Businesses from all parts of the construction
supply chain are set to benefit from a new collaboration between the Construction
Innovation Hub and UK Construction Week (UKCW),
in a move designed to boost take up of innovation in the industry and
realisation of the Government’s sector
The Construction Innovation Hub will sponsor the UKCW
Innovation Zone at this
year’s show. An innovation advisory board made up of construction
clients, contractors and consultants has also met to shape how innovation is
placed at the heart of this year’s event. It will assist in scrutinising the
latest projects, products and technologies being pitched for the new Innovation
Arbiters from Willmott Dixon, Luton Airport, Bryden Wood, Mace, TfL, The
Princes’ Foundation, Castle Planning and the Hub will decide what will appear
in the Innovation Zone and will also choose the winner of UKCW’s Innovation
Award 2019, which will be announced on the second day of the show.
Keith Waller, Construction Innovation Hub programme directorsays:
“UK Construction Week is fast becoming one of the most essential
industry events of the year. At the Construction Innovation Hub, we are eager
to reach out and engage with all stakeholders within the built environment.
This will be crucial to our success in the coming months and years.
By partnering up with a key event like UK Construction Week, we want to
give visitors the chance to experience first-hand the Hub’s vision of a
transformed construction sector. We will share how we are planning to use
digital and manufacturing technologies to help build smarter, greener and more
efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we currently do, and how
players – big and small – from right across the construction sector, and its
supply chain, can get involved.”
Garnett, UKCW event director says:
the surface, and you find that the construction industry is actually one of the
most innovative industries. It is full of examples of new ways of working,
sustainable products, collaboration and continually evolving technologies. We
want our visitors to experience this first-hand, to talk to others who are
leading by example and to boost uptake of these significant new developments.
why working with the Construction Innovation Hub is an ideal partnership from
our perspective. We chose innovation as a theme for this year’s UKCW and the
Hub’s support helps us to deliver on that message. The Hub has a four-year
mission to drive change and that is exactly what we want to achieve through our
The Hub brings together
expertise from BRE, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Centre
for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to help implement the strategy. Funded by UK
Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Hub
is driving collaboration to transform the way buildings and infrastructure are
designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within the built environment.
Looking to the future of construction the Hub is
also supporting MOBIE’s design challenge. This is aimed at young people aged
between 11 and 16 years of age and it is encouraging them to design a 21st
registering once, visitors will have access to multiple sections: Build,
Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy & HVAC, Surface & Materials and
the newly launched Concrete Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand
Designs Live (9-10 October only), which will also be taking place at
the same venue.
The world’s most visited landmarks
are huge feats of construction – with some even taking centuries to build and
costing well into the billions. While the costs for each landmark may be
substantial, the greatest landmarks on the globe do attract millions of
visitors each year and boost their local economy.
With that in mind, alpharooms has
created the ultimate battle
of the world’s landmarks so people
can compare the height, cost to build, construction time, number of steps and
even visitor numbers of 20 most famous landmarks.
Great Pyramid of Giza is the world’s most expensive landmark
Surprisingly, it’s the Great
Pyramid of Giza, located within the Giza-pyramid complex, which is the most
expensive landmark making the list. Today, the Great Pyramid would cost a
staggering £3.8 billion to construct. It has been said that the pyramid’s
construction is a masterpiece, estimated to feature more than 2,300,000 stone
blocks, with some weighing more than 50 tonnes. It is believed that the
construction involved more than 100,000 builders and experts are still unsure
how they transported and erected the stone blocks.
When analysing further, alpharooms
also found that the Great Pyramid of Giza cost £27 million per metre, an
eye-watering £18.2 million more than the Taj Mahal – the second most expensive
landmark in terms of cost per metre.
Leaning Tower of Pisa is the world’s longest landmark build
The Leaning Tower of Pisa takes
the crown for longest construction, taking a huge 199 years to build – starting
in 1173. While it may be recognisable for its famous lean, the construction
time tops La Sagrada Familia – which is still yet to be finished, and will have
taken 144 years upon completion date in 2026.
Contrary to popular belief, the
Leaning Tower of Pisa’s famous lean did not happen overnight. During the
planning stages, the construction team did not take into account the marshy
land they were building on. Unfortunately, by the time they had reached the
second story, the tower was beginning to lean and it was too late to turn back.
State Building takes the title for fastest build
What was once the world’s tallest
building for 40 years, also holds the claim to the ‘fastest build’. Erected in
just one year, the Empire State is a remarkable feat of construction. To build
in such a short amount of time, the 300 workers took alternative 12-hour
shifts. Cafes and concession stands were also placed on five incomplete floors
to stop workers from wasting time travelling for lunch, along with temporary
water taps, so workers did not waste time buying water bottles.
Similarly, the Space Needle was
constructed within one year, with the Needle set to be star of the show at the
1962 World’s Fair. However, with only one year until that fair, the
construction team worked around the clock with the final elevator car installed
the day before the tower was due to open.
the annual UK Construction Week (UKCW) Role Models initiative have quadrupled
since last year, according to event organisers Media 10.
Dozens of construction
professionals were among the entrants this Spring, attracted to a scheme which
provides a schools contact programme and public platform to professionals of
any age and background to share inspiring stories of how they came into their
career and why they love what they do.
UKCW has chosen
98 Role Models out of hundreds of entries, from all professions and at all
levels, and has now published its shortlist
Models include people at chief executive, director and associate director
level, but also many more junior representatives who have made a huge impact at
the very start of their careers. They include architects, engineers,
construction project managers, site managers, quantity surveyors, a wide range
of sustainability, health and safety and geotechnical experts, tradespeople and
professionals focused on digital construction, administration, finance, HR,
learning and communications.
All Role Models
will be given the opportunity to speak at UKCW on the main stage of the UK’s
largest construction event, and will take part in the UKCW’s student initiative
at the NEC between 8-10 October to advise and encourage those considering a
career in construction.
2019 Role Model of the Year will then be announced on Wednesday 9 October by
BBC’s Steph McGovern.
winner, Arleta Andreasik-Paton, a senior project manager at AECOM, said: “I was
not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with
transferrable skills. I want to encourage others to do the same. It’s a
privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who
can find wonderful careers in construction.”
Garnett, UKCW event director, said:
response to this year’s UKCW Role Model initiative has been overwhelming and
covers every aspect of construction, from architecture to bricklaying to
digital design and management. The Role Models really show the diverse range of
jobs available in construction and they are all passionate about their jobs and
promoting construction as a great career opportunity.
“Each of our
Role Models has an inspiring career story which will spur others into similar
roles. Mentoring is a big part of what a Role Model does, and last year’s Role
Models have been out visiting schools and meeting young people to give
encouragement, while also promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in
“If you want
to see the future of the industry, you will want to meet these people and hear
what they have to say at UK Construction Week.”
Registration for the event is now open. By registering once visitors will have access to multiple
Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy & HVAC, Surface & Materials and
the newly launched Concrete
Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand Designs Live (9-10
October only), which will also be taking place at the NEC, Birmingham.
Worker fatigue is often an overlooked hazard in the construction industry. This is despite the fact that fatigue is a serious health and safety risk in construction; fatigue has the potential to significantly impair physical and cognitive capacities, as well as having a damaging effect on the mental health of our workforce. The inability to respond and react promptly can be highly detrimental across any type of construction activity – leading to errors, near misses, injuries and even death.
To understand how the issue of worker fatigue is being addressed in the industry, the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is running a survey to gain a real understanding of the extent to which this is a problem and how it is being tackled. The Scheme is inviting everyone working across the entire industry to complete this short survey here. The survey closes on 9 August, and results will be used to help inform the Scheme’s Spotlight on…worker fatigue’ national campaign, due to published in the Autumn.
Commercial and industrial companies could cut their energy
bills or even generate extra income by connecting the computer systems
used to run their factories to specialist energy management
software, according to the latest study by distributed energy
resource management software firm Smarter Grid Solutions.
The Glasgow-based tech business will present its findings at next week’s
influential “CIRED” international conference on electricity
distribution held in Madrid, Spain.
Distributed energy resources management systems (DERMS) are usually used
by utility companies to help run their electricity networks.
DERMS allow grid operators to balance the intermittent supply
of electricity from renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and
solar panels with demand from energy users, including through the use
of energy storage devices like batteries and demand-side response
(DSR), through which large energy users are incentivised to lower their
demand during peak periods.
SGS’s DERMS software connects a full spectrum of low carbon technologies
to the grid while optimising grid operations and revenues for distribution
network customers. The company’s flagship product, ANM Strata, is the
only DERMS software on the market to combine ‘look ahead’ grid optimisation functionality
with real-time control of service delivery.
SGS’s report – which presents results from the European Union’s
“OPTIMISED” project – shows that DERMS can also be used inside factories
and other energy-intensive industries to improve energy
efficiency and cut energy bills.
Businesses could even generate money by selling any excess electricity
generated on site by solar panels, wind turbines or other devices back to
Laing O’Rourke, an engineering and construction company based in the UK,
and Spanish high-precision machining outfit Goimek took part in
the project and demonstrated Smarter Grid Solutions’ software
in operation at their factories.
The project, which deployed SGS’ system in trial mode, looked at how much
energy was being consumed, how much was being paid for it, how much carbon
dioxide was being generated to produce the electricity and at
Using DERMS to control DSR and a combined solar panel and energy storage
battery at the Laing O’Rouke factory could produce a financial benefit of
£9,000 a year from flexibility services and cut the carbon dioxide
emitted to generate its electricity by the equivalent of 12,000kg, the
report calculated. The larger energy, renewable and carbon reduction
incentive returns are much greater.
Dr Graham Ault, executive director and co-founder of Smarter
Grid Solutions, said: “There’s an energy revolution taking place, with
energy users becoming active partners instead of passive consumers.
“This final project report demonstrates how DERMS could
allow energy-intensive industries and other commercial and industrial
energy users to take part in the revolution by altering their usage to fit
in with supply and demand on the wider network.
“DERMS could allow commercial and industrial users in the UK to take part
in DSR opportunities such as Balancing System Price Response
and Distribution Use of System Red Band Reduction.
“Although the financial benefits are modest in this example of
two flexibility services, our report clearly demonstrates that savings
could be achieved and shows promising results for the
future. Our DERMS software implementations in Spain and
the UK also proved the ease of integration and configuration to all
the available DSR and on-site energy management opportunities in those
Dr Graham Herries, overall OPTIMISED project coordinator from Laing
O’Rourke said, “This project has shown the important role industrial
energy users can play in the changing energy landscape. Utilising
SGS products to manage and optimise our energy consuming processes
has highlighted future savings we can make across our operations and the
value of future DER and DSR developments.”
Smarter Grid Solutions is already working with four of the six electricity
distribution companies in Great Britain and has connected more than 400MW
of generation capacity to distribution grids, as well as saving
its clients more than €200m in costs.
The company was founded in 2008 by Dr Ault, Dr Bob Currie and Alan
Gooding, and now has 70 members of staff spread across its offices
in Glasgow, London, New York and California.
Back in February, Smarter Grid Solutions was invited to report about its
innovative projects in New Orleans, Louisiana, at DistribuTECH,
the largest transmission and distribution conference and exhibition in
Robert MacDonald, Smarter Grid Solutions Head of Consulting & Analysis
will present the results of this project at CIRED and also present other
project and participate in invited Round Tables on related topics
of DER planning and optimisation.
The OPTIMISED project has received funding from the European Union’s
Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement
Bouygues UK, the
construction company building Cardiff University’s cutting-edge Innovation
Campus, has welcomed its first higher education Ambassadors on site.
Five student volunteers from diverse
backgrounds and areas of academic study at Cardiff University have been
recruited to write, blog and share social media posts about their exclusive
insights into the build on the city centre site.
Bouygues UK has worked with student
Ambassadors in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
on projects at schools in Margam, Port Talbot and Penarth, but this is the
first time Bouygues UK is partnering with students at a higher education
establishment to help with community communication.
Three of the new student Ambassadors
have visited the site to see how Bouygues UK and Cardiff University are working
together to transform a former disused rail yard into a state-of-the-art campus
for high-tech job creation and student start-ups, and to create further
expertise in compound semi-conductors.
Nick Toulson, Bouygues UK CSR manager
for Cardiff Innovation Campus, said: “It is so encouraging that we have
students from such diverse courses as Medicine, Urban Planning and Development
and Civil Engineering.
“The student Ambassadors at the
comprehensive schools we were building were amazing at informing their friends
and peers about what was going on with the build, so we were really pleased
when Cardiff University wanted to replicate the scheme at the Innovation
Nick added: “The Ambassadors will not
only get to see how the site is developing from the inside, but they will also
gain access to Bouygues UK’s expertise in design, construction management,
health and safety and quality – all disciplines which I’m sure will help in
their future careers.”
Luke Morgan, a third-year medicine
student, is one of the Ambassador cohorts. He explained that the complexity of
the project and the abstract thinking and forward planning that is required to get
over challenges with the build is what attracted him to be an Ambassador.
“It is a very busy site where
Bouygues UK is able to bring together a diverse range of people with their own
parts to play and do the job to the standard required, which is a real feat of
Fellow Ambassador, Nuzha Nadeem, a
first-year Civil and Environment Engineering student, originally from Abu
Dhabi, said: “It’s been a very good experience. Normally in University, we get
to hear the theory, but here we get to see engineering in practice. Hands-on
experience of work on site really matters as our job is physically being here.”
CITB Construction Ambassadors
play a vital role in supporting and promoting careers in the construction
industry. For more information click here.
Schoolchildren in Cheshire are
enjoying a renewed sense of health and wellbeing, following a ground-breaking
project at Alsager School. The £320k development has provided students with
space to enjoy the fresh air – whatever the weather.
Tasked with overseeing the
design, build and installation of a sleek new ETFE canopy to enclose what was
previously an open courtyard, Access North Build has made waves within the
education sector with its industry-first solution.
North Build designed, developed and installed a pioneering solution, a
lightweight steel space frame – the first of its kind supporting an ETFE
membrane in the UK – erected to span the quad, thus enclosing the area beneath.
Alsager School site manager,
Matt Harris, explained: “Fresh air plays a pivotal part in the wellbeing and
health of people of all ages. Creating a space which allows students to ‘go
outside’ while providing protection from the elements – including rain and
solar shielding – is key to supporting their development.”
Engineered to carry more weight
over a greater area – in order to provide plenty of natural light and promote
student wellbeing – the greatest challenge was the location and layout of the
outdoor space, which was enclosed by existing buildings on all sides.
As a result, the superstructure
– which is over 400 square feet in size – had to be assembled in the school car
park before being carefully manoeuvred over the establishment and precisely
into position on the pre-installed locating bolts.
Access North Group managing
director, Berenice Northcott added: “This type of ETFE enclosure provides an
extremely beneficial space for organisations within the education sector where
student wellbeing is crucial. Additionally, the new ETFE canopy has a design
life of 70 years providing it is regularly maintained, but if the time comes
when it is no longer required, the ETFE membrane and steel space frame are
recyclable, extending the environmental-friendliness of the build with the
circular economy in mind.
“We relished the
challenges of this particular project. Craning a huge space frame over a school
and courtyard – which was bordered on all sides – without damaging buildings or
people, was a testament to the planning, organisation and attention to detail
of the team. The new roof has transformed a previously under-utilised area into
a light and airy multifunctional space, resulting in a positive impact on staff
Construction projects must have certain steps and processes followed in order to achieve the desired outcome. It is crucial for these processes to be split into stages as constructing a structure can be a huge undertaking, sometimes taking many months to complete. If a step or process is missed, it can cause serious delays in the construction project. So without further ado, here are the crucial stages of every construction project!
This is the stage where it is still largely in the hands of the client and the project owners. The conception of a project can take weeks to months, depending on how urgent the deadline is. During this stage there is a lot of research done and many things are decided, such as the construction location, the specification, the final design and standards of the project, as well as deciding who will be involved, such as contractors.
Concept Design Stage:
This phase is perhaps the most crucial of them all, with a lot of heavy decisions made. Construction project design is influenced by the scope of the project, its individual budget and requirements. Once parameters have been established in the inception stage, logistics are figured out such as how big the structure will be, the number of rooms and how to utilise the space.
Before construction can begin, a project team must be put together. This usually consists of a health and safety manager, an architect, a field engineer, construction project manager and designers. A project can remain in this stage for a while because the project team must examine the site to detect and predict environmental challenges, as well as testing the soil and putting the results forward for reviewal. Once everything has been signed off, the next stage can begin.
Procuring Materials, Equipment and Workforce:
During this integral stage, all the necessary materials, equipment and workforce (including contractors) are procured. Depending on resources and on how big the project is, this stage can be quite challenging and intricate. Materials such as concrete, plaster, cement and mortar, as well as cables, mesh, lighting and metals for fabrication, are procured – this list is not exhaustive and what is procured is largely dependant on each individual project! It is also typical for construction companies to simultaneously order materials and equipment for multiple projects, as well as construction workers working on several projects at once. This stage can also be a major expense in construction, so it’s crucial for this to be planned, executed and controlled accordingly, to minimise costs.
Now this is the stage where the construction begins! Lots of initial meetings are held at the beginning of this stage to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page, and knows their role in the project, including timings, deadlines and the location of materials. A lot of employees, contractors and subcontractors will be unable to begin their portion of the project such as installing lighting, architectural rigging and balustrades, until certain aspects are completed. The consequences of poor planning and delays will become evident during this stage.
When construction is completed, there needs to be a final inspection of the building. This step is paramount for safety reasons and to ensure that every step and process was followed through accordingly to meet the exact specifications given by the client. Usually, no issues are found at this point as regular inspections will have been conducted throughout the construction stage. The client will also be trained to operate and maintain the newly-built structure, which will also still be under warranty. Contractual agreements and a post-project review usually occurs during this stage as well.
In sum, no matter how big or small a construction project is, there are crucial steps and stages that cannot be skipped. A large part of a project in construction successfully coming to fruition boils down to careful planning and execution. Each phase in a construction project needs to be streamlined in order to meet the pre-agreed time constraints and budgets – it is not a straightforward task!
Laura Driver is a Brit working abroad. She works in outreach and has dabbled in copywriting, SEO, Outreach and Digital PR for a wide range of industries. Laura is especially experienced in writing for construction, architectural rigging and fabrication.
HLM, a leading design and architecture practice
with studios in Belfast, has embarked upon a new project with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
An impressive ground breaking ceremony at Crowthorne Community Fire Station has started the redevelopment of the
current fire station facilities to create the second tri-service station in
Berkshire. Directed by HLM’s Head of Emergency Service, Steven Lennon, the HLM
design team is leading the complete design project for the rebuild, including
interior and landscape design.
The project is part of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority’s Capital Investment
programme. A vital focus of the new
design is to provide a recognisable property brand across the Service
area. The new station will provide a
base for all three blue light services, as well as, much needed community
accessible facilities in the heart of the village.
The most important outcome for the design is
having a fit for purpose facility that support the role of a modern
firefighter, as well as the local community that they serve. The design of the
new station ensures that operational requirements and processes have been incorporated
into the building around them. This has been achieved through the inclusion of a
two-vehicle appliance bay, which will support emergency response. There is also
a compact gym that demonstrates the understanding and importance of fitness
standards for firefighters.
To create a building for
all, HLM has designed a community room within the new station, to be used by
local community groups. In recognition of the importance of local community
involvement, members of the public were invited to the ground breaking ceremony
to learn more about the project.
Steven Lennon, Head of Emergency Services, HLM, said,
“We are always delighted to work with RBFRS to develop leading fire stations in
keeping with contemporary development in the emergency services sector. As well
as being lead designers, we are also creating the interiors and landscaping for
the project. Crowthorne Community Fire
Station will become a strong focal point for all, focusing on the technology
requirements and response times for firefighters, and also considering the
needs of the local community.
Alex Brown, Head of
Property Capital Projects & Estates at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue
Service said, “HLM have clearly demonstrated their expertise within the
emergency services sector and more specifically in fire station design. We have enjoyed working closely with the team
to develop the design and requirements of Crowthorne Community Fire Station and
we look forward to opening the new building.”
is HLM’s second Tri-Service (on-call) Community Fire Station, working in
partnership with RBFRS, having previously designed Hungerford Community Fire
Station in 2017.
HLM offers expertise across
five disciplines including Architecture, Interior Design,
Landscape Architecture, Environmental and Masterplanning. It has studios in Belfast, London,
Sheffield, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
West construction businesses working on the Paddington Village development
join forces to buck the national skills shortage trend
people challenged to come up with solutions to attract others into
programme helping to bridge the ‘skills gap’ for the region’s employers
A consortium consisting of
leading construction businesses Morgan Sindall Construction, Curtins,
Faithful+Gould, Ryder Architecture and Regenda Group is collaborating with
Agent Academy CIC to create new employment opportunities for young people
across Liverpool City Region.
five years’ experience of securing jobs for young people in the creative and
digital sector, creating £2.5 million in annual salaries, Agent Academy will
work with the consortium to understand what can be done to encourage more young
people to consider careers in construction.
the three-month project a group of 12 young people will be challenged with
finding solutions to the construction sector skills shortage. They will learn
from experts in both built environment and marketing, engage in research with
other young people from diverse social backgrounds and use the insights they
gain to come up with answers to their unique challenge.
Agent Academy programme is underpinned with a client challenge enabling the
young people to put their learning into practice. During this programme, the programme
participants will meet with over 40 city leaders as well as hundreds of other
young people to bring about their client recommendations.
CITB research shows that there is significant room for
improvement regarding young people’s perception of the construction
industry as a career option, with it scoring 4.2 out of 10 among 14 to 19
year olds. The research showed that young people’s understanding of what a
career in the construction industry entails is based on outdated stereotypes
and differs greatly from the reality.
Patterson, senior business development manager at Morgan Sindall Construction
in the North West, said:
regularly visit local schools and run jobs fairs, and often find that many
young people are completely unaware of the great variety of career
opportunities available in the sector. As an industry, it’s our
responsibility to demonstrate the wide variety of fulfilling roles that
construction has to offer.
order to make construction more sustainable for the future and to boost
employment opportunities in the communities in which we work, it’s critical
that we demonstrate the great number of careers available to all young people
and attract a more diverse workforce in to the sector.
work we are undertaking with Agent Academy enables us to take a completely
fresh approach to this complex issue by having young people engage with their
peers to consider solutions on how to best promote the many fantastic careers
that our industry has to offer.”
Wallace, director at Agent Academy, said:
Academy has a track record tackling the talent challenge faced by the creative
and digital industry by giving young people the opportunity to upskill and then
kick-start their careers. We hope that this experience together with the
insight from our students will give a fresh perspective to how the construction
sector can tackle talent issues.
young people on this programme will come up with the answers that many
construction industry businesses are looking for. 95% of the young people
we work with gain full-time industry employment after completing the programme
so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
have a lot to look forward to, despite the skills challenges faced by our
region’s employers there are so many opportunities and by coming up with new
ways to engage the regions young people and motivate them we can make sure they
are ready to take on the careers of the future.”
“The opportunities in the
construction industry are vast. Diversity in the industry is a challenge, but
through the research from this project we are determined to change this to make
a career in the construction industry appealing to all.
“We are all taking a
collaborative and forward-looking approach to solving the challenges faced by
the sector and I believe the next generation can play a big part in this,
particularly when it comes to bringing new technology and more digital ways of
working into the industry.”