Expert for Civils & Green Infrastructure

Steve Durdant-Hollamby

Managing Director, Polypipe Civils

profile

Steve is a well-known figure in the merchant sector and across the UK construction industry, bringing over 25 years’ experience to the Expert Panel. He started his career in builders’ merchanting before moving into a supplier role with Polychannel as National Sales Manager. In 2000 Steve joined ACO Water Management and progressed to Commercial Director. Steve was appointed Managing Director of Alumasc Water Management Solutions (AWMS) in 2014 where he introduced and established AWMS as the first joined-up brand in rain-to-drain water management. He led an active industry campaign to change the way water is managed in the built environment at a time of accelerating climate change. Steve is now Managing Director of Polypipe Civils. In January 2020 Polypipe Civils changed its name to Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, redefining the business around new technologies that enhance sustainable and resilient development.

Polypipe

Founded in 1980, Polypipe is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of piping systems, water and climate management systems, delivering engineered solutions that enable a sustainable built environment.

The development of Green Urbanisation introduces a new generation of techniques that optimise urban green spaces through an extended, fully integrated, sustainable water management network. This includes the provision of hybrid water management solutions that combine green assets such as blue/green roofs, gardens and trees with smart water infrastructure within any urban environment. The benefits are multiple: greater resilience to flooding and drought, increased biodiversity, lowering of the heat island effect, more green spaces and amenities, better air quality, and improved health and wellbeing.

Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation is part of Polypipe Group plc and operates two UK manufacturing centres: Loughborough and Horncastle. With products focused at specific applications across all construction sectors including residential, highways, rail and power, each range has been developed around optimised use of recycled materials. The company currently transforms over 16,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year in the manufacture of its products.

Visit www.polypipe.com/civils

Twitter @PolypipeCivilGU

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/showcase/polypipe-civils-and-infrastructure/

Polypipe Civils Comment: Q3 2020

Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Polypipe Civils is BMBI’s Expert for Civils & Green Infrastructure.

Having seen Covid restrictions ease and relatively consistent trading return to all civils sectors, we’re now moving a couple of steps back with limitations on personal movement. The key difference now is that we have experience of what this means commercially. Like most businesses in the supply chain, we have become familiar with all the necessary hygiene measures to maintain safe working environments. We also have clear, unequivocal guidance from government that construction should keep sites open.

Initial signs are that these new lockdown measures are having minimal impact – trading remains steady and order books relatively healthy. The knock-on of lack of availability of certain materials and skilled labour creates uncertainty and the potential for project delays. It is too early to tell quite what the impact on the civils market will be, but the last six months indicate that, weather aside, it should be minimal.

The widening of material options to include plastic in the sewer market, brought about by the recent changes to the codes governing adoptability, is beginning to see new opportunities. As with all such fundamental changes to regulations, it’s knowledge and expert advice that unlocks the full commercial potential. In our current situation, digital learning platforms are effective in delivering information tailored to the needs of the audience.

Green Urbanisation: As the pandemic continues, more research is being conducted into the monetary value of having access to green spaces. ‘Natural Capital Accounting’ allows changes to urban green ecosystems to be mapped in economic return. This allows green infrastructure to be added to regional balance sheets and, as a result, to shape planning policy and development requirements. In 2021 we expect an updated Environment bill will set targets of a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain on all new developments. This will be an important shift in planning regulation and will require new solutions centred on green urbanisation techniques and Natural Capital Accounting.

The need for enhanced environmental return on development is becoming fundamental to highways and rail infrastructure. Green corridors, created along these linear assets, will allow sustainable interconnections between urban centres, allowing species migration and enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change and population expansion.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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