Zink INDUSTRY NEWS 01992 801927 www.almhm.co.uk This month Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to hold a snap general election on June 8, citing a lack of unity within Parliament following the result of the EU Referendum. In a televised address outside Downing Street she said that: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not,” and that a snap general election would provide muchneeded certainty, stability and leadership as the UK takes its departure from the European Union. There is already talk across all parties and within the industry about what a new Government could mean for the construction sector as the country begins to negotiate its departure from the European Union. All in the industry will be hoping for a manifesto that pledges to ensure the country has the strongest possible links to the European Single Market whilst also guaranteeing that enough migrant workers are entering the country to help plug the skills gap that the industry faces. Commenting on the announcement, Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA, said: “The specific benefits for the construction industry remain to be seen, but it will allow the most wonderful platform for the Prime Minister to lay out her strategy to the electorate. It will be a strategy that will not be debated in parliament – as it properly should be – but it will be played out at the political hustings in the coming seven weeks. “There has been much chaos and mixed messages surrounding Brexit since June last year so we trust this announcement will bring muchneeded clarity and order.” ‘Bump for the Pound’ Mike Wharton, head of membership at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI), commented: “The Prime Minister’s intention to gain an increase in moral authority over Brexit talks had the immediate effect of a positive bump for the Pound. Both business and consumer confidence could benefit from a significant increase in Conservative majority, though Brexit terms are still likely to be dictated by the remaining nations of the EU. Significant uncertainty surrounds forthcoming elections in Europe and the unpredictable nature of US Government policy may give the Pound further strength. Within the built environment supply chain, Sterling strength would be a benefit to those firms which import finished product or raw materials from overseas and their contractor buyers; it could also give consumers more bang for their buck whilst keeping inflation under control. If the Pound continues to strengthen, that could also be a plus in terms of keeping borrowing costs low – all positives for the domestic construction industry in terms of confidence. There is no question though, volatility will be the watch word not just in the run up to the June General Election, but for the next few years.” 008 MAY 2017 RCIMAG.COM Copper Stainless More than 42,000 new homes were registered in the UK by NHBC in the first three months of the year, according to NHBC’s latest new home registration statistics. 42,470 new homes were registered in Q1, an increase of 17% on the 36,351 registered 12 months ago – resulting in the highest quarter in 10 years. 31,197 homes were registered in the private sector, an increase of 10% on the same period a year ago (28,278), with 11,273 new homes registered in the affordable sector, representing a 40% increase on 2016 numbers (8,073). New home statistics for the financial year also reveal a 4% increase for 2016/17 with a total of 157,898 new homes registered compared to 151,599 in 2015/16. Additionally, new home completions for the financial year increased by 5% to 145,282, up from 137,826 in 2015/16. Widespread growth For the first time in seven years, all 12 regions across the UK experienced growth in registrations, when compared to the same period 12 months ago. The North East (+39%), London (+38%) and Eastern (+31%) were among the regions with the most notable growth. Commenting on the latest new home statistics, NHBC managing director Neil Jefferson said: “These figures, with growth across the entire country, are clearly encouraging for the sector, at a time when there is considerable demand for new, high-quality homes. “Welcome news” “This growth in registrations, in both the private and affordable sector, is welcome news and will result in more newly built homes across the UK over the coming months.” New home registrations up in 2017 New NHBC-endorsed roofing guide to boost house-builders’ use of offsite components New roofing guidance endorsed by protection and safe installation of increasingly turning to spandrel NHBC to ensure the challenges the National House-building spandrel panels. It is available panels. house-builders face are covered so Council (NHBC) has been now as a free download from the “They provide an ideal solution to the standard of installation is as published by the Trussed Rafter TRA website. the skills shortages in housebuilding high as possible.” Association (TRA), designed to and roofing, and they help Paul Cribbens, NHBC standards reduce the risks, costs and waste Further updates to improve safety on site, as they manager, added: “As the housebuilding from poor spandrel panel The guide has been developed by require less time working at height. industry moves evermore construction by house-builders. the TRA in association with the Spandrel panels can be installed In a recent NHBC survey of 8,000 NHBC and the Structural Timber quickly, and faster installation times new homes sites, about 17% were Association (STA) and will receive also mean lower costs. They also already using spandrel panels. further updates following the leave little or no site waste. Trussed roof manufacturers report outcome of further fire testing, increasing interest in these offsite currently being undertaken with the Concerns over quality components, especially from large STA. The TRA and NHBC will “But TRA members and NHBC and volume house-builders building also be providing further updates inspectors have shared concerns low-rise housing and apartments. on gable detailing later this year. about the quality of construction in The new guide for masonry-built Jonathan Fellingham, chairman of some areas, so it’s vital that housebuilders homes provides evidence-based the TRA, said: “As the use of premanufactured understand best practice in technical best practice on the design, components and design and installation to achieve structural requirements, fire and offsite construction grows in the best results. We have acoustic performance, weather popularity, house-builders are collaborated with the STA and towards innovative methods of construction, it is encouraging to see the supply chain embracing the challenges and ensuring that products perform as expected. This document represents a first significant step towards standardising this innovative method of construction.” The new guidance can be downloaded at: www.tra.org.uk/media/uploads/fil es/590741a089272.pdf What could a snap election mean for UK construction?
RCI May 2017
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