Construction market activity
The ONS has released its Output in the Construction Industry figures for February 2013. These show that the total volume of construction output increased by 5.5% from the previous month, they also show that total output was 7% lower than February 2012. Also released was the ONS Economic Review March 2013, this shows that overall in 2012 the UK economy grew by just 0.3% and construction output fell by 8.1%. The Construction Products Association has released its State of the Trade Survey for Q1 2013 which indicates that sales of construction products fell in Q1 2013, with poor weather conditions considered a major contributing factor.
With the improving weather there is hope that construction product sales will begin to pick up in the second quarter. A bit of good news is that The Construction Enquirer has reported that the number of construction firm insolvencies fell by 5% during Q1 2013.
The Nationwide House Price Index showed prices have remained very flat throughout March with no change against February, however house prices compared to March 2012 were up 0.8% in March 2013. The Halifax House Price Index reported a 0.2% rise in house prices in March 2013, following a 0.5% increase in February, showing that house prices in the first 3 months of 2013 were 1.2% higher than the final 3 months of 2012. To compliment this slight rise in house prices Bellway PLC have announced their half year results to 31st January 2013 with a profit increase of nearly 50% and revenue up by 9.6%.
One other bit of good news is that according to CNinsight, there were £8.5 billion contract wins listed for March 2013 compared to only £274 Million wins in March 2012.
Regulations & initiatives - quick update
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has published its latest Green Deal figures. These show that there were more than four times the number of assessments in March compared with February. The number of assessor organisations also increased by 40% in March and £68.9 million of ECO contracts were let. For comments on the Green Deal and opportunities in social housing see my video article.
The current Directive for construction products in Europe is being replaced by the new Construction Products Regulation on the 1st July 2013. The new Regulation will be a major change for all UK manufacturers and importers, where the voluntary requirement to CE mark will become mandatory under the new Regulation.
NMBs have published their annual National BIM Report which provides a useful insight into how organisations are adopting BIM.
Following on from embodied carbon, embodied water will be the next issue. BSI have published the draft standard, ISO 14046 Water Footprint which can be viewed and commented on.
The Government has published its nuclear strategy. A new Nuclear Industry Council has been established to provide strategic oversight of the implementation of The Strategy, which the government will work closely with.
The University of Salford has compiled a guide to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Lean construction for the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA). The guide can be downloaded for free.
DECC has published the Government's Heat Strategy and an update on the Renewable Heat Incentive.
The Future of the Construction Industry - latest views from industry leaders
The CIMCIG annual Chairman's Debate took place on Tuesday 9 April, at which a number of leading figures discussed key construction issues, in front of an audience of selected senior executives from the industry.
Principal guest was Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Advisor; The timing and subject of the debate: 21st Century Construction - Opportunities and Challenges was planned to provide Peter Hansford with input into the Construction Industrial Strategy.
Green Deal - opportunities in social housing
Recent research by Competitive Advantage indicates that a significant proportion of RSLs have plans to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, with many upgrades starting in 1 to 2 years. And with many of them interested in the Green Deal, as a possible funding mechanism, this is a combination not to be ignored, but will it be a winning combination? Read more
Buy Social Housing Energy Efficiency and Designing with Sustainable Products together and get a discount...find out more
|Infographic - a timeline of the UK Construction Industry
What's being said - a round-up of useful marketing items
The results of the 2013 Best Construction Blog are in! Although we didn't win we are proud to have achieved a respectable 7th place from over 35 entrants, thank you for your support.
Hubspot have produced an informative blog that simply explains the maths behind 7 marketing metrics, such as ROI and Net Promoter Score. At Competitive Advantage we conduct a regular Net Promoter score for the industry. If you are interested in participating then please contact me for more information.
Wave three of the CIM marketing confidence monitor is now live. participate here.
The NBS have produced a number of on-demand bite-sized presentations, following Ecobuild covering topics such as BIM, sustainability and specification marketing.
Dragons for Breakfast
is an auto-biography by Chris Hopkins. Founder of Ploughcroft, Chris provides an honest and straight talking account of the life lessons he has learnt and how this helped him build a strong business that has weathered our recent economic storms. To read a full review of the book
see our website. All profits from the book go to Forget Me Not Children's Hospice.