Revolutionising Accommodation: Modern Solutions for Changing Lifestyles

Updates and information from the construction and civil engineering market

Gorgeous for granny

The innovative modular construction firm, Bauhu has given the traditional ‘granny flat’ a modern 21st century makeover with the introduction of a new range of portable, modular homes that offer comfortable living with a range of thoughtful, useful and user-friendly features. The company believes that these prefabricated homes could address the unique accommodation challenges faced across the country as the Baby Boomer generation edges closer to retirement.

Bauhu’s collection of pod-style homes are designed to transform unused garden space or privately owned land into self-contained, environmentally-friendly accommodation. “The problem with the classic granny flat is that homeowners continue to pay for upkeep and maintenance of the building even if it’s not being used,” says Bauhu Founder, Paul Brown. “There is a gap between what’s needed to facilitate safe, comfortable living, and what’s ready and available to use.

“We’ve developed a range of cost-effective, portable and 100 per cent recyclable accommodations that offer permanent living solutions in transportable, modular structures. This makes it easier for older generations to maintain their independence and retain close relationships with family.”

Creating new homes

Couch Perry Wilkes (CPW) has been appointed as the main mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultant on a unique new council housing development in Hackney – on Pedro Street – which will see an old boiler house transformed to create sympathetic new housing for the area.

CPW was tasked to create a robust energy strategy for the development, which has already satisfied planning considerations and will meet The London Plan. This included a 35 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions which was achieved through the inclusion of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity onsite, which will save over nine tonnes of CO2 each year and electric vehicle charging points.

As part of the project, CPW undertook enabling works to redesign the existing boiler house, which currently supplies nearby council properties; this involved careful planning to redesign the boiler house, including new boiler flues and a controlled turn down of the existing heating system to ensure that reduced hot water supply to local residents was minimised whist the project timings were also unaffected.

The sympathetic new Pedro Street development has been designed by architects Ash Sakula and includes new green spaces, which will also benefit the surrounding housing stock.

Tracking across Spain

Trackunit and GAM (General de Alquiler de Maquinaria) have announced a partnership agreement to implement the Trackunit fleet management solution, based on the Trackunit RAW hardware, across GAM’s 18,000 Spanish rental equipment fleet. After a successful trial project, GAM is digitising its vehicle fleet, which has grown to become the largest rental fleet in Spain and one of the largest heavy-equipment rental companies in Europe.

The deployment of the Trackunit fleet management solution has already started and GAM customers will soon be able to take advantage of the increased level of digitalisation. The Trackunit solution will enable GAM to develop new business models offering better individual service, more accurate documentation of usage, which will help eliminate downtime.

Access to machine-data via the Trackunit Go app and Trackunit Manager software allows service technicians to analyse more machines and assets concurrently and have easy access to schedule services and repairs at a convenient time. GAM has already started training, installation and back-end implementation of the system.

The partnership agreement was signed after GAM did a meticulous screening of possible solutions and then chose Trackunit after a qualification test in Europe and Latin America.

“With the Trackunit fleet management we get direct access to equipment data and increase our fleet efficiency,” adds Ana Jorge, GAM Director for Fleet and Logistics.

Luxury in Lisbon

The founders of the award-wining Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts are to launch Martinhal Residences, a brand-new development of stylish city apartments in the Park of Nations district in Lisbon, combining luxury living and a hotel.

The development is the latest in the series of luxury family experiences by Elegant Group, the owners and developers of the luxurious Martinhal brand. Chitra and Roman Stern have now started works on this new-build luxury hotel and residences, set to launch in 2022.

Portuguese architect Eduardo Capinha Lopes will include natural elements into the façade to make a landmark building at the main roundabout in Park of Nations. Generous dining spaces and open access to tree-adorned balconies bring to life a vision for the future of urban family homes.

One hundred and sixty bright, light and stylish apartments with terraces and balconies will enjoy views of the river and neighbouring public-park. Carefully detailed and designed to the highest standards, these studios, one, two, three and five-bedroom residences will be best-in-their-class. This luxury development will also include a select number of penthouse apartments and duplexes.

The development will feature, among a host of facilities, heated indoor and outdoor pools, a children’s playground, a gymnasium, a Martinhal Kids Club, a bistro-restaurant, a business centre and gardens.

Construction begins

Construction started on the new Hereford Medical Centre on 16 May 2019, thanks to a £9m deal secured by specialist health and care developer Prime Plc and the NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). To mark the occasion, a turf cutting ceremony was held on the site where the Centre will be built on Station Approach in Hereford.

The Hereford Medical Centre will be built in the heart of the City on behalf of the Hereford Medical Group, a merger of five local GP practices which will be co-located in the modern and accessible purpose-built facility once it completes in 2020. The multimillion-pound project is a priority scheme for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and represents the biggest ever single investment in primary care for Herefordshire. Its construction is being financed by both Prime Plc and NHS England, which awarded the scheme £2.1m from its Estates, Technology and Transformation Fund (ETTF). The completed building will be occupied by the Hereford Medical Group under a 3PD lease.

Specialist foundations for Vienna
The Austrian Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) is building a new biology centre on behalf of the University of Vienna on an area of approx. 12,000 m2 in the city’s third district. After completion and handover in 2021, more than 5000 students and 500 employees will find a new home for their scientific work in the new building.

The BIG contracted BAUER Spezialtiefbau Ges.m.b.H and its JV partner Gebrueder Haider Bauunternehmungen GmbH with executing the earthworks, securing of the deep excavation and creating the deep foundation. Thanks to the early adaptation of the execution planning by Bauer’s internal statics department, the great flexibility of the execution team and the rapid disposition of additional equipment, project delays were avoided and the main services were concluded one and a half months head of the planned completion date.