Employee of the Month
And here’s to Jon Tuffin – employee of the month in January for his exemplary management of a project for a large food distribution chain. Well done Jon, we are proud to work with you!
The Integra team all came together at Hatfield House on Thursday 15th of December for an extremely enthusing event to kick our 2017 plan in to action.
Building on a successful 2016 where we saw many changes and lots of new faces joining us we are committed to making 2017 even better. Our culture of continuous improvement and innovation means we are always changing and remaining ahead of the game.
A brief presentation to explain the strategy and targets from each department was followed by a drinks reception then a delicious four course meal. A great reward for 2016 and a inspiring leap forward into 2017 where we can hit the ground running.
How important is it to have the right light levels in the workplace?
Did you know that there are HSE recommended minimum lighting levels in the workplace? Ensuring that your work environment has sufficient lighting is not just a legal requirement, it is central to the wellbeing of your workforce.
The first priority is of course ensuring sufficient light (even in the event of a power cut) to spot potential hazards and obstacles, but a poorly lit workplace can also contain hidden dangers that may not be obvious at first.
Lighting that is too low or wrongly positioned can directly affect the health of people in the workplace, from conditions such as eyestrain, migraine, and tension headaches. These symptoms will make a workforce less productive and drive up absenteeism, affecting company morale. Just as a gloomy day can lead to a lower mood, so a poorly-lit workplace can result in reduced enthusiasm and energy levels among your workforce.
As well as this, employers, the self-employed and those in control of non-domestic properties have the duty of care to ensure their employees, themselves or those using their property have sufficient lighting and are not exposed to light levels where light related health problems could occur.
If you want to ensure that all those using your place of work can benefit from a thoughtfully-designed lighting scheme that is fully compliant with HSE recommendations, don’t hesitate to contact Integra with your requirements today. If you’re just worried that your current scheme may not be up to the task, we can offer a full, free of obligation lighting report that will highlight any potential areas of concern.
A ‘Le Mans start’… just not in the usual style! As part of our 2016 team building event, randomly selected teams of three from Integra raced each other on Piaggio Apés, a three-wheeler iconic Italian van. With a top speed of 40mph and a reputation of being Italy’s equivalent of a donkey, they may not be suitable for F1 racing but did provide plenty of laughs as our office and site staff raced together last Wednesday.
Aside from the fun, it was a very good opportunity for different departments of the company including our site engineers to interact with each other away from the office and displays our commitment to keep the team strong and together for our customers as we move ahead into 2017 in a busy and fast-changing industry.
Congratulations to ‘Team Tuffin-Griffiths’, who showed us all that they aren’t over the hill yet by winning the race with 57 laps clocked and the second fastest lap time of the event.
“Well done! I have never seen 100% site score in my whole career. Good Job”
What a fantastic tribute to our site team. We recently received a 100% site safety score on a full M&E refurbishment project for a large supermarket chain. The inspection was carried out by an independent company and warmly applauded by the clients project manager.
As part of our ongoing commitment to our supply chain Integra hosted an event at the Hertfordshire Golf club to celebrate another successful year with our site engineers and contractors. A very enjoyable event indeed, a chance to meet everyone together away from the coalface and have a chat along with a fine meal and use of the golf driving range.
This is an event we hold once a year and the purpose of it is to bring the entire Integra team together, spread the success stories out, bind us all together and get in gear for what we trust will be a very successful 2017.
Did you know that the average person breathes in around 3.4 litres of air per minute?
So, indoor air quality is an essential ingredient to the wellbeing of your staff and the health of your building. Dirty air ducts and ventilation systems can affect your business in a variety of costly ways. These can include; a drop in productivity, low employee morale, computer downtime, ruined interior decorations and high capital expenditure to replace prematurely deteriorated air conditioning systems.
Building managers have an obligation to ensure that any ductwork installations within their buildings are maintained in accordance with regulation TR/19.
To meet these regulations not only does the system need to be maintained in accordance with the regulations but needs to be installed compliantly in the first place. This means that provision is made within the system to enable routine maintenance.
It is also important to note that a ventilation system, through which the air that we breathe passes, typically has an internal surface area equivalent to 10% of the space that it serves. This puts into context the importance that should be placed on appropriately managing the hygiene within any ventilation system.
Now a protected species – The Halogen bulb
The European Commission is to vote on whether to proceed with a proposed ban of halogen light bulbs in 2016, or delay the phase-out until 2018. The move was originally proposed for next year as the next step in a long-running program to phase out inefficient light bulbs across Europe. The Commission itself has proposed delaying the ban due to concerns over the price and quality of the bulbs that would remain available to consumers should the current 2016 deadline be enforced.
Traditional incandescent bulbs are already banned from sale within the EU, but the next stage of the phase-out (stage six) requires all bulbs to be energy-efficiency class B by September 2016 in order to be eligible for sale in the EU. If implemented, this will effectively remove all halogen-style bulbs from the market, leaving just standard energy-saving bulbs (known as CFLs) and LED bulbs on shop shelves
A building management system (BMS) could be described as a computer-based control system that is installed in a building to control and monitor the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment. This can include controlling individual systems such as heating and ventilation, water and power. Many people don’t even realise their building has a BMS system in place but this if often a sign of a system operating effectively. The BMS works behind the scenes to ensure that a building is automatically controlled to provide the required level of heating or cooling at different times of the day as required.
The system is usually composed of multiple different devices such as sensors and valves and controls pumps, fans, AC and boilers etc… keeping the environment within the building at a comfortable temperature. It can protect your building from fire or flood by shutting down and activating devices and plant quickly as it sees problems arising.
Each of the different devices send back information to the local controller within the local panels. The controller can then send out the required signal to the plant to ensure the system is running according to the building design. All this information is funnelled back to a head end computer which then visually displays the system to in house facilities management team who can monitor or change settings as required. This system shows any issues and allows them to act quickly to rectify any potential problems by raising an alarm in the event of a problem.
BMS systems can save you money! By automating the system, it will ensure a more efficient management of your electrical equipment, as the systems will now be working at their optimum ability. This way, you will also make savings on repair, maintenance, and servicing costs. While the cost of installing the BMS is rather high, you can compensate by making significant energy savings as a result.
As well as all the big targets and plans we have for the future in our work lives and businesses, sometimes it is inspirational to look back in time too… The mountain peak may look a long and hard distance ahead but it is enthusing to see how far you have come from base camp.
This has been forced home for me by a current experience. We are currently working on an interesting project which is a full office building fitout, phased floor by floor. So often in an office revamp the ‘before’ photos never get taken in the excitement of demolition. However in this building the old and the new are both there on different floors at the same time – and the time-warp between the old and the new is mind-blowing!
These photos were taken yesterday within 2 minutes of each other!
It is a depressing experience now to go back to the old dingy corridors with their untouched bookshelves, having been in the contrasting bright and airy spaces on the floor above. The energy levels of staff is interesting to observe too; one guy said to me “there’s a lot of moaners work here but none on this floor any more!”.
We can give ourselves a boost (and a laugh) if we do some simple things:
And next time you wonder “can we really achieve this challenge?”… just inspire yourself by how far you have already come!