We are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted as finalists in the Local Authority Building Control, Building Excellence Awards 2018 for the South Yorkshire and Humber region.

The Building Excellence Awards celebrate projects, companies, partnerships and individuals within the construction industry. Each of the 12 LABC regions across England and Wales hold their own Building Excellence Awards, with awards being given across 12 separate categories. One overall winner from each region is then selected to represent that region in the national awards finals later in the year.

We have been shortlisted for our work on a semi-derelict farmhouse in the Rotherham area. The project involved partial restoration of the fabric of the original building along with careful extension of the structure, resulting in a spacious, 6-bedroom family home.

As the original structure dated back to around 1770, a key focus of the project was to retain the style of the original farmhouse whilst incorporating modern heating and insulation systems to allow for a contemporary interior to be designed.

We will be attending the LABC regional finals on the 18 May along with our Client at what is certain to be an enjoyable evening with stiff competition from our fellow building professionals.

As they say, watch this space!

 

All practising professional engineers, surveyors and architectural designers are required to undertake a certain amount of what is referred to as “Continuing Professional Development” or “CPD” for short.  For example, as a Chartered Building Engineer and Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), I am required to undertake a minimum of 35 hours per year of CPD.

 

Similar requirements are placed upon professionals in other disciplines / industries and the whole point is that one is expected to strive to maintain one’s knowledge of the latest developments and current thinking in the working environment.  We would all hope that our Family Doctor will be up to speed on the latest methods of diagnosis and treatment of whatever ailments we may suffer from and the same applies in the construction industry.

 

CPD can take many forms.  The importance of keeping abreast of the latest techniques for design and analysis are obvious, along with being aware of any recent legal cases – the judgements applied to which can impact particularly on how as an appointed Surveyor, one deals with for example, disputes under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

 

CPD can also include “horizon broadening activities” and the list here is as long as one cares to make it.  As an example, our newest recruit Amy has been shadowing me on several site inspections lately.  Although Amy is primarily a Geotechnical Engineer (translation – “a Geologist who has been drawn to the ‘dark side’ of Engineering”) the experience of seeing how others deal with boundary disputes, structural inspections and measurement surveys of buildings will be invaluable in improving not only her usefulness to the company but also, the breadth of her understanding of other elements of Building Engineering as they interface with her own, specialised areas of work.

 

I have the honour and pleasure to regularly sit on a panel of experienced professionals, interviewing prospective members of the CABE to determine that they have met the required standards of experience, knowledge and professionalism to be accepted as chartered members of the Association.  One of the topics raised and discussed in the interview process is the candidate’s record of CPD attendance – not just in terms of the hours spent undergoing CPD, but also the quality of that CPD and its relevance to their work.

 

But, I honestly cannot remember ever being asked by a Client for details of my own CPD record at any stage during a project, let alone before they engage my services.  Now, one might argue that the Client is entitled to take it for granted that, as a practising member of a professional organisation they will be on top of their obligations regarding CPD.  It has been my experience that not all professionals take this as seriously as we would wish to believe.

 

For our Clients’ comfort and peace of mind, I can confirm that all of the technical staff at Taylor Tuxford Associates either meet or comfortably exceed the requirements of their professional bodies in terms of the hours of CPD they carry out each year.

 

I have just completed and submitted my CPD “return” for 2017 for 50 hours of CPD completed.  Over the past three calendar years, my personal cumulative CPD attendances have been in excess of 190 hours in total.  This includes some community work – for example, assisting local charitable organisations and groups with their construction-related issues and projects, including Bold Adventures in Bolsterstone and the Maltby Miners Memorial Trust, for whom we have been providing architectural and structural design assistance.  We have also previously assisted on three projects locally for the BBCTV DIY SOS programme – it all helps.

 

Significantly, however, the CPD Hours that we register do not include time spent on other community work for non-construction related causes – primarily in our case, this would be the time that Michelle, Amy, Anne and me spend on fund raising activities for local and national charities through the entertainments group BluCrew – for details see elsewhere on our website on visit www.facebook.com/BluCrew/

 

Rhys Taylor
Feburary 2018

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities we try to help Local Charities and Community Groups whenever we can.

PDR group and Elecfab Sponsored 100k trek
PDR group and Elecfab Sponsored 100k trek

In the summer of 2016 we were very pleased to sponsor our Clients, Paul and Darren Gammons as they embarked upon a London to Brighton Trek with their colleagues on the 25th June 2016, a non-stop 100 Km walk. A true test of mental and physical endurance to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Rather them than us!

Rhys has provided structural advice to the family featured in the BBC One series ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ to help transform their home in Blyth, Nottinghamshire.

We have supplied a prize for a fundraising Golf Tournament, as none of us play, organised by Anthony Kay at Lawrence Tatersalls to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

We have assisted many others too, by providing Professional advice and/or services, including: –

The team at Blu Crew ready for Panto 2015
The team at Blu Crew ready for Panto 2015

Michelle is the Secretary for Blu Crew, an independent fundraising group with primary ties to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. Since their inception in 2009 they have helped raise in excess of £100,000.00 for the Hospice alone and have assisted other worthy causes along the way, e.g. New Life Foundation for Disabled Children, Voluntary Action Rotherham, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, etc, and they’ve even performed small Carol Concerts for residents at a Care Home in Sheffield not as a fundraiser, but purely for the resident’s enjoyment.

So what does Corporate Social Responsibility mean to us….put simply, if we can help we will.

We were approached last year by the Maltby Miners Welfare Memorial Community Group to see if we could offer design consultancy services in connection with a planned permanent memorial to be sited in a prominent location on the High Street in Maltby.

Maltby Miners Welfare Memorial Community Group was formed in October 2014 with a simple objective, to erect a memorial for every person that worked or died at the Colliery. They have been tirelessly fundraising ever since, and, inspired by the famous Calendar Girls, they have produced their own ‘glamour’ calendars to raise funds.

On the 28th July 2015 with the help of Lord Scarborough, they erected a memorial stone dedicated to the 27 men who lost their lives in an explosion at the pit in 1923; one of mining’s worst disasters. The bodies of most of the victims remain entombed underground, and the memorial stone was placed on land off Limekiln Lane at the spot above the mine where the fallen miners still rest.

Their focus is now on the main memorial proposed for the High Street. The miners have managed to salvage part of a winding wheel from the pit together with some other equipment which will form the basis of the memorial. They have worked with the local schools to encourage the village’s children to be involved with the project and they have helped to form the final design.

They are now in a position where they need quotes for the building work for the memorial, as some possible sources of funding require approximate costs before they will fund the project. The Group is therefore on the hunt for any Maltby builders, wrought iron workers, etc, that would be interested in quoting for the work. If you think you could help, please contact Bill Spilsbury on 01709 817390 or 07735220479.

Michelle was raised in Maltby and Rhys’s Mother’s family originally came from Senghenydd (a few miles north of Caerphilly) with strong links to Coal Mining.

It reminds us of one of our past blog posts where Rhys shared his experience at the dedication service and unveiling of the Welsh National Mining Memorial, which had been erected to commemorate all those miners who have lost their lives in the numerous pit disasters within the principality.

Senghenydd Miners Memorial
Senghenydd Miners Memorial

The memorial was erected in the village where at 8.10am on 14th October 1913, the single worst pit disaster in UK history, and the third worst in world history occurred.  A massive explosion ripped through the Universal Colliery, claiming the lives of 439 men and boys as young as 14 years old, in the process rendering about 300 women widows and leaving some 500 children in the village without a Father. Rhys’ Great-Grandfather, Edward Gilbert was one of the 439 who perished on that October morning, aged just 55 years.

For these reasons we are very pleased to be able to offer to assist in preparing a design for their chosen site free of charge in accordance with our Corporate Social Responsibility, or, to put it simply, it just seemed the right thing to do.

Well, yesterday was a day of many parts.

 

Side extension
Side extension

I spent some time providing design and content input for our new website with Mookat.

I designed a single storey side extension for a bungalow, dealt with Local Planning Authority and Building Regulation queries on a couple of other projects, and answered Client enquiries.

I made some serious headway into my application for membership of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, something I’ve been wanting to do since gaining my degree last summer (work has taken precedence, that and all the other projects I have been involved in these past 12 months). I have formerly held Associate membership of the Institute however I had to resign when I formed Taylor Tuxford Associates with Rhys and Anne, this coincided with the start of my degree course at Sheffield Hallam University so I decided to wait for my course to end before applying for full membership.

And then, after work, I edited a couple of backing tracks, updated our playing list and took myself and my trusty laptop off to rehearsals with my Blu Crew pals. The lovely people at Tesco in Rotherham very kindly allow us use of their Community Space in Store. They are holding events in store over the coming weeks to celebrate the Rio Olympics and so we are going to be in store on Saturday 13th August 2016 for a couple of hours between 10.30am and 12.30pm, to support their event and to encourage shoppers to get into the spirit of the Olympics whilst raising money for the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.

After rehearsals finished at 9pm I safely delivered our equipment back to its current home; we really do need to find some form of secure storage for our equipment….can anyone out these help? Blu crew are a not for profit group and so costs need to be kept to an absolute minimum. There must be an empty garage out there that we could rent from you? Or perhaps one of the Storage Companies could help? We’d love to hear from you if you can.