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: Q4 2020

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

With the majority of sites open and supply chains functioning under health and safety restrictions, our industry is now having to deal with the challenge of increased absenteeism brought on by higher numbers of positive tests and their resulting self-isolation requirements. Added to this, we now have to cope with the growing severity of local lockdowns imposed to limit the spread of new Covid variants. Asking already stretched workforces to provide cover and perhaps work longer shifts while they also deal with family issues requires careful, sympathetic management.

Businesses also need to be aware of the personal impact of long-term isolation. Virtual platforms are life-savers, but they filter those human exchanges that are an essential part of a healthy and balanced working life. Bad weather confinement amplifies these effects. Hopefully with spring around the corner, the opportunity to get out and interact more normally will lift everyone’s spirits.

Civils activity is steady with quote and order books looking strong in Q1 2021. Bad weather is of course a concern at this time of year, but no significant delays have been reported.

As the Covid crisis rolls on, so the monetary value of urban green assets and the need to justify their creation and maintenance remains vitally important, but it’s being overtaken to some degree by wider ambitions set by politicians and high profile organisations. With the built environment responsible for around 40% of the country’s carbon load, we must all align ourselves to these ambitions. Responsible materials sourcing, packaging, recycled materials, and on-site renewables are areas where there is scope for innovation – but these must be supported by changes in construction practice and building standards.

Data will be the key to change. As the industry develops towards achieving sustainability goals, we need to trust the information we work with. Post-Grenfell, the CPA has been developing a Code for Construction Products Information that will address shortcomings in data and create a level playing field for all manufacturers, particularly in testing, certification and marketing. We look forward to reviewing the first draft of the Code which is out for consultation in Q1 2021.