Work Starts on Sheffield Landmark Property Development

An in-house ground breaking ceremony has been in held in Sheffield to celebrate work commencing on a £65million pound landmark development in the city.

A party of key investors flew in from China for the traditional Chinese style ground breaking ceremony where sand surrounding a plinth was turned over with the help of special shovels.

Construction is now underway on New Era Square – a 20-storey mixed leisure, commercial and residential development which will transform an area between London Road and Bramall Lane, close to the city centre.

New Era Development (UK) Ltd, the Sheffield-based company behind the plans, is creating a cosmopolitan, international, multi-cultural focal point. The scheme has been designed by Sheffield-based architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson. Building works are being led by Derbyshire-based Bowmer and Kirkland.

Work is now underway to prepare the foundations for the development, which is to include retail units, food and drink outlets on the ground floor, leading out to an open air square for events. The existing KH oriental supermarket established 40 years ago will be redesigned and upgraded to the new large supermarket premises and will offer new range of products from all over the world.

On the first floor there will be office space for professional service businesses, an exhibition hall and a Sheffield City Region China Business Incubator chaired by Richard Caborn to enhance enterprise and trade links between China and the UK.

From the third floor there will be approximately 700 student accommodation units, predominately 30sqm studio rooms, plus micro-flats and student cluster flats.

The project is set to create few hundreds new jobs once construction has been completed.

Speaking at the event, Jerry Cheung, Managing Director at New Era Development (UK) Ltd, said: “This is an exciting day for everyone at New Era and we are thrilled to see work commencing on the project. We have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes for many years to see our vision come to life, so it is fantastic to celebrate by inviting our investors from China for this special occasion.

“New Era Square is a landmark development for Sheffield, the region and the UK. It represents substantial investment for the city and is set to create a cosmopolitan, urban destination, including the new public square, to bring people from across the whole community together.

“We are very much looking forward to developing opportunities for businesses through our Sheffield City Region China Business Incubator, which has the potential to offer significant inward investment. This will offer a fantastic opportunity for any business looking to break into the Chinese market and vice-versa for businesses based in China seeking a UK market entry through Sheffield.”

Firms Fined After Asbestos Failings

A food company and their contractor have been fined after asbestos was disturbed during building work and only identified by chance when an asbestos removal contractor attended site.

Stafford Crown Court heard no asbestos survey had been carried out by Mizkan Euro Ltd or D H Welton & Co Ltd and either company could have commissioned a refurbishment/demolition before the work commenced.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found Mizkan Euro Ltd were undertaking a project to remove tanks from a factory which required the demolition of an external wall. They failed to provide an asbestos survey to enable their contractor DH Welton to quote and plan appropriately for the work to be undertaken. However, it also found DH Welton could have commissioned a survey when they discovered that Mizkan only had access to a management survey for the building.

When the wall was demolished asbestos insulation board at the top of the wall was unknowingly broken up. A skip of demolition debris was found to contain asbestos insulation board, which had been identified by an asbestos contractor who had been called to site. For the work to be undertaken correctly, a licensed asbestos removal contractor should have been appointed to remove the asbestos under controlled conditions prior to the wall being demolished.

Mizkan Euro Ltd of Chiswick Park, Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act after failing to plan and manage the work carried out under their control without ensuring that risks to health and safety are prevented. It was fined £60,000 for each charge (£120k) and ordered to pay costs of £13,589.

D H Welton & Co Ltd of Corn Street, Failsworth, Manchester admitted breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and regulation 5(1)(a) Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 after failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment as to whether asbestos was present or liable to be present during the removal of a wall It was fined £15,000 for each charge (£45k) plus costs of £4,529.

Landlord Fined for Gas Safety Breaches

A private landlord was prosecuted today after failing to provide gas safety certificates for two rented properties. 

Harrogate Magistrates’ Court heard that following a complaint from a tenant, an Improvement Notice (IN) was issued to landlord Dean Taylor by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for non-provision of a gas safety certificate for the gas appliances in his property.

Mr Taylor did not comply with that notice and during the investigation another of his properties was found to also not have a gas safety certificate.

Dean Taylor, of Gentian Glade, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33 (1) (g) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, also Section 36(3) and Section 36(6) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations. He was given 240 hours of community service and instructed to pay full HSE costs of £2767 by Harrogate Magistrates’ Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin commented: “If you rent property out, you must comply with requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, including the need to have a gas safety certificate. Gas appliances should be regularly checked, as faulty appliances can kill.”

High-Rise Aspirations Set to Transform Manchester’s Skyline

The Manchester offices of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff have been appointed to two landmark high-rise schemes in Manchester city centre, adding to the company’s international portfolio of iconic towers which include Manchester’s Beetham Tower, London’s ‘The Shard’ and New York’s ‘Freedom Tower’. 

The 597 strong team has been appointed to bring engineering consultancy to the first phase of Allied London’s planned ‘vertical village’, situated on the land formerly part of the ITV estate. The vertical village will form part of Allied London’s new St. John’s neighbourhood and will consist of 1,200 homes within six interconnecting towers across two sites and will incorporate cycle sheds, retail units and restaurants fronting the river, with potential for medical and education facilities, as well as office space.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is supplying a range of services including civil and structural engineering, building services, façade engineering, vertical transportation, geotechnical and fire assessments for the first phase of the scheme – which includes two interconnected 50 storey and 35 storey towers. The team has worked closely with architects Child Graddon Lewis on the detailed planning application which will be submitted in August.

Michael Ingall, Chief Executive of Allied London said, “The vertical village will be a highly sustainable, high-density residential scheme that will provide a critical mass of residents to support the community, commercial and ancillary shopping and leisure spaces within St. John’s and create a vibrant, diverse and integrated village community.”

The WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Manchester team also helped achieve planning this month for the redevelopment of Astley House and Byrom House on Quay Street into a 270,000 sq ft office space. The new scheme, from West Midlands Pension Fund, advised by CBRE Global Investors and designed by Stride Treglown, will be divided into three blocks which range from 14 storeys to six storeys and will include a restaurant and café unit. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is providing a range of services including structural engineering, site investigation and environmental impact assessments.

Comments Peter Lloyd, Senior Technical Director of building structures at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff: “These project wins are a great achievement for the team and a chance for us to showcase our high rise credentials in the North West where, for a number of years throughout the recession, the market has lain low. It is pleasing to see these kinds of ambitious designs both being submitted, and achieving planning, and we’re look forward to cementing our reputation as the leading specialists in high-rise developments in the region. It is a great opportunity for us to utilise the skills that our team has employed on projects nationally and internationally, on home soil.”

Promoting Lightweight Construction Research in the UK

The National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK has put a new KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 into operation. The mixing and metering machine can process both epoxy resin and polyurethane (PUR) and enables short cycle times for production of lightweight components.

The National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK has expanded its TechCenter with a new KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 mixing and metering machine. The system is equipped with two mixing heads, enabling it to process both epoxy resin and polyurethane in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM).

“High-pressure injection using the RimStar Compact allows us to process fast-reacting resin systems. This shortens cycle times, enabling us to produce fiber-reinforced components in large quantities,” explains Wolfgang Hinz, Product and Sales Manager Business Unit Composites and Surfaces at KraussMaffei. “Previously, the HP-RTM process primarily used epoxy resin as the matrix material. Recently, however, an increasing number of components are being made of polyurethane in the HP-RTM (high pressure RTM) process. Because the RimStar Compact 4/4/4 can process both matrix systems, it gives the NCC and its member companies great flexibility for carrying out application-oriented test series.”

In the opinion of the NCC, a critical argument in favor of HP-RTM technology was the fact that KraussMaffei’s experts already have extensive experience in implementing the process in series production. This served as the basis for the highly skilled advice provided to the institute with regard with regard to the design and application options of the metering machine.

The National Composites Centre opened in 2011 and is a central element of the UK Composites Strategy, an initiative of the UK government to promote the composites industry in the United Kingdom. Implementing innovative technologies is intended to make the UK-based companies more competitive on an international level. Particular focus is on the aviation and aerospace, vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy industries. “The composites market is experiencing pronounced growth in the UK. In vehicle manufacturing, the big OEMs are advancing lightweight construction development and the use of CFRP in structural components. The aviation industry is also very active,” adds Stephen Lambert, Reaction Process Technology Business Manager at KraussMaffei Group UK.

At the NCC, new production methods are being developed for composite materials and advanced into industrial series production. The research is focused on areas including the automated manufacturing of fiber preforms, component manufacturing using autoclaves and compression molding and post-mold processing of the fiber-reinforced components. Furthermore, measurement and inspection systems for visual investigation and thermal and rheological analysis are available. Over 30 industrial companies are now organized as members of the NCC. The total floor space of the institute was expanded to 8500 m². As part of this expansion, the RimStar Compact 4/4/4 was also put into operation. Since then, KraussMaffei has also been a member of the NCC, offering interested companies the opportunity to run tests on-site.