… Well if you’re the UK Government it’s all about infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.
In December 2016 the government published details of its £500 billion-plus infrastructure investment pipeline, which outlines the UKs major ‘shovel ready’ projects, including the Thames Tideway Tunnel, HS2, Crossrail, the rollout of smart meters, a multitude of flood defences and hundreds of other schemes.
The money comes from a mix of private and public investment, with more than 40% being delivered by the government.
It may go against popular opinion, but as a manufacturer supplying the UK house building sector, it’s my view that the UK housing industry is booming. And even Brexit has failed to make a dent in the confidence of a newly buoyant sector.
That’s right the UK housing industry doesn’t care about Brexit. In fact, it’s laughing in its face. And despite all the harbingers of doom, our order book has been defiantly filling up.
The UK is certainly a wet little island. Each winter the headlines across the country are dominated by flooding event after flooding event, as villages and towns fall prey to flood waters, rivers burst their banks, and flood defences across the country fall short.
Recent years have seen several major flooding events across the UK, leaving billions of pounds worth of damage in their wake. The winter of 2013/2014 was a season of particularly unfavourable weather with Cornwall and Somerset affected by rainfall. In Cornwall, several communities were left under several feet of water and buildings were damaged beyond repair. In addition to this the only rail line linking Cornwall to the rest of the UK was severed. The Somerset Levels faced similar damage, with over 17,000 acres of land submerged for several months. For weeks the news agenda was dominated by tales of destruction.
Though it may seem a distant memory for many of us, it was just three years ago that large parts of the UK, including vast sections of the Somerset Levels, were devastated by flood waters, destroying infrastructure, damaging homes, and even claiming lives.
More recently, government advisors on climate change have said that homes should continue to be built on flood plains across the UK despite the increasing risks, and while it’s obvious to everyone that many more preventative measures need to be implemented in order to help combat this annually reoccurring issue, as with most things in life, it’s not cut and dry.
A key problem in the development of a sustainable anti-flooding solution for the UK is the extensive use of flood plain land for building new homes; between 2001 and 2011, 200,000 new homes were built on floodplain land.
This week the housing crisis is hitting the headlines yet again, with reports finding that the government is falling short on its promises to deliver enough affordable housing in England and Ministers now accepting that England needs 250,000 new homes every year.
For decades, housing has remained a key issue over which opposing parties continue to scrap it out, each trying to out-do the next. Of course they all promise the earth, offering to solve the UK’s housing shortage with assurances of ‘affordable housing’ and inflated numbers of how many houses they expect to build, but in reality how many of these much needed new homes will ever get off the ground?
The fourth industrial revolution is almost here, but is a world still largely shaped by the Victorian era ready for it? Simon Thomas, head of Welsh manufacturing firm Asset International, explores this brave new industrial frontier.
In the last 150 years the UK has lived through three industrial revolutions. Of course, the first industrial revolution, which started around 1760, revolutionised a way of life that had remained largely unchanged since medieval times. The second industrial revolution ran from the mid 19th Century to the start of World War I and involved the widespread introduction of steel to the UK, early electrification of factories and the introduction of mass production and the production line. The third revolution, or the digital revolution, took place towards the latter half of the twentieth century, and saw industry make the switch from mechanical and analogue electronic technology, to digital electronics.
As we all know by now, offsite build and modular technology is very much en vogue. Claims such as ‘unrivalled,’ ‘cost effective’ and ‘superior’ follow these products around almost like a jet wash trailing behind an RAF Tornado.
If we look closely at the benefits of the new precast concrete bases for example, we can see that manufacturers have wedged themselves between a rock and a hard place – no pun intended – by insinuating that none of purported merits are available with traditional concrete manholes. A difficult situation for sure.
The new issue of Uponor’s Pipe World is out and packed full of the latest Weholite news from around the globe.
or on the front cover image above to read the full magazine.
It’s not every day that you get to participate in the creation of a brand new environmentally-friendly market town, but Newport-based water solutions company Asset International have been able to do just that.
Asset, the world’s leading manufacturer of Weholite large diameter plastic pipes, provided vital sewerage system components to the developers of Sherford, an ambitious modern market town development in the South Hams in Devon.
With flooding events hitting the headlines seemingly on a monthly basis, there has never been more pressure on housing developers to ensure that the homes they are building are protected from flood waters. And that’s why water management specialists Asset International were chosen to provide the flood defence solutions for a new housing development in Carmarthen..