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FMUK Article

Idom Merebrook Reaches Milestone in Swansea University Refurbishment Project

Idom Merebrook Reaches Milestone in Swansea University Refurbishment Project

Idom Merebrook, the UK brand of Idom Group, a leading international engineering consultancy with a base in Cardiff, will complete their first year on site this spring at Swansea University, Prifysgol Abertawe. The high profile refurbishment programme is well underway and encompasses two of the University’s most renowned buildings.
The work is part of a £72 million development programme on the University’s Singleton Campus, designed to create world-class facilities for student learning and living, and to establish a centre for scientific research excellence.
Idom was appointed by Kier Construction under their SCAPE framework, to provide structural design services for the refurbishment, temporary works and new facilities for the Taliesin Arts Centre and the Talbot Building both located on the 47 acre Singleton Campus.
The Taliesin Arts Centre is situated at the heart of university life and is a popular entertainment venue for both students and the local community. First built in 1984, the venue puts on over 50 live shows a year, houses a popular cinema and a museum of Egyptian antiquities. The Taliesin will soon be home to a new £2million Student Learning and Creativity centre, due to be completed on the ground floor level next year.
Idom’s scope of work on the venue has focused on refurbishment of the old building and includes partitioning, temporary works and structural amendments.
Idom has also been engaged to facilitate the remediation and refurbishment of the engineering faculty at the Talbot Building. This will house the TATA Steel Innovation Centre, an innovative testing facility and centre of engineering excellence. Once complete, the building will provide a hub for collaborative projects between TATA, the University and local government.
Idom Merebrook, Managing Director, Ramon Ramirez commented:
“The new development on Swansea’s Singleton Campus is a very exciting project to be involved in. Innovation and great design are at the heart of this entire project and our team has responded to a highly innovative brief, which engages well with the specialist skills within our business.
Idom has been involved in the design of many entertainments venues and university campuses, so is well placed to help create a new facility of which the University will be proud.”
As part of their scope of work, Idom Merebrook has undertaken a structural assessment to design and modify the building fabric and incorporate the new structures.
The work is designed around the construction of a new steel fatigue testing facility which requires special design consideration to deal with onerous vibration loading – a potential cause of fatigue failure in buildings.
The team has also designed the plinths to house the testing machines, the steel gantry to enable the loading of test samples and has undertaken the radar scanning of concrete slabs to provide information on construction and carried out performance capacity analysis.

Surge in poison-resistant rat numbers sparks trade body warning

Surge in poison-resistant rat numbers sparks trade body warning

A national trade body is highlighting the importance of expert pest control after a report revealed a new generation of rats carrying a genetic mutation which makes them resistant to conventional poison.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) says it is more important than ever to be protected professionally in light of the findings in a new study by the University of Reading.
The report, commissioned by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), has identified "the massive extent of L120Q resistance across the whole of central southern England."
And while the report highlights the situation in the region, it makes it clear that the data is not available for the rest of the UK.
Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Technical Manager, said: “The study highlights the fact that resistance is growing in rat species across a swathe of the country.
“It also reports that rats without the genetic mutation are being killed off by poison, so the resistant species are taking their place, leaving a growing population of resistant pure-breds.
“With their numbers expanding there could be a significant risk to public health if their population is left unchecked, in both urban and rural environments.”
The study reveals that L120Q is the most severe form of rodenticide resistance identified to date.
Ms Ward-Thompson added: “The rise in resistance could be due to a number of factors.
“However, it is most likely the spread has been accelerated by the application of rodenticides, by amateurs such as home and business owners doing it themselves, or employing an unqualified individual to try to resolve the problem.
“The clear message is that, to be effective in tackling this issue, people should not attempt to self-treat rats.
“Professional use only rodenticides are often more successful, but most are subject to strict legislation, so it has become more important than ever before to make sure infestations are treated by experts.
“Rats must be dealt with by those with the skills required to understand rodent behaviour and their habitat, and who know how to treat any particular strain.
“By employing a member company through the BPCA referral service, the public can be sure they’re using a qualified technician who is able to purchase and apply relevant products that can tackle such issues of resistance.
“We’ve established strict criteria to ensure the professionalism of our members so companies carrying our logo will carry out safe, effective and legal treatments.”

White Light Provides New Followspots to Royal Albert Hall

White Light Provides New Followspots to Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most historic concert halls. It has housed over 155,000 live performances and has a capacity of up to 6,000. The iconic main hall plays host to a range of events to over 1.7 million visitors annually, whether it’s live concerts, the BBC Proms, tennis tournaments, Films in Concert promoted by the RAH,  Cirque du Soleil and many more. The venue recently decided to invest in a range of Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500W HMI Followspots and approached White Light to make the purchase.

The Lighting Design Manager at the Royal Albert Hall is Richard Rhys Thomas. He comments: “My role covers a few broad areas, namely overseeing the running of the lighting department as well as delivering a high-quality lighting service to incoming as well as internally produced shows. I also have to oversee the upkeep and maintenance of the systems and installations, specifying new lighting equipment and improving the design of the lighting rig as needs change”.

It was Richard who decided that the previous rig required an upgrade of its existing followspots. He comments: “We wanted to replace our followspot provision with up-to-date and more efficient technology. Having used the Robert Juliat Cyrano magnetic version for years, we decided to upgrade and invest in the 2500W HMI electronic version”.

The Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500W HMI has a narrower beam angle making it perfect for really long throw distances found in large venues such as the Royal Albert Hall. Its glass progressive frost filter and dark blue dichroic filter offers even more subtle design possibilities. It also has an optional DMX-control of motorised dimmer shutter, progressive frost and lamp ignition.

Richard states: “The Cyrano is ideal for our needs for a number of reasons. Its output is great with a very flat field, the throw is ideal and the noise is generally very low. It has also proved to be very reliable in an environment where followspots are moved around on a day-to-day basis. We don’t have set followspot positions due to the nature of the building and the shows that we host here, so we need something that had some adaptability”.

The decision behind purchasing the Cyranos was also influenced by a demand from incoming designers. Richard adds: “The Cyranos are a long-standing favourite for internal and visiting lighting designers due to their consistency, brightness and colour. They also look great on camera which, for us, is very important due to the number of televised events that are hosted in the venue”.

The followspots have already been used on numerous shows including the BBC Proms, Later with Jools Holland and many more.

Richard adds: “We are delighted with the Cyranos. We have a long-standing relationship with White Light, who also have an annual lighting service contract with us and replaced the houselights in our iconic mushroom-shaped acoustic diffusers as well as installing new LED houselights in 2016. We can always rely on their excellent support, experience and guidance for any project”.

WL’s Business Development Manager Jonathan Haynes comments: “It’s fantastic being able to work with a venue as iconic as the Royal Albert Hall and offer them a fixture that was exactly suited to their needs. Due to our strong relationships with leading manufacturers, we have immediate access to the very latest products; something our clients are able to benefit from”.

British Cleaning Council Creates New Post To Increase Capacity

British Cleaning Council Creates New Post To Increase Capacity

Experienced FM consultant Patrick Jongbloet appointed to support BCC Executive and its membership

The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has announced the appointment of Patrick Jongbloet to its Secretariat function.

In a newly created role, he will undertake a range of responsibilities including co-ordinating all the BCC’s budgets and financial activity and the management of external suppliers.

Working closely with Pat Wherton, the BCC’s Secretary General, Patrick will also be responsible for a number of planning and reporting tasks, and will support Pat and the BCC Executive across various projects and campaigns. In addition, Patrick’s new role will see him being the main point of contact between the BCC Executive and the 21 trade and membership associations which make up the Council.

Prior to joining the BCC, Patrick spent over 20 years working in the facilities management sector. This included ten years as a senior consultant with the FM Guru consultancy and five years at Emprise Services ending his stint there as Group Director, responsible for Health & Safety, Quality Assurance and Supply Management. These roles saw him work on national and international projects for a diverse range of clients including Eurotunnel, Primark and the Royal Mail Group.

He has also worked with public sector and not-for-profit organisations, including government departments, charities, utility suppliers and higher education providers, and holds an MBA gained through The Open University.

Commenting on Patrick’s appointment BCC Chair Stan Atkins said: “Continuing the success in growing its membership, expanding its support services to members, and increasing its participation in the field of policy influence, the BCC has acknowledged the need for additional staff resources to take us on to another level.  Further, with the Cleaning Show now established as an annual event which requires more resources, this is the right time to increase the Council’s capacity.

“Patrick’s credentials are incredibly strong, and he has worked across a wide range of sectors which mirror the diverse membership and multi-faceted work of the Council. I’m confident he will be a great asset, and will add extensive value to the both BCC and our membership.”

Patrick Jongbloet said: “The BCC is the undisputed voice of cleaning in the UK, an industry which is worth over £24bn to the national economy and employs 700,000 people. I’m therefore greatly looking forward to using my experience gained over two decades within FM and related industries to support the Council and its members, helping to strengthen this vitally important and dynamic sector in the process.”

Elior UK CEO Catherine Roe takes up chair of Women of the Year

Elior UK CEO Catherine Roe takes up chair of Women of the Year

Catherine Roe, chief executive of Elior UK, has taken up the post of Chair of the Management Committee for Women of the Year. She will be joined at the helm by the newly appointed President, Julie Etchingham; the ITV news anchor.

The pair take over from former chair Jane Luca, director of public affairs at ITV and ex-president, Sandi Toksvig OBE, TV presenter and comedian.

For more than 60 years, Women of the Year has championed women’s achievements – as a national charity (through the Women of the Year Foundation) and through a premier lunch that celebrates success with 400 exceptional women each year.

Catherine Roe said: “I’m honoured to take on chairing Women of the Year. Celebrating the achievements of women from all walks of life is something which is hugely important to me – particularly in providing role models for young women, who should accept no limits and see that everything and anything is possible.”

Catherine – who was inaugurated in The Women 1st Top 100 Club in 2013 – has a longstanding relationship with Women of the Year. After joining the operating board at Women of the Year in 2003, proved instrumental in supporting the organisation commercially, gaining sponsors and donors.

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