Leeds City Council and HCA join forces for £80m regeneration scheme

Leeds City Council and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) have joined forces for the next stage of the redevelopment of an old industrial site in the city centre.

The Tower Works site alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal had been derelict for 30 years until the first phase of a redevelopment was completed in 2012. A developer is now sought for the next stage, in a project worth up to £80m.

The HCA is advertising for a development partner to take over ownership of, and to develop, Tower Works. At the same time, Leeds City Council is seeking a developer to refurbish the former Engine House, which is within the wider Tower Works site and owned by the council.

A joint procurement approach has been agreed between the two bodies through which each will procure a developer with the intention of carrying out a comprehensive development of the whole site.

Although the Tower Works site has planning consent until October 2014, it is envisaged that the chosen developer will seek a new planning consent.

HCA area manager Katherine Langley said: “The proposed development at Tower Works will build on the success of the offices that were opened in 2012 and are now fully let, and will now ensure that the rest of the site is brought back into use.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy at Leeds City Council, added: “Tower Works is truly an iconic site. It played a pivotal role in the industrial heritage of the city and can be pivotal again in the regeneration of the South Bank. With fantastic connectivity and its proximity to the city centre, it will be a catalyst for Holbeck Urban Village, whilst retaining an important aspect of the city’s history.”

Twitter symposium for height safety

The Access Industry Forum (AIF) is gearing up to hold its first Twitter Q&A this week, at 11am on Wednesday, 16th April.

Taking the form of a one-hour question and answer session, the symposium offers the chance to put questions to experts in every area of work at height and access equipment.

AIF member associations are considered the voices of their industries in a wide range of areas. Experts with cranes and powered access, scaffolding, mobile access towers, ladders, rope access, safety netting and more will be standing by on the day of the symposium to answer questions.

To take part, people simply have to tweet a question and include the hashtag #WAHQ, or direct the question to @AIFworkatheight. The Construction Index via @TCindex will be tweeting highlights for our 46,000 followers.

Last month we published details of some of the organisations taking part as AIF members and supplying answers. 

AIF Director Peter Bennett said: “This is a unique chance for people and companies with any questions about work at height or access equipment. It is not often that experts from across the AIF’s membership are all available and ready to answer questions at the same time, and it has certainly never been possible before without people having to attend a physical event.

“There have been a number of major changes recently, with the release of new HSE guidance, new product standards, and the rapid expansion of many AIF member associations. This roster of experts is the perfect group to field questions on these issues, including Directors and Managers well versed in the industry and equipment.”

Red Road demolition dropped from Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Glasgow’s Red Road flats will no longer be demolished as part of the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony.

Less then ten days ago we posted “Five iconic Glasgow skyscrapers will be demolished live during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games”

However, safety concerns were cited as the reason for the decision, which would have seen five of the blocks blown up on July 23 with footage beamed into the Celtic Park ceremony and to an estimated global TV audience of more than one billion people.

In a statement released on Sunday, David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014 said: "The decision to feature the live demolition of five Red Road blocks within the opening ceremony was planned both as commemoration of a part of Glasgow’s social history as well as a statement of the city’s regeneration.

"We made it clear from the outset the absolute priority was safety and that this event would only happen during the opening ceremony if it was safe to do so.

"Over the past few days it has become clear that opinions have been expressed which change the safety and security context.

"Glasgow 2014, games partners and key stakeholders, including Police Scotland and Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), are not prepared to allow what was proposed to be a positive act of commemoration to create risk for all concerned, including the communities of north east Glasgow.

"The demolition of Red Road will now not feature as part of the opening ceremony. The demolition of the Red Road blocks is a matter for GHA and will take place under a full safety regime as part of their ongoing regeneration programme.

"However, it remains our intention to dedicate an element within the ceremony to telling the story of Glasgow’s social history and regeneration."

The U-turn comes after an online petition calling for the plans to be dropped attracted more than 17,000 signatures.

Five of the six remaining 1960s blocks had been scheduled to be razed and the footage beamed live into the opening ceremony at Celtic Park on July 23.

But critics said the plans were insensitive to former residents and to the asylum seekers who occupy the sixth block.

5 Ideas for More Effective Roofing Marketing

marketingAccording to the American Institute of Architects, nonresidential building construction is expected to grow by 5.8 percent in 2014. With an upswing in this market, commercial roof contractors will have more opportunities for commercial roof jobs. But economic conditions remain tight, and right now building owners are especially on the lookout for managing their costs wherever possible. Job bidding will likely be as competitive as ever, if not more so. What, therefore, should a commercial roofer do?

Below, we examine five ways commercial roof contractors can strengthen their roofing marketing for better business promotion. After all, more business promotion means more market exposure, and that means greater chances for “hooking” prospects and leads.

Steps for More Effective Roofing Marketing

  • Sign up for Google+ as soon as possible. With roof contractors’ busy schedules, spending time on social media may seem like a waste of time. But Google+ has a strong impact on how much and where a business shows up in search rankings on search engines like Google. As many as 9 out of 10 Americans rely upon the Internet to find out about local businesses, and if you do not have a website or are inactive on social media, you are missing out on free opportunities for generating leads. Our partner, Top Roof Marketing offers some great-but-quick thoughts on why being active on Google+ is so essential.
  • If you are on social media, try to become more active. Your activity on social media does not have to be extensive. At the minimum, posting quality content with website links at least once a week is good. However, as is the case with many other things, the more effort you put into your social media efforts, the more you will get out of it. Post pictures of projects you have completed recently so customers and prospects can see the quality of your work. Posting tips for your customers that will educate them more about your industry will help as well- it will build your reputation as a credible authority, and people will be more likely to approach you about using your services. More tips for social media can be found at our Social Media for Roofing Contractors page. For our nationwide contractor network, we recommend that our members post the content we put out and “like” and “share” this content as much as possible. Doing so helps boost our search rankings more, and that gives our contractors even more free roofing leads, among other exclusive benefits.
  • Educate yourself about what is available for marketing. As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power”, and that is just as true in the roofing industry. Many fly-by-night marketing firms or roofing lead generation companies will offer free “marketing guru” advice that may seem beneficial for your roofing company at first glance. But those marketing strategies may not be all that effective in reality—some marketing firms are just looking to build up their business as much as possible without crafting marketing campaigns that are really tailored to roofing contractors’ needs. When someone approaches you about ideas for things like digital marketing—especially “SEO marketing” and “social media marketing”—being at least aware of what is involved with those strategies will help you discern who is genuinely interested in meeting your needs. Plus, you can learn of ways to take advantage of these marketing tools yourself.
  • Evaluate your marketing efforts and objectives. Sometimes even established roofing companies need revamping. Start by taking a look at your business objectives for the year- how much do you hope to grow your business by? Think in terms of gross sales revenue for the year as well as quantifiable measures for customer retention and the number of leads brought in. Then take a look at the marketing strategies you are using to get your roofing company’s name out there. Are you doing any advertising? What are you doing for that? What is your Return on Investment (ROI)? Your customer acquisition cost (basically, the overall per-customer cost of methods used to get a lead’s attention and then convert him or her to a customer)? Use objective benchmarks to measure your marketing’s effectiveness, and do not be afraid to turn to new strategies or campaigns for greater possible gains.
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  • Look for creative ways to attract leads. This is perhaps the most important and most actionable item of these five suggestions. With the arrival of new marketing tools like LinkedIn, there are many ways in which you can reach out to prospects and attract their attention like never before. LinkedIn in particular represents a great opportunity for commercial roof contractors. Many important decision-makers are active on LinkedIn, including business owners, property managers, and key figures in settings like architecture firms or real estate firms. Because these people are accessible through LinkedIn, it makes sense to use this platform for developing key connections that can lead to commercial roof projects. Be sure to check out and learn more about LinkedIn as a way for generating leads for your commercial roofing company.

Interested in Learning More?

Should you be interested in learning more ways you can take your roofing marketing to the next level, call us today at 800-670-5583. We will be happy to share how Choice Roof Contractor Group and our partnership with Top Roof Marketing can help you in building a strong, profitable roofing business as well.

Why a Roof Maintenance Program is Important

When a building owner has a commercial roof installed or repaired, thereafter it may become the last thing he or she thinks of. But since a commercial roof is one of the most important components of a building—after all, it protects the building’s interior space and contents from harm—it is important to make sure it remains in tip-top shape.

For an almost-maintenance-free roof, check out the reasons for why a roof maintenance program is important below.

Reasons Why a Roof Maintenance Program Is Necessary

  • Regular roof inspections and maintenance mean fewer roof repair or replacement bills. No matter what type of commercial roof you may have, it is likely the roof will encounter problems at some point in time. Common commercial roofing problems include roof leaks, roof punctures or tears, moisture trapped under a roof cover, and others. While these are problems-in-themselves, they can also be indicators of bigger roofing issues at play or that are developing. A regular roof maintenance program will identify signs of trouble before bigger issues arise, helping you cut down on expensive roof repair bills or, if the problems are substantial, cost-heavy roof replacement. That ultimately results in more savings in your pocket.
  • Frequent roof inspections will extend the life of your roof. Because current troubles and future problems are taken care with regular roof maintenance, your roof will be free of roof life-altering complications that would otherwise arise as a result of those problems. In the long run, when your roof does need to be serviced it will be likely to have only small repair needs as a result of your tenacity.
  • A roof maintenance program will identify potential causes of roofing problems. Among other things, sitting pools of water or sitting debris can be causes of roofing problems. A regular roof maintenance program will help you keep your roof free of debris, and help you quickly take care of the ponding water before it affects the roof cover and causes leaks. As is the cause with services in other industries, preventative actions will greatly help in the elimination of sources of roofing trouble.
  • Having your roof regularly inspected will help in making sure skylights are properly secured. If a skylight is unsecure or not well-sealed around its framing edge, leaks can penetrate and dislodge a skylight from the roof cover. In turn, when a skylight is dislodged, rain and debris can enter a building during storms with powerful winds or other extreme weather conditions. Making sure that all skylights are suitably secure and well-sealed in a regular roof inspection plan, therefore, will help you save time and money in costly debris pickup and disposal.

Choosing a professional roof contractor who is licensed, bonded, and insured (or satisfies the professional contractor requirements for the state in which you reside) is best for ensuring that you enjoy the benefits above. We do offer tips for consideration when hiring a roof contractor.

Should you want a free local roof inspection, give us a call at 800-670-5583. While doing so, do not forget to ask about how Choice Roof Contractors are able to offer lifetime service guarantees for your building. We will also be happy to discuss the non-prorated warranties covering labor and material costs that back the high-performance, energy-efficient Conklin roof systems we use.

Constructionline’s future to be decided this quarter

The government expects a decision regarding the future of the Constructionline (CL) certification service to be taken sometime this quarter.

The information was given in response to a Freedom of Information request that asked for the approximate date for retendering or other means of transferring the contract.

“At the present time a final decision regarding the future of Constructionline has not been made but be assured that any decision about CL’s future will be widely publicised,” said the response.

Constructionline is a public-private partnership between Capita and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS). It was set up on 1 September 2008 with an initial duration of 48 months, which was extended, as permitted by the contract, by a further 24 months. The expected expiry date of the current contract is 31 August 2014.

The present contract is a profit share and royalty fee arrangement between Capita and BIS. This is calculated from profit and also the growth of the scheme. Under these arrangements BIS does not pay the current service provider.

At the heart of Constructionline is a national online database, the UK's largest register for prequalified contractors and consultants. This avoids suppliers from having to repeatedly fill in standard prequalification forms for every tender. Its service in providing an up-to-date register of prequalified suppliers for construction contracts is used by 8,000 buyers from over 2,000 organisations.


Construction output falls

The seasonally adjusted estimate of construction output in February 2014 fell by 2.8% (£270m) when compared with January, according to today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics.

But the longer-term data show a slightly improved picture emphasising the volatility in the short-term estimates.

The output of new work is now 12.3% below its monthly peak of £6.6bn recorded in June 2011. The estimated figure for February this year is £5.8bn.

There were falls in both sub-sectors with new work falling 2.6% (£160m) and repair and maintenance falling 3.1% (£110m).

The three monthly (December to February) estimate of construction output is that all work grew 0.3% when compared with the previous three months (September to November) due to a 1% increase in new work. During this period repair and maintenance decreased 0.8% despite a slight rise of 0.3% in public housing repair and maintenance.