Welcome to the latest edition of our Friday Feed. 

This week saw the launch of the £600m new national engineering framework for Scotland which is the first procurement vehicle to deliver public-sector projects that meet net zero standards. Heading down to Westminster, this week also saw the HS2 Crewe to Manchester bill making significant progress as it passes second reading in the House of Commons and several firms winning critical surveying work on the Palace of Westminster restoration and renewal scheme. 

In a week dominated by industrial action in the rail industry, HS2 announced that they are seeking a contractor for £30m HS2 jobs at Old Oak Common Station. Progress has also been made with ground engineering specialist Van Elle being appointed to the piling framework for the West of Leeds section of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme and Transport for the South East outlining a method through which it can gather £3.2bn of funding to building an extension of the Elizabeth line that would see it extend to Ebbsfleet and beyond to Gravesend.  

On the roads front,  VolkerFitzpatrick has won a £59m contract from Birmingham City Council to strengthen and refurbish the A38 Tame Valley Viaduct and the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham application has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport, which will involve dualling the A47 between Norwich and Acle Straight. 

In energy news, we’ve seen a green light for £300m Teesside offshore wind factory, Kier is trialling a Hydrogen power generator unit on one of its construction sites in the South West, and Costain has become a founding member of a consortium that aims to develop hydrogen infrastructure for shipping and aviation in the West Country.   

On the housing front, plans have been submitted for a 52-storey residential skyscraper on the Isle of Dogs in London which has been designed by architect Make, and Scottish house building Springfield has struck a deal to buy rival Mactaggart & Mickel Group for £46m.   

Finally, exciting developments with industry leaders this week as Mace appoints Andy Beard as its cost and commercial lead, Sisk has replaced Morgan Sindall on the £1bn Midlands Highway Alliance, and Mace group chairman and chief executive Mark Reynolds has been named as co-chair of the Construction Leader Council. 

 

Urban Splash modular failure to cost supply chain £12mConstruction Enquirer 

Documents filed at Companies House by the administrators of House by Urban Splash have revealed the scale of debts owed to the supply chain.  

Kier and Wates win £500m deal to expand six prisonsConstruction Enquirer  

Kier and Wates have signed alliance contracts to construct new houseblocks at six prisons – capable of accommodating more than 2,600 offenders.  

VolkerFitzpatrick lands £59m viaduct jobConstruction Enquirer 

VolkerFitzpatrick has won a £59m contract from Birmingham City Council to strengthen and refurbish the A38(M) Tame Valley Viaduct.  

Bid contest for £600m Scottish civils frameworkConstruction Enquirer 

Scottish Procurement has fired the starting gun on bidding for a new national civil engineering framework for Scotland.  

Green light for £300m Teesside offshore wind factoryConstruction Enquirer 

The first tranche of specialist contractors is set to be confirmed on a new offshore wind factory in Teesside after South Korean steel manufacturer SeAH Wind was granted planning permission for the project yesterday.  

Hinkley Point remobilises to over 8,000 workforce- videoConstruction Enquirer 

Work has accelerated at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station site as constraints from the pandemic ease, with around 8,000 workers now back on site.  

UK’s first net-zero procurement guide released for construction projectsConstruction News 

Scape Scotland has launched the UK’s first procurement vehicle to deliver public-sector projects that meet net zero standards. The new Lifecycle procurement solution is available across all of Scape Scotland’s construction procurement frameworks. 

Kier and Wates secure £500m prison upgrade workConstruction News 

Kier and Wates are to deliver prison upgrade works at six separate sites in a government contract worth £500m. The two firms will lead an alliance of hundreds of small businesses in constructing extra houseblocks to accommodate 2,600 people.  

50 firms sign up to Inspiring Women pledgeConstruction News 

Some 50 construction and engineering firms have committed to improving gender equality in the sector by signing up to the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Pledge.  

Places on £600m civils framework up for grabsConstruction News 

The Scottish government has called for interest in a £600m civil engineering framework. The four-year deal will be split into three lots, covering general projects up to £25m, structural schemes up to £25m, and all jobs between £25m and £100m.  

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £59m contract to upgrade Tame Valley ViaductNew Civil Engineer 

VolkerFitzpatrick has won a £59m contract from Birmingham City Council to provide strengthening refurbishment works to the A38(M) Tame Valley Viaduct, which currently carries around 80,000 vehicles a day and links the M6 to the city centre.  

Plans in for Isle of Dogs 52-storey resi towerConstruction Enquirer 

Plans have been submitted for a 52-storey residential skyscraper on the Isle of Dogs in London. The site is currently a 6-storey office block which will be demolished to accommodate nearly 460 flats.  

Van Elle seals piling deal on Transpennine Route UpgradeConstruction Enquirer 

Ground engineering specialist Van Elle has been appointed to the piling framework for the West of Leeds section of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme.  

Demolition firm fined £5,000 after fatal platform fallConstruction Enquirer 

A demolition company has been fined just £5,000 after a worker fell 30 feet to his death when part of a pipe bridge platform gave way.  

Modular specialist TopHat to open vast housing factoryConstruction Enquirer 

Volumetric modular house builder TopHat is to open an enormous new housing factory in Northamptonshire next year.  

Kier to trial hydrogen generators on siteConstruction Enquirer 

Kier has signed a deal with AFC Energy to trial its new Power Tower clean Hydrogen power generator units on one of its sites.  

Asphalt giants make low carbon standard for road mixesConstruction Enquirer 

Materials giants Tarmac and Aggregate Industries are switching to warm mix asphalt (WMA) as standard across their plants.  

Strikes cost Network Rail construction projects £50mConstruction News 

Network Rail is set to lost £50m on construction work that it cannot carry out due to planned rail strikes, according to its chief executive.  

BAM wins £24m net-zero school jobConstruction News 

BAM has landed a £24m contract to redevelop Fred Longworth High School in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The contract was won through the Department of Education’s high-value framework.  

Mace hires commercial lead from ArcadisConstruction News 

Mace has appointed Andy Beard as its cost and commercial lead. Beard, who joins form Arcadis, will lead the firm’s cost and commercial management practice group in the UK, working with international divisions to align its service to global hubs. 

HS2 Crewe to Manchester bill makes significant progressConstruction Enquirer 

The hybrid bill to allow the construction of HS2 Phase 2b, taking it from Crewe to Manchester, has passed through its second parliamentary reading, winning the vote by 205 ayes to six noes.  

Network Rail delivers modernisation consultation ultimatum to trade unions after strike talks failNew Civil Engineer 

Union leaders were formally invited to consultation talks with Network Rail last night following the breakdown of negotiations with National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) ahead of the start of a three day strike.  

Contract race starts of cost of giant aqueduct job hits £1.75bnConstruction Enquirer 

Cost to refurb aqueduct in Lake District soars to £1.8bnNew Civil Engineer 

United Utilities has published an official contract notice for the upgrade of the 110km Haweswater Aqueduct from Cumbria to Greater Manchester.  

M&S blasts Gove after Oxford St rebuild plan called inConstruction Enquirer 

Furious Marks and Spencer’s bosses have attacked Michael Gove for “political grandstanding” after the Housing Secretary called-in the retailer’s plans to demolish and rebuild its flagship store.  

Springfield buys rival Scottish house builder for £46mConstruction Enquirer 

Leading Scottish house building Springfield has struck a deal to buy rival Mactaggart & Mickel Group for £46m.  

Murphy to host virtual recruitment dayConstruction Enquirer 

Specialist engineering and civils contractor J Murphy & Sons is holding a virtual recruitment day next week. The event will highlight career opportunities across the company.  

Costain bets on hydrogen infrastructureConstruction Enquirer 

Costain has become a founding member of a ground-breaking consortium that aims to develop hydrogen infrastructure for shipping and aviation in the West Country.  

Caddick starts of Star Wars bar office schemeConstruction Enquirer 

Caddick Construction has been appointed by Radius Payment Solutions to build its futuristic new £14.6m office complex at Arden Square on Crewe Business Park.  

Kier flagged fire-safety risk at Shephard’s Bush tower months before blazeConstruction News 

A block of flat that caught fire close to Grenfell Tower in West London was clad with unsafe materials identified by Kier earlier this year and due for removal. 

Seven firms land survey work on Palace of Westminster refurbConstruction News 

Several firms have won critical surveying work on the mammoth Palace of Westminster restoration scheme. The deals including 23 boreholes drilled to a depth of up to 70m and detailed inspections of 160 rooms.  

HS2 deliveries hit by national rail strikeConstruction News 

Operations on the £100bn High Speed 2 project have been disrupted by this week’s rail strikes, forcing material deliveries to be rescheduled.  

HS2 | Balfour-Vinci JV slashes concrete needed for A38 underpass by 80%New Civil Engineer 

The amount of concrete needed to create a dive under beneath the A38 for HS2 has been reduced by 80%.  

Stonehenge Tunnel | National Highways must justify why alternatives were ruled outNew Civil Engineer 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has asked National Highways to explain why it ruled out alternative routes to its Stonehenge Tunnel proposal.  

A47 Blofield to North Burlingham development consent decision announcedGov.uk 

The announcement that the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham application has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport.  

Construction industry gossip: Without a paddleBuilding  

On the banks of the River Thames, there’s all kinds of shenanigans going on0 not to mention recent events on a reservoir in North London.  

Cost inflation forces bid rethink for £200m M5 junction 10Construction Enquirer  

Gloucestershire County Council is retendering its planned major scheme to upgrade junction 10 of the M5 to the west of Cheltenham.  

Midgard drives recovery at JRL GroupConstruction Enquirer 

Diversified construction group JRL has recovered from a pandemic dip delivering strong revenue and profit growth at its main contracting business Midgard.  

Design change sees 70,000 cubic metres of concrete cut on HS2 stretchConstruction Enquirer 

HS2’s designers have reduced the length of wall structures for the railway at Streethay near Lichfield from 1.6 kilometres to 420 metres meaning 80% less concrete will be needed on the site.  

Subcontractors and suppliers wanted across the MidlandsConstruction Enquirer 

Construction online is bringing its Meet the Buyer programme to Derby next week to highlight work opportunities across the Midlands.  

Green light for £100m Norwich A47 duallingConstruction Enquirer 

The long-awaited dualling of the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham section has been given the go-ahead.  

Wages among key trades keep pace with cost of living riseConstruction Enquirer 

Self employed labour rates for several key trades have kept up with cost of living rises.  

Inspiring Women Awards shortlist revealedConstruction News 

The shortlist for the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Awards has been revealed. In total, 40 entrants across 7 categories are in the running to claim an award.  

How a £3.2bn Crossrail extension into Kent could be fundedNew Civil Engineer  

Transport for the South East (TfSE) has outlined a method through which it can gather £3.2bn of funding to building an extension of the Elizabeth line that would see it extend to Ebbsfleet and beyond to Gravesend.  

UK Infrastructure Bank to prioritise clean energy schemesNew Civil Engineer 

The UK Infrastructure Bank will prioritise investment in clean energy scheme. Launching its first Strategic Plan today, the bank’s chief executive John Flint said that improving energy security and supply was a top priority.  

Multiplex towers scheme gets new finishing date after job restarts following four month payment wrangleBuilding  

One Nine Elms jobs has been mothballed because of funding problems for the Chinese developer.  

Contractor sought for £30m HS2 jobs at Old Oak Common StationBuilding 

Joint venture procuring for works to public realm at planned West London station and they will deliver structural steelwork, facades and roofing work to the station’s public realm.  

Lloyds fund backs Kier’s regeneration strategyThe Construction Index 

Kier Property has formed a joint venture with Housing Growth Partnership to develop residential sites across the UK.  

Sisk replaces Morgan Sindall on £1bn Midlands Highway AllianceConstruction Enquirer 

The Midlands Highway Alliance Plus has announced the line-up of firms for its enlarged £1bn medium schemes framework.  

Kier launches £80m JV to build 2,000 homes by 2027Construction Enquirer 

Kier Property and a Lloyds Bank investment fund have teamed up to develop residential-led mixed regeneration schemes.  

Peel takes on Wirral Waters after Urban Splash modular collapseConstruction Enquirer 

Developer Peel has taken control of the East Float housing project on Wirral Waters which was plunged into crisis when modular specialist House by Urban Splash fell into administration last month.  

Costain joins EasyJet in hydrogen infrastructure driveConstruction News 

Costain has teamed up with EasyJet, Airbus and other bug names to drive the development of hydrogen infrastructure and technology.  

Mace leader Reynolds named CLC co-chairConstruction News 

Mace group chairman and chief executive Mark Reynolds has been named as co-chair of the Construction Leader Council (CLC).  

Caerphilly Council unveils £80m worth of levelling up bidsNew Civil Engineer 

Caerphilly County Borough COuncil (CCBC) will apply for £80.6m from the government’s levelling up fund to aid in delivering three regenerative projects.  

National Highways turns to Facebook to help motoristsThe Construction Index 

A former top Facebook executive has joined the board of National Highways to help improve “customer experience”.  

 

For more information, please contact Caroline Romback, Director –  caroline.romback@copperconsultancy.com