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: Q2 2020

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

In common with most businesses, it was a challenge to align our operations with the market as Covid restrictions eased. With no consistent return across construction projects and the merchant sector, we adopted more flexible and adaptable working processes to meet significant fluctuations in demand. Local lockdowns added further instability to trading conditions.

From the end of June, all civils and green urbanisation sectors saw an upturn in sales volumes. Residential-related business were the strongest, having been amongst the hardest hit. Other sectors such as land drainage were consistently solid throughout the pandemic and remain so. Planning and specification activity have continued relatively unaffected. Within civils, the recent changes to the codes governing adoptable sewers have opened the market. Plastic is now specifically referenced as a material option for all applications. This long-awaited change will see the benefits of lightweight, environmentally compatible pipelines transform the market. Our outlook on the longer-term civils market post-Covid, broadly follows that of the CPA.

Looking at Green Urbanisation, as restrictions on movement have further relaxed, the community value of access to green spaces and the size of those spaces are increasingly in the spotlight. More people want to experience natural environments more frequently, but this causes frustrations and threatens the health of the ecosystem. Re-imagining how we introduce green assets into the urban landscape eases the pressure. Parklets and pop-up spaces are gaining traction with versatile and sustainable green solutions offering all the benefits of green urbanisation in a stand-alone package.

With green urbanisation extending SuDS into new product areas and deeper into the city landscape, we’re seeing an increasing number of enquiries with this wider perspective. Drainage is becoming a solution driven market lead by changing legislation and planning policy focusing on net zero carbon and biodiversity gains.

As I write, we’ve just finished six regional ‘Polypipe ‘Realising Resilience e-Roadshows’. Interest has far exceeded expectations – a sign that green urbanisation is opening new ways of thinking, new solutions and new commercial opportunities. Government climate change policy is developing quickly, and our new broadcast formats are designed to communicate the knowledge and implications to all levels of merchant businesses.

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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