Carillion Igloo Genesis wins contact to build London’s first “floating village”

The Carillion Igloo Genesis consortium has been selected to design and build Britain’s first floating village at London’s Royal Docks.

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 As part of his on-going drive to transform the Royal Docks, the plan for the village was announced by Mayor of London Borris Johnson in February last year.

Carillion Igloo Genesis has now been chosen to transform the 15 acres of water at the Royal Victoria Dock site, sitting directly to the east of the Emirates Airline. The project will create a community with floating homes, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Carillion Igloo Genesis’ submission is 100% floating with the walkways, residential and non-residential units anchored in place using a series of piles located within the dock and connected to the dock by bridges.

Although a new concept for the UK, floating developments are already a popular idea in other places, including schemes at ljburg near Amsterdam and Hafen City in Hamburg.

Included in the winning consortium’s scheme is a custom-build approach for each of the 50 residential homes, enabling prospective occupiers to join in on the design process of their homes. Facilities will include a market square, a multi-purpose events space and cafes, shops and leisure and office space. Other proposals included as part of the bid include plans for additional facilities, such as a floating Lido and an ice rink.

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Industry Conference – Exploring the latest issues in the property development market, from finance to construction

The conference, billed as the first of its kind to bring together developers, lenders and representatives from the construction industry to explore the latest issues, legislation, products and funding availability.  Organised by BuildStore Financial Services, the self build, renovation and conversion mortgage specialists, the conference was held at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon on May 29th.

The housing market is now a major priority for the Government and the publication of its Housing Strategy last year presents a unique opportunity for developers to take advantage of the release of public sector land, the push to bring empty properties into use, and the New Homes Bonus Scheme for councils.

The Government is keen to see regional developers play a bigger role in providing new homes, and with commercial lending making a strong comeback through BuildStore, there are real opportunities for developers to profit in the current market.

Build-Zone Director Simon Middleton gave this presentation on The Business of Property Development – The new Home Warranty


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Simon Middleton Interview importance of Structural Warranties for SelfBuilders

Simon Middleton was recently interviewed for SelfBuild.TV about the importance of Structural Warranties for SelfBuilders.

To view the video, please see below:

selfbuildzone.com – Structural Warranties from SelfBuilder TV on Vimeo.

About Self Build-Zone:

Self-Build Zone provides site insurance and structural warranty packages for new builds, renovations, extensions and conversion projects from DIY home improvements and new build, to major renovations incorporating large scale alteration, employment of tradesmen and extension work.

Build-Zone and Self-Build Zone are trading styles of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited. Self-BuildZone Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Self-Build Zone Limited is a company registered in England with the company number 04693892. The registered office for Self-Build Zone Limited is Anton House, South Park, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1EB.

For interviews or comments, please contact our PR agency: SMPR (Simply Marcomms Limited) 0870 199 4044 Email: info@simplymarcomms.co.uk

Minimising risk through a structured approach to self-build lending.

Article by Simon Middleton – June 2011

Self-Build lending is still perceived to be problematic even though it’s one of the largest home building sectors in the UK, ultimately delivering prime market property portfolios.  Issues of planning problems both prior to and during the build project, restrictive covenants, in addition to the usual income and accident related issues and the very nature of the project being undertaken continue to make lenders wary. But that’s not surprising when You consider the rather bespoke requirements of self-build lending are normally shoe horned into the existing home purchase structured product arrangement which relies on the valuation process and doesn’t really provide a thorough risk management approach.

Traditionally self-build customers are released funds based on a series of stage payment mortgages which are valued at stages by the lenders valuation surveyor. Whilst a valuer has good understanding of the construction process and is absolutely key to assessing anticipated final value, they may not have a full understanding of MMC and Ecobuild systems, or how to assess the property for compliance relative to planning permission and building regulations. It is very difficult for a valuation surveyor to provide the stage valuation the Lenders are relying on especially as the stage reached may not be relevant to the actual expenditure made. More importantly it doesn’t control what the self-builder is spending funds on.

A general lack of understanding by the self-builder and the lender of the requirements at this level means that contracts between the self-builder and their contractors or tradesmen are not always used, which increases the risk of the build going over budget and they don’t always utilise Site Insurance or a 10 Year Structural Warranty, all of which can easily be stipulated. For example:- Self–Build Zone have a contract service which caters for the creation of written legal contracts for the whole project and is less than £50.

To provide that increased degree of comfort to lenders then maybe they should be taking a more bespoke approach to lending into the sector as it seems to me that there are already the tools in place with which to adequately risk manage the construction process, it’s just a matter of implementing a standard framework and sorting out the communication between the various tools.

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Industry Conference – The reality of mortgage lending in the new housebuilding landscape

The conference, billed as the first conference of its kind to help lenders understand the reality of mortgage lending in the new housebuilding landscape was organised by BuildStore Financial Services, the self build, renovation and conversion mortgage specialists and was held at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon on March 15th.



A packed audience of heads of lending, valuers, risk managers, surveyors and mortgage policy managers and those involved in setting mortgage strategy attended the free conference to debate the issues surrounding lending policy, and how it matches up with the practical realities of housebuilding regulation.

Modern Methods of Construction – More industry decision makers are recognising the significant benefits of modern methods of construction (MMC): better products and processes, and improved business efficiency, quality, customer satisfaction, and environmental performance.

Eco building – The introduction of the Code for Sustainable Homes in 2007 marked a step-change in sustainable home building. Eco building techniques, natural building fabrics and renewable energy technology will now be required to meet the Code standards.

Self Build –  A lack of suitable and affordable homes is driving the interest in the self build and self procurement sector, and with the Government’s Localism Bill, building your own home is set to become more accessible and more appealing.

The Conference:

Paul Broadhead from the Building Societies Association (BSA) the trade association representing mutual lenders and deposit takers in the UK including all 48 UK building societies started the conference by stating that he was keen to unblock the barriers to finance.

Tim Doherty, from the National Self Build & Renovation Centre took delegates through an excellent presentation on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) & Eco Building.

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) & Eco Building

MMC are increasingly favoured as a means of improving quality, reducing time spent on site, and overcoming skills shortages. The eco agenda has also made an impact on construction, with sustainable materials and techniques becoming more popular.  The presentations demonstrated the most common MMC and eco building techniques and the current mortgage lending policies which led in to Simon Middleton from Build Zone presenting a structural warranty providers view on these new methods of house building.

MMC and Ecobuild – A Structural Warranty Providers Perspective

The Build-Zone 10 Year Structural Warranty is DCLG designated warranty scheme provider with provision available for housing, social housing, commercial development, completed and self-build properties.

Build-Zone offer a flexible and competitive approach to warranty provision in all sectors of the construction and building industry, including those working on MMC and Ecobuild projects.

Simon explained how MMC and Ecobuilding projects are able to get Structural Warranty Provision, an insurance policy which covers:

  • defects in design, workmanship and materials causing major damage
  • defective weatherproofing
  • drainage
  • health & safety of occupants
  • contaminated land
  • loss of deposit

MMC and Ecobuild projects can easily obtain cover, largely due to their dedicated technical service company ‘SurveyorLink’ the Build-Zone partner approved inspector scheme – which audits the project at various stages.  Simon explained the technical audit process used and highlighted the risk transfer and claim trends for MMC and ecobuild projects, he surprised the audience by telling them that they had seen no MMC or Eco Build related claim notifications.

Simon concluded:

“Traditional building methods continue to produce workmanship claims on a low frequency basis.

MMC and Eco Building are definitely here for the long term and should be subject to exactly the same risk management and long term understanding as we place on traditional methods of construction”.

To speak to one of Build-Zone’s Structural Warranty experts, call 0845 230 9873 or visit www.build-zone.com

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