has been strengthened with the ability to provide a range of water treatment services and we look forward to an increasingly exciting future for the company.”

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Acquisition takes Balmoral Tanks into service sector – – 2018-11-07 08:23:00

Balfour-Galliford JV ‘to face MSPs’ over Aberdeen bypass | News

The Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee is expected to call representatives from Aberdeen Roads Limited – the joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try – to explain the latest delays to the £745m bypass, which is now not expected to open this year.
The expected decision to haul representatives in front of the committee comes at the request of several members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), who have raised concerns over how the scheme has been handled.
On Wednesday Galliford Try announced a £20m provision to cover extra costs associated with AWPR delays.
Labour MSP for North-east Scotland Lewis Macdonald said: “The plot thickens by the day, but it is clear that the total cost of this project is far higher than the Scottish Government is obliged to pay for it, and that the surviving partners in the Aberdeen Roads Limited consortium are struggling to finish the job.
“Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty are making big losses on the AWPR, and seem to be holding out on opening 20 miles of completed road in the hope of recouping some of their losses from the Scottish Government.
“I expect the rural economy and connectivity committee to call on the contractors to give evidence, because MSPs want to know why they haven’t finished the whole route on schedule, and why they are refusing to hand over the large section of it which they have finished.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee said: “The committee is considering the request made by two MSPs to ask for Aberdeen Roads Limited; no response has as yet been agreed.”
Galliford’s £20m cost hike followed criticism last week of the contractor’s boss by the Scottish transport secretary MSP Michael Matheson, who also revealed that the £745m project would not open this autumn and that no firm date could be given.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity at the Scottish Parliament said: “I’m pleased that ARL have accepted my call for an urgent meeting and I look forward to discussing a hopefully swift resolution to the technical issues at the Don Crossing. I have been encouraged by Galliford Try’s trading statement.
”This confirms the Don Crossing is expected to be completed in December, which is in line with what the [Galliford Try] chief executive Peter Truscott told me last week, before subsequently sending a letter that cast doubt on this. Given this statement is bound by stock market rules, I trust this represents a true reflection of their confidence levels and I look forward to this being reinforced by ARL at the meeting.
“Even more pressing, however, will be meaningful movement towards opening the remainder of the road as soon as possible. I can certainly see no impediment to this happening if ARL agree to the necessary contract variation on the table.
“I am determined we continue to work constructively with ARL. However, I will also be reminding it that it stands at the beginning of a 30-year relationship with the North East and it would be highly regrettable if substantial economic and social benefits are effectively being withheld in service of misguided commercial tactics.”
The SNP politician also accused Galliford Try chief executive Peter Truscott of “inconsistency” in his communication with the minister over the AWPR’s progress.
Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Transport Scotland have been contacted for comment. 

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Balfour-Galliford JV ‘to face MSPs’ over Aberdeen bypass | News – (Tim Clark) – 2018-11-08 07:50:00

How SmartBid Construction Bidding Software Improves Preconstruction Workflows

At Autodesk University 2017, the ConTechCrew spoke with Trent Miskelly, General Manager of SmartBid, about the recent integration between SmartBid construction bidding software and BIM 360.
SmartBid is the leading construction bid management software, used by thousands of general contractor offices worldwide. With the SmartBid BIM 360 integration, general contractors can access their BIM 360 project files and plans in their SmartBid plan room and send invitations to bid to subcontractors, simplifying the bidding process. In addition to plans, subcontractors can also access 3D models during preconstruction, allowing them to give better bids.
Watch the video from AU 2017

Standout Quotes:
“With BIM 360 what we were trying to do is help general contractors share plans and files through our plan rooms for invitations to bid more easily… So we found that by integrating with them, we’re finding more usage and more value for our customers, and for BIM 360 users as well.”- trent miskelly, General manager, smartbid 

“Subcontractors have the advantage of not just plans, but 3D models, and incorporating that into their takeoffs. Tighter numbers, more awareness around the project.”- josh cheney, industry manager – construction technology, autodesk

“Subcontractors obviously get a lot of value from the plans… but the models provide them with a whole different visual representation of the project so they can give better bids. What’s great about the BIM 360 integration we’ve done is it just works.”- TRENT MISKELLy, general manager, smartbid

Want To See How Easy It Is To Use SmartBid in BIM 360?
Watch the video:
Ready to leverage the power of connected data from beginning to end?


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How SmartBid Construction Bidding Software Improves Preconstruction Workflows – (Josh Cheney) – 2018-06-29 19:25:05

New boss takes over at McBains

Clive Docwra is the new managing director of McBainsChief executive Michael Thirkettle is standing aside to take on a non-executive advisory position with McBains. Clive Docwra, currently director in charge of project management and surveying services, takes over as managing director.

Director of design Mark Leeson is promoted to operations director and commercial director Gareth Hird joins the holding company RSBG Infrastructure as development director, overseeing strategic development for the group of companies, including McBains.

The changes follow the acquisition of McBains in September 2017 by German investment firm RSBG Infrastructure.

RSBG Infrastructure chief executive Tushar Prabhu, who is also chairman of McBains, said: “RSBG Infrastructure’s acquisition of McBains has enabled the company to increase the strength and depth of its service range, resources and the breadth of its professional services.  Today’s senior management changes build on this and will mean McBains can further improve its high quality service to existing and new clients.”

Michael Thirkettle said: “When RSBG Infrastructure acquired McBains last September, the strategic plan agreed at that time was for me to take a non-executive role within the company at an appropriate date.  The last few months have seen us implement these succession plans, so the time is now right for me to make this planned move.

“It has been a privilege to lead McBains over the last 15 years and oversee the company’s substantial growth and with Clive and Mark at the helm I’m confident it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Clive Docwra said: “I’m looking forward to consolidating our position as a leading multi-disciplinary consultancy and continuing to take forward the company’s strategy and our desire to find ‘the better way’ for our clients.”

RSBG Infrastructure is part of the RAG-Stiftung, a foundation set up by the German government in 2007 to wind down the country’s coal mining industry and clean up old mines.

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New boss takes over at McBains – – 2018-11-05 08:20:00

Brexit stockpile yards sought for £1bn framework | News

Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, Be First, revealed last month it had inserted a clause in its framework insisting all bidders show they have managed the risks of a no-deal scenario.
Speaking to Construction News, Be First commercial director Iain Ferguson (pictured) has now revealed that it is identifying sites within the borough for contractors to stockpile components and materials.
“One of the things that we are actively looking at is providing contractors with lay-down areas in the borough,” he said.
“It’s nothing other than a fenced-off piece of land that the contractors can use to store components.”
Mr Ferguson said he expected these areas would primarily hold supplies, but that they could also be used for certain items of plant if big enough sites could be secured.
The commercial director added that sites would likely be unused council land, but that Be First was also looking to acquire some land for this specific purpose and had identified one “vacant site that would be ideal”.
The lay-down areas will not come into operation until the first quarter of 2019, but Be First has already discussed the move with contractors that have expressed interest in being part of such a scheme.
Barking and Dagenham Council’s £1bn framework has more than 44 projects in the pipeline and will span the next four years.
Firms are being sought to deliver 2,500 residential units along with supporting infrastructure such as schools, libraries or community centres.
Mr Ferguson told CN that the regeneration arm wanted to take a proactive approach to Brexit to ensure responsibility was shared across stakeholders.
“Why should I just sit on my bottom and say to the contractor, ‘It’s your problem?’,” he said. “Brexit at the end of the day is [everybody’s] problem here in the UK.”
Mr Ferguson revealed that Be First had received a variety of responses to the no-deal Brexit planning clause in its £1bn framework.
He said the client was broadly pleased with contractors’ efforts, although a small minority had focused purely on cost.
“We’ve had a really good response, but it’s been a bit varied,” he said.
“Some have told us they’re doing quite a lot of investigatory work – going back through their supply chain looking at the origin of specific components, and with that in mind they are looking at the extent they can dual-supply in the UK or find a similar product.
“Others are saying, ‘We recognise there are a series of risks, but let’s recognise upfront how those risks are going to be shared and in what proportion’.
“And there are a minority that say, ‘I don’t know and you don’t know what’s going to happen, so we would like a clause that says if there is a Brexit issue then you’ll have to pay’.”
The Be First director singled out currency devaluation as one of the biggest issues relating to Brexit.
“You could see sterling go below parity to the euro and if you’re working on fixed-price contracts that could affect [contractors’] profitability and cashflow,” he said.
Mr Ferguson added that the UK’s departure was likely to worsen any labour problems that already existed, but that this issue varied from company to company.
“There’s a skill shortage in the sector; if there’s a migration outwards that will exacerbate the situation,” he said.

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Brexit stockpile yards sought for £1bn framework | News – (Zak Garner-Purkis) – 2018-11-01 07:50:00

How Cannistraro Innovates & Wins with Prefab and Modular Construction Technology

Cannistraro, a Boston-based mechanical construction firm, has its roots in the entrepreneurial vision of John Cannistraro, who began with a family-owned plumbing shop in Watertown, Massachusetts. The firm has grown to be widely recognized as a leader in modular construction technology and has a reputation for providing excellence in service and quality. The firm also expanded its services to include fire-protection, HVAC, and sheet metal solutions, and offers turnkey service and maintenance to clients throughout New England.

A Reputation for Innovation
Cannistraro has built their reputation for innovation by embracing both emergent technology and the vision and drive of its workforce, evolving with the times to meet the expanding needs of its clients as well as the community. Cannistraro continues to grow through innovation, working closely with designers and builders to bring new ideas to their projects, and leading the industry in prefab and modular construction technology.
Construction management software is paving the way for the future of construction
Construction management software is helping to pave the way. The introduction of digital tools like BIM 360 and Navisworks, streamlines multi-discipline collaboration across the supply chain, from designers, to fabricators, to contractors and owners. This creates savings in materials and time, and improves jobsite safety, all of which adds value to the bottom line of every project. 
Leading the Way in Modular Construction Technology
By prefabricating mechanical systems in house, Cannistraro has managed to achieve significant savings for its clients. On a recent project, Cannistraro’s team leaders saw an opportunity to showcase the value of prefab by creating a modular mechanical assembly. This prefabricated equipment skid was built in Cannistraro’s shop, then delivered to the building site and installed as a single unit, rather than the traditional method of craning in all the components and tying them together onsite. The development of the prefab skid reduced waste and onsite installation time while increasing jobsite safety, as well as reducing the footprint of the mechanical systems, but created the challenge of making the building fit the skid.
Cannistraro demonstrates the power of modular construction technology by prefabricating an equipment skid in-house
To answer this challenge, Tyler Alston, a Project Manager for Cannistraro, worked closely with the top project stakeholders, presenting and developing the prefab skid as a custom module for the building. Alston was able to demonstrate the cost savings to the stakeholders, then work with them to make the changes in the design of the building so the skid could be installed as a unit. During this preconstruction process, Navisworks software was instrumental in allowing the team to visualize the scope and logistics of the project as well as the new requirements to implement it.
Once complete, the prefab skid is transported to the construction site
Once approval for the prefab skid was given, it was handed over to Kelly McNeill who is Cannistraro’s in-house Plumbing Fabrication Manager. McNeill oversaw the development and assembly of the unit in Cannistraro’s fabrication shop while working with the project stakeholders to ensure that design was happening with fabrication in mind. Again, cutting edge digital tools played a vital role. The fab shop used Navisworks to run detailed clash detections, a crucial precon step, before using BIM 360 for 3D model coordination to streamline constructability reviews and onsite installation.
Watch this Modular Construction Technology Success Story in Action! 

3 Major Takeaways from This Story:
1. Building a modular skid in a climate controlled shop increases the safety and comfort of the tradesmen.
2. 3D model coordination software makes it easier to collaborate on constructability reviews and avoid problems.
3. The prefabricated skid method requires far less onsite installation time.
Prefabrication creates savings in material and time, and improves job safety
Prefab Skid Savings — The Bottom Line
5 less deliveries
2 weeks shaved off the schedule
18 less material handling hours
110 less field hours
13% cost savings on materials
The crew completes delivery, reducing waste and onsite installation time
The Cannistraro prefabricated equipment skid process will bring continued savings to clients, reducing waste and improving safety while paving the way for future innovations.
Ready to better connect the dots in your organization?


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How Cannistraro Innovates & Wins with Prefab and Modular Construction Technology – (Adam Higgins) – 2018-06-22 19:52:24

Plans move forward for $30bn Texas coastal protection

The  Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report &Environmental Impact Statement has been released by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The two have been working together since 2015 on the study to formulating risk reduction solutions to address coastal storm risks.

“Texas is not a state that happens to have a coast, Texas is a true coastal state,” said Texas land commissioner George P Bush. “One storm can cost many lives and billions of dollars in damage, so the expense of doing nothing far outweighs the investment to protect and enhance our coast. Texas’ coast is home to one in every four Texans and 30% of the American oil refining sector resides here. The Coastal Texas Study is about protecting our people, our economy and our national security. The options selected are proven to be effective in mitigating the deadly effects of storm surge on our state. I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and look forward to continuing this vital cooperative effort.”

The draft environmental impact statement released today includes the ‘Tentatively Selected Plan’, (TSP) which uses a multiple lines of defence strategy to reduce risks to communities and infrastructure along the Texas coastline. The TSP includes constructing surge gates to reduce coastal storm damage risks to the Houston Ship Channel, levees along Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, beach and dune renourishment along the lower coast, and nine landscape-scale ecosystem restoration projects to increase resilience and reduce risks to the coast. The features will work together to greatly increase the resiliency of the Texas Coast.

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Plans move forward for $30bn Texas coastal protection – – 2018-10-31 15:24:00

Highways England responds to PFI axe | News

In Monday’s Budget Philip Hammond said no further schemes would be funded through PFI or PF2.
The chancellor said the funding mechanism was neither delivering value for money nor sufficiently transferring risk to the private sector.
Highways England, which was handed a £30bn budget for 2020-25 as part of the Budget, had identified two of its major projects for PF2 funding: the £1.6bn A303 Stonehenge tunnel and the £6bn Lower Thames Crossing scheme.
In response to the chancellor’s statement, a Highways England spokesperson said the Treasury had “made it very clear they are still committed to these schemes and that their financing is not a determining factor in deciding whether they get delivered”.
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan told CN in April he believed “PF2 has been well thought out and well argued”.
The roads boss argued that “there are about £400m successful PFIs in operation; PF2 is an improvement on PFI and seems to work well on roads”.
Highways England said it was continuing to engage with the industry regarding opportunities on both projects, despite the chancellor’s decision to axe PFI and PF2.
The spokesperson said: “We remain committed to talking to all those in the UK, European and international markets who are interested in helping us deliver them.
“These are flagship projects and remain large and complex, so we need the very best our supply chain can offer.”
They added that Highways England “was are working closely with government to progress them”.

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Highways England responds to PFI axe | News – (Zak Garner-Purkis) – 2018-10-31 07:50:00