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The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) starts 2014 with membership at a five year high. In January, membership exceeded the 400 mark for the first time since 2009, now standing at 425.

H+H has produced a technical update for the new Approved Document Part L, which comes into effect on 6 April 2014.

The latest forecast from the Construction Products Association (CPA) puts private housebuilding, infrastructure work and commercial activity at the centre of the industry's recovery over the next four years, despite Office for National Statistics data which shows output declined in November 2013.

Paul Daynes from Saint-Gobain Building Distribution is pictured centre back.

Employees from Saint-Gobain’s Building Distribution businesses have successfully completed a postgraduate diploma in Multi-Unit Leadership and Strategy at Birmingham City University.

Plumbfix is launching its first four trade counters in Northern Ireland. Situated in Screwfix stores, the Plumbfix counters will open in Ballymena, Belfast and Newtownabbey on 13 January, 2014, and in Bangor on 27 January.

Awareness of heating controls can make a difference to the way people heat their homes for less, says Worcester, Bosch Group.

Worcester, Bosch Group has commissioned a survey to reveal the UK’s heating habits.

Grafton Group’s trading update for the year ending 31 December 2013 confirms that its recovery is continuing to grow.

Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, will be speaking at this year's Members Day.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has announced its first keynote speaker for Members Day 2014, Lord Wolfson, the chief executive of Next plc.

A new trade association representing the interests of manufacturers involved in the pitched roofing industry has been formed.

Photo courtesy of Dave Chapman from Parker Building Supplies.

Parker Building Supplies' Uckfield branch manager, Dave Chapman, has offered support to a local school damaged by the recent storms.

Independent merchant Heating Plumbing Supplies (HPS) has continued its recent run of success, with year-end 2013 sales up 17% at £47.4m, up from just over £40m in 2012.

RENOLIT will distribute FLEXSOM exclusively through Minster Roofing and Roofline.

Minster Roofing and Roofline has signed an exclusive contract with RENOLIT for the distribution of FLEXSOM.

Renovating plaster is much more suited to flood risk properties.

Local authorities and landlords have been advised that traditional gypsum plasters offer virtually no protection for properties at risk from flooding.

Merlin Business Software has been accepted by the NMBS board as a member and appointed as an approved supplier.

Julie McLean, head of marketing at Plumb Center.

Plumb Center has welcomed the positive impact that the first phase of the Help To Buy scheme has made to the newbuild housing market.

Joe Inzani, managing director of Lawsons, was involved in a fatal car accident on Christmas Eve and passed away, surrounded by his family, in the early hours of Christmas morning.

Wolseley has closed its online business

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is putting the spotlight on branch performance in 2014 with a brand new two-day event for branch managers on 30 April and 1 May.

CCF Flooring sales director Matthew Farmer.

CCF is now offering support for 11 hours a day, providing greater flexibility for customers who require quotations and orders outside of the traditional ‘nine to five’ trading hours.

BSS Industrial has opened a new branch in Inverness. The trade counter, which is BSS Industrial’s 64th location, sits alongside an existing branch of builders’ merchant Keyline.

Saint-Gobain Isover has opened its annual Multi-Comfort House Student Contest for entry.

Forticrete, part of CRH Group, has won an award at the Mineral Products Association (MPA) Health & Safety Conference and Awards 2013.

Entrepreneur Amit Bhatia, who is chairman of Hope Construction Materials, has told of his optimism for the future as the firm celebrates its first anniversary.

Bosch Commercial & Industrial Heating has launched a new website - - aimed at enhancing the profile of its growing range of technologies to UK customers.

David Adams, commercial director at Knauf Insulation.

Knauf Insulation has won Supplier of the Year in the roofing and insulation category at the National Buying Group (NBG) awards.

Tradesmen are increasingly using smartphones to communicate with clients and to speed-up the purchasing of products.

Though traditionally a ‘hands on’ sector, Screwfix is predicting a ‘social revolution’ within the trade as almost half (48%) of tradesmen reveal they are winning new business through social media channels.

Anyone within the plumbing, heating or building trade is invited to learn more about installing heat pumps, as Danfoss is running a special ‘introduction to heat pumps’ (HP1) course for those who are new to renewable energy.

Charles Thwaites presents the Outstanding Contribution to FSC Friday award to Camilla Hair.

Each year FSC UK presents prizes for the most innovative celebrations of its annual awareness raising day, FSC Friday.

Rental equipment and integrated services provider Speedy, has launched a new 24/7 ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) number to help the utilities sector avoid costly delays and disruption this winter.

A team from merchant PTS raised over £15,000 for charity by performing their own pantomime version of Scrooge's Christmas Carol.

Premier Forest ROI has purchased the former Brooks Thomas facility in Dublin, in a move to prove its confidence in the long-term industry prospects in the Republic of Ireland.

Saint-Gobain Weber has won an award.

Saint-Gobain Weber’s Loyalty Rewards campaign has won first place in the Best Digital Campaign category at this year’s Construction Marketing Awards. The judges’ feedback acknowledged the success of the loyalty scheme in achieving high levels of customer engagement and product sales.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has increased its property investment portfolio with the acquisition of two commercial office units, which neighbour its HQ at Coventry Business Park.

A Green-i product from CP Electronics.

Newey & Eyre is extending its energy efficiency offer further through a partnership with CP Electronics.

Screwfix has reported sales growth of almost 22% over the last 13 weeks and an uplift of nearly 12% based on like-for-like sales from this time last year*.

The new Graham showroom will display the latest innovations from Ideal Standard.

Ideal Standard has teamed up with Graham to create a new showroom experience.

Following the recent acquisition of Borderstone from Aggregate Industries, Kelkay is now focusing on the key product areas moving forward.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has negotiated a collective membership agreement with a fourth major buying group, LIMA.

As part of its on-going commitment to delivering outstanding customer service, Altecnic has significantly invested in a new consolidated business platform to improve communications with its customers.

British Gypsum has taken on 15 apprentices from plaster contractors across the country to complete a qualification in drylining.

Heatrae Sadia has launched a free online training academy to help installers, specifiers and electrical wholesalers increase their knowledge and understanding of water heating products in a fast, flexible and convenient way.

Elliott Blakeley, SkillPIPE 2013 winner.

BSS Industrial has shown its support for the next generation of industry stars after providing products for the final round of SkillPIPE 2013.

L to r: Edward Naylor (CEO), Bridie Warner-Adsetts (COO) and David Fletcher (non-executive chairman) at the International Track 200 awards.

A major capital investment programme is underway at Barnsley-based construction products manufacturer Naylor Industries.

The Independent Buying Consortium (IBC) is celebrating the end of another successful year.

Penney Poyzer, TV presenter and campaigner, Dave Hall, technical academy manager at British Gypsum, and David Peirpoint, CEO of CORE and sponsor of the award.

British Gypsum has been awarded a prestigious accolade for its Green Deal training package for installers.

SBS has released three new animated videos.

Sustainable Building Solutions (SBS), part of the Travis Perkins Group, has released three LABC-registered animations to demonstrate how to meet efficiency regulations for a series of new and traditional building methods.

L-r: Mike Rigby, owner of MRA Marketing and Mark Mallinder, marketing director at EH Smith being presented with their award.

EH Smith has picked up another award for its ‘Proper Builders’ campaign which has delivered a 30% increase in customer visits to its eight branches across the UK and prompted the opening of a ninth in Olton in the West Midlands.

Travis Perkins’ shares have risen by 50% over the past 12 months, meaning employees who have been members of the company’s ‘Save As You Earn’ Sharesave scheme for five years could see profits in the region of £50,000, if the share price remains at its current level.

L-r: Christine Harding, BMF marketing manager, John Newcomb, BMF managing director and Antony Considine, SCA’s consortia manager, plant trees for European Forests Week at the BMF’s HQ in Coventry.

European Forests Week, which promotes sustainable forestry in Europe, saw the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and SCA Timber Supply come together on 9 December at the BMF’s headquarters to plant trees for the future.

SIG Distribution - the distribution division of FTSE-listed construction supplies firm SIG plc - formally opened its new £2m Tyneside 'supercentre' on 5 December, 2013.

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