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 2020

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

In line with all construction sectors, Civils and Green Urbanisation saw a significant reduction in activity as the lockdown came into effect. With the government supporting the continuation of work on essential projects, infrastructure was marginally less affected than the housing and commercial sectors as safe working practices were easier to implement and maintain. The greatly reduced traffic and passenger volumes meant many road and rail projects have been able to progress safely throughout this period.

As the lockdown is eased, Polypipe is continuing with the safety measures implemented at the beginning of the COVID crisis. With greater numbers of furloughed employees now returning, these measures have been scaled up and reinforced with additional procedures and requirements around hand washing and face protection which go beyond government recommendations. These are being constantly reviewed as we gradually see an upturn in sector activity.

Adapting to the restrictions of lockdown has seen us rely more heavily on digital communication platforms, not only to keep both our customers and colleagues regularly updated, but also to host training sessions and presentations internally and externally via webinars and online CPDs. We are now learning to integrate these platforms into our ‘new normal’, exploiting their efficiency and versatility to introduce innovative, more effective ways of working.

The restrictions imposed on personal movement during lockdown focussed attention on the value of having easy access to green urban spaces. The Green Urbanisation approach, which enables the creation of sustainable green assets across the spectrum of urban development, offers the potential to transform how we plan for a more resilient future – not just in the context of climate change but also in enhancing the health and wellbeing of urban populations.

Dramatic reductions in air pollution levels have given us a brief window on what a net zero emission environment might look like. If we are to learn from this experience, it is essential that we shape our planning legislation to recognise the critical importance of biophilic design and optimised nature-based solutions. Essential to this is the sustainable management of water on a catchment-wide basis. A new generation of Green Urbanisation solutions that combine innovative storage and re-use techniques with emerging SMART technologies are now creating opportunities to achieve this.

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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