Significant law changes comes into place in 2024 for Civil Engineers – mandatory integration of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

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In 2024, significant changes are imminent for civil engineers in England.

new law will enforce the integration of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) into new developments exceeding 100sq/m.

This is outlined in Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

This shift from the automatic legal right to connect surface water drainage to nearby sewage infrastructure poses unique challenges for civil engineers.

SuDS need to be part of the design

SuDS are not mere add-ons to the build plan.

They demand careful consideration, significantly shaping the fundamental design of developments.

As leading developers proactively adapt to upcoming SuDS requirements, civil engineers play a central role in navigating these changes.

SuDS are designed to minimise the built environment’s impact on the natural water cycle and prevent flooding by managing surface water runoff.

They present a paradigm shift.

Engineered SuDS solutions have become common.

These are solutions like permeable paving and geocellular attenuation tanks, known for being easy to install and cost-effective.

However, a shift towards a holistic and landscaped SuDS approach is gaining traction.

Engineered vs landscaped SuDS

Engineered SuDS efficiently manage water runoff quantity and can support a holistic approach to water quality management.

Landscaped SuDS, incorporating green roofs, rain gardens, tree pits, swales (shallow drainage channels), and constructed wetlands, extend beyond managing water quantity.

They contribute to water quality improvement, enhance amenity spaces, and create habitats for biodiversity.

However, the challenge lies in their limited ability to handle significant rainfall levels.

This prompts a need to combine engineered and landscaped SuDS for enhanced water circularity benefits.

Civil engineers must reassess SuDS strategies to achieve a balanced integration and create more habitable spaces and future-proof developments.

The four pillars of sustainable drainage

There are four pillars to SuDS:

  1. water quantity
  2. water quality
  3. creation of amenities
  4. creation of habitats for biodiversity

These pillars guide engineers in aligning their strategies with evolving expectations and potential future regulations.

Buyer preferences are increasingly influenced by these pillars, reflecting concerns about flooding risks, water quality, the importance of green spaces, and the need for sustainable environments.

Article written by Martin Lambley -Institute of Civil Engineers

Race Equality at Work

Celebrated week of the 5th February – 11th February 2024

Race Equality Week is a UK campaign that asks its participants to address barriers to race equality in the workplace. The campaign invites organisations and individuals to take part in anti-racist activities such as raising awareness, engaging senior leaders in the importance of anti-racist work cultures and sharing activities throughout the week.

Recent research has found that two in five Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority colleagues experience racism at work. This includes racist jokes or “banter”, racist remarks, being made to feel uncomfortable at work due to people using stereotypes or commenting on their appearance and bullying and harassment.

Many employees will experience this type of bullying and harassment but will choose not to report this behaviour because they do not believe they would be taken seriously, or fear reporting would impact their career or workplace relationships.

Research also suggests that institutional racism impacts performance assessments, disciplinary procedures, who is subject to scrutiny, who is denied promotions and development opportunities. It is important to call out racism to prevent it from

There are many ways to commemorate Race Equality Week at work, including:

There are some great organisations out there such as https://www.raceequalitymatters.com/, https://www.theequalgroup.com/  and https://www.inclusiveemployers.co.uk/ who have free resources you can use, as well as provide training and so much more.

At Intersect Global we are involved in promoting and improving fairness, inclusion and respect in the workplace in the Civil Engineering, IT, Energy and Construction sectors. We encourage positive attitudes to diversity and inclusion, and this includes race equality.

To read out our fairness, inclusion and diversity statement, click here

Looking for your next job opportunity or for help to fill a role; then head over to our Job Board or to our contact page.

Back to work: 5 tips to revitalize after your holiday break

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It’s hard to come back to work after the longest break you’ve had all year. The few days between the last working day before Christmas and New Year’s Day often pass in a blur, and it can feel impossible to return to work with enthusiasm and determination right after the holiday fun; your body and mind likely aren’t going to give 100%. But don’t be too hard on yourself! The key is to take it one step at a time.

Here are some tips you can follow to get back on top of your game without causing further exhaustion after the holidays. 

 1. Take it light

This is the moment when most of us make a list of resolutions for the new year. While it’s nice to start fresh and work on your goals, you can also take this time to reflect on the last year and make realistic decisions. The best thing to do is to go easy with your New Year’s resolutions. Research has shown that almost 23% of people quit their resolutions by the end of the first week, so don’t just load your list with a bunch of plans. Instead, pick one goal for every month and work towards achieving it. 

2. Less planning and more action

One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is planning a lot at the beginning of the year and getting lost in a sea of action items. This overwhelming feeling can be avoided by taking one step at a time without planning the entire course. As Brian Tracy notes in his book Eat That Frog!, when you have an ultimate goal, breaking the tasks down into simple goals helps you concentrate and provides better results. This also ensures you always stay on top of your goals without putting too much pressure on yourself.  

 3. Indulge in holiday delights

Holiday treats aren’t just for the holidays. Sometimes, it’s okay to indulge in activities you usually do during your time off—like grabbing a cup of hot chocolate or baking a batch of brownies—just to remind yourself that not all fun is lost once the holidays are over. 

 4. Try to establish a work-life balance

It doesn’t always need to be about work once you step into a new year. A Frontiers Psychology study found that proper work-life balance improves job performance by enhancing job-related satisfaction. This implies that for greater overall success, your number one priority should be to find a balance between your work schedule and your personal life. As the old adage goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so try to strike an equilibrium. Take sufficient breaks, go on a walk when you feel overwhelmed, and plan your time off to avoid burnout and improve your quality of life.   

 5. Do something you’ve never done before

New experiences always fuel the soul. To make this upcoming year more entertaining, find things that interest you and channel your energy towards them. In the process of learning or doing something new, you will end up rediscovering yourself without the concerted effort. 

While getting back to work can be daunting, you can still make the best of your days ahead with simple yet fulfilling activities. 

Article by Sheryl for https://www.zoho.com/blog/cliq/5-tips-to-revitalize-after-your-holiday-break

M Group Services buys decarbonisation specialist

Infrastructure contractor M Group Services has acquired decarbonisation and energy efficiency specialist AgilityEco.

Andrew Findlay, M Group Services Chief Executive, said: “The acquisition of AgilityEco represents an extension of our capabilities to deliver essential services to our existing energy and local authority clients.

“These services enable our clients to meet their regulatory obligations and support the delivery of their ambitious decarbonisation agendas.

“Acquisitions with adjacent capabilities serving existing clients are a fundamental part of our continuing growth strategy and we are delighted to further enhance our Group capabilities with the acquisition of AgilityEco.”

Sharon Johnson, Managing Director of AgilityEco, said: “We are excited to be joining the M Group Services Energy Division, which represents a great opportunity for our people, our clients and our partners.

“Being part of M Group Services provides access to complementary capabilities and enhances our ability to provide a differentiated offering for our clients and partners. This strengthens our platform for growth, and as a purpose-driven organisation, it ultimately enables us to support more vulnerable families living in fuel poverty and to prepare Britain’s homes for Net Zero.”

Simon Best, Managing Director of M Group Services Energy Division, added: “We are delighted to welcome Sharon Johnson and her team to M Group Services. AgilityEco has established a leading position in the market over the last decade and brings a strong set of adjacent capabilities to our Group, which we are excited to provide to our clients. We look forward to supporting the delivery of AgilityEco’s ambitious growth plan in the coming years.”

Article by Grant Prior – www.constructionenquirer.com

Why is January important in recruitment?

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January is always a busy month for recruiters. Career changes are one of the most common New Years’ resolutions people make, and with Blue Monday on the horizon and year-end bonuses in their back pockets signals the time when candidates are ready to make a move.

And it’s not just about candidates, either. Come January, clients may have completed their yearly budget, they know exactly how much cash they have to budget with where recruitment is concerned and will be keen to start recruiting again to achieve their set resourcing plans and set in motion their company’s yearly goals and objectives.

So, what can you do to be ready to hit the job market in January and ensure your CV makes it to the top of the pile?

  • Your CV and cover letter are up to date, read well and are tailored to each role you are applying for, see our CV writing blog for some CV writing tips
  • You have a professional online presence; you follow companies you want to work with/are interested in.
  • You continue to develop your work knowledge and training.
  • Approach us and discuss opportunities we may have.

January gives you a chance to get ahead of the curve and we’ll certainly be on the lookout for January’s job market statistics when they are released on January the 16th 2024.

(https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/labourmarketintheregionsoftheukjanuary2024)

At Intersect Global, we are adding new roles onto our job boards daily so it is worth checking it regularly.

For all other queries contact us or connect with us on LinkedIn.

5 Reasons you should seek the help of a recruiter for your next job

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When considering using a recruiter to help you find your next job the first thing to do is to ensure the recruiter you select is industry specific. Once you have selected them, ensure they follow a code of conduct, uphold employment law, GDPR and ensure a quality process.

At Intersect Global Ltd, we are a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation, as such we operate against a strict recruitment and employment code of practice.

You may also want to check out the recruitment companies’ website and specifically look at their policies, terms and general ethos, it is also a good idea to check them out on LinkedIn.

If we happen to be the company you decide to select for your next job, you can find all this information on our website and you can also check us out on LinkedIn.

Still not sure about contacting us for your next career move? Here are 5 reasons why you should:

1. Our recruitment consultants have over 20 years’ experience in providing skilled permanent and freelance technical and managerial personnel to market leading regional contractors as well as national and multi-national blue-chip clients, and we are preferred suppliers to a number of the most desirable employers in the industry.

    2. We have a wide network of clients we have worked with for years and are able to navigate a competitive job markets in the Civil Engineering, IT, Construction and Energy sectors.

    3. We have inside information of where the next jobs are coming from. Intersect Global Ltd has a number of repeat business clients, some of whom may be a good match for you. If you’d like to be kept in the loop, you can sign up for Job Alerts on our site (scroll down past the initial list of jobs).

    4. As seasoned recruiters, we know our clients and their interview styles, so we are best placed be able to offer you tips and advice on how to approach your interview. We will also chase feedback for you and aim to get as much detail as possible. Even if you are unsuccessful, we are on hand to offer advice on how to develop your interviewing skills and maximise your opportunity of landing the job.

    5. We are on your side, and we want to get the best deal we can for you. Intersect Global Ltd will fight your corner and negotiate with your future employer, ensuring that you accept an offer with no reservations and no regrets.

    We currently have a great selection of job opportunities in the Southeast, head over to our Job Board to find out more.

    Our experienced consultants can also be contacted via our site or alternatively connect with us on LinkedIn.

    Did you find this blog article useful? Then head over to our blog page for our other articles.

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    Data centres waste heat to warm thousands of homes

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    The Government is injecting £65m into funding five big district heating schemes, including constructing the UK’s first heat network using waste heat from data centres to heat over 10,000 London homes.

    Grants from the Green Heat Network Fund will allow the big district heating projects in London, Watford, Suffolk and Lancaster to proceed.

    London’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation scheme in west London will get just over half the funding for its ambitious scheme to recycle waste heat from large computer systems storing internet data.

    Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Keeping homes warm with waste heat from technology is a glimpse into the future – and demonstrates just how innovative this country can be when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions. ”

    The transition to heat networks forms a major part of the UK’s carbon reduction commitment, with heating in buildings making up 30% of all UK emissions.

    David Lunts, chief executive of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said: “Recycling the huge amounts of wasted heat from our local data centres into heat and energy for local residents, a major hospital and other users is an exciting and innovative example of OPDC’s support for the mayor’s net zero ambitions.”

    “We are excited to be leading the way in developing low carbon infrastructure, supporting current and future generations of Londoners in Old Oak and Park Royal to live more sustainably.”

    Article by Aaron Morby www.constructionenquirer.com

    Mental health worries for construction professionals

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    Almost nine in 10 project professionals in the construction sector say working on their main project has negatively impacted their mental health, new research by the Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered membership organisation for the project profession, has found.

    In a survey of almost 1,000 project professionals in the UK, 87% of those working in construction agreed that ‘working on my main project has negatively affected my mental wellbeing’.

    This was the second worst figure across the 17 sectors surveyed, behind education (90%). In contrast, engineering (56%) and financial services (59%) had the lowest levels. The overall average was 71%.

    Insufficient opportunities to voice concerns with superiors (39%) was the most common reason or impact given by construction project professionals, above the survey’s cross-sector average of 31%.

    Impact on home life and personal relationships (38%) was ranked second followed by work-life balance suffering (34%) and their manager’s or supervisor’s attitude or approach to work negatively impacting their ability to work well (33%).

    The least common reasons behind mental health impacts were unclear expectations due to a lack of communication with superiors (19%) followed by inadequate levels of support from managers (22%). Respondents could tick all that applied.

    Professor Adam Boddison OBE, Chief Executive of APM, said: “Our research shows project professionals of all ages and sectors are experiencing a negative impact on their mental health caused by their main projects. This should act as a wake-up call for many employers across the UK.

    “Large-scale projects are often complex and challenging and require a diverse set of skills such as organisation and communication. Delivering projects on time and within budget, and knowing you’ve played a role in creating positive change, can be profoundly fulfilling for anyone involved.

    “However, construction firms of all sizes and scale must proactively seek out, listen to, and act upon any mental health concerns or related issues raised by their teams. It is important to ensure support is fully in place and tailored to each individual.

    “We hope our research shines a useful light on both the level and type of evolving support that’s required for construction project professionals, to ensure projects can continue as planned, at pace, and are not impacted by significant disruption because of staff absence or low morale.”

    The research, carried out by Censuswide on behalf of APM, also found that 46% of construction project professionals agreed that their workplace builds a supportive atmosphere, above the survey’s UK sector-wide average of 40%. In addition, 42% said their employers provide mental health first aiders, also above the overall average of 36%.

    Regular one-to-one meetings with managers, investment in staff training centred on mental health, and employee workload monitoring all scored 41% among the construction project professionals.

    Meanwhile, the survey revealed significant regional differences across the UK sector-wide. The North East (85%) recorded the worst overall score for mental health impact, followed by the East Midlands (82%), Scotland (78%) and the South East (77%). The North West (49%) had the lowest figure followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (52%) and Greater London (70%).

    Middle-aged workers were also most likely to be affected with 72% of recipients aged 35-44 strongly or somewhat agreeing that their main project had impacted their mental wellbeing, along with 71% of people aged 45-54. This compares with 67% of over-55s and 69% of those aged 25-34.

    Men (72%) were also more likely to feel an impact on their mental wellbeing than women (68%).

    Commenting on the Mentoring Programme that APM offers for its members, Prof Boddison added: “APM is committed to supporting good mental health in the workplace and we have carefully developed a vast amount of vital resources and community support for our members. We encourage anyone experiencing work-related mental health issues to benefit from our support.”

    Article by www.industrialnews.co.uk

    Water companies outline £96bn infrastructure plans for next five-year investment period

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    Water companies have set out plans to almost double their spending on the network during asset management period (AMP) 8, 2025 to 2030.

    The utilities filed their business plans to regulator Ofwat on Monday 2 October, asking for permission to hike customer bills to allow them to invest a combined £96bn in 2025-30.

    If approved, these proposals will see a raft of infrastructure projects carried out in AMP8 to improve the reliability of clean water supplies and reduce sewage spills into rivers and seas.

    Sector body Water UK said utilities had asked for approval to build 10 reservoirs as well to use cutting-edge technology and nature-based solutions to slash waste water overflows.

    Water UK chief executive David Henderson said: “These record-breaking investment proposals will secure our water supply as we deal with a changing climate and a growing population.

    “While increasing bills is never welcome, this investment in our country’s infrastructure is essential to ensure the security of our water supply. Water companies are seeking regulatory approval to reduce overflow spills into rivers and seas as fast as possible and to double the number of households receiving support to pay their bills.

    “Ofwat now needs to back these plans that are both ambitious and vital so that we can provide the highest quality drinking water for a growing population, ensure the security of our water supply in the future and reduce the use of storm overflows as much as possible.”

    Here is how some of the countries water companies plan on spending their budget:

    Thames Water outlined plans to replace 500km of water mains, install 1M smart meters and commission the long-awaited Tideway Tunnel.

    Anglian Water pledged to start planning for two new reservoirs, create an area of wetlands the size of 100 football pitches and renew 695km of vulnerable pipes.

    Yorkshire Water said it would refurbish five reservoirs following condition surveys, as well as carrying out projects at poorly performing water pumping stations and replacing 746km of mains.

    Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) promised to replace 174km of asbestos cement pipes and continue with its programme to improve the safety of 29 dams. It will invest £3.5bn during AMP8.

    Severn Trent said it would invest £12.9bn in AMP8. Plans include making biodiversity improvements at 26 sites, replacing 30ha of hard surfaces with sustainable drainage and installing 1,000 water-quality sensors in rivers.

    South West Water will invest £2.8bn to upgrade a third of water treatment works in Devon and Cornwall, reduce leakage to less than 10%, create a water grid to ensure all strategic reservoirs are connected and invest in large reservoirs starting with Cheddar 2 in Bristol.

    United Utilities’ £13.7bn plans include upgrading over 900km of water mains, reducing storm overflows by more than 60% by 2030 and strengthening the network.

    Affinity Water will spend £2.1bn on actions including reducing leakage and river restoration.

    Article by Greg Pitcher for New Civil Engineer