STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, November 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A surge in the demand for materials testing is being seen as a clear sign that the UK construction sector is building a strong recovery.
Ceram, the international materials technology company, says its construction services business has doubled turnover in the past 12 months, leading to a 25 per cent increase in its workforce.
Such figures, according to the Staffordshire business, provide a solid indication that the country's construction industry is on the move once more.
Dr Geoff Edgell, Director and Principal Construction Consultant at Ceram, said: "There has been a definite and significant increase in the volume of work we have done for construction product manufacturers this year.
"A lack of confidence in the market, which once led to on-site delays, seems to have eased and new projects are opening up all the time as the demand for new-build housing increases.
"The economy, and therefore the confidence in the market, has picked up and there has been a noticeable increase in the pipeline of work for us as a result.
"There's a definite sense of a recovery taking place - it feels like things are moving in the right direction, with a growing impetus in the number of companies which want new products tested professionally, due to the fact they have started to invest in research and development."
To help the industry push forwards with innovation, Ceram set up the Construction Technology Development Group, a team that focuses on new materials, products and technologies and investigates ways of using existing products and materials in light of environmental concerns.
Dr Edgell added: "It has put us at the leading edge of building product and materials knowledge and research.
"The construction sector has been under pressure for a while due to both the recession and to green legislation.
"The sector has had to find new methods of construction with new products and the performance of existing buildings has had to improve in terms of thermal and energy efficiency to meet environmental targets and rules.
"This has created new opportunities and our Construction Technology Development Group has put Ceram at the forefront of finding solutions."
Ceram, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provides independent testing and research on materials for use in healthcare, construction, ceramics, aerospace and power engineering, as well as construction.