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Smartroof Trading Announcement – Coronavirus Closure Notice

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smartroof COVID-19 Graphics (Web Banner)

Following Government advice on the importance of social distancing to keep our employees and customers safe, we decided to temporarily close the Smartroof factory and all site installations from end of business Wednesday 25 March 2020.

This temporary closure is initially for a period of 3 weeks and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. During this period of temporary closure, Smartroof will have staff based offsite to support your enquiries by email and telephone. Please contact us on 01283 200199 or by email at the addresses listed below.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding and we wish you, your families and your colleagues the very best during this challenging time.

 

Bovis Homes Spreads its Wings

Posted by on Jan 30, 2020 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Bovis Homes Spreads its Wings

 

With record profits and growth in both sales and margins announced in its half year report this September, the future of house building at Bovis Homes has never looked better. Keyhouse caught up with Christopher Evans, Associate Buying Director with Bovis, to find out what’s happening.

 

christopher evans bovis homesWhat’s driving the positive results at Bovis Homes?
I have certainly seen a lot of changes since I joined the business in 2013 but the big move driving efficiency has been made over the past two years and there are still more improvements to come. The first major change impacting performance has been the redesign of our house types. This came through research carried out with customers and launched last year under the ‘Phoenix’ banner. These new house types are not only more attractive to home buyers, but they have also been designed to optimise the build process, so we are experiencing real efficiency benefits onsite.

The Phoenix range includes 28 houses from 2 beds up to 6 beds and has been introduced to all our sites, including a number of existing sites on which we reapplied for planning.

 

Is new technology making an impact?
We have made some significant internal process changes with the adoption of the Coins ERP package which is delivering excellent efficiency to us. The key benefit is keeping information up to date so people can make the right decisions for the business at the right time.

On the customer facing side we are investing in an interactive home buyer portal which will really enhance the buyers’ experience once they have reserved a house. This brings us bang up to date with the latest technology, giving customers the sort of control they are used to in apps that they use daily for all sorts of things. So when Mr and Mrs Smith log into the new portal they will be able to see which options they can choose or upgrade to. The system will also have the ability to show the live progress of the house onsite.

 

How does Bovis differ from the other house builders?
I would sum it up by saying we have the scale and impact of a PLC but with the mindset more like that of a family firm. Our CEO Greg Fitzgerald has been spearheading major changes, utilising the latest technology, which has had a really positive impact over the past two years. We are now totally focused on improvement in every part of the business, right down to a new app based internal system which cuts out paperwork and streamlines all types of staff admin.

 

How did you connect with the Keystone Group?
Our connection with Smartroof is relatively recent and currently we are working on two sites. The relationship has got off to a great start and I have to say; from a builder’s point of view, from a commercial point of view and from a technical point of view it’s gone fantastically well. On the back of this positive experience we are currently looking at new opportunities to engage further with the Keystone Group across the whole range of group products. The potential for building a strong partnership is certainly there.

 

bovis homes houseIs new technology improving the house building industry?
I think the housing industry is still a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to implementing new technology compared even to other parts of construction.

The good news is that Bovis is on track to implement more digital technology and obviously our new portal for home buyers is a big leap forward. We also see partnering with companies like Keystone, who are already advanced down the technology route, as a positive step.

On the supplier side, we are impressed by the way Keystone is using technology to enhance the quality and performance of the products they offer us as a house builder. We are now building smart homes where you can control things like heating, lighting and blinds from a phone, so that is a good example of how technology is benefiting the home buyer.

 

What is your approach to new product development?
Fundamentally, the first question we ask when confronted with a new product from a supplier is ‘show us the benefit’.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cost benefit, it could be a benefit for us from a health and safety point of view or in terms of the speed of build. We look at the big picture and may spend a little bit more in one area if we can save in another. For example, savings on prelims and the safety of everybody on the building site are things we really value.

We are following the developments in new offsite methods closely because the range of options is growing every month, I think the first 3D printed house has just been built in London. At the moment we build either timber frame or with traditional brick and block.

 

Is the skills shortage in the industry real?
I would say it all depends on the trade and the location, in certain trades there is no skills shortage. For us, in the Midlands for example we are pretty well supplied, however I would say we suffer the same shortage of bricklayers as everywhere else. Our approach to the future skills shortage is to develop our own skilled trades through apprentices.

We work in partnership with our contracted trades, so they get a mix of college and onsite learning. We have also started a new Construction Ambassador scheme, focused on engaging with schools and colleges to promote the to change the perception that it’s just about muddy boots and present all the opportunities across the business.

 

What’s next for Bovis Homes?
We have ambitious plans based around acquisitions and growth in our regional businesses, regardless of the outcome of the dreaded B word! Our new Phoenix home designs and the customer portal will be central to our plans and our Customer Experience Director, Debbie Hugh, is leading the process on how we can maximise its impact on the customer journey. We have already completed the hard yards in getting the portal up and running, so over the next couple of years we will refine it to become the best home buying experience in the industry.

Smartroof collaborates with CITB and NOCN Group to develop new NVQ

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smartroof collaborates with CITB and NOCN Group to develop new NVQ

Smartroof installation NVQ trainingIn partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Smartroof has developed a new NVQ that provides timber frame installers with the essential practical skills and underpinning knowledge required to carry out pre-assembled roof structure installations.

This new qualification is a first for the building industry and has been in development for over 14 months. It is another milestone for Smartroof, an innovative, customer-focused and progressive company that strives to improve the service it provides to the housebuilder.

On completion of this NVQ Micha Shaw, a Smartroof installer, said: “This course provided me with both the practical skills and knowledge required to install insulated roof panels and spandrels. Having completed this course I feel more confident in my role and with my ability to provide high quality roof structure installations for Smartroof customers. I would highly recommend this course to my colleagues.”

Smartroof worked closely with George Swann from CITB’s Standards and Operations Development service to modify the existing Wood Occupations Level 2 NVQ to include the pre-assembled roof structure installer module.

A new structure for the NVQ was proposed that included the following mandatory units:

  • Erecting roof structure carcassing components in the workplace
  • Slinging and hand signalling the movement of suspended loads in the workplace
  • Conforming to general health, safety and welfare in the workplace
  • Conforming to productive working practices in the workplace
  • Moving and handling resources in the workplace
  • Erecting timber roof structures in the workplace

Following extensive work, the qualification was submitted to a third party select committee. It was put through a rigorous approval process which required obtaining endorsements from Smartroof’s clients, material suppliers, crane companies and sub-contracted carpenters. The qualification was successfully approved in August 2018 and officially listed on the CITB website as Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) – Pathway 10 – Pre-assembled Roof Structure Installer.

On approval of the new qualification, Smartroof was tasked with finding a registered training provider to refresh the existing Wood Occupations Level 2 NVQ to include Pathway 10.

Mark Buckton of NOCN Group agreed to take on the new qualification. On March 1, 2019 the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) – Pre-assembled Roof Structure Installer was processed and listed on the NOCN Group website.

Russell Wilson, contracts manager from Smartroof, said: “We are delighted that the progressive and award-winning NOCN Group agreed to take on this new NVQ. Without the support and backing of both George Swann from CITB and Mark Buckton from NOCN Group, developing this NVQ would not have been possible. The next challenge for Smartroof will be to obtain approval for both Smartroof and Keystone Group to be registered training centres.”

 

Find out more about becoming a Smartroof installer

Smart Money – How Lovell Homes reduced build time and costs with Smartroof

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smart Money – How Lovell Homes reduced build time and costs with Smartroof

Smartroof Lovell Homes Roof Construction BuildingLovell Homes followed their instincts and explored new methods to find a more efficient roofing solution to meet the growing demand for their ‘room in roof’ house types.

Challenge

Lovell Homes previously used traditional methods in the construction of its three storey homes, in a process involving masonry gables, attic trusses and hand-cut pediments. This process required a time allocation of up to four weeks in the build schedule, due to involvement of multiple sub-contracted trades and service suppliers.

Maintaining maximum site safety was a concern, due to the extensive working at height plus the risk of collapse of masonry gable walls during installation. Mitigation methods for these safety issues required the use of both internal and external scaffolding with associated costs. Lovell was interested in alternative build methods which could simplify the roof construction and enhance onsite safety, whilst saving time in the build plan.

Solution

Smartroof is a radically different solution which is produced offsite and was installed on these two sets of semi’s at Lovells’ Heath Farm site in just two days, saving weeks from the previous build schedule. This patented NHBC approved system replaced the internal block gable with a pre-insulated timber frame spandrel panel, which effectively removed the risk of collapsing masonry. The self-spanning panels replaced the purlins and ridge beam to create an internal space completely free from structural intrusions. The Smartroof ‘room in roof’ solution delivered benefits; in terms of site safety, thermal performance, consistent quality and speed of construction.

smartroof construction site men on roof building As an alternative to the attic trusses, Smartroof delivered factory assembled roof panels directly to site where they were craned safely into position and are supported by the spandrels. This process removed the need for internal birds’ nest scaffolding, traditionally required for safe working on attic trusses and the pediment roof can be safely constructed over the Smartroof panels.

Excellent build quality and thermal performance for the roof was assured as the insulation materials and vapour control layer were applied in controlled factory conditions and were therefore unaffected by any adverse conditions onsite.

Since all Smartroof components were delivered to site for cranage on the same day, considerable cost savings were made compared to the traditional build scenario which required multiple cranes and the additional site management issues. This solution also delivered additional benefits to Lovells; as Smartroof also provided the crane lift plan and crane lift plan drawing, together with a CPCS qualified team, consisting of an operator, supervisor and slinger banksman.

Product Used

The Eaves to Ridge Smartroof system is a panelised cassette system which spans from the eaves to the ridge. This type of roof is typically used where the span from gable to gable is greater than 5.4m.

The Eaves to Ridge roof includes a box beam, or steel beam, running from gable to gable, which the panels are connected to via a unique engineered patented bracket system, to aid speed of installation. This roof, similar to the gable to gable panels, can also be designed to achieve U-values required by the house builder. The spandrel pockets on which the box or steel beam sit are completely sealed after installation, to ensure no visible air gaps to satisfy room in roof U-value requirements.

“I was very impressed with the entire Smartroof process from design to installation and I will definitely use the system on future projects.”

Chris Nelson

Contracts Manager, Lovell Homes

Find more about the benefits of Smartroof

What does 2019 hold for the Construction Industry? Rob Greaves St Modwen Homes

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Lastest News | 0 comments

rob greaves st modwens homesWhat does 2019 hold for the construction industry? Rob Greaves, Senior Technical Manager at St Modwen Homes explains their ambitions for growth in 2019, delivering a new approach to the house building industry and how they are investing in their staff to help achieve this growth.

We are continuing into 2019 with growth of 20-25% across our operation. There are many challenges to deliver this growth as we operate over a vast geographical area.

However, we have plans in place to assist us with these challenges and we feel confident that our targets are achievable. The strength and knowledge of our existing staff will continue to play a key part along with ensuring that we supplement teams whilst also nurturing talent and progressing our ‘’growing our own’’ program which focuses on training and progression.

Our subcontractors and suppliers are a key focus for us and we have rolled out action plans that will allow us to build solid relationships based on mutual trust and performance, with an aim of becoming the client of choice for our supply chain.

We are also focused on the whole customer journey and have recently employed a Customer Experience Director, Clair Bacchus, to help deliver a new approach to the house building industry.

Smartroof: Raising Standards & The Roof

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smartroof: Raising Standards & The Roof

 

Smartroof’s offsite modular roof system attracts architects and builders alike. Smartroof is manufactured in a factory environment governed by strict quality procedures. This helps eliminate any risk of cold spots that may arise from trade methods onsite. This is an important factor in the drive to close the performance gap.

The Performance Gap

The performance gap is a term commonly used to denote the disparity that is found between the energy use predicted in the design stage of buildings and the energy use of those buildings in operation. In recent years, the construction industry and government have grown increasingly concerned over the potential gap between design and as-built energy performance. It could undermine a building’s vital role in delivering the national carbon reduction plan and damage consumer confidence if energy bills are higher than anticipated.

Improving Energy Efficiency

smartroof, panelised roof system, energy efficient roofThere is a strong argument that focusing on the fabric of a building is the most cost effective, reliable and robust method of achieving compliance with future building regulations, as getting the fabric right will save energy throughout the whole life span of the house. As designers focus on improving the fabric of the buildings by reducing wall, floor and roof U-values, the proportion of heat flow through thermal bridging becomes greater and Part L 2013 has much greater emphasis on thermal bridging as these heat losses were often over-looked in the past.

Statistics show that up to 35% of the heat loss in a well-insulated house is through thermal bridges. With 41 different potential thermal bridging junction types being identified within the SAP 2012, it’s important that designers address the thermal bridging details to minimise heat loss.

How Smartroof is addressing the Performance Gap

Smartroof offers consistent and predictable thermal performance that can be computer modelled in advance to accurately assess the thermal efficiency of individual buildings at the design stage. The Smartroof system’s interlocking design makes it an ideal roof solution for those developers adopting a fabric first approach.

In traditional structures the junctions between elements of the building fabric often require special detailing so as not to compromise the overall SAP calculation, but Smartroof’s factory insulated panels eliminate voids or cold spots. Production of the Smartroof system in a factory environment makes it easier to enforce strict quality standards more effectively than with multi-trade teams onsite. The Smartroof solution offers significant increases in design flexibility as its insulation levels can be easily upgraded. This allows the client to ‘future proof’ their roof as U-values as low as 0.09 W/m2 K can easily be achieved.

Smartroof has revolutionised room in roof construction in the housing sector with it’s innovative panel system that can be installed in hours, not days.

Smartroof, panelised roof systemSpecifying Smartroof can also help your client overcome the following challenges:

  • Health & Safety
  • Skills Shortage
  • Build Speed
  • Quality of Product
  • Cost Savings

 

Health and Safety Benefits

Smartroof is delighted to have won the ‘Best Health and Safety Product’ award at the 2018 Housebuilder Product Awards. Traditional room-in-roof construction is vulnerable to major risks caused by numerous factors including the erection of scaffolding and manual handling whilst working in confined spaces and with falling brickwork.

In addition to these, there are risks involved in working at height on attic trusses or top-hats and purlins. This means that the roof can take weeks to erect, insulate and make watertight. With Smartroof the number of hours working at height are dramatically reduced, while the risk of falling blockwork, use of power tools in confined spaces, and manual handling of steels is completely eliminated. Like all Smartroof products, the Classic system arrives in a single load, reducing materials handling and vehicle movements onsite.

Sean Og Coyle, Smartroof Managing Director commented, “Site safety is a major priority for Smartroof, so we are thrilled to have won the award for Best Health and Safety product. We have worked hard to develop a product that overcomes the health and safety risks associated with traditional roof construction and addresses the issues our customers face.”

 

Addressing the Skills Shortage

The construction sector is in the grips of a skills shortage which is limiting construction activity and increasing labour costs at the same time. The shortage has recently hit its worst recorded level and it is expected to worsen over the coming years and decades, with the recruitment of new talent failing to keep up with the rate of retirement.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has reported that the industry will need to find 157,000 new recruits by 2021 in order to keep up with demand. Smartroof is a factory fabricated room in roof system and can be installed in one day. This helps to free up the house builders skilled trade onsite to speed up the build programme.

Smartroof announced as a Finalist for the Structural Timber Awards

Posted by on Jul 4, 2018 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Structural Timber AwardsSmartroof is delighted to be shortlisted for the Product Innovation Award at the Structural Timber Awards 2018 for the second year in a row. The Structural Timber Awards are back for 2018, celebrating its fourth year rewarding the very best in structural timber construction. Each year, over 500 construction professionals gather at the prestigious award ceremony to celebrate the great, the good and the simply outstanding.

Sean Og Coyle, Managing Director of Smartroof commented “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do so we are delighted to be announced as a Finalist in the Product Innovation Category at the Structural Timber Awards. Smartroof has experienced a great level of growth as the industry continues to recognise the benefits of offsite solutions. We have a strong customer focus and strive to provide an innovative solution which meets the needs of the modern house builder and it’s great to see this recognised by the Structural Timber Awards.”

The Smartroof system provides house builders with a room in roof solution which is up to 30% faster than traditional methods as well as delivering a 25% reduction in costs. Production in a factory environment provides customers with a high quality product while the ease of installation not only saves time but also improves health and safety by reducing time spent working at height and overcomes the skill shortage by reducing the need for skilled workers on site.

The award ceremony will take place at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham on 10th October 2018.

International Women in Engineering Day- Weronika Niznik

Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 in Lastest News | 0 comments

International Women in Engineering Day- Weronika Niznik

Weronika 2To mark International Women in Engineering Day on 23rd June, we are celebrating the achievements of the women engineers in the Smartroof team. Weronika Niznik, Technical Design Manager at Timber Innovations/ Smartroof explains how from a young age she wanted to follow in her dad’s footsteps and embark on a career in engineering. She shares what a normal working day is like for a design engineer and how she gets great satisfaction from seeing her designs become a reality.

What made you want to develop a career in engineering?

Engineering has always been a big part of my life. My dad is as a civil engineer so ever since I can remember my dad was taking me on to sites to show me huge constructions with big cranes and machinery. I was fascinated with how something that looks so small on paper can be transformed in real life to create massive buildings.

I studied Civil and Structural Engineering at university. Also, I have always had a passion for travelling and visiting historic places which inspired me to specialise in the renovation of historic buildings. After gaining experience in the engineering and design industry in Poland and the UK, I was ready to take the next step in my career and was looking for new challenges and a place where I can develop and learn new things. This is when I joined the Timber Innovations/ Smartroof team as it seemed like the perfect fit for me, offering great career progression.

Describe your normal working day?

To be honest each day is different and every project is special which makes the design process very interesting. I enjoy working on different projects with different teams each day including clients, contractors and developers. I enjoy taking projects through the journey of engineering from the beginning where it is just a 2D drawing on paper right through to the end where we can see the building completed. First we meet with the client to get a good understanding of what their needs are, then we go through the process of modelling it in 3D software. Next it goes through the manufacturing process where all the elements are created like individual Lego pieces. It is very satisfying to see the project erected on site when all small elements from your screen come together to create full real life structure. As I said before, each project is different and has different challenges to solve so I never know what my day will hold.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I think what I enjoy most about my job is getting to help other people. I love helping one of our customers to make their dream house become a reality and helping contractors to make process of design and erection smooth and easy. I enjoy solving problems for our installation and production teams and helping my colleagues and junior designers to understand structures and instil in them a strong passion for construction.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Every project I work on is different and every project brings its own opportunities and challenges. The highlight of every project is always standing back and seeing the design developed on a computer screen become a real life structure in front of you and knowing that building will be there for years to come.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in engineering?

I will say that it may not look from the start like an easy journey. Some people still have a stereotype in their head that engineering is only for men but after many years in construction industry, I can say that it is not true. Its all about believing in yourself. There will be moments you will have to have thick skin but the world is changing and many doors will be open too. If construction is where you can see your development don’t be afraid to do take a step into the industry. Construction needs more of us.

 

Smartroof shortlisted for Excellence in Health and Safety

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smartroof is delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for Excellence in Health and Safety at the Irish Construction Industry Awards 2018

This innovative roof system is produced offsite and installed in less than a day to deliver major benefits to our customers in terms of site safety, thermal performance, quality assurance and speed of construction. Consequently, the numbers of hours working at height are dramatically reduced, while the risk of falling blockwork, use of power tools in confined spaces, and manual handling of steels is completely eliminated. Like all Smartroof products, the Classic system arrives in a single load, reducing materials handling and vehicle movements on site.

Peter Nordon, Smartroof Ireland General Manager commented, “We are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for this award. At Smartroof we have listened to our customers and worked hard to develop an innovative system that overcomes the risks associated with traditional roof construction.”

Now in its fifth year, the Irish Construction Industry Awards has established itself as the premier event in Ireland for benchmarking excellence in the construction industry in Ireland. The awards ceremony is attended annually by the cream of Ireland’s construction industry, offering a unique opportunity to network and celebrate with hundreds of senior executives.

The Irish Construction Industry Awards 2018 will take place on Thursday, June 14th at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, we wish all the finalists the best of luck!

Smartroof ‘Best Health and Safety Product’ at 2018 Housebuilder Product Awards

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Lastest News | 0 comments

Smartroof ‘Best Health and Safety Product’ at 2018 Housebuilder Product Awards

Housebuilder Product Awards winner logoSmartroof is delighted to have won the ‘Best Health and Safety Product’ award at the 2018 Housebuilder Product Awards.

Traditional room-in-roof construction is vulnerable to major risks caused by numerous factors including the erection of scaffolding and manual handling whilst working in confined spaces and with falling brickwork. In addition to these, there are risks involved in working at height on attic trusses or top-hats and purlins. This also means that the roof can take weeks to erect, insulate and make watertight.

The Smartroof system has been designed and developed as an offsite product to overcome the challenges faced during roof construction. This way of rethinking roof construction delivers proven benefits in terms of thermal performance, consistent quality, speed of construction and most importantly health and safety benefits onsite.

Sean Og Coyle, Smartroof Managing Director commented, “Site safety is a major priority for Smartroof, so we are thrilled to have won the award for Best Health and Safety product. We have worked hard to develop a product that overcomes the health and safety risks associated with traditional roof construction and addresses the issues our customers face.”

As winners of a Housebuilder Product Award, Smartroof automatically become a finalist in the overall ‘Product of the Year’ category at the Housebuilder Awards 2018 which will be held at a prestigious black tie evening event on Thursday 1 November 2018 at the InterContinental London – The O2.

To find out more about the smarter way to build, contact Smartroof on Tel. 01283 200 199 or email. info@smartroof.co.uk