Apr 8, 2021

Taylor Woodrow Plus wins £328 million A358 upgrade contract

Roads
Infrastructure
UK
Recycling
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Taylor Woodrow Plus has been awarded a £328 million Highways England contract to design and deliver an A358 upgrade
Taylor Woodrow Plus has been awarded a £328 million Highways England contract to design and deliver an A358 upgrade...

Taylor Woodrow Plus has been awarded a £328 million Highways England contract to design and deliver an upgrade to the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields roundabout on the A303.

The contract award follows a competitive procurement process through Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership framework.

Preparatory works have been taking place with Taylor Woodrow, in partnership with Arup and Ramboll, undertaking ground investigation and environmental surveys in the area to inform their design proposals.

This is all in preparation for a statutory consultation on the proposals ahead of submission of the scheme’s Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate.

Andrew Alcorn, Highways England Programme Leader for the A358, said: “We are delighted to be working with Taylor Woodrow Plus to move forward this vital scheme. “Taylor Woodrow has an extensive track record working with Highways England and delivering large scale infrastructure projects, so we are confident they will deliver a scheme that will support economic growth, improve traffic flows at peak times and make the road safer.”

Julian Gatward, Managing Director of Taylor Woodrow said: “Taylor Woodrow Plus brings together the expertise of Taylor Woodrow, Arup and Ramboll in delivering solutions from conception through to construction. Supported by Taylor Woodrow’s VINCI sister companies, we are committed to contributing to the local community whilst supporting economic growth in the area."

Vital to the A303/A358 corridor, this scheme is part of a long-term aim to create a high-quality dual carriageway link between London and the south east and the south west.

This week also saw the EcoPark South £100M recycling infrastructure contract awarded to Taylor Woodrow as part of North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) £1.2bn programme to create a new waste management hub and Energy Recovery Facility on the site of the existing Edmonton EcoPark (click here).

Last year saw approval for the A303 Stonehenge upgrade, which will tackle congestion on the notorious, traffic-clogged single carriageway section of the A303, while the three-mile A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme in Somerset will help to further unlock economic growth by addressing another bottleneck on the route.

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Jun 21, 2021

Research reveals 164% rise in searches for loft conversions

Insurance4Less
construction
MarketResearch
LoftConversions
3 min
Market research conducted by the building supply specialist, Insulation4Less, reveals a rise in the number of online searches for loft conversions

Market research conducted by building supply specialist Insulation4Less has revealed that searches for ‘Loft Conversions’ rose by a staggering 164% between May and June of this year, while searches for ‘Loft Conversion Ideas’ jumped by 186% as people spend more time on home renovations this summer. 

The company also found that the most popular use for a loft conversion is for an additional bedroom, while an extra bathroom was the second-highest search term. Walk-in wardrobes came in third, beating out a home office in fourth while converting a loft into a home cinema round off the top five. 

According to a recent study, a loft conversion can add roughly 20% to the value of a property. With the average UK house price standing at £267,000 in January 2021, this represents an average increase in value of more than £53,400.  

Johnpaul Manning, Managing Director of Insulation4Less, said: “If the last year has taught us anything, it's that having space is essential to our mental health and wellbeing, so it's no surprise that people are taking the time to focus on home improvements to help them make the most of their home.

As one of the most under-utilised areas in any property, loft conversions represent a great opportunity to maximise the use of space that not only improves quality of life but also has the capacity to add value to the home”, he said. 

Manning added that it's important to remember that a loft conversion isn't just your average DIY project, and should never be done on the spur of the moment. “A significant amount of planning needs to happen to make it a reality, and an understanding that life can be disrupted while the build is taking place. 

“While it's definitely a worthwhile project, I'd recommend that anyone considering a loft conversion should do some in-depth research to really understand what's needed to make it a reality”, Manning said. 

Is Your Loft Suitable For a Conversion?

While loft conversions do look amazing and add an extra element to a property, not all homes may be suitable. Insulation4Less says that this is due to a variety of factors.

“It's important to make sure that your roof is structurally sound enough to handle a conversion”, the company said.  Although there are different types of roof structures, they mostly fall into two distinct categories: a traditional roof, and a trussed roof. 

A traditional roof: was typically found in pre-1960s houses. Rafters on traditional roofs run along its edges, leaving a good amount of free space. However, they might still need new or extra support. Trussed roofs, on the other hand, have ‘W’ shaped rafters that support the roof and the floor structure. Even though truss roofs may appear to be harder to convert, it’s not impossible; the ‘W’ shaped rafters can be replaced with an ‘A’ shape structure which creates a hollow space. While this can add additional costs, it could be a worthy investment, so take this into consideration during your planning process.

“Another thing to consider is the roof's height and pitch, and how that will impact the amount of space you’ll have. You’ll need a minimum height of 2.2m to ensure proper clearance. While you might be happy to settle for something a little shorter on paper, make sure your happy with the height you have and the effect it could have on the enjoyment of the space”, Insulation4Less advises. 

The company recommends doing research before going to an architect or contractor. “Ultimately, look for other conversions on your street or in similar properties, and if you feel comfortable, ask if you can have a look and discuss how their project came together - you’ll find a wealth of information that could really help your own project in the future”. 

Information credit: Insulation4Less

 

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