Bricklaying Tools News

  • Excellence with bricklaying tools could help with school estate updates

    Excellence with bricklaying tools could help with school estate updates

    Construction of new schools could be made better through changes to the rules applying to people working with bricklaying tools on new educational buildings, it is suggested.

    On October 28th, the Herts & Beds Constructing Excellence Club hosted a meeting entitled The Good, The Bad and The Radical to debate improvements to the Partnership for Schools programme.

    Among the good aspects of the existing scheme was the high standard of construction from those working with bricklaying tools on school projects, those in attendance agreed.

    Robustness of the finished buildings ranked alongside the availability of apprenticeships and efficient resource usage as some of the positives.

    However, the radical solutions suggested included standardised designs to choose from, rather than duplicating planning work on different schemes.

    "Members of the Constructing Excellence Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Club have been directly and indirectly involved in the Partnership for Schools programme and were ideally placed to offer their experience," says Constructing Excellence.

    Posted by Andrew Miles

  • More home starts could see bricklaying tools in demand

    More home starts could see bricklaying tools in demand

    Bricklaying tools could be in greater demand throughout the coming four years as construction industry analyst AMA Research foresees growth in new home starts and completions.

    In issue four of its quarterly Housebuilding and RMI Forecasts Bulletin, the research organisation predicts steady positive growth for the coming four years.

    During 2009, at the height of the economic turbulence, fewer than 100,000 new properties were started, although completions reached in excess of 140,000.

    By 2010, new starts and completions were near parity at slightly more than 130,000 each.

    From 2011 onwards, however, more bricklaying tools could be needed with expansion in new-builds of 13 per cent in the first year falling back to the high single figures thereafter.

    "The information covers Great Britain and includes regional statistics and forecasts for England, Wales and Scotland," says AMA Research.

    A breakdown by English region is also provided in the full report, as well as separate analyses of the private and public sectors.

    Posted by Ryan Gilbert

  • Masonry brushes could extend low dust levels throughout construction

    Masonry brushes could extend low dust levels throughout construction

    With mineral products suppliers taking action to reduce their dust levels, masonry brushes could allow end-users of their materials to do the same.

    Dust levels are one of the environmental criteria included in the Mineral Products Association's (MPA's) 2009 UK Cement Performance Report, which has just been published.

    Per tonne of cement produced during the year, dust emissions dropped by almost a third (31 per cent) compared with 2008.

    This is in spite of the previous year's strong performance on environmental concerns, when 11 of 15 targets were exceeded, the MPA says.

    Masonry brushes that reduce the amount of dust released into the environment surrounding construction sites could extend this achievement to building projects.

    Dr Pal Chana, executive director of the MPA, adds that domestically produced cement is "by far the most environmentally responsible way to meet the UK's needs".

    The MPA represents organisations in the production of cementitious materials, silica sand, mortar, lime, asphalt and aggregates.

    Posted by Charlie Parkin

  • Bricklaying tools go to work on Chichester District Museum expansion

    Bricklaying tools go to work on Chichester District Museum expansion

    The expansion of Chichester District Museum is well underway at Tower Street, according to Chichester District Council, which may have seen bricklaying tools put to work on the venue's new facilities.

    However, bricklaying tools may not only be required on the construction itself; they could also help in moving some of the exhibits.

    Anne Bone, arts and heritage development manager, says: "Packing techniques differ for each type of object in the collection.

    "This is due to some materials chemically reacting with other materials that could damage an object."

    Among the exhibits that could be carefully relocated using bricklayers tools is the Jupiter Stone, dated to the first, second or third century AD and formerly part of the base of a Roman sculpture.

    The museum is also clearing stock from its gift shop in preparation for the move, while its opening hours have been affected by the conservation and relocation work on around 50,000 separate artefacts.

    Posted by Jude Whitehouse

  • More SMEs could put bricklaying tools to work in public sector

    More SMEs could put bricklaying tools to work in public sector

    Despite planned spending cuts, more small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could find their bricklaying tools in demand on public sector projects in the months to come.

    The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is calling for better access to public sector contracts for SMEs in light of their substantial contribution to the UK workforce.

    Some 60 per cent of jobs and half of the nation's gross domestic product is contributed by SMEs, the FMB says.

    Director general Richard Diment says: "If the government wants small businesses to be major players when it comes to private sector growth they need to do more to reach them."

    He adds that procurement within the public sector has "for too long" prevented SMEs from having much chance to win contracts.

    Now, however, Cabinet Office plans could see more small building firms putting their bricklaying tools to work on government schemes.

    That is because at least a quarter of contracts are intended to be given to SMEs, with payments due to be made within 30 days to keep cashflow moving.

    Posted by Charlie Parkin

  • Huge opportunities' for users of bricklaying tools

    Huge opportunities' for users of bricklaying tools

    While the recession may have resulted in some negative trends within the construction sector, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) suggests that those training in how to use bricklaying tools at the moment could face brighter prospects.

    "The Green Deal to retrofit all our 26 million homes in the country will provide huge job opportunities for people in the construction sector," says director of external affairs Brian Berry.

    He adds: "For those entering college now, we will at some point come out of the recession."

    This will lead to a pick-up in construction activity as concerns about housing shortages come to the fore, he expects.

    With immediate prospects not looking so bright on the surface, Mr Berry anticipates that some people will be discouraged from going into property development.

    In turn, those who have trained with bricklaying tools during a time of uncertainty for the sector could be better placed to capitalise on the new job opportunities that arise.

    Posted by Andrew Miles

  • Green Deal could enlarge market for eco-friendly bricklayers tools

    Green Deal could enlarge market for eco-friendly bricklayers tools

    Bricklayers tools suitable for undertaking energy efficiency home improvements could be in renewed demand thanks to the government's Green Deal.

    The initiative aims to make the entire UK housing stock more eco-friendly, including both privately owned and rented accommodation.

    Stephen Radley, director of policy and external affairs at manufacturers' forum the EEF, says the scheme "for the first time" gives some small firms access to energy-saving measures.

    "It also has the potential to open up a whole new market for energy-efficient materials and equipment," he adds.

    Employment estimates alone suggest the number of green-collar workers could increase from 27,000 now to 250,000 over the next two decades.

    This is based on mass uptake of the Green Deal resulting in an overhaul of all 26 million properties in the UK.

    A likely knock-on effect in terms of demand for bricklayers tools might be expected as these new construction workers equip themselves for their jobs.

    The Green Deal is part of the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill, which the Department of Energy and Climate Change says represents a "step change" in delivering energy-efficiency options to businesses and homes.

    Posted by Charlie Parkin

  • Putting bricklaying tools to work could boost microgeneration

    Putting bricklaying tools to work could boost microgeneration

    Getting to work with bricklaying tools could have a knock-on effect for the UK's ability to employ microgeneration to produce electricity on-site at people's homes, suggests the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

    Rather than referring to the direct construction of microgeneration facilites, the industry organisation explains that there is also a need to put bricklaying tools to work on the building of modern housing capable of supporting the energy-producing technology.

    Director of external affairs Brian Berry says: "New housing provides the test bed for cutting-edge microgeneration technologies which help address the energy security and carbon emission reduction agendas."

    He argues that government actions should not neglect new homes as they represent a contributing factor to "the delivery of everything else".

    The FMB previously suggested making use of small parcels of previously developed land less than two hectares in size in order to create new residential properties in London without having to touch green belts.

    Posted by Jude Whitehouse

  • Users of bricklaying tools told to work leanly for prosperity

    Users of bricklaying tools told to work leanly for prosperity

    The turbulent times have placed new demands on users of bricklaying tools to collaborate in new ways while adopting lean, sustainable working practices, it is suggested.

    Constructing Excellence, which held its annual convention last week, is leading the way on this by bringing its local, regional and national operations under a single governing structure.

    Ian Reeves heads up the organisation as chairman for at least the next year, with subsidiaries including the Building Research Establishment also affected by the change.

    Mr Reeves says: "These are difficult times for the industry and business efficiency and productivity improvement through lean and collaborative working have never been more important for our future prosperity."

    The comments tally with recent suggestions made at the Herts & Beds Constructing Excellence Club which could see the procurement of bricklaying tools and other equipment affected in the months to come.

    Experts taking part in a debate at the club discussed the possibility of introducing accredited procurement as a means of maintaining confidence in the construction sector.

    Posted by Charlie Parkin

  • Bricklaying tools at work again in Wycombe

    Bricklaying tools at work again in Wycombe

    Wycombe District Council has been putting its bricklaying tools to work once again as it converts Desborough Road's St John's church buildings into the new Centre for Arts, Creativity and Enterprise.

    The buildings are just round the corner from Desborough Avenue, where bricklaying tools are already being used in the construction of a new Lidl store.

    Now the council is working on bringing the church buildings up to scratch for their new use.

    Work has already been done to improve their resistance to water and wind, with funding provided by Wycombe District Council.

    On Saturday, October 16th, 35 local people volunteered to go and help to clean the interior.

    They swept, scrubbed and cleaned the entire interior of the Grade II listed building, leaving it ready for decorating.

    Dance and drumming entertainment was laid on as a thank you - and the skip hired was filled within hours, the council says.

    Posted by Jude Whitehouse

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