KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
30th November 2012
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Backing up the latest research on the purchasing power of consumers, Hoover Candy is reporting a surge in customers who say energy efficiency is crucial when it comes to buying kitchen appliances.
The Mintel Washers and Dryers Report 2012, published earlier this year, highlights an influx in the number of buyers concerned with the energy ratings of appliances, with 74% now saying an appliance with an energy rating of A+ is essential. This research strongly correlates with the experience Steve Macdonald, trade marketing director of Hoover Candy, has had of the market over the last 12 months.
The modern Cube range has also now been married with the character and warmth of real timber in the form of Dominica American Walnut (pictured) featuring a solid timber frame and veneered centre panel. With a wide selection of unit sizes and combinations available - including base units, tall cabinets, countertop units and wall units - it is possible to create an individual look in any size and shape of bathroom.
Northern European regions are in the lead when it comes to innovation in Europe, reports EurActiv. But there is a considerable diversity in regional innovation performance - not only across European countries, but also within the member states, according to the newly published European Commission's Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012. Unsurprisingly, the most innovative regions come from the most innovative countries in Europe.
A change in strategy can result in project success in tough economic times, as a conference on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the construction industry has shown. Twenty-two coordinators for Concerto projects subsidised by the EU went to the Brussels conference to share their experiences.
The Irish Republic has been one of the countries most hard-hit by the financial crisis; "This has been a success during the deepest crisis Ireland has ever experienced," said Seamus Hoyne from the Limerick Institute of Technology in summarising his project experiences, and the results do indeed speak for themselves - 400 buildings renovated and 50 energy-efficient buildings built from scratch.
The competitively priced range was designed after consultation with developers, architects and specifiers and can be installed directly over the bath or within a shower enclosure.
Very occasionally I come across an initiative that makes me sit back from my desk and say: "Now why didn't anyone think of that before!" That happened this morning when I received a release about the Skill Exchange - although this time I thought: "I really hope that works."
You can read all about it below, but what the story doesn't tell you, your imagination will.
I know something slightly similar happens in the building industry whereby tradespeople 'call in favours'... a plasterer may find a slight leak in one of the pipes coming from the boiler, but rather than down tools until the householder's had it sorted, he (or she) will call in a gas fitter friend who'll quickly deal with the problem free of charge. That gas fitter will in turn call in the plaster to deal with any imperfections left by a boiler change - again free of charge. The job gets done, the householder is happy and will recommend the service of the initial tradesperson to family, friends and neighbours for his or her troubleshooting capabilities and networking skills.
I've experienced it on more than one occasion and I know it works.
Skill Exchange UK is a similar concept but one that works officially via the Internet. I only hope it takes off and that those employees who are 'loaned out' will look upon temporarily working for a different employer as a way of boosting experience, enhancing skills, improving that CV and even making new friends!
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This Week's News
Skill Exchange UK is seeking to drive employment, growth and competitiveness by promoting employer 'Skill Recycling', through localised online skill exchanges.
Launched this week, Skill Exchange UK is an independent, not for profit organisation developed with leading employers, ACAS and the TUC. It provides a simple but highly innovative service aimed at local employer 'skill recycling', an efficient and more sensible alternative to skill wastage, by facilitating local placements for underused staff into other firms that can benefit from the 'loan' of skilled staff at low cost.
The Government has 'warmly' welcomed the independent review of apprenticeships published on Tuesday, calls on the Government to improve the quality of apprenticeships and make them more focused on the needs of employers.
Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development research amongst employers supports the conclusions of the Richard Review of Apprenticeships published earlier this week, that greater employer ownership of the apprenticeship system is needed to ensure apprenticeships continue to play a greater and more effective role in meeting the current and future skills needs of UK employers.
Previewed at this years' KBB in Birmingham, the Simpsons new range of Elite shower enclosures received unprecedented interest. The bright chromed enclosures are now available throughout the UK.
A survey undertaken by Inta has shown that two years after the introduction of the Part G building regulations, plumbers and installers are still confused by what they are actually required to do by law.
The Waipori collection, which translates from Maori as 'Dark Water', includes showerheads, handsets and tapware and boasts a modern, sleek design in a stylish chrome finish.
AMDEA, the UK trade association for manufacturers of domestic appliances, welcomes the Government's latest proposals to cut domestic electricity demand across the UK, but warns that substantial reductions will only be possible if policies include significant incentives to encourage the uptake of the latest generation of high efficiency domestic appliances.
Introducing a fresh take on flat slab doors, new Prisma is the latest addition to Mereway Kitchens' Complete Kitchen Collection. Sleek and sophisticated, Prisma is a high gloss acrylic faced MFC door with duo edge in a cool aluminium tone and colour matched backs which exudes quality and class.
Demonstrating once again that it is at the forefront of the UK KBB sector, popular designer and manufacturer Ellis Furniture is about to radically change the way we approach bathroom design with the launch of a clever App developed for both iPad and web browsers that allows consumers, retailers, interior designers and architects to create a dream bathroom on screen.
Liberty and Adelle are both portrait format mirrors with low energy illumination activated by a discreet sensor switch. Both benefit from the all-important steam-free feature, which is becoming a 'must have' function of illuminated mirrors.
The lighting features on each mirror offer a choice of styles for the end user.
A property development firm has been fined £100,000 following a major gas explosion that destroyed dozens of homes in South Manchester. PJ Livesey Group was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive following the blast at the Didsbury Gate development in December 2009.
However clean your bathroom fixtures may appear to be, if there's limescale they're not clean enough as the limescale will quickly build up and as well as being unsightly, it will attract bacteria, which will soon start to smell really bad.
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The collapse of Comet is yet another stark reminder that the High Street remains a volatile place and that consumers should take all necessary precautions when making a major home purchase... so says the national trade association for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association.
The newly-formed, industry led, cross-sector taskforce has agreed to undertake a review of UK towns and cities to identify through empirical research the property-related barriers to the vitality and performance of town centres.