Triton Construction

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Triton Construction's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Triton Construction is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.tritonconstruction.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | BLENHEIM HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
cladding materials in situations where
a building exceeds 18 metres as
defined by the building regulations.
We undertook a review of all our
recently completed developments,
stretching back over 70 schemes, to
assess all the relevant wall build-ups
and ensure that they comply with the
building regulations. Reassuringly,
we concluded that only one of the
developments required minor remedial
works, which we undertook as part of
our corporate responsibility.
On some of our more recent work, we
have had to grapple with interpretation
of the regulations, resulting in some
ingenious solutions to overcome the
material compatibility issues. Issues
have included exploring a product that
is actively marketed as a material of
limited combustibility and then finding,
following final discussions, that the
manufacturer refused to supply the
material, as the particular application
was over 18 metres. It is also apparent
that fire engineers are both very busy
and sometimes reluctant to provide
advice, particularly when this relates
to a bespoke situation. One further
side issue is the evident changes in
insurance provision and the impact
on obtaining professional indemnity
insurance to cover cladding, which
has become more commercially
sensitive, while the degree of coverage
hasreduced.
We feel a lot more should be done
to fully address the confusion in the
market regarding the use of external
cladding systems. We are aware that
the building regulations have been
revised in December 2018 to cover
buildings over 18 metres tall. The
principles are clear; however, the large
range of materials that have previously
been used in cladding modern buildings
are now having to be tested to confirm
they are compliant. Although we
welcome the new regulations, they will
create a problemfor the industry until
all the testing is complete.
Self-regulation
Profit margins in the construction
industry are relatively low, and the
majority of clients, for reasons that we all
understand, need to keep overall costs
down. This means that for all projects
there is commercial pressure on both
contractors and clients to try to maintain
their margins while still achieving a
quality product. We have seen the
industry change over the last 30 years,
with much less third-party auditing.
Thirty years ago, it was commonplace to
have a site-based, independent resident
engineer and clerk of works monitoring
quality. This is no longer the case, and
there is no doubt that commercial
pressures have seen this service decline.
Currently, the vast majority of quality
assurance is left to the contractor, with
very few checks being carried out by
independentorganisations.
With the advent of independent
building control companies, the sector
has become more susceptible to
commercial pressures. Local authorities
are now in competition, and this has
definitely had an effect on the quality
of service they provide. We use both
local authority building control and a
number of independent companies
to carry out our building regulation
approval and site inspections. The level
of service we receive from this sector is
inconsistent and at times poor.
The vast majority of contractors
maintain high standards and produce
good-quality buildings. We recognise
that commercial pressures are at
odds with maintaining quality, and
there will always be the temptation to
compromise quality for financial reasons.
As has been seen in recent times, there
can be disastrous consequences when
quality is compromised, and we believe
that a return to properly funded, third-
party independent audits for all major
elements of a building is essential to
ensure quality.
With the
advent of
independent
building
control
companies,
the sector has
become more
susceptible to
commercial
pressures
Walker’s Court: a
glass panel installation
redevelopment project
in the heart of London’s
iconic Soho shopping area
19TRITON CONSTRUCTION |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Chairman Michael Parkinson
Flagship development for Big
Yellow in central Manchester
Based in the north of England, Triton Construction Ltd
are a general construction contracting company working
in all sectors. They engage in a wide range of projects,
including new builds, refurbishments, and design and build
projects. Their success has resulted in remarkable growth
over the last decade and a half, and they currently have a
workforce of roughly 80 people and a turnover of around £60
million. While on this journey, Director Michael Parkinson has
formed a number of views on the state of the sector. He tells
TheParliamentaryReview
that education and the planning
system need to improve if the construction industry is to
continue to thrive.
Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, 2019 has proved to be our best year of trading
since our establishment in 2005. This has resulted from a mixture of organic
growth and the acquisition of Remstone Construction in Liverpool earlier in the
year, which was a catalyst for growth in general across the North West. The overall
picture for the industry in the north of England remains reasonable but cautious.
Although there are signs of good potential, this is being tempered by the nagging
doubts surrounding Brexit.
The right culture, the right results
The success of the business has been based on a positive culture and ethos,
which has resulted in a high percentage of partnered and negotiated contracts
FACTS ABOUT
TRITON CONSTRUCTION
»Chairman: Michael Parkinson
»Founded in 2005
»Based in Liversedge, West
Yorkshire, and Birchwood,
Cheshire
»Services: General construction
contractor
»No. of employees: 80
»Turnover: £60 million
Triton Construction
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | TRITON CONSTRUCTION
with several blue-chip clients. In an
industry renowned for conflict, high
risks and low margins, we have been
mindful of identifying and proactively
solving potential problems. Every
project undertaken has a director
allocated and is reviewed weekly with
the management team to ensure
any issue is actioned at the earliest-
possiblestage.
While we are always focused on
achieving good financial returns,
this is not to the detriment of
our relationships. Our staff are
encouraged to ensure we are
looking after our clients’ interests
by constantly reviewing best-value
solutions and alternative products
and methods. We aim to make the
process of construction enjoyable
and into a team effort in terms of
solving problems, regardless of
contractualresponsibilities.
An education that works for
all industries
As an industry, we have several
challenges to face in the future.
Construction has a shortage of skilled
labour and appears to be an industry
of last choice for school leavers.
The education system is focused on
pushing students into college and
university courses, sometimes to the
detriment of some young people who
are not suited to this pathway.
As a company, we have developed
our own apprenticeship route with
little or no assistance from our own
training body – the Construction
Industry Training Board (CITB). We
have attended and presented at school
careers events, but again received little
interest from either the schools or the
students. We have also found that our
own management apprentices have
considerably outperformed university
graduates, resulting in swifter
progression and higher earnings for
both the individual and the company.
The industry has so much to offer as
a career, whether in skilled labour or
management. Conditions and pay have
improved considerably and compare
very favourably with other industries.
Clearly, more needs to be done by the
industry and particularly the CITB at
school level to promote the virtues of
construction. Restrictions on the use
of European workers will only add to
the problem, as construction is not
currently classified as a key labour
requirement. If we can’t recruit from
overseas and we can’t attract new
blood from school leavers, where will
this leave the industry in years tocome?
A £7 million
redevelopment of the
science department
and library complex at
Bradford Grammar School
While we are
always
focused on
achieving
good financial
returns, this is
not to the
detriment of
our
relationships
21TRITON CONSTRUCTION |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Speeding up delivery and
opening opportunities
Despite promises over the years to
simplify and speed up the planning
approval systems, we are experiencing
the opposite. The current system
is suffering from a lack of quality
resources and is heavily influenced
by local political decisions rather than
considered policy. We have personally
experienced considerable frustration
in the time taken to achieve planning
approvals, resulting in unnecessary costs
and project delays. Most approvals are
also hampered by a considerable list
of conditions, many of which would
not have been a consideration 20 years
ago. The whole planning procedure
needs a radical overhaul, without
which there is no chance of reaching
any of the government’s targets on
house building, or construction growth
ingeneral.
As a business, we are mindful of the
need to regenerate brownfield and
contaminated sites for redevelopment.
Our greenfield areas need to be
protected wherever possible for our
children and the generations to follow.
Clearly, it is easier for a developer and
indeed a public sector client to build
on a greenfield site. However, this
course of action is hampered further
by considerable hurdles imposed by
planning on regeneration.
There are considerable additional costs
relating to planning, such us change
of use, environmental reports and
specialist contamination consultants,
among other things. The biggest cost,
though, is the taxation on the removal
of contamination to specialist disposal
sites. Abnormal costs in clearing sites
is the biggest factor in making site
redevelopment financially non-viable.
More needs to be done to encourage
the use of brownfield sites through
tax incentives or reduced disposal
taxes. Until we create a system that
encourages redevelopment rather than
penalising, we will not solve the issue
of the ever-eroding greenbelt.
In spite of these challenges, we will
continue to work with the positive
culture and ethos that are characteristic
of Triton Construction Ltd. Challenges
will always exist, but so long as we
move forward with optimism and a
proactive attitude, there is no reason
why we cannot go on succeeding, just
as we have in thepast.
We are mindful
of the need to
regenerate
brownfield and
contaminated
sites for
redevelopment
New sorting and
distribution centre for
DPD in Leeds
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | TRITON CONSTRUCTION
with several blue-chip clients. In an
industry renowned for conflict, high
risks and low margins, we have been
mindful of identifying and proactively
solving potential problems. Every
project undertaken has a director
allocated and is reviewed weekly with
the management team to ensure
any issue is actioned at the earliest-
possiblestage.
While we are always focused on
achieving good financial returns,
this is not to the detriment of
our relationships. Our staff are
encouraged to ensure we are
looking after our clients’ interests
by constantly reviewing best-value
solutions and alternative products
and methods. We aim to make the
process of construction enjoyable
and into a team effort in terms of
solving problems, regardless of
contractualresponsibilities.
An education that works for
all industries
As an industry, we have several
challenges to face in the future.
Construction has a shortage of skilled
labour and appears to be an industry
of last choice for school leavers.
The education system is focused on
pushing students into college and
university courses, sometimes to the
detriment of some young people who
are not suited to this pathway.
As a company, we have developed
our own apprenticeship route with
little or no assistance from our own
training body – the Construction
Industry Training Board (CITB). We
have attended and presented at school
careers events, but again received little
interest from either the schools or the
students. We have also found that our
own management apprentices have
considerably outperformed university
graduates, resulting in swifter
progression and higher earnings for
both the individual and the company.
The industry has so much to offer as
a career, whether in skilled labour or
management. Conditions and pay have
improved considerably and compare
very favourably with other industries.
Clearly, more needs to be done by the
industry and particularly the CITB at
school level to promote the virtues of
construction. Restrictions on the use
of European workers will only add to
the problem, as construction is not
currently classified as a key labour
requirement. If we can’t recruit from
overseas and we can’t attract new
blood from school leavers, where will
this leave the industry in years tocome?
A £7 million
redevelopment of the
science department
and library complex at
Bradford Grammar School
While we are
always
focused on
achieving
good financial
returns, this is
not to the
detriment of
our
relationships
21TRITON CONSTRUCTION |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Speeding up delivery and
opening opportunities
Despite promises over the years to
simplify and speed up the planning
approval systems, we are experiencing
the opposite. The current system
is suffering from a lack of quality
resources and is heavily influenced
by local political decisions rather than
considered policy. We have personally
experienced considerable frustration
in the time taken to achieve planning
approvals, resulting in unnecessary costs
and project delays. Most approvals are
also hampered by a considerable list
of conditions, many of which would
not have been a consideration 20 years
ago. The whole planning procedure
needs a radical overhaul, without
which there is no chance of reaching
any of the government’s targets on
house building, or construction growth
ingeneral.
As a business, we are mindful of the
need to regenerate brownfield and
contaminated sites for redevelopment.
Our greenfield areas need to be
protected wherever possible for our
children and the generations to follow.
Clearly, it is easier for a developer and
indeed a public sector client to build
on a greenfield site. However, this
course of action is hampered further
by considerable hurdles imposed by
planning on regeneration.
There are considerable additional costs
relating to planning, such us change
of use, environmental reports and
specialist contamination consultants,
among other things. The biggest cost,
though, is the taxation on the removal
of contamination to specialist disposal
sites. Abnormal costs in clearing sites
is the biggest factor in making site
redevelopment financially non-viable.
More needs to be done to encourage
the use of brownfield sites through
tax incentives or reduced disposal
taxes. Until we create a system that
encourages redevelopment rather than
penalising, we will not solve the issue
of the ever-eroding greenbelt.
In spite of these challenges, we will
continue to work with the positive
culture and ethos that are characteristic
of Triton Construction Ltd. Challenges
will always exist, but so long as we
move forward with optimism and a
proactive attitude, there is no reason
why we cannot go on succeeding, just
as we have in thepast.
We are mindful
of the need to
regenerate
brownfield and
contaminated
sites for
redevelopment
New sorting and
distribution centre for
DPD in Leeds

www.tritonconstruction.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Triton Construction. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster