Category: SME

Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber (CEYH) to exhibit at CHY Supply Chain School event in October

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 Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber (CEYH) are supporting Construction Housing Yorkshire with their supply chain school event on Thursday 12th October (8:30 to 18:00) at the Park Plaza Hotel in Leeds


CHY are working with Supply Chain School to host a supplier day with a difference.  On the day we’ll hear from main contractors operating within our region including BAM, Balfour Beatty, Bardsley Construction, Carillion, ISG, Kier Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall, Wilmott Dixon and Wates.  CHY will present a transparent matrix outlining what is required and expected from each main contractor supply chains and, more importantly, what support is available from CHY, the Supply Chain School, the contractors and local partners to support your business realise its potential.

There is a real desire for main contractors to open their supply chains driven by the social agenda.  The event is only open to those currently outside of main contractors supply chains.  At CHY we want to make a local difference to construction employment, skills and SME engagement; and we want you to be part of it.


Visit our stand in the exhibition area to find out more about what we do and how we support businesses in the region to deliver on their potential.


To book the morning session, click here.

To book the afternoon session, click here.

Why the Construction Excellence Awards are important – they let out Yorkshire’s best kept secrets!

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Simon Owen

Guest Blog Post by Simon Owen, Vice-Chairman of CIBSE Yorkshire

I don’t know about you, but while I knew Yorkshire is a big county, and that we have a lot of building and construction work centred within the area, I didn’t know just how good we are at it. That changed on Friday…

At the Construction Excellence Yorkshire and Humber Awards people from all branches of the construction and engineering family came together to talk about what they do and celebrate what they have achieved over the last year. I was the guest of Tekla and it wasn’t until I was chatting with Marian Thomasson and Jill Willoughby that I realised Yorkshire’s history of innovation goes beyond the building as a whole, but also to the local manufacturers; Hepworth Building Products were at the front end of developing push fit plumbing fittings while NavisWorks is a development of a package created in Sheffield.

Kicking off the evening, Chris Gorse, Director and Professor of the Leeds Sustainability Institute and Centre for the Built Environment at Leeds Beckett University discussed with pride and passion the developments that they have been involved with as part of his opening speech, from the students graduating, the establishment of ThinkBIM, GreenVision, Construction Knowledge Exchange while he neglected to mention the launch of BIM4SME’s being held in the region or that the University acts as the central hub for the UK Living Building Challenge team. He made up for it though by talking about the close relationship that they have with industry and the shared enthusiasm for carrying out research to find a better way of doing what we do.

The thing I’ve admired about all of the groups Chris mentioned is that they are accessible; there is an “everybody welcome” approach so that no matter what your base level of knowledge you will enjoy the event and won’t feel daft being there. The other thing that is special about them is that they are all shared via through social media, web casts and tweets – possibly not a secret, but worth knowing if you have an interest in the subject but were a bit nervous about coming along.


Amy Garcia and Tom Oulton

CEYH Chair, Tom Oulton, and host, BBC Look North’s Amy Garcia, taking selfies

The presentations themselves were inspirational; for instance Alison Watson of Class of Your Own introduced three of her students who had been working with Cundall, Mott MacDonald and Laing O’Rourke. They talked about their course, their plans for the future and how they have been supported by the companies that they worked with. There was a huge applause for the Alison as she is well known and recognised for being a trail blazer, but this was almost dwarfed by the one after students had presented; all 350 people in the room could sense their enthusiasm for what they have learned and could see how the “Design Engineer Construct!” programme has the potential to change how we bring people in to the industry.


Luke, Brad and Daniel of A Class of Your Own presenting

There was main contractors, sub contractors, design consultants and industry specialists all rubbing shoulders with client organisations such as East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Northern Rail and Yorkshire Water; it is hard to imagine a more diverse group of people gathering, talking and celebrating. Speaking with Mark Randerson of SH Structures, he told me that the awards are a crucial part of marketing their business; they design, install and manufacture steel structures, but not the standard stuff, they do the work where you look and wonder “just how on earth did they do that”. When they try to get on the supplier list for main contractors they struggle as procurement departments say “we have 6 people on the list, we don’t need anyone else”. When as Mark said, “all I want is for people to remember us when they need to deliver the out of the ordinary”, the awards help as people know that they are the company that won this award, was nominated for that award or completed projects that change local landscapes such as The Kelpies. Procurement may have six people on their list, but there probably aren’t six companies in the country that can deliver projects of the nature that specialists such as SH can.

Above all it changed perceptions and proved that every project being delivered by every organisation has scope to do something amazing and break new ground. Lovell won the award for Health and Safety on their Hull re-roofs project demonstrating that glamour is not required. The Heritage award was won by East Riding of Yorkshire Council for their Sewerby Hall Access Project showing that a high profile and international brand is not essential while the Integration and Collaborative Working award went to Kier and the York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, marking how the focus of the property team remains on delivering the best facilities they can in the midst of the various wrangling’s and politics.


The Lovell team collecting their award

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council team collecting their award

It would be great to see more public bodies, housing schemes (low energy new builds perhaps?) and what some would say left field works represented next year and really spread the word of just what is being achieved behind so many office doors and site entrances.

For me, one thing is for sure and that our host for the evening, Amy Garcia, summed it up well when she said that “the future of the industry is in safe hands” after hearing Luke, Brad and Daniel of Class of Your Own speak. She’s right, especially if the news is as good in other regions as it is in this one…

Simon Owen



CDM regulations 2015 – Are you up to speed?

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On 25th February we will be hosting an CDM regulations update event at Old Broadcasting House in Leeds from 5:30pm onwards.

Our first speaker will be Clive Johnson, Group Head of Health and Safety at Land Securities who has beem involved with the working group for the new regulations and will present on the key changes and what they may mean to you.

Our second speaker will be Jim Barron, Associate Director at Faithful & Gould, who will give the consultants perspective on the changes. Jim will explain how they are preparing for the proposed changes and the impact of key role changes, in particular that of the CDMC, which will cease to exist.

Full details and booking at the link below


#CEYH2014 SME excellence through digital workflows and behavioural science

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A great turnout of construction professionals gathered at Addleshaw Goddard LLP in Leeds on 29th October for our second CEYH event of autumn focussing on SME excellence in two current hot topics; SME adoption of BIM & Applied Behavioural Science in Health & Safety. CEYH is the Yorkshire & Humber regional hub for Constructing Excellence, committed to providing a structured programme of events sharing knowledge, case studies and best practice which respond to the wider needs of the industry.

Our chair for Wednesday’s event was James Gill, BIM technician at Cubicle Centre. Cubicle Centre were the deserving recipients of the SME & Best of the Best awards at this year’s CEYH awards for their determination to become one of the first “bim ready” manufacturers in the UK and the increase business being so has brought them.

Our first speaker for the event was Duncan Reed, Digital Construction Process Manager at Tekla UK & ThinkBIM ambassador, who presented on the CITB funded BIM training that ThinkBIM has been delivering around the region to SMEs. He started by highlighting the issue that at present we have no real indication of BIM level 2 adoption in the UK, pointing out that the NBS National BIM report attracts around 1300 respondents, a tiny percentage of the estimated 2million people who work in the construction industry. The CITB funded training delivered by ThinkBIM goes some way to addressing this with the sessions highlighting key issues faced by SMEs & identifying solutions to overcome them. So far ThinkBIM has delivered 26 workshops over 117 companies to 359 delegates.


As well as outlining the aims of the CITB sessions, i.e. what is BIM? what tools are available e.t.c. pointing out that not all BIM software is new software (even excel is a useful BIM tool!), Duncan also went on to discuss some of the perceived barriers to BIM that attendees at the training sessions had raised and gave examples of how companies had overcome them, using two recent case studies, Premier Interlink & F Parkinson. At this point Duncan also mentioned the TSB Innovate initiative who award funding to small businesses to help them implement new technologies within their businesses. Further details can be found on the Innovate website here . Both Premier Interlink & F Parkinson have made use of the scheme receiving £5000 vouchers to help implement BIM throughout their operations with ThinkBIM’s advice.

Duncan concluded his presentation with some key tips on how organisations can start with BIM, the most important one being that companies have to decide a BIM strategy & objective for their own organisation first i.e. you can’t do someone else’s BIM. Once a strategy has been defined you are then in a position to look at what you need to make it happen and take it from there.

Following that we welcomed Claire Fryer, Senior Behavioural Management Consultant at Costain who presented on delivering behavioural health & safety training using accelerated learning techniques. Claire outlined some of the principles behind the science using some interesting examples from our everyday behaviours. Her example of how we alter our driving dependent on whether there is police car around certainly resonated with some members of our audience! Claire went on to describe the “Antecedents – Behaviours – Consequences” behavioural model used by Costain and how it is our understanding of the consequences which impact on our behaviours.


Claire then went on to illustrate some real examples of putting the model into practice; one particular case study being strategies taken to overcome a high percentage of slips, trips and falls recorded on a project. Some other key points she raised included the importance of focusing on one small problem to fix at a time, gathering specific data (using observation & the ABC model outlined above) and the importance of communication with workers i.e. asking them what they need in order to be able to adhere to health & safety principles and then working jointly towards it.

Claire concluded the presentation by outlining how there is huge scope for businesses to benefit from applied behavioural science throughout their entire operations, not just health & safety. It can be used to improve quality performance, delivery performance, even improving the processing of invoices. As long as you can understand why people behave the way they do within their working environments, then you can begin to use behavioural techniques to modify them. Claire’s final point was to reiterate that we shouldn’t just rely on email to get people to do what we want, we need to get out, talk to people and understand the consequences which drive behaviour, before we try to change it.

Following Claire’s presentation, the assembled audience were invited to ask questions, a summary of which are outlined below:

Are there any other alternate sources of funding for BIM training outside the CITB?

Duncan Reed (DR) TSB Innovation Vouchers are available to anybody. ThinkBIM can help organisations with their submissions for funding. Contact Claire on to find out more.

What are the examples of how you have resolved some of the issues with getting clients involved in the model?

(DR) Involving the end users to make sure they are engaged in the design process so they can visualise the space they will be working in i.e. teachers & their classrooms.

Has ThinkBIM done anything with professional associations as well as companies direct?

We would like the professional bodies . We do find trade associations are doing a lot of work, providing advice, support & courses to help educate their member on BIM and how they can develop it within their businesses. We would like to see the same level of interest from the professional bodies which would ultimately then ensure it is included in university courses.

Duncan what are the key consequences of not doing in BIM? Thinking about the ABC model Claire talked about in terms of behavioural science & culture change?

(DF) The government’s 2025 construction strategy asks for massive improvements throughout the operation in costs efficiencies, health & safety standards e.t.c. Not doing BIM would make it very hard for companies to meet this target.

For Costain, how do you deal with the SME supply chain that come on site?

(CF) Many of our supply chain join our Supply Chain Academy where they have an introductory session on the principles involved. We also involve them early in projects, bringing them on to site, inviting them into meetings and training sessions so they can work on any arising issues with the existing team, and this is working really well.