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Archive for April, 2016

Pressure grows on contractors to use British steel

April 28th, 2016 Comments off

The UK’s largest contractor trade body, Build UK, has called on members to use British produced steel.

tn_tatasteel-rails-scunthorpe_01

The latest guidance to help support the constructional steel and rebar industries comes after the Government extended rules to encourage the use of British steel on all public sector contracts.

Local MPs in Cardiff and Redcar are also writing to firms urging them to favour British-made steel in a bid to get the industry up and running again.

Build UK, which represents major contractors and more than 30 specialist trade bodies, issued a statement yesterday saying its members were committed to providing opportunities for British-based steel producers to support local economies, create jobs, and reduce carbon emissions from transport.

EU procurement rules require fair and open competition between member states and prevent public sector organisations involved in public sector projects from stating that they will only buy British steel.

This does not apply to private sector organisations which can state a preference for British steel, unless they are buying on behalf of the public sector or certain private utilities covered by EU directives.

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Stansted Airport to unveil £600m upgrade plan

April 26th, 2016 Comments off

Stansted Airport’s operator is set to lift the wraps on plans for a £600m long term upgrade of its terminal infrastructure.

Stansted

Manchester Airports Group, which owns the airport, is to host a suppliers day next month for the industry’s large contractors turning over more than £100m.

Its planned programme of improvements includes expansion of the arrivals infrastructure, additional car park capacity and modifications to the existing departures, landside and airside infrastructure.

The latest plans signal a forthcoming boom in airport construction work.

MAG is already planning a major £1bn expansion of Manchester Airport, while Luton airport is about to start its own £100m terminal upgrade with plans to build a £200m ligh trail link to speed up journeys from London.

Gatwick and Heathrow Airports are also both planning major investments, the scale of which depends on the Government’s Heathrow third runway decision later this year.

For the Stansted improvement plan, MAG is seeking expressions of interest from potential constructors and design and build partners to discuss the proposed programme of work and any associated opportunities.

Interested contractors and design and build partners should email MAG to register an expression of interest.

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Pochin’s green light for 11-storey Manchester flats

April 25th, 2016 Comments off

Builder Pochin’s will start work this summer on the final phase of DeTrafford Estates housing scheme in Castlefield, Manchester.

City Gardens Manchester
Castlefield City Gardens apartment scheme

Planners have given the go-ahead to build the 11-storey City Gardens apartment building, which will provide 86 flats and commercial space on the groundfloor

City Gardens will sit alongside two other DeTrafford developments, The Sky Gardens and The Roof Gardens, One Ellesmere Street and is part of a wider master plan for the area which could see the provision of 1,300 homes, a public square, courtyards and tree-lined walkways, together with 30,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Work is already underway on phase one, The Roof Gardens, One Ellesmere Street, with all apartments and townhouses sold.

Communal roof gardens on the eighth floor will include a sun terrace and picnic area, while the communal lobby will feature a vertical garden.

Gary Jackson, Founder and Director of DeTrafford Estates Group said: “This approval allows us to move forward with the third phase of our development featuring roof garden living.”

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£30m Preston Uni engineering centre in for planning

April 22nd, 2016 Comments off

The University of Central Lancashire has submitted plans for the first part of a major campus expansion in Preston.

Preston University EIC Front Elevation - street level
This flagship project will help produce the engineers our advanced manufacturing and aerospace companies in the region

A planning application has been lodged for a planned £30m Engineering Innovation Centre that is hoped to reclaim Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing.

The project is backed by a client professional team including architects Simpson Haugh & Partners, project manger AA Projects and BDP as the mechanical and electrical and structural consultant.

It is hoped work can start this year for completion in 2018.

Rob Wallace, Dean, School of Engineering, said: “UCLan aims to close the skills gap by inspiring and shaping the next generation of engineering leaders, producing an extra 500 locally trained graduates a year and increasing the number of young people and, in particular, the proportion of females who choose to take up engineering at a local university.”

The EIC, which is the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200m campus masterplan, has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5m via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Lancashire ‘Growth Deal’ with Government.

It received a further £5m cash injection from Higher Education Funding Council for England, which will go towards equipping the facility to the highest standard with advanced technology and specialist equipment.

Uclan EIC

Aerial view of the proposed building

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Blacklist contractors pay out “another £15-20m”

April 20th, 2016 Comments off

Contractors involved in the construction blacklisting scandal have settled claims with another 180 workers.

Campaigners claimed the latest payouts totalled “in the region of £15-20million plus legal costs.”

The settlements come as the full blacklist trial looms at the High Court with the case set to start on May 9 and scheduled to run until July 31.

The first tranche of payouts to 71 workers was agreed in February at a cost of £5.6m.

Eight contractors – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC –  have set up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to try and settle with victims out of court.

A spokeswoman for the contractors confirmed that 180 new settlements had been reached but declined to discuss payout figures for confidentiality reasons.

Campaigners at the Blacklist Support Group said there are currently 154 live claims remaining plus 82 recently issued new claims.

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Accidents at Work

April 19th, 2016 Comments off

Accidents at Work

Unfortunately, accidents at work do happen. Your employer has a responsibility for your health and safety at work. Their duties include:

  • •  providing appropriate training to all staff

    •  warning of tripping or slipping hazard

    •  providing adequate lighting

    •  providing suitable equipment that is well maintained

    Your employer is responsible for the actions of all of their staff.

    If you have been injured at work, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. Kent Compensation’s personal injury lawyers will guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

    wm_accidents_infographic_02

     

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HSE inspector orders worker out of dangerous pit

April 18th, 2016 Comments off

An HSE inspector ordered a site worker to immediately get out of a dangerous excavation during a safety visit to a London site.

hse
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how RS Construction UK (London) Limited was working at a site on St Dionis Road, London.The inspector found there was an excavation directly behind the front door, which was the only entrance and exit for the site.

The excavation was approximately 3.5 meters deep with no means of shoring to support the sides of the excavation and no edge protection around the top to stop anyone falling in.

A worker in the bottom of the excavation was instructed to get out.

An investigation by the HSE found that RS Construction had received previous enforcement action on similar risks on other sites and still failed to ensure suitable safe access to the site and also failed to ensure all practicable steps were taken to prevent danger to any person from working in the excavation.

RS Construction UK (London) Limited, of Regents Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching the CDM Regulations 2015 and was fined £40,000.

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Surveyors finally allowed to use email

April 14th, 2016 Comments off

Surveyors acting on behalf of commercial property owners are now allowed to use email when dealing with Party Wall notifications.

The first ever amendment of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into force yesterday allowing notices and awards to be served to neighbours by email for the first time.

Surveyors have still been issuing notices of construction work to neighbours by post or in person.

James Audsley, the partner who heads up the Party Wall team at national building surveying firm, Malcolm Hollis LLP, said: “It has been 45 years since the first ever email was sent, but finally we are being trusted to modernise our practices.

“It will be sad to see our corporate branded carrier pigeons let go, but times are changing. I am looking forward to being allowed to get a colour television soon.”

But the use of email will only be possible where the recipient has stated a willingness to use it.

Audsley said: “Whilst in principle this appears to be good news and should hopefully help to speed up the resolution of disputes, a commercial building owner may have little or no contact with an adjoining owner prior to the service of notice, and attaining this consent may be difficult, meaning the vast majority of initial notices will still need to be served in the traditional manner.

“Assuming we can embrace this brave new world, the real scope to improve timescales comes with the service of secondary notices, counter notices and the publication of awards”

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London’s first timber skyscraper plan put to Mayor

April 12th, 2016 Comments off

London’s first timber skyscraper came a step closer to reality this week after researchers presented Mayor of London Boris Johnson with conceptual plans for an 80-storey building.

Researchers from Cambridge University have teamed up with engineers and architects to work up plans for a 300m high wooden building integrated within the Barbican.

At present, the wotoothpickrld’s tallest timber building is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway.

The proposal presented to the Mayor by Cambridge University working with PLP Architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork pushes the boundaries to envisage a structure that could be the second tallest building in London after The Shard.

Simon Smith of Smith and Wallwork engineers said: “Timber is our only renewable construction material and in its modern engineered form it can work alongside steel and concrete to extend and regenerate our cities. It is only a matter of time until the first timber skyscraper is built”.

Dr Michael Ramage, Director of Cambridge’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation, said: “We’ve designed the architecture and engineering and demonstrated it will stand, but this is at a scale no one has attempted to build before.

“We are developing a new understanding of primary challenges in structure and construction. There is a lot of work ahead, but we are confident of meeting all the challenges before us.”

 The biggest concern for a timber frame building of such scale is fire, but the team said the proposed building would eventually meet or exceed every existing fire regulation currently in place for steel and concrete buildings.

The research team point to potential benefits, such as reduced costs and improved construction timescales and significant reduction in the overall weight of buildings.

The conceptual proposals currently being developed would create over 1,000 new residential units in a 1 million sq ft mixed-use tower and mid-rise terraces in central London, integrated within the Barbican.

Dr Ramage said: “The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London – and it was successful.

“We’ve put our proposals on the Barbican as a way to imagine what the future of construction could look like in the 21st century.”

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UK’s most considerate constructors get ready for 2016 National Site Awards

April 11th, 2016 Comments off

UK’s most considerate constructors get ready for 2016 National Site Awards

CCS Ltd logo RGBThe Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national Scheme to improve the image of the construction industry – will be hosting the prestigious 2016 National Site Awards at ceremonies throughout the UK this month (April).

The Scheme will be rewarding the top-performing registered sites that have demonstrated the highest level of considerate construction towards the public, the workforce and the environment.

This year’s National Site Awards apply to registered sites that completed in 2015.

Over 3500 guests from construction sites of all different sizes will be attending award ceremonies during 11-29 April in Edinburgh, London and Manchester.

For the first time, ‘value bands’ are being introduced to enable sites to be assessed based on their project value. The value bands are: Less than £500k; £500k to <£5m; £5m to <£10m; £10m and over.

Out of thousands of registered sites, over 900 have been selected to win Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards. One Gold Award winner per value band will also be given the prestigious title of ‘Most Considerate Site 2016’, with all shortlisted sites for this accolade receiving Runner-up Awards.

Chairman of the Considerate Constructors Scheme Mike Petter commented: “The Considerate Constructors Scheme is privileged to be honouring top performing sites at the upcoming 2016 National Site Awards.

“Award-winning sites have demonstrated exceptionally high levels of best practice in meeting and exceeding the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. This year is the largest-ever awards to date – a true testament to the outstanding achievements being made by Scheme registered sites across the UK”.

A host of leading industry figures presenting at each award ceremony include Chris Blythe, Chief Executive, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB); James Wates, Chairman, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB); John Slaughter, Director of External Affairs, Home Builders Federation (HBF); Paul Everall, Chief Executive, Local Authority Building Control (LABC); Bill Hill, Chief Executive, Lighthouse Club; Simon Carr, National Chair, National Federation of Builders (NFB); Willie Watt, President, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and Peter Simpson, Director of Partnerships, Which? Trusted Trader.

In 2015 Berkeley Homes’ Roman House project was awarded the prestigious title of Most Considerate Site. This residential development in the Barbican area of the City of London went far over and above standard requirements to demonstrate exceptional levels of best practice across all areas of the Scheme’s Code.

Go to Twitter @CCScheme #ccsawards for the latest news from the awards ceremonies which are taking place between 11-29 April.

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