Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber

Regional partner to Constructing Excellence, the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction

Tag: CKE

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

 

 

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

 

 

New programme of Constructing Excellence in the region, kicking off with a look at Design

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Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire and Humber kicked off its new programme for its Autumn series today, attended by some 30 construction professionals from across the Leeds City Region.

Developed by Centre for Knowledge Exchange part of the Leeds Metropolitan University this exciting new programme aims to provide a focus and deliver on the most important and relevant aspects of the construction and property sector. Based on a breakfast seminar slot on the last Wednesday of each month, the series aims to bring construction leaders and practitioners together for networking and collaboration around a themed topic on each occasion.

The series was ably kicked off today with a Design themed seminar which included a presentation on RIBA’s new Plan of Work 2013 from John Orrell Group Director of DLA Design in Leeds (and part of the authoring RIBA review group for the Plan of Work) and from Rob Charlton, Chief Executive of _space Architects a look at the opportunities presented to maximise design value through Off Site Construction techniques. John noted that there had been no real change made to the RIBA Plan of Work since its creation in 1963, but with the changes brought in by the use and management of data in the construction process and the drivers noted in the Government Construction Strategy in 2011, updating has been necessary to ensure that the Plan of Work incorporates sustainable design principles, provides a structure to support and embed BIM, allows full team integration yet provides the necessary flexibility needed (particularly around planning and procurement).

Rob presentation noted how the tension between price/value and ‘good’ design, sometimes gets misinterpreted (to the point where some London Schools cost more than an Acute Hospital), and how standardisation in a fully thought through design can deliver huge savings and fantastic value for money. Much of the thinking in this respect relies on the latest approaches to design and construction processes as well as learning from other industries such as Automotive and Aerospace where there have been huge step changes in design and productivity.

Chaired by Don Ward, CEO of Constructing Excellent who made a great gesture by visiting Leeds for this event from London, the event marks the start of a much needed platform for discussion and views relating to the construction industry, which CE (Y&H) hopes to fulfil with its programme over the coming year.

Each event will seek to bring in support from the various Institutions and professional bodies involved in the sector. The next event on 30th October is themed around the CIOB with a presentation on their Talk Construction initiative from Eddie Tuttle at CIOB HQ and John Eynon CIOB Ambassador and Author of “The Design Manager’s Handbook”. 27th November sees an Civil Engineering themed event focusing on best practice project management with keynote speaker Denise Bower of Leeds University and member of the Construction Industry Strategy Advisory Council.