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Daily Archives: December 2, 2021

Willmott Dixon to build £21m net zero Preston school

Willmott Dixon has added to its growing portfolio of net zero carbon in operation school projects with a £21m job to build an academy for 750 pupils in Preston.

The new Tarleton Academy will be built on land adjacent to the existing school, which will remain in use until the new building is open in September 2023.

Its facilities will include 36 classrooms as well as a range of sports facilities including a 20m swimming pool, new fitness suite and multi-use games area.

The academy will be net-zero carbon in operation and this will be achieved using an enhanced building envelope to maximise air tightness, alongside triple glazed windows.

It will also benefit from renewable energy generation comprising both ground source and air source heat pumps.  The roof will also be fitted with 1,500 sq m photovoltaic solar panels, offsetting all energy used on site.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said the Tarleton Academy would further benefit from Willmott Dixon’s EnergySynergyTM process.

This will see a team of zero carbon specialists compare actual energy performance for a period of 2-3 years after handover with energy performance targeted at the design stage, ensuring there is no difference in operational use against that predicted when designed.

The delivery of Tarleton Academy is the latest ultra-sustainable education project by Willmott Dixon.

It follows the award winning £38m Harris Academy Sutton, the UK’s largest Passivhaus accredited secondary school. The company has also delivered Hackbridge Primary School, the UK’s first Passivhaus ‘Plus’ education facility, which consumes only 75% of the 100% renewable energy it generates, selling the remainder back to the grid.

Last month, the company was also appointed for a £29m net-zero carbon school build at Silverwood School’s Rowde campus in North Wiltshire, extending the existing campus to provide a high-quality environment for 350 SEND pupils by September 2023.


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Veteran pair leave Currie & Brown

Consultant Currie & Brown is undergoing major leadership change as group chairman David Broomer retires this month after 51 years at the business.

Group chief executive officer Euan McEwan is also retiring at the end of this year.

Broomer became a partner in 1980 – the youngest partner in the company’s history – and in 1999 moved into the role of group managing director. Since October 2008 he has held the position of chairman.

McEwan will be succeeded as group chief executive officer by Alan Manuel, who has been chief operating officer, Europe and UK since 2016 when Currie & Brown acquired Sweett Group.

Nick Gray joins Currie & Brown to lead the Europe and UK business. He joins from Faithful+Gould where he was regional lead for the North, Scotland and Ireland business.


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British Gypsum upgrades website to improve product data info

British Gypsum has launched its new website as part of its wider commitment to continue to provide better data, tools and support for its partner construction customers.

The website delivers a range of new features and is one of the steps that British Gypsum is taking following an in depth review of its approach to data and marketing integrity, to help raise building standards across the industry and facilitate better building outcomes.

In order to ensure that it provides users with access to the most accurate and up-to-date tested product and specification information, the new website is fed by a Product Information Management (PIM) system, which provides all the performance data on British Gypsum’s drylining products, systems and specifications from a single source.

This is in line with the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), giving partner construction customers total confidence in the accuracy of product information, making it easier to specify systems and products.

The new website will automatically serve EN, rather than BS standards across the site, meaning that all product performance data provided has been tested to the more rigorous EN standards. While the White Book Specification Selector will now be prioritising EN standards going forwards, British Gypsum’s bank of BS standards data will still be available on the website for customers specifying to the latter.

As part of British Gypsum’s commitment to providing its partner construction customers with complete transparency and all the information required to support the ‘golden thread’, the new website has a dedicated project area which allows users to set up separate ‘projects’ and gain access to additional documents including test reports and BIM files.

In addition, British Gypsum’s industry-leading online White Book Specification Selector has been revamped to improve functionality and make it easier for users to find exactly what they are looking for based on their criteria. With the ability to compare up to three specifications and remove any ambiguity, users are able to easily identify the right specification for every project.

Stacey Temprell, Marketing Director at British Gypsum, said: “We are proud to have launched our new website and do our bit to provide complete transparency of our product and system data. The website has been developed to provide certainty when it comes to fire safety and technical competency, and ultimately help our partner construction customers build better.

“The construction industry has been faced with a high level of scrutiny in previous years and it is our responsibility as the UK’s leading manufacturer of high performance drylining and finishing solutions, to tackle this head on and continue to improve our own standards, whilst encouraging our partner construction customers to do the same.

“Having reviewed the way in which we manage data and marketing integrity at British Gypsum, it is clear that the only way to achieve lasting and tangible results for the business and our customer’s, is to provide clear and accurate product, system and specification information that can always be relied upon.

“The new website is just one of the measures that we have implemented to ensure that we continue to provide our partner construction customers with clear, accurate and up-to-date information, and we are proud to be doing our bit in helping the industry build better.”

Further features on the new website include the new digital training prospectus which showcases the training courses that British Gypsum provides, as well as an online chat feature, QBot, which has been built into the website to provide answers to some of British Gypsum’s most commonly asked technical questions 24/7.

A Thistle Plaster Coverage Calculator allows customers to calculate the exact amount of plaster needed for a project, and a Thermal Calculator to help measure thermal performance.

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