Eldapoint Container Solutions

BUILDING MOMENTUM – MANUFACTURED ACCOMMODATION AND WELFARE UNITS ARE SUPPORTING INFRASTRUCTURE

Traditionally it was said that you could tell how the construction industry was doing in the UK’s towns and cities by counting the number of cranes on the skyline.

Figures released recently deliver a more accurate view on the health of the sector than the crane spotters – and bring some welcome news. Despite Brexit and all the uncertainty and noise surrounding it adds to the future economy, construction continues to build momentum.

The statistics tell a story

In what is traditionally considered a slow month, construction projects this year increased by 20 per cent in August, and house-building across the UK thrived. The value of new contracts awarded reached £5.8 billion based on a three-month moving average. This resulted in a seven per cent increase on the month, and the highest recorded figure since March 2017.

Since late last year, residential construction has continued to perform strongly and has accounted for £2.7bn on the month. This is the highest recorded figure since industry analysts Barbour ABI began compiling figures. Across the other construction sectors, commercial and retail building reached £785m in August, a monthly increase of 47 per cent.

It’s no surprise that London led all regions with 20 per cent of the UK’s construction contract value in the month. The North West of England followed London with 14 per cent of the total.

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The Industry Viewpoint

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI, says: “The construction sector can once again be thankful for the strong showing of the residential sector, which provided £1.8bn more than any other sector in August, along with an increase of 55 per cent compared with August 2016. It is encouraging to see the number of projects increasing steadily, particularly the larger projects from the commercial and retail sector.”

However, it is not all good news according to Dall, who describes a lack of investment in infrastructure during most of 2017 as “not encouraging”. He adds: “We haven’t seen many major projects come to fruition, especially after it was highlighted as a Government priority earlier in the year.”

Even so, there are some large-scale infrastructure projects in the pipeline. This summer the government finalised the route for the £51bn HS2 rail project, and also announced cash for the £30bn Cross Rail 2 scheme in the capital.
That level of investment in HS2 has led to it being described as the most significant large-scale infrastructure project in the UK for decades. Then there is also the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel, running from west to east London, a major construction programme that will help tackle sewage pollution into the river that flows through the capital.

Meanwhile there is further positive news with the government’s help-to-buy scheme that has underpinned house building programmes. This is set to run until 2021 and will increase the pace of home construction.

The Bespoke Manufacturing Fit

At Eldapoint, the increased momentum in building is also creating a positive spin off within our manufacturing division. There is an upward demand within sectors including construction, housing and rail for our bespoke manufactured unit solutions. These are essential in supporting the day to day running of these projects.

Construction, civil engineering and infrastructure specialists, both on building sites and on rail, transport and energy projects, increasingly see the benefit of using bespoke manufactured units or converted containers – and not just for the necessity areas including on-site accommodation and storage.

The building industry is finding a whole range of uses for bespoke manufactured units and converted shipping containers.

In the rail industry, specialist units are being used across the UK to house trackside equipment in large-scale electrification projects, something Eldapoint has helped deliver solutions for throughout the UK for many years. In fact, as a Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) verified company, we are viewed as a legislative, trusted partner to the rail sector. Specialist units are also proving invaluable when delivering energy infrastructure projects such as wind farms in remote areas of the country. They bring new solutions to the emerging energy storage market.

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THE FACT IS THAT SPECIALLY MANUFACTURED UNITS PROVIDE GREAT SECURITY WHEN IT COMES TO STORING VALUABLE EQUIPMENT. THEY CAN BE DESIGNED AND MADE INTO STOREROOMS FOR MANY ONSITE MATERIALS TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEFT, AS WELL AS THE ELEMENTS. ACROSS THE RANGE, TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED CONTAINERS PROVIDE THE NECESSARY CONTROL AND MONITORING FOR EVEN THE MOST DEMANDING PRODUCT.


Companies are also discovering how to use containers as mobile site offices. Containers can be fitted out to provide the modern workspaces that an onsite team needs. Facilities for welfare units include canteens, toilets, offices, first aid and changing and dry rooms, even sleeping facilities.

Stuart Chidley, Managing Director at Eldapoint, said: “Over our 45 years supporting infrastructure projects, we have seen the positive impact our intelligent container solutions add to these developments. From early days, our research and development teams have partnered many of the leading infrastructure organisations to explore new products and solutions that manufactured bespoke units and container conversions can bring to the sector. This has driven conversations around feasibility, design, cost and location effectiveness and our continually growing order book across existing and new product solutions demonstrates how varied industries see the value that containers offer.”

Container Solutions at Work

Versatility is a key element that containers provide. During the building of the World Trade Centre in New York, a ‘Subway’ food outlet consisting of three stacked containers moved higher and higher up the building as it grew out of the ground. The sandwich franchise in the sky provided food to the building’s construction workers.

The thinking behind it was that the workers only had 30 minutes for lunch – and it could take them as long as 45 minutes to get from their workplace down to ground level to eat.

Within many of our own projects, including rural areas, onsite modified containers have delivered accommodation solutions, bringing projects the advantage of meeting deadlines, providing site staff and visitors with meeting areas, wash room facilities, first aid and an adequate level of toilet and washing facilities.

These all assist with a site which meets health and safety requirements, staff welfare and morale, whilst driving productivity.

Tony Pritchard, of Eldapoint, says: “The fact that with some imagination, these containers can provide many uses is why we are seeing so many projects using them throughout the industry.”
From the obvious, to some very strange requests at the beginning, our container divisions are developing new solutions all the time. One request was for a container conversion for site vehicles to be maintained on site, providing mechanical storage and maintenance solutions.

This is just one example of the intelligent container solutions that Eldapoint is delivering to allow contractors to work on developments across the UK and in all sectors. 
Containers are mobile and durable, whatever the climate; they provide sustainable solutions for site use. Portable from site to site, they have the ability to be repaired and modified again. Therefore, they deliver an environmental benefit and reduce the carbon footprint for many sectors.

The signs for the construction and infrastructure industries now look positive. With continued growth, and the new solutions that manufactured and converted containers provide, perhaps the crane spotters need another method of gauging the health of the construction industry – is it time for a container watch?

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