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: Q1 2021

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

As the industry eases out of lockdown, there is a real sense that the way we conduct business and execute some of our commercial functions has changed.

Quite what the legacy of this Covid-accelerated evolution of workplace practice will be is difficult to determine, but it has revealed how – under the right stewardship – businesses can adapt quickly and change – areas in which construction has previously struggled.

Covid has helped us better understand the importance of holistic wellbeing. It is all too easy to forget that the dynamic between home and work, isolation and human interaction, urban space and natural environment needs balance, and we must work hard to maintain it.

That said, more traffic on the roads and getting stuck in tailbacks, is a sobering reminder of pre-Covid life. Productivity, for those business maintaining operations through the pandemic, has risen with the obvious absence of out of work distractions. It will be interesting to see if these output levels can be sustained.

Confidence in the efficacy of the vaccination program will see many sites return to near normal practice. Face-to-face meetings to work through issues and re-establish relationships are welcome benefits, but it will highlight the skills and labour shortages that existed across construction before lockdown. Wage inflation in construction could become a significant challenge.

With strong order activity across all sectors, inflationary pressure is coming from supply shortages. Evidenced through a rise in pre-ordering to offset potential site delays, the impact is being felt through the supply chain, with material supply pressures becoming increasingly acute.

As Covid and its dominance of media headlines recedes, we can already see the impact of Brexit being more widely discussed and climate change moving back centre stage. Recent government announcements on net zero and Biodiversity Net Gain planning policy coming into force, are rightly turning eyes to COP26 in Glasgow in November as a potential watershed moment for our industry.

COP26 is our opportunity to show the global community how our built environment is being re-imagined and re-purposed through our uptake of new technologies and new design approaches, like green urbanisation, which can deliver targeted levels of health, wellbeing, and sustainability.