DTE Achieves ISO 14001

ISO14001-tnDonaldson Timber Engineering has always aspired to be the best at what it does.  With this in mind, we at DTE identified the need to extend our environmental credentials beyond chain of custody, and we took the decision to install the internationally recognised Environmental Management System ISO 14001.  This standard is designed to help us remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities and impacts. It can also help us to grow sustainably, whilst reducing the environmental impact of this growth.

So what are the benefits of achieving ISO 14001?

  • Better environmental management, which helps reduce waste and energy use
  • Improving efficiency, which helps us cut the cost of running our business
  • Allowing us to expand our business opportunities through compliance
  • Meeting legal obligations to win greater stakeholder and customer trust
  • Instilling confidence in addressing the changing business landscape

We worked closely with the IMS Team to prepare for the assessment.  This meant adapting a new approach to the environment, and specifically, we had to change how we dealt with our waste.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done, I am pleased to confirm that all the hard work paid off and we have achieved our accreditation to this standard.

However, in order to continually improve, we have set the following objectives:

  • Convert lighting on all sites to LED within 2 years
  • Replace heating systems with more environmentally appropriate heating within 2 years
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 25% within 2 years from 2015/16 levels
  • Maintain chain of custody certification
  • Improve housekeeping and measure success through monthly management walk-arounds

These meet our ISO 14001 and Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) targets and set us up for our next challenge, ISO 50001!

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New Saw in Ashford

20160314_111548_resizedWe recently invested in a new Randek SP722 single blade cut saw in our Ashford branch.

The new piece of equipment will be used to cut valley frames, gable ladders, short webs, acute angles and smaller truss jobs, and will complement our existing multi-blade MiTek cybersaw. It will replace the facility’s existing saw and provide improved cutting capacity, as well as the accuracy and reliability that Randek is renowned for.

Lee Kent, general manager at Ashford, said: “This is DTE’s fourth Randek single blade saw in the last eighteen months and so far they’ve all been well received. Not only will this investment increase our capacity and speed up turnaround, but this saw provides super precision and accuracy, ensuring the quality our customers know and expect from us.”

The saw became fully operational in March.

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Spandrel manufacturing line at Ilkeston

SpandrelIn response to customer demand, we have installed a bespoke spandrel manufacturing line at our Ilkeston branch.
 
Spandrel panels have long been a popular product, but we have recently seen an increase in demand as housebuilders recognise the many benefits of using them. They are installed as part of the roof package and go up with the house, so there is no need to get bricklayers back on site; they easily meet fire regulations; and crucially, they save time and money on site.

Oli James, general manager at Ilkeston, comments: “Previously we had been out-sourcing spandrel manufacture, but we identified that by bringing this service in-house, we’d be providing many more benefits to our customers. It guarantees a better quality of manufacture; enables us to be more efficient, and allows us to offer an improved price to our customers. It also means we can make panels to customer specification and Robust Details.”

A dedicated team has been put in place purely for the panels, and three new members of staff have been employed to man the line.

The machine itself was acquired from the Buckhaven branch, utilising the existing butterfly table and building a bench around it. The line is already at full capacity and is proving successful after just a few months. With the option to easily double shift the line, we hope to be able to manufacture panels for the whole DTE group from Ilkeston.

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SafeStep wins at Housebuilder Awards

Adèle Chabert and Ed Kirk accept the Housebuilder Award for SafeStepWe are proud to announce that we have won Product of the Year at this year’s Housebuilder Awards.

We were presented with the award for our innovative health and safety product, SafeStep, at a black tie gala in London on 5 November. Facing stiff competition in the category, which recognised excellence, innovation and imagination in the delivery of a product, judges said that SafeStep was, “a great site safety solution that saves money.”

SafeStep is a reusable metal cross bar specifically developed to reduce the risk of falling from height when installing tall roof trusses. The first product of its kind, it provides the base for a safe working scaffold platform to be fitted, which uses the longitudinal web bracing of the truss as a handrail. This enables carpenters to reach to high levels within the roof space and nail stability bracing and other ancillary products safely.

Ed Kirk, DTE operations director who designed SafeStep and accepted the award, said: “This is a very exciting win for SafeStep and we’re incredibly proud to be recognised by the industry. We think that this product can make a real difference to health and safety onsite and hopefully this will help to raise SafeStep’s profile with housebuilders across the country.”

Jonathan Fellingham, managing director at DTE added, “We’re delighted to have won this award. The Housebuilder Awards is a prestigious event, and we’re especially pleased to have been acknowledged for our innovation.”

The Housebuilder Awards celebrate innovation and improvements to standards across the housebuilding industry. SafeStep was shortlisted for Product of the Year after winning Health and Safety Product of the Year at the Housebuilder Product Awards in June.

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Robert Aldred Appointed Business Development Manager at Donaldson Timber Engineering

Robert Aldred appointed Business Development Manager at Donaldson Timber EngineeringDonaldson Timber Engineering has appointed Robert Aldred as business development manager for the Midlands region.

In his new post, Robert will work between DTE’s Derbyshire and Oxfordshire branches, supporting the existing sales team already covering the north and south of the UK. Robert will be involved with the company’s full product range but will utilise his specialist background in floor joists to promote sales in this area. He will also lead on sales of SafeStep, DTE’s innovative scaffolding system designed to minimise risk when fixing high level components within tall roof spaces.

Robert has been with DTE for 11 years, starting his career as a trainee designer for DTE’s Ilkeston branch. He held various design roles within the company before becoming a technical sales executive in 2012.

Jonathan Fellingham, managing director of DTE, said: “The last two years have been very strong and we’re seeing our company continue to grow. With the opening of a new branch in Warrington this year, we want to place a renewed focus on providing excellent service to our customers in the Midlands region and Robert’s new role will allow us to do that.

“Robert has excellent sales experience, having had a technical sales role over the last few years, and his floor joist design background and thorough product knowledge will be invaluable assets.”

Commenting on his appointment, Robert said: “I’m really pleased to be taking on this role and am looking forward to the new challenge. I’m from the Midlands and know the area well so I can’t wait to get out there and meet more of our customers, and introduce some new ones to our fantastic products.”

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SafeStep’s a winner at Housebuilder Product Awards

Prod15-DTWWe are thrilled to announce that Donaldson Timber Engineering has won a prestigious Housebuilder Product Award in the Best Health and Safety Product category for SafeStep.

Presented yesterday (25 June) during a gala lunch at Edgbaston Stadium, the Housebuilder Product Awards showcase and reward excellence and innovation in the supply side of the UK housebuilding industry.

SafeStep is a reusable metal cross bar specifically developed to reduce the risk of falling from height when installing tall roof trusses. The first product of its kind, it provides the base for a safe working scaffold platform to be fitted, which uses the longitudinal web bracing of the truss as a handrail. This enables carpenters to reach to high levels within the roof space and nail stability bracing and other ancillary products safely.

Ed Kirk, DTE operations director who designed SafeStep, accepted the award and said: “We’re incredibly proud that SafeStep has been so well-received and think that it will have a big impact on safety in the industry. It’s great to be recognised for our hard work, and we’re hoping this will really help to raise the profile of SafeStep with housebuilders.”

As a result of this win, SafeStep is now a finalist in the Product of the Year category of the 2015 Housebuilder Awards. Winners will be announced at an evening event on 5 November 2015 at the Tower Hotel, London.

HB Product Award winner gold

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Joist Stay FireSafe with MiTek

firesafe croppedWe’ve seen an increase in demand for fire retardant treatment in recent months, with Posi-Joist FireSafe growing in popularity.
 
Posi-Joist FireSafe is a Posi-Joist floor system developed by MiTek’s technical team in response to the Structural Timber Association (formerly the UKTFA) Site Safe guidelines concerning the construction of timber frame buildings in urban environments.

The guidelines assess the potential impact of a fire during the construction of a timber frame structure on neighbouring properties. In broad terms, the guidelines define three different proximity categories. Most confined urban sites fall into Category C and the STA’s guidelines did not include a Metal Web Joist or I-Joist flooring solution for these builds.

MiTek developed Posi-Joist FireSafe – which combines the use of fire resistant timber chords and Posi-Strut webs with nailed reinforcement – to provide contractors with the benefits of an engineered joist system on even the most confined urban sites, where the highest fire performance is required. A second option, Posi-Joist FireSafe Plus, includes a strip of insulation material either between the webs of the Posi-Joist or on one side face of the Posi-Joist.

Posi-Joist FireSafe floors feature timber members that are treated with an approved FR build flame retardant.  Once the Posi-Joist has been pressed in the conventional way, a secondary nailing process is undertaken using Young Black nails fixed through the outer slots in the Posi-Strut web. The remaining construction, including the floor deck, is FR treated in accordance with STA-approved processes.  This is the only traditional orientation metal-web flooring system approved for use with a Category C wall framing system.

Posi-Joists offer a flexible solution for floor joists, eliminating costly cutting and drilling when installing services. Posi-Joist FireSafe provides an easy solution for including all of the benefits of an open web joist system in your build, while also meeting the highest fire performance requirements.

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Housebuilder Product Award Nomination

Product Award FinalistWe are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for a Housebuilder Product Award in the Best Health and Safety Product category for SafeStep.

The Housebuilder Product Awards showcase and reward excellence and innovation in the supply side of the UK housebuilding industry.

SafeStep is the first product specifically developed to reduce the risk of falling from height when installing tall roof trusses. A reusable metal cross bar, it provides the base for a safe working scaffold platform to be fitted, which uses the longitudinal web bracing of the truss as a handrail. This enables carpenters to reach to high levels within the roof space and nail stability bracing and other ancillary products safely.

Winners will be announced at a gala lunch at Edgbaston Stadium on Thursday 25 June. More information about the awards can be found here.

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DTE Discusses Health & Safety Best Practice for NHBC

ss5DTE is proud to be partnering with the National House Building Council (NHBC) on a series of presentations at the annual Building for Tomorrow events, taking place across the country between February and April.

Operations director Ed Kirk has been working with NHBC principal consultant Chris Epps, speaking about improvements to health and safety practices on site. While Chris is discussing upcoming CDM changes in design responsibilities, Ed has been sharing some practical solutions to help house builders get ready for the significant changes to the health and safety regime for the procurement, design and delivery of housing projects from April 2015.

Ed is presenting ways to reduce falls by minimising time spent working at height, including the use of maximum prefabrication, roof panel systems, sacrificial stairwells and working platform systems, such as SafeStep.

The NHBC Building for Tomorrow events provide the housebuilding industry with information on technological advances in materials, changing technical requirements, and the NHBC’s experiences from site, through  presentations and exhibits from industry experts. The 2015 events are taking place at the following locations:

  • Thursday 26 February – Shendish Manor, Hemel Hempstead
  • Thursday 5 March – Thistle Haydock Hotel, Haydock
  • Tuesday 10 March – Leigh Court, Bristol
  • Thursday 12 March – Sandown Racecourse, Esher
  • Tuesday 17 March – York Racecourse, York
  • Tuesday 24 March – Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld, Scotland
  • Thursday 26 March – Cambridge Belfry, Cambourne
  • Tuesday 14 April – National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham
  • Thursday 16 April – Hilton Templepatrick, Belfast

Tickets for events can be purchased here. Visit http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NewsandComment/Buildingfortomorrow2015 for more information.

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New Year, New Branch for Donaldson Timber Engineering

First load ready for delivery at DTE Warrington - l-r Andy Kennedy, Mick Hart, Mike Carruthers, Billy Gibbons, Karl O’Neill, Dave Laff, Paul Marriot, Mark RowbottomLeading truss manufacturer Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd (DTE) has made a positive start to the New Year with the opening of a new branch in the North West of England.

Following a £300,000 investment, the new branch in Warrington, Cheshire will service the surrounding areas as far as Cumbria, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire, and also into North Wales.

DTE has recruited a team of seven for the branch, including Andy Kennedy who takes up the role of general manager following two years as roof design technician at DTE Ilkeston. Brand new machinery has also been installed, including MiTek gantry presses and a Randek saw.

The new site, which will focus solely on the manufacture and supply of roof trusses, was officially opened on Tuesday 20 January by James Donaldson & Sons Chairman, Neil Donaldson and DTE managing director, Jonathan Fellingham. The first order is being delivered this week.

Jonathan Fellingham, managing director at DTE said: “2014 was our busiest year to date, so we are investing in new capabilities to better meet our customers’ needs. The Warrington location is the perfect fit for us, allowing us to provide a much more comprehensive service to our customers in the North of England and also to venture into North Wales. Expanding the business has long been one of our aims, and we’re thrilled to have a presence in the west.

“We’ve got a fantastic team lined up, and it should be a very efficient, cost effective operation. We’re forecasting turnover to be over £1m on a single shift in Year One, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the year ahead brings.”

The opening of the new factory takes the total number of DTE branches throughout the UK to eight.

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