Welcome to Fortified, the first edition of our new online newsletter bringing you all the latest industry issues, innovative solutions and inspiring projects.
We operate in an industry that is constantly changing, with new regulations, innovations and challenges always just round the corner. Fortified gives you valuable insights into these issues in an easy to digest, easy to access format.
The start of 2014 certainly brought about change, as a sharp upturn in development activity increased pressure on manufacturers and staff for high quality, sustainable building materials.
Factories across the country were firing up to deliver the anticipated demand for construction products. With the winding down of the Code for Sustainable Homes (which you can read more about here) and the latest data from HMRC showing home sales hit their highest level of the year in May, optimism is ringing through the industry. In the private sector, new home registrations increased 6% from March to May against the same period last year (NHBC June 2014). The same was not so for public sector housing, which dipped 1% compared to the same period last year. But this doesn’t mean the refurbishment and renovation market is crashing, in fact quite the opposite as homeowners continue to improve existing properties.
With improving consumer confidence and spending on the increase, commercial activity in the UK rose for the twenty first month in succession in May (Savills’ commercial development activity survey, May 2014). Growth initially centred in the South East, with an increase in office developments and retail units, but is now spreading outside the region.
The knock on effect of this earlier in the year did cause some shortfalls in product availability. The supply chain simply can’t turn the tap back on immediately, it isn’t that straightforward. As such, housebuilders across the country were facing a lengthy wait due to a significant shortage of a number of building materials. But this creates its own opportunity as many turned to alternative, often less traditional solutions to maintain momentum.
With that said, we look forward to showing you how concrete’s inherent aesthetic and physical properties are used to stunning effect in some of our favourite projects.
We hope you enjoy our first issue and invite you to share any feedback.