Graham seals £36m Sheffield build to rent tower

Graham has signed a £38m deal with Manchester developer Panacea Property Development for a built to rent tower block that will form the final phase of the Well Meadow regeneration project in Sheffield.

Funded by rental homes specialist Grainger, the scheme will provide 284 studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments across two residential buildings designed for the build to rent market in the Well Meadow Conservation Area in Sheffield City Centre.

Peter Reavey, Regional Director at Graham said: “We’re proud to be working again with Panacea Property Development following our successful development of the Copper House – Liverpool in February 2021.

“We are also excited to be working with Grainger, which is delivering hundreds of homes for rent in one of the UK’s most thriving cities.

“Sheffield is undergoing a period of regeneration and the provision of high quality housing remains a priority.”

The project is expected to complete by summer 2023.



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Vistry sees materials shortages ease but warns on labour

House builder Vistry has reported some signs of material shortages easing in its supply chain.

But the firm warned that labour inflation looked set to continue into next year as the industry faced ongoing skills shortages.

In an upbeat trading statement for 2021 this morning, chief executive Greg Fitzgerald, said: “We continue to see some pressure across the building materials supply chain resulting in extended lead times and inflationary price increases on certain products, although there are now some signs of improvement.

“Working in close partnership with our suppliers we are actively managing this and have full visibility on our material requirements for FY21 completions.”

He said Vistry expected construction output in the first half of 2022 to be similar to that achieved in the first half of 2021.

“The supply agreements entered into on the formation of Vistry Group are delivering an enhanced service and have provided some protection in respect of cost inflation.

“We currently expect our build cost inflation to run at around 4-5% for the next 12 months with materials pressure reducing and labour inflation continuing.

“Overall, we have seen the benefit from sales price increases more than offset cost inflation.

“As a result, we are firmly on track to deliver a significant improvement in profits this year.”

Looking to next financial year, Fitzgerald said the house building business was in great shape to deliver increased returns driven by controlled volume growth and a further improvement in gross margin to around 23%.

He said that the Vistry Partnerships operation was making good progress with its strategy of rapidly growing higher-margin mixed tenure revenues and expected to deliver at least £1bn revenue, a 10% plus operating margin, and a return on capital employed in excess of 40%.

Over the medium term, the partnerships business was placed to deliver revenues of £1.6bn and an operating margin in excess of 12%, predicted Fitgerald.


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Arup quits fossil fuel-related project work

Arup has committed to never again take on energy fee work involving the extraction, refinement, or transportation of hydrocarbon-based fuels.

From next April, Arup said all future energy commissions will focus entirely on low-carbon solutions, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, and hydrogen projects that it assesses as advancing progress toward a fully decarbonised future.

Last year, Arup announced a commitment to achieve net zero across its global operations by 2030.

The latest announcement specifically addresses for the first time the emissions from Arup’s client work across thousands of projects in 140 countries around the world.

Arup also committed to carry out whole lifecycle carbon assessments for all its buildings projects – new and retrofit – from next year.

The consultant believes this will generate fresh quantitive data on the scale and source of carbon emissions generated during their lifespans – a step that is essential if the most effective decarbonisation actions are to be identified.

Presently it is estimated that the global built environment sector is the source of almost 40% of global carbon emissions. Yet less than 1% of buildings projects are currently evaluated for carbon emissions generated during their operation.

Engineers hope the insights they will gain from conducting thousands of whole lifecycle carbon assessments each year, from April 2022, will help the built environment sector advance toward net zero.

Alan Belfield, Arup Group Chair, said: “Whole lifecycle carbon assessment is the next step that must be taken to unlock decarbonisation of the built environment at scale.

“Our commitment to undertaking whole lifecycle carbon assessment for all of our buildings work means that for the first time we will have the data to share with our clients and with industry partners about the precise actions to be taken to decarbonise buildings – new or existing – most effectively.”



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Barry McNicholas to leave Kier

Barry McNicholas is leaving Kier at the end of this year.

McNicholas is Group Managing Director Utilities at Kier who bought his family firm McNicholas Construction for £24m in 2017.

He has decided to leave Kier at the end of Decemberto to pursue non-executive opportunities.

Andrew Davies, Kier Group CEO said: “I would like to thank Barry for his hard work over the past few years.

“Since Kier acquired McNicholas in 2017, Barry has been an integral part of our leadership team, and I wish him every success in the future.

“I am pleased to announce that Andrew Bradshaw, currently Commercial Director, Kier Highways, has been promoted to the role of Managing Director Utilities with effect from 1st December 2021”.

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