Category: Leeds Beckett

Just Published: Observations on regulations, standards, quality and experience in the wake of Grenfell

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Not what anyone wanted: Observations on regulations, standards, quality and experience in the wake of Grenfell

Christopher Gorse and John Sturges: Construction Research and Innovation, Issue 3

Abstract

While many factors will have contributed to the catastrophe at Grenfell Tower, it is clear that the structure itself behaved in a way that no one could possibly have intended. In this article the authors sample the bewildering and sometimes apparently contradictory directions provided by building regulations, and review how fire safety precautions, while seeming adequate on paper, can be undermined on contact with observed on-site practice.

 

The standards and regulations of the UK construction industry are highly regarded internationally but the Grenfell Tower fire has called into question the industry’s procedures, their enforcement and the quality of UK construction. The events of 14 June 2017 led to an unprecedented loss of life. Without second guessing the enquiry, there are some obvious problems: the external facing materials including the cladding combusted too easily, the fire spread rapidly both vertically, laterally and through the building, there was little resistance to the spread of fire and it was difficult to extinguish. Almost every aspect of the industry’s safeguarding regulations and procedures appear compromised or overlooked. With hundreds of buildings considered to be at risk and the many cladding systems now condemned, it is evident that the industry is either unaware of the regulations and standards that apply or is neglecting responsibility for fire safety. Questions must be answered and the tragedy of Grenfell must be acknowledged to restore confidence in industry standards and processes.

Close up of Grenfell Tower on 16 June 2017 (credit: ChiralJon/Wikimedia Commons).

The full paper can be viewed at the following link

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20450249.2017.1368260

 

Factory 2050: “The Factory of the Future”

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Thursday 30th March 2017

 

AMRC Factory 2050, Sheffield – S9 1ZA

08:30 for registration, 09:00-10:30 

Refreshments provided!


Factory 2050 is a smart factory and arguably the world’s most advanced production facility.

Completed in late 2015 it is a joint venture between the University of Sheffield and Boeing and has been a catalyst for future investment within South Yorkshire’s buoyant advanced manufacturing district.

It is the UK’s first totally reconfigurable, digital factory for collaborative research and provides a world class environment for robotics and automation, integrated large volume metrology, digitally assisted assembly and manufacturing informatics.

 

It was also a game changer project for Interserve within Yorkshire, their first project for the University of Sheffield and their first advanced manufacturing project within the region.

The project has been a huge success; it was delivered safely, on time and within budget whilst overcoming a number of challenges associated with a circular building and a logistically complex site.

The excellence of the outcomes achieved along with the collaborative approach adopted, recognised by the project being crowned the National Constructing Excellence ‘Building Project of the Year’ in 2016.

Please join us on Thursday 30th March at Factory 2050, where the Interserve project team will present a case study on the project and provide a tour of the facility.

             


To get involved join us at

AMCR Factory 2050, Sheffield S9 1ZA

Thursday 30th March 2017 08:30-10:30

Click here to book your place for this not to be missed event!


Planning and Housing Strategies in the Combined Authorities – Leeds Planning Network Master Class 16 February

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Planning and housing strategies are essential for economic growth in the Combined Authorities and delegates at the Leeds Planning Network event in February had the opportunity to study three different approaches.
Speakers from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, South Yorkshire and Leeds City Regions provided much needed insight into the impact on planning and housing strategies on the city devolution agenda. They were ably chaired by consultant and researcher Jane Kettle, and addressed an audience of around 50 practitioners. Identifying a choice of strategies, the three speakers shared a vision that links housing growth to rising prosperity.

Anne Morgan, Planning Strategy Manager for Greater Manchester set out the benefits and challenges of the Combined Authority. The ability to produce a Greater Manchester spatial framework has made it possible to identify strategic growth areas, and plan collectively and consistently across ten local government areas. The spatial framework is supported by Mayoral compulsory purchase powers, and benefits from the potential to create Mayoral development companies. It has enabled the authorities to identify priorities, not only for economic growth but for the enhancement of green infrastructure. But it has also entangled the Combined Authority in public controversy over the loss of green belt land as tough decisions on housing allocations are made.
You can look at Anne Morgan’s  presentation here: Anne Morgan – GMSF Leeds .

While the route to becoming a Combined Authority has not been smooth in South Yorkshire, a collective approach to planning and housing has emerged from the bottom-up. A housing compact agreed between registered providers in South Yorkshire was hailed by Tony Stacy, chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, a leap forward in co-operation and joint planning. The compact between local authorities and housing associations demonstrates a willingness to work collaboratively in meeting housing need. It has resulted in a joint bid for housing investment and plans to radically expand the number of new homes built. Housing – once excluded from the priorities of the city region – is now seen as a key part of the infrastructure of economic growth.
 You can look at Tony Stacy’s presentation here: Tony Stacey – Devolution, housing and Planning

An infrastructure investment framework has enabled the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to co-ordinate strategic planning in the Leeds city region and neighbouring areas. Colin Blackburn, Head of Infrastructure, stressed the need for a shared approach to planning and placemaking. While political structures evolve slowly, it is co-operation between authorities on development frameworks, land acquisition, site selection that makes combination possible. Significant challenges to housing delivery persist, and the Government White Paper provided few solutions, but agreement on strategy and consistency in approach are key achievements for West Yorkshire authorities.
You can find Colin Blackburn’s presentation here: Colin Blackburn RTPI – Planning and Housing Under Devo

 

By  Quintin Bradley

 

 

CEYH Excellence Breakfast Series -25th January 2017

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Planning Network Master Class: Planning and housing strategies in the combined authorities -16th February, Leeds

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Thursday 16th February 2017
17:30 – 19:30
The Rose Bowl (5th floor), Lecture Theatre RB538,
Leeds Beckett University,  Woodhouse Lane,
Leeds LS1 3HB

Master Class pic 16th Feb
What has been the impact of city devolution on planning and housing strategies? What new approaches have been taken by the combined authorities and what benefits have they seen?
 
Chair: Jane Kettle, Housing Consultant and Researcher
Our Panel:
 
Colin Blackburn, Head of Infrastructure & Investment, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Anne Morgan, Planning Strategy Manager, Greater Manchester Planning & Housing Team
Tony Stacey, Chief Executive, South Yorkshire Housing Association
Followed by Q & A with the Panel

        Book Here!

Professional Doctorate in Engineering starting Feb 2017

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In the coming academic year, the Leeds Sustainability Institute (Leeds Beckett University) is able to offer selected companies the opportunity to register eligible members of staff for a part time Professional Doctorate in Engineering (D.Eng.) degree, starting in February 2017. The benefits to companies include:

  • Development of staff to doctoral level
  • Enhancement of in-house research capability via staff training in research techniques
  • Development of research projects of specific company interest
  • Staff retention via investment in personal development
  • Low-cost student fees
  • Flexible learning taking account of other professional commitments

Minimum entry requirements are a 2:1 Honours degree or Master’s degree (or equivalent). Students on our part-time D.Eng program are expected to complete their doctoral study within 4-5 years. We are aware that professional doctoral candidates are able to draw on considerable professional expertise and experience, but may have grown out of touch with formal academic study, so the program seeks to offer substantial initial support in developing key academic skills.

The deadline for applications for a February start is end of September 2016 and early applications are advised. We are always happy to help with developing draft proposals for applications, especially in the areas of Built Environment, Energy or Sustainability.

For more information, or to discuss potential applications, please contact Dr Anne Stafford, a.stafford@leedsbeckett.ac.uk .