Stay safe

Like so many MPG has had to find new and innovative ways of working over the last few months, whilst keeping its team and clients safe. Despite the current challenges and uncertainties, we are pleased to be able to record another successful adjudication decision in favour of our M&E client last week.

Being a multi skilled flexible team with years of experience of working together means we have been able to quickly adapt to the new ways of working. We are pleased to say that not only are we continuing to offer our clients our full range of services, we are even busier than usual for this time of year with work on projects from both new and existing clients.

Please be assured it is very much business as usual for MPG in these unusual and uncertain times. We look forward to hearing from you if there is anything we can assist you with and ask that you all take care and stay safe.

MPG Sponsored Triathlete turns Professional, we caught up with her

Lizi, you have many strings to your bow! Triathlon coach, Exercise rehab specialist, trainee Osteopath.. and now a Professional Triathlete… tell us your story?!

 

I used to be a bit of a couch potato and even though I worked in a gym, I’d binge on junk food and drink wine every day because that was my lifestyle, until one day I decided to turn it all around. I was only 25 and didn’t want to live like that. I began the transformation with a year of rowing which was 8-10 hour weeks of training – at the time I considered that a lot. Summer 2016 I was on rowing camp in Spain and day two into the training camp developed a rowing specific injury which Ironically meant I could do anything but row on rowing camp… so I spent the rest of the week running laps of the rowing lake.

 

A few months later one of my best friends took me out cycling. I was terrified of cars, didn’t have the confidence to ride in cycle shoes and I would get off my bike to walk down hill because I was afraid of descending!!! Despite all this I fell in love with riding because I used to pass people on hills wearing running shoes on my bike!

One day whilst I was working at a clinic I started talking to a 60 year old colleague that had recently done an Ironman. He convinced me that if I trained with volume and a low heart rate I could build my fitness without getting injured so I read a book by a genius called Dr. Maffetone and set off to train for an Ironman.

I met some incredibly inspiring people in the process and grew more and more ambitious. 

 

My first Ironman Summer 2017 during the Frankfurt heatwave was ‘a bit of a flop’. Having never done a marathon before I learnt the hard way that if you are not prepared well, it takes a very long time to walk it (particularly an ironman marathon). Until you get your nutrition strategy right then your body will not forgive you.

 

I had a complete diet change at the start of 2018 and started eating a lot more veggies and a lot less sugar. Training went back to the basics of just doing low heart rate training and volume. January – the start of the following year, with just over a year of training, I raced my first Duathlon of the year and ended up 2nd place on the podium with a huge 10KM PB. This was the start of my self belief that consistency was paying off and that I could achieve what I set out to do. This consistency continued through to summer hardly thinking about my next Ironman because I was so focused on my exams but come my first 70.3 of the year (Staffordshire 70.3) I ended up 2nd on the podium with the fastest overall female bike split and qualified for 70.3 world championships in South Africa where I ended up coming 12th in the world and 1st in the UK for my age group.

 

After my exams that summer I was able to focus more on training for the full distance and I raced Ironman Argentina and won my age group taking a Kona slot in my second year of triathlon.

 

This is when I decided I wanted to go pro. They say it takes a minimum 4 years for someone with the potential, with consistent training for them to earn a pro license so this was my goal and I still had another 2 years. The following year was all about kona. After numerous 180km rides on the indoor turbo, long run builds, heat chamber sessions and my constant slog in the pool in flippers trying to keep up with faster swimmers. 

 

Finally kona came round October 2019… and it was an anti climax!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of the gruelling course, I loved the vibes and the ironman community. It was so great to be part of it all. but to get a slower marathon time after a whole extra year of training felt very disheartening. 

Soon after coming home from hawaii, I went back to off season training, long easy rides, long easy runs, basically a lot of volume but just because I loved the long easy stuff because it allows me to think things through clearly. To my surprise 5 weeks later I received an email from a sponsor offering funding for me to race 10 days later at the South american championship. In most cases it would have been sensible to say no but my gut feeling was fired up with all cylinders and I rang the one friend I knew would tell me to go and ignored everyone else!! ‘do it for networking’ she said!!, this was a great way to take the pressure off! So I went 4 days out from the race, smiling 24 hours a day so happy to be there and to have another opportunity to race again that year in the sunny argentinian vibes whilst it was getting cold and wet in the UK!

Race day comes. Race starts with a rolling start, I see 2 girls who had beaten me in kona enter the water. I wait 5 minutes after all I know that when I catch them on the bike I have a 5 minute lead. At this point I thought this could help prevent them from running me down. 

 

60km into the bike and I pass them both. I enter transition and have a camera interview “how was that windy bike, Elizabeth?” “Brutal but I loved it!”

fastest T2 ever, I threw my trainers on a pelted out a 20 minute 5k flash start to the marathon flying with adrenaline through a tail wind, turn back round the cone into the headwind and counting the time on my watch as to when I see girl in second. She’s 10 minutes back! If we both ran the same speed we did last year she would beat me. Next cone, I see her again and I’ve put more time into her.. I’m running faster! My watch battery dies. I have no clue how fast I’m running but I use distance to measure the gap Im building between us and I use the roar of the crowd to keep my happy hormones alight. I finished the race 1st place. I enjoyed the moment so much that I didn’t even check my times, then finding out 4 hours later that I’d ran a 20minute personal best with a 3.15 marathon and I won by 17minutes. Little did I know that this qualified me for a professional licence.

Off the back of the success from this race my I had another sponsor offering to pay for me to go and race Oman 70.3 in February so I didnt even think twice.
Christmas was a nice time for off season because of the extra time for training easy miles whilst indulging a bit in festive food making the decision to give up alcholol completely from new years day until Oman 70.3 and see what difference it would make to training and recovery. No surprises it changed everything. After 3 years of low HR training I was able to keep my HR low which meant that even going to threshold I was still getting only increasing the HR to the point of most peoples ‘easy pace’ which meant I could train harder still inline with the MAF training but recover even faster because I was keeping my physiology in the best environment possible. That gave me the confidence to know on race day when it all came together I would be able to run the same speed off the bike as I ran in training.

 

2 days before race day Natasha Badman 6X Kona world Champion shows up to race. She is now in her early 50s which would have slowed her run a bit but she was still known for being a demon on the bike. After hearing people talk about how she was going to win the race I kept my feelings to myself. I knew she’d have a better swim and we should have a pretty similar bike but I was confident my new running speed would be enough to catch her on the run. I was in 2nd place off the bike and started the chase down but it was hot! Once I settled into rhythm feeling pretty overheated looking around for her and finally 8km into the run I saw her. 2km later she was running onto the second lap next the finish line shoot and I hear on the microphone “natasha badman in first place!!! But wait she’s being caught by Lizi Duncombe who’s running much faster”. By the end of the race I had put another 7minutes into her and I’d won Oman 70.3

 

 

It’s a big risk going Professional. When you’re used to being on top of the podium as an age grouper and then suddenly your competition can get nearly an hour faster, It’s a bit like starting from scratch again but it only took me 3 years to get here and I think I’ve got what it takes over the next few years to prove myself as a professional. You make your own fate and this is mine!

Virtual races seem to be a theme of 2020 so im digging my teeth in! 

 

My debut race as a professional, was the WTRL Team Timetrial on the virtual London Classics course. I used my social media platform to headhunt the best female time trialists and triathletes I know including Ruth Astle (the girl that won amaetuer in Kona and just turned professional herself). We were up against Lucy Charles and some of the best professional athletes in the world and we won, all down to team overall power and commitment to perform. Not such a bad start to my new career. This is every thursday 6.20pm.

 

Goals Ahead;

 

Race the Zwift Tri Pro series and make top 3 (whilst still in lockdown)

 

Win Alp duez Triathlon (luckily this is only climbing and no descending!)

 

Get my Ironman Marathon down to 3.05

 

If you wish to follow my journey on Instagram for my latest updates!

@lizi_duncombe_precision_coach

Worried about cladding? You may need an External Wall Fire Review

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance have agreed a new process for the valuation of high-rise buildings, called the External Wall Fire Review process (EWFR). The new industry-wide valuation process which will help people buy and sell homes and re-mortgage in buildings above 18 metres (six storeys). The industry is also encouraging the owners […]

COVID-19 – Contract Claims

COVID-19

We would like to reassure you that it is business as usual for MPG.  However we have received a number of concerned calls from clients and in response have drawn up the help list of bullet points below:

Look at the operational provisions of your contract:

  1. Are you obliged to submit a revised programmed due to disruption or notify your client;
  2. Does your contract obligate you to give early warnings of delays, if so you must do so promptly;
  3. Does your contract require regular progress reports, if so clearly set out impacts the disease has on the project.

Can you make a claim?

The starting point for your rights and obligations, should you find yourself affected by Coronavirus, will be your contract. None of the standard form contracts (e.g. JCT and NEC3/4) refer expressly to epidemics or spread of diseases.

Outbreak of illness does not fall within the meaning of “excepted risks” used in most of the standard forms so, contractors may have to rely on other clauses in the contract such as suspension, force majeure and prevention, or change in law.  Contractors may not be able to point to one clause for a full remedy, and may have to rely on multiple provisions – used in conjunction with the common law – in order to be granted both time and money.

What about common law remedies?

Contractors may also consider common law remedies but the primary basis of entitlement should be the relevant and applicable terms of the contract.

Is it Force Majeure?

Does your contract contain force majeure clauses, unexpected circumstances outside a contracting party’s reasonable control.  Check what events this covers and you may be able to claim costs arising from the impact.  Check also with regards to any subcontractors you may have.

What if the contract doesn’t contain a force majeure provision or what about claiming Impossibility/ Frustration/Prevention?

Can you argue the effects of Coronavirus itself or of government action aimed at combating it (such as mandatory quarantines) have prevented or frustrated the parties’ performance of your contract, or made performance impossible? If you can’t make a claim or classify Coronavirus as an event of force majeure, you might be released from further performance.  Prior to asserting either the occurrence of a force majeure event, or that a contract has been frustrated, it is very important to take legal advice.

What is the position under an un-amended NEC3 Contract

If you have entered into an un-amended NEC 3 contract Coronavirus may be a Compensation Event under 60.1 (19).  This covers an event which stops the contractor completing the work at all or by an agreed date, an event that couldn’t be prevented, would have been judged as an event with such a small chance of occurring it would be unreasonable for the contractor to consider it when entering into the contract.

What about an unamended JCT contract?

Clause 2.26.14 of the JCT Design and Build Contract identifies “force majeure” as a Relevant Event which entitles the contractor to an extension of time and  entitles either party to terminate the construction contract under clause 8.11.1, it is not a Relevant Matter and gives no entitlement to losses and expenses.

What about insurances?

If your operations are impacted by Coronavirus, you may have in place insurance that responds to at least some of your losses. Business interruption insurance policies in particular may cover disruption caused both by the disease itself and by public policy responses to it, such as enforced quarantines. However, there are often exclusions in such policies. it is important that you notify your insurers promptly.

Conclusion
There may be a number of remedies under your contract that can be used to grant relief from performance if the coronavirus has an adverse impact on any of your construction projects. These may be e.g. force majeure or claims for extensions of time and relief from liquidated damages. However, it will very much depend upon the exact wording of the contract itself and the impact of the virus on the project and any other surrounding circumstances.

For further more detailed information please contact us directly and we will be able to provide advice specific to your circumstances and contract.

MPG Project Management Team

Since the New Year our PM team has continued to keep pace with demands for their services. We have had a very busy start to 2020 with a number of new and exciting projects including a large redevelopment project in London’s Soho Square, Royal Free Hospital, Union Square in Manchester and the Afghan Embassy.

Goodbye to 2019

We are nearing the end of what for MPG has proved to have been a very busy and successful year and are looking forward being even busier in the New Year with a number of exciting challenges and projects already ahead in 2020.

This year has seen new team members including Anthony Knott (QS) and Tim Murungi (PM), Martin Cripps, Bid Manager and Nathan Strugnell an Assistant QS join us to help with the numerous projects we have been involved in, from both new and existing clients.  The first quarter brought in 20 new projects alone and the pace hasn’t slowed during the rest of the year.   Projects include Fulham Gas Works, IKEA Greenwich, O2 Cineworld, Hanover Square, Lewisham Ambulatory, The Science Museum, West Ham Station Ticket Hall, UCLH, RA, Grants Whiskey and GOSH to name just a few.

MPG were very well received when they exhibited at the Big 5 in Dubai in November this year and as we move into 2020, we are all eager to get started on work already scheduled, not just within the UK but in Jeddah, Riyadh, Mumbai, Kuwait and the UAE.

We would like to wish you season’s greetings and a very happy New Year.

With Brexit looming, what uncertainties should we be thinking about in the construction industry?

 

As the impending date of Brexit approaches, Britain’s construction sector continues to whither in anticipation of uncertainties tied to this unprecedented historical event. Below are a few things in particular firms should be worried about, but as in all volatile markets, we should be patient for this cautionary period to end, especially as plans for an exit strategy become more clear.

Earlier this year, our manufacturing sector saw a major surge in output as companies began to prepare for tighter restrictions on cross-border movement of workers and goods. It is safe to say that the surge is, for the most part, over and we are now all eagerly anticipating the next phase of the exit strategy. Prices for imported goods, including a massive amount of building materials, are likely to increase with new tariffs and taxes and will likely take longer to arrive as movement becomes more tightly controlled.

Additionally, it can be assumed that after the withdrawal from the EU, we can expect a major labor shortage. More than a quarter of all construction workers in London are EU migrants and if it’s harder for them to reach job sites, it’s very possible they won’t attempt to gain work here. The available labor that is left will consequently become more expensive, with projects facing extended timelines to completion.

Wary investors are pulling back as well, removing revenue streams from the industry that help feed the delivery of larger projects such as the HS2 (which our firm is assisting on). On the other side of this coin however, the government may be able to assist with more funding that would otherwise be spent on EU membership.

Whatever the future holds, we are confident the innovation and resiliency of the firms we serve will continue to help build a better future for all Britains, and we are very excited to walk alongside them through these uncertain times.

Michael Gallucci serves as the managing director and owner of MPGQS, a leading property and construction consultancy headquartered in London. Since 1996, Michael has built a reputation as a trusted partner for firms in need of his extensive expertise, great energy, and an unparalleled eye for detail. These strengths, in conjunction with his ability to build a team from the greatest talent in the industry, have paved the way for MPGQS to become a leader for handling large scale international projects.

MPGQS operates from offices around the UK, Europe, and the Middle East, and serves clients in areas relating to financial, commercial, contractual, and engineering aspects for large construction projects. From quantity surveying, project management, and dispute resolution, MPGQS works with clients on all levels of a project from inception to completion.
Learn more about our company by visiting our company website or visit us on social media.

MPG article featured in Aalmeen News Middle East

MPG article featured in Aalmeen News Middle East

You can read it by clicking the link below:

 

MPG preparing for the Big 5 Show in Dubai

THE BIG 5 SHOW the largest trade fair for construction will be held in the Middle East emirate Dubai. It’s a meeting place for building and civil engineering professionals both international and local. Alongside the exhibition there will be a variety of events like The Big 5 Technical Conference, The Big Green Trail and The Big 5 GAIA Awards. The BIG 5 SHOW is accompanied by THE BIG 5 PMV that is a dedicated arena for plant, machinery, tools & construction.

The The Big 5 will take place on 4 days from Monday, 25. November to Thursday, 28. November 2019 in Dubai.

MPG are being sponsored by UK Trade & Investment to exhibit at the show.

We look forward to seeing you there.