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Find Out About the Latest News on Balfour Beatty Newest HSE Director, Rivalry Between Insolvency and Inflation, a Long-lasting Concrete Creation, and Medway Council on £170m Infrastructure Spending Plan

You will most likely learn more about Lee Hewitt, who was just appointed to the job of Health, Safety, and Environment Director at Balfour Beatty in the United Kingdom. More so, In its most recent report, the consulting firm Turner & Townsend issued a warning to clients about a potential scenario in which the number of insolvencies registered in the UK construction industry has climbed by 72 percent year-on-year. During this time, instrument scientist Alessandro Tengattini of the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) discusses research on more durable concrete for ecologically friendly infrastructure. On the other hand, the councilors of Medway Council have stated that they will not proceed with a public consultation if the council does not disclose how it plans to pay for an infrastructure update on the Hoo Peninsula that will cost multiple millions of dollars.

Balfour Beatty selects HSE Director

Original Source: Balfour Beatty appoints UK Health, Safety and Environment Director

Lee Hewitt is the UK Health, Safety, and Environment Director for Balfour Beatty.

Heather Bryant, who served eight years at Balfour Beatty, will retire on November 18.

Lee will drive Balfour Beatty’s Zero Harm, Health, Safety, and Wellbeing strategy across the group, working closely with executive teams and the Board Safety and Sustainability Committee.

Lee is an experienced construction and infrastructure expert who most recently served as Programme Director for Site Wide Delivery and Logistics on Balfour Beatty VINCI’s HS2 Area North contract, Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

Previously, he was Head of Capital Procurement for Gatwick Airport Limited, Director of Procurement and Contract Management for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Head of Infrastructure, Project Management and Construction EMEA for Lendlease, and Head of UK Procurement for National Grid for 25 years. Lee’s experience will help the group implement its “Zero Harm” approach.

Lee joined Balfour Beatty to work on HS2 in 2020, demonstrating the group’s commitment to building broad leadership opportunities through internal mobility.

Heather Bryant has advanced Balfour Beatty’s health and safety agenda, a core pillar of the group’s Build to Last plan, by supervising a 50% drop in lost time injury rate since 2014 and the development of the company’s Observation App, which has seen over 750,000 health and safety observations. Heather has been involved in several industry-wide projects, including co-founding the Health in Construction Leadership Group to treat health like safety and leading the industry conversation on mental health.

Balfour Beatty Group CEO Leo Quinn remarked, “Health and Safety is our License to Operate.” Our staff must be empowered and supported to achieve “Zero Harm.” Lee’s deep subject experience and industry insight from leadership and project-based roles will help him advance this agenda across Balfour Beatty, and I’m happy to welcome him to the group.

Heather is committed to making the construction and infrastructure business safer and healthier for everyone.

T&T thinks the insolvency risk rivals inflation.

Original Source: Insolvency risk may rival inflation threat, says T&T

As inflationary pressures linger, the new UK Market Intelligence Report (UKMI) from the global professional services market warns customers to take a pragmatic approach to project and program delivery to combat inflationary and insolvency concerns.

Insolvencies through the second quarter

Richie Hales, regional infrastructure director at Turner & Townsend, said insolvency risk is developing in the North West across all supply chains as the pandemic’s long-term impact and the European crisis increase raw material costs.

Low production, trouble procuring labor or materials, and unpaid suppliers are insolvency warning signals. We must be prepared, build trust, and improve supply chain communication.

The firm warned that following the conclusion of the furlough plan in September 2021 and the temporary relaxing of insolvency regulations in March 2022, the sector may see growing insolvencies.

Across the economy, SMEs are most at danger of collapse, and 98% of construction enterprises are SMEs.

Turner & Townsend altered UKMI tender price inflation projections. While still high, the report’s prediction for 2022 in real estate has been adjusted to 8.7 percent, up from 8.5 percent in spring’s UKMI. However, sustained higher inflation is projected to endure, with 4.5 percent forecast for real estate tender prices in 2026.

In the infrastructure industry, businesses raised 2022 expectations from 6 percent to 8 percent. Its 2023 market prediction is 5%, up from 4.5% in the spring.

Hales stated, “Our sector is at the core of pushing positive change—with programs like the Transpennine Route Upgrade, Media City Phase 2, A66 upgrade, and growth in health and life science helping us level up our area, bring forward social value, and make the transition to net zero.”

“To realize this potential, project risk must be minimized.” This requires programmatic decision-making that plans for the complete lifecycle of projects, going beyond low-cost bids and considering organizations’ financial qualifications, ability to deliver, and desire for lasting positive change.

What’s next for making concrete endure longer?

Original Source: What are the next steps for making longer-lasting concrete?

We produce so much concrete that it will soon exceed all living things on Earth.

Concrete has been around since Roman times and is the foundation of urban infrastructure globally. Concrete is a versatile and valuable construction material, but it needs to be rethought for a greener future.

Concrete production accounts for 8-10% of yearly CO2 emissions, more than aviation fuel and just behind agriculture. As urbanization and construction demands rise, something must be done.

Concrete research is underway.

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble is developing greener and longer-lasting concrete. At the world’s flagship neutron science center, researchers can study materials’ inner workings to improve them.

The research was conducted using NeXT-Grenoble (Neutron and X-ray Tomography in Grenoble), a world-leading collaboration between ILL and Universite Grenoble Alpes to develop state-of-the-art methods for investigating materials. NeXT-Grenoble is an imaging instrument that can provide highly accurate 3D models from neutron diffraction.

Neutrons detect hydrogen atoms in samples, which frequently indicate the presence of water.

Hydration and drying can weaken concrete structures.

Moisture degrades concrete. Hydration and drying can cause concrete to crack and lose integrity. This is especially problematic for reinforced concrete, as the exposed metal rods might corrode. By analyzing the presence, structure, and movement of water molecules in different types of concrete, we can find the most resistant and vulnerable microstructures. The NeXT-Grenoble equipment offers a 3D image of the material, which is subsequently validated with X-ray tomography. As the experiment continues, we can see changes over time.

Where cracks emerge, drying accelerates immediately, causing artificially accelerated aging and degeneration. Water and temperature variations affect external concrete constructions. Our research aimed to better model and understand the processes that make concrete brittle over time. Our experiment is one of the first to quantify moisture’s impact on concrete.

Good data may enhance concrete manufacturing. Longer-lasting concrete, a perfected concrete-production method, and longer-lasting infrastructure can be built. While this may seem like a small alteration, the implications are huge. If a concrete structure’s life can be extended by 30%, that will result in substantial carbon emission savings over its lifetime, and that saving can be shared among all concrete buildings – the most common building material.

Climate change requires stronger structures.

Our structures will need to be more durable as global climate change has more severe effects. Extreme weather brings more moisture and heat, deteriorating things faster. To protect our built environment, materials must survive changing climates.

LafargeHolcim, a key project participant, wants to use neutron-derived studies to inform its concrete production in the short-medium term. Every tiny adjustment can have far-reaching implications, and every percentage point of carbon reduction in concrete production will severely impact the human imprint on the world.

Medway Council consults on £170m infrastructure spending plan for Hoo Peninsula

Original Source: Medway Council call in consultation on £170m spending plans for infrastructure as part of Hoo Peninsula development

Eight members of the authority’s ruling Conservative Group want a decision on the HIF project.

Cabinet members voted last month to begin a seven-week consultation on how to spend £170 million on Peninsula roads, rail, and the environment.

They plan to build 10,600 dwellings over 30 years.

Cllr Elizabeth Turpin (Con) was concerned about the cost of new roads, parks, and the Sharnal Street railway station.

The 91-page plan claims the council needs £75,350,000 to complete its goals.

After reading the document, she phoned council leader Alan Jarrett (Con) before the meeting. 

As a result, a vital document called the Medway Infrastructure Delivery Plan had to be altered at the last minute.

The cabinet meeting was adjourned for over 30 minutes while officers revised the numbers.

Cabinet ministers voted to start the consultation on August 15 after reviewing the document modifications.

Cllr Turpin was concerned by the number of details concerning the future train station that were included in the initial draft but later eliminated.

Some items were supported via developer contributions. Some things were omitted from the document, while others said the cost was unknown.

The council set aside £63 million from the HIF to build a new passenger service that will connect the Peninsula to Gravesend with a 14-minute battery-powered train.

The officers previously anticipated that maintaining four new community parks would cost £10 million, payable by the council. In the modified document, the cost is “to be determined” through Section 106 developer contributions.

A new sports center for Hoo St Werburgh was originally predicted to cost £25 million but is now “unknown.”

A note at the end of the study notes, “While a financing gap remains, the council’s early viability assessment work identifies that Section 106 responsibilities will be able to meet this gap.”

Together with the council’s national partners, these donations will fill the financing shortfall.

Strood Rural Cllr Turpin said she understood why some expenses needed to be decided later, but it made her uncertain about the project’s affordability and implementation.

She was also worried about developer contributions.

She said, “There are a lot of “to be determined” items, so if we knew how much they cost, we’d need more funding.”

“Promises like a sports center are now questionable.

“The £170 million was for infrastructure before housing.

“Section 106 shouldn’t support the HIF. We told the authorities about our project and its cost, and they gave us the money. We should not need to raise more money to finish the project.

“We shouldn’t consult on the Hoo development until HIF is resolved.”

If HIF isn’t on budget or on target, we must work to deliver it before consulting.

I don’t know if we can do what we’ve said for £170 million.

The council’s intervention deadline is March 2025. The £86 million road and £63 million rail applications are due next spring.

In Thursday’s call-in debate

The regeneration, culture, and environment committee will determine whether to accept the cabinet’s decision, ask for a rethink, or submit the topic to all council members.

Call-ins allow councilors to intervene if they think an executive decision should be altered.

The call-in is going through the democratic process and will be discussed by the overview and scrutiny committee, a Medway Council spokesperson said.

“Another article was filed, thus it’s inappropriate to speak before the committee.”

Summary of today’s construction news

You are most likely aware of the recent news that Lee Hewitt has been appointed to the post of UK Health, Safety, and Environment Director for Balfour Beatty. Heather Bryant, who has worked for Balfour Beatty for the previous eight years, will depart the company on November 18. Heather is committed to making infrastructure construction and maintenance a more secure and healthy industry for all stakeholders involved.

Meanwhile, a revised UK Market Intelligence Report (UKMI) warns that as inflationary pressures linger, project and programme deliverers must take a realistic approach to battle inflationary and bankruptcy issues.

In addition, LafargeHolcim, a key partner in the program, plans to use neutron-derived research to improve concrete manufacturing in the near future. Small adjustments can have far-reaching effects, and every percentage point of carbon reduction from concrete production has a significant impact on the global environmental footprint.

Furthermore, members of the ruling Conservative Party believe that a decision on the HIF project should be taken as soon as feasible. Cabinet members voted last month to start a seven-week consultation phase to decide how to spend £170 million on Peninsula roads, rail, and the environment. Their target is to build 10,600 residences in 30 years.