Uncover the Latest News on the £310m UK Nuclear Project, Low-carbon Plasterboard, Timber Shortage, and Bailey’s £60m Battery Contract

You will find the most recent information regarding the nuclear project in the UK, which is estimated to cost a total of £310 million, published by Jacobs Engineering Group. An entrepreneur with headquarters in Bristol has been having success for some time now in raising the necessary cash to commence the production of a low-carbon alternative to plasterboard. This alternative will be used in the construction industry. However, Confor, the trade group for the UK forestry industry, is warning that we could be sleepwalking into a timber shortage problem due to the fact that the United Kingdom now imports more than 80 percent of its required wood supply. In addition to this, Britishvolt, a company that is considered to be a pioneer in the area of battery cell technology and a manufacturer, has given NG Bailey its most recent contract.

Jacobs wins £310m UK nuclear site job

Original Source: Jacobs wins $310M UK nuclear site project

Jacobs Engineering Group will provide civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering for a complicated nuclear plant in the UK.

According to a news statement, the five-year deal with Sellafield in Cumbria is worth $310 million and is part of a joint venture with British facilities management business Mitie.

Dallas-based Jacobs has worked for more than 40 years to supervise Sellafield’s decommissioning, waste management, and environmental remediation.

Jacobs said in May that it was well-positioned to add to its backlog of complex facility development.

Since 2012, the construction services firm has provided engineering design and safety case services to Sellafield (DSA). DSA is a Sellafield and nuclear supply chain contractor alliance.

This month, Jacobs won a $3.9 billion NASA contract. The construction firm will provide engineering, design, development, technology, facility operation, and maintenance work.

Jacobs reported growth in revenue, profitability, and backlog for its second quarter. This is largely due to contracts with the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command Support at Fort Meade, Maryland, and the Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Centers in Arizona, Florida, and Texas, as well as its BlackLynx acquisition in November.

Bristol-based entrepreneur secures financing to produce low-carbon plasterboard

Original Source: A Bristol-based entrepreneur has secured funding to start production of a low-carbon alternative to plasterboard

Nothing has improved interior fit-out more than gypsum plasterboard. It’s quick to install, doesn’t make a mess, and the finish is usually good.

Plasterboard was invented 130 years ago by Augustine Sackett. Once it took off in the mid-20th century, there was no turning back – traditional lath-and-plaster was gone.

Today, gypsum plasterboard is the usual choice for all interior wall and ceiling construction (excluding heritage projects). The sole downside for today’s users is their environmental profile.

Like cement, gypsum is an energy-intensive material; as a building product, it emits the most carbon after cement and steel. In the building sector, this matters.

There may soon be a low-carbon alternative to gypsum plasterboard: a “carbon-absorbing” equivalent made from lime and food crop by-products sandwiched between two layers of recycled paper.

The Breathaboard was created by Tom Robinson, a former builder who developed the idea for his MSc thesis at the Center for Alternative Technologies (CAT) in Wales in 2014.

A study by the University of Bath, co-authored by Professor Peter Walker of the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering and director of BRE’s Center of Innovative Construction Materials, established the need for a gypsum substitute.

The study found that gypsum plasterboard manufacture accounts for 67% of its life-cycle global warming potential.

“There is a substantial possibility for a board with a lower production life-cycle impact,” said the Bath team.

Robinson hopes to tap into this desire with Breathaboard. Before CAT, Robinson traveled the world climbing and surfing. Between visits, he worked as a builder to pay for them, then founded his own heritage building repair business.

Now he’s founded Adaptavate, which just received £2.16m to develop a pilot manufacturing factory for the new product.

New funding will allow Adaptavate to create a pilot production line in Bristol, improve R&D lab facilities, and complete testing and licensing. Breathaboard may be ready by the end of the year.

Instead of gypsum, Breathaboard is created from natural lime, strengthened with hemp and oil-seed rape, and coated with recycled paper.

For two generations, the construction industry has favored cement- and gypsum-based products over lime.

But lime has had a renaissance recently. Although cement and gypsum are stronger and cure faster, lime has a superior environmental profile since it absorbs ambient CO2. So it’s considered as a way to reduce carbon emissions.

Robinson plans to use some of the new cash to research how to harvest more carbon from the environment, trapping the carbon emissions from other industrial processes to convert calcium oxide into calcium carbonate for his Breathaboard product.

Bath’s study also found that Breathaboard improves indoor air quality, another hot topic.

Timber shortage crisis

Original Source: Can’t see the wood for the trees

A mature economy with ideal conditions for cultivating a variety of tree species should be concerned about its wood supply. We’re there.

We haven’t invested enough in our domestic wood supply for decades, leaving us vulnerable to fluctuating pricing and struggling for future supplies as global demand rises.

The UK imports £7.5bn of wood a year, second only to China. We currently cultivate only 20% of our wood, so 80% must be imported.

In 2020, the UK imported 48 million cubic meters of wood products, 22% of which was sawn wood and wood-based panels. By 2021, the UK imported an average of one million cubic meters of timber and panel goods per month, according to Timber Development UK, a new trade group founded by the merger of the Timber Trade Federation and the Timber Research and Development Association in 2021.

Softwood imports grew by 21%, hardwoods by 26%, and plywood by 13%, despite COVID limitations.

The World Bank projects that global demand for wood products will quadruple by 2050 as the global population expands from 7.8 billion to 10 billion. This significant increase is driven by rising living standards, growing urbanization (particularly China’s limitless need for timber for construction and manufacturing), and greater use of a more sustainable building material.

Compounding these issues are additional global changes. Geopolitical upheavals, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and increasing oil costs, threaten natural resource security.

While the UK may not be immediately affected by Vladimir Putin’s intervention into Ukraine, Russia remains the world’s greatest timber supplier.

With longer-term economic sanctions against Russian exports, supply chains will be disrupted, prices will rise, and countries typically supplied by Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus will be pressured to import building materials from other sources, including Scandinavian countries, on which the UK relies heavily.

Russia is also the top exporter of sawn timber. Although the UK imports only 6% of its sawn softwood and 7% of its plywood from Russia, the impact on the UK’s building and construction sector will be far wider, as worldwide availability of wood products will be curtailed and competition is likely to escalate.

Even before the Russian invasion, demand for wood outstripped availability in 2021, driving up construction costs and delaying project completion.

The Building Back Britain Commission warned in November that the government’s house building objectives may be at risk. The National Federation of Builders urged officials to step in and push councils to be more flexible on material adjustments.

Timber prices are rising because more wood is needed for roof joists in lower-density buildings than in city center flats.

Brexit adds supply chain uncertainty. New rules and disrupted shipments make sourcing international supplies difficult. HGV driver shortages also contributed.

The UK government’s own estimates show that home-grown wood supplies will start to diminish in the 2030s, meaning there will be less wood available than now.

This can’t help the UK reach net zero by 2050. The route to net zero depends in part on better carbon dioxide sequestration, which UK tree-planting can help with.

For many, planting trees seems like the obvious reaction to global warming. Wood is a truly sustainable resource; not only is it a widely available substitute for materials with higher emissions loads, like brick, concrete, steel, and polyurethane, but its parent tree sequesters enormous amounts of CO2 as it grows.

Wood fiber insulation offers remarkable green qualities, and there is interest in constructing a production unit in the UK. Recyclable, compostable, and dimensionally stable, it’s made from sawmill scrap wood, contributing to its sustainability.

A 2020 study by Canadian scientist Dr. Graham Lowe discovered that wood finishings in homes and other structures contribute to health and wellness.

With more competition for future imports inevitable, the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) is stressing the dwindling availability of UK indigenous wood and the potential risk this poses to important industries, including building and manufacturing.

The UK has great conditions for growing wood for low-carbon homes and is a global leader in certifying that its forests are sustainably managed, but there has been little activity on the ground outside of Scotland. Confor wants to ensure we have enough wood to meet rising construction demand.

The UK’s wood supply is diminishing just when we need it to rise due to antiquated notions of productive forestry and a gap between customers’ desire for wood goods and the need to plant the forests they come from.

Landowners are reluctant to invest in long-term planting projects. Productive tree planting can boost rural economies and contribute to the UK’s net zero approach. However, government financing for tree-planting focuses only on flood mitigation and planting native forests for biodiversity.

While these are significant, the importance of future wood supply and the possibility to give a wide range of advantages in modern, well-designed, mixed woodland has been largely underestimated.

Most tree-planting land is agricultural. The Committee on Climate Change predicts a 10% drop in cattle and sheep numbers by 2050 and has urged the government to reduce dairy and red meat consumption.

Much sheep farming depends on public subsidies. Confor says diversifying land use by planting more trees will enable more farms to become successful and contribute to net zero.

Some environmental groups oppose planting softwood conifers and prefer native broadleaf trees. This misses the biodiversity benefits of establishing mixed woodland according to strict forest design criteria created by the same environmental organizations.

Confor feels a step-change in tree-planting attitudes is needed for the government to accomplish its own aims and employ more homegrown timber in building. The government must convey the benefits of productive forest for creating energy-efficient low-carbon dwellings, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and flood control to fight myths that hinder productive tree-planting applications.

We must also optimize our existing forests. We need to use planting stocks with higher productivity and better fiber quality for downstream processing and manufacturing. More study is needed to identify the most productive species. Shorter tree-planting rotations (usually 15-19 years) could supply industries with wood for items like panel boards until new forests mature in 30-45 years.

In 2021, Confor surveyed popular support for producing more domestic wood. Over 90% of respondents didn’t know the UK imported 80% of its wood, and 50% saw domestic wood production as vital, only behind food production. Growing more domestic timber is good for the environment, and two-thirds say forests should be expanded.

As a heavily populated, mature economy with limited land, the UK will always import wood products. We have excellent growth conditions for productive planting, a rigorous regulatory system to assure sustainable forestry management, and a profound commitment to biodiversity and net zero by mid-century.

The foundation for home wood supply security is in place. More government stimulus is needed to realize these advantages.

Confor CEO Stuart Goodall

NG Bailey’s £60m battery contract

Original Source: NG Bailey lands £60m deal with battery giant

NG Bailey will start work this year on BritishVolt’s new £200 million tech center in the West Midlands.

Winvic is the principal contractor at Hams Hall, outside Birmingham, where Britishvolt and Prologis are operating.

NG Bailey works with Britishvolt on their £300m Gigafactory in Northumberland, developed by ISG.

NG Bailey, sector director, said, “We’re thrilled to sponsor the first UK Gigafactory.” We’ve been associated with BritishVolt since August 2020, so it’s great to be the building partner for Hams Hall.

Our experience as the principal contractor for the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), a new center of excellence for battery technology, and our knowledge of the Britishvolt manufacturing process means this new phase will be a great success as we meet customer demands for battery production and transition to a greener future.

British Volt Project Director Richard McDonell commented, “I’m happy to see Britishvolt collaborating with NG Bailey again as we lead the UK into re-industrialisation.”

“NG Bailey brings fit out experience and expertise to the new scale-up facilities, which will assist the UK to build on its home-grown battery IP and set up the country for the energy transition.”

Summary of today’s construction news

In today’s post, you have read the latest news about how the Jacobs Engineering Group will be providing civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering for a complex nuclear reactor in the UK. According to a statement released by the company, the five-year contract with Sellafield in Cumbria has a total value of $310 million and is a part of a joint venture with the facilities management company Mitie in the United Kingdom. 

Gypsum plasterboard has changed interior design. It’s straightforward to install, non-messy, and has a good finish. Gypsum plasterboard manufacture accounts for 67% of its life-cycle global warming potential. Former builder Tom Robinson designed the Breathaboard for his MSc thesis in Wales. Bath’s research shows that breathaboard improves interior air quality.

Furthermore, we may be sleepwalking into a timber catastrophe given the UK imports more than 80% of its wood supply, according to Confor, a trade group for the UK’s forestry industry. More research is needed to determine which species are the most productive. While new forests grow over the next 30 to 45 years, shorter tree-planting rotations (usually 15-19 years) could produce wood for panel boards.

In addition, NG Bailey will construct BritishVolt’s £200 million IT center this year. Winvic is the major contractor for Britishvolt and Prologis at Hams Hall, west of Birmingham. 

Related Post