Page 1

January 2009

evolution sharing knowledge, building best practice



Welcome to the new look evolution, CIRIA’s magazine.

In their article Maintaining Infrastructure, Philip Charles and Chris Chiverrell discuss the challenges faced in maintaining an ageing, but vital infrastructure on which the UK is so dependent.

Cover image: Aquatics Centre, Beijing.

Photograph acknowledgements Page 2 Environment Agency Page 4 Jason Palmer Page 5 Department for Children, Schools and Families Page 7 Metronet Rail Page 10 Buildoffsite Page 14 Environment Agency

The article considers some of the management approaches and the technologies available. It also mentions the influences of climate change on infrastructure of climate change, but this is an even more prominent a driver in the article on flooding where Camilla Vote and Paul Shaffer discuss the co-ordinated inter-agency approach required to avoid or minimise the effects of flooding. As well as adaptation, climate change mitigation is also a strategic issue for construction, particularly in the context of buildings. Jason Palmer discusses some of the questions faced at policy and industry levels in terms of prioritising effort and achieving a reduction in carbon emissions. On a related sustainability theme, biodiversity is a topic that, in recent years has received considerable focus in the context of construction. However, in their article, Chris Chiverrell and Owen Jenkins consider the protection of habitats, indigenous species and even the built environment, not from the construction industry, but from other invasive species. Finally, in an industry which is often, but unfairly, not recognised as being innovative, Mark Sharp describes some of the new approaches being pioneered in the off-site sector and the opportunities this presents.

Evolution is printed with vegetable inks on paper comprising 75 per cent post-consumer waste and 25 per cent ECF recycled paper.

We hope you find something of interest in the articles in this edition. Between them, they illustrate the multi-faceted nature of CIRIA’s work. They also illustrate the increasing number of dimensions that need to be considered as part of the creation and maintenance of the built environment.

© CIRIA 2008 Evolution is published by CIRIA Classic House 174–180 Old Street London EC1V 9BP UK Tel +44 (0)20 7549 3300 Fax +44 (0)20 7253 0523 ISSN No. 01402817



members update


Concern about climate change


Maintaining elderly assets


Alien and invasive species


a collaboration of industry groups


A quick tour


Strong leadership required


New books and forthcoming titles


Keeping up to date


Latest CIRIA courses


Keith Clarke, Chief Executive, ATKINS and Chairman Construction Industry Council.

Bill Healy

CIRIA moving forward members update In late 2007, working with members, we undertook a review of CIRIA’s strategy to inform and guide our forward plans. The strategy review re-affirmed our mission, values and approach and looked to developing our activities in information and guidance, outputs and networks and in membership services and support. During 2008 we have developed new services and activities for delivery to all members from January 2009 including: New information services A new monthly news service has been introduced to help keep members up to date with new developments in policy, regulation, technology and process. The news service is supported with more detailed written briefings on particular items and a new look evolution magazine with topical articles and information. eBusiness systems We now have a new fully integrated customer services and back-office support system capable of handling all web transactions automatically and offering improved services to our members. New web portal & knowledgebase services Integrated with the new back-office systems we have also deployed a new, fully content managed, web facility enabling us to deliver a more timely access to a greater range of information and guidance. We are using this platform to develop a new CIRIA knowledgebase service which will provide rapid access and search facilities across CIRIA’s outputs and information.

New events and conferences 2009 will also see an increased number of activities focused on bringing together senior influential groups to both debate and inform industry development and with it CIRIA’s work programme. Whilst many of these new events will be restricted to members, a number of events will be open to wider industry engagement. New membership and subscription offerings Our new systems and web facilities now enable us to tailor services and entitlements by company allowing us to introduce a new Associate Member class of membership. Associate membership will provide a sub-set of Core membership benefits at a lower cost and will appeal to small and medium sized companies interested in benefiting from a range of CIRIA’s activities and outputs but not to the extent offered by core membership. We continue to develop our services and areas of activity to reflect the development and challenges within the industry and to reflect the changes in membership needs and, as always, we welcome your engagement and feedback to help us build on these exiting new developments. Full details of all CIRIA’s activities and services together with details of how to get involved are available from the new website at


The carbon

conundrum Concern about climate change emissions has never been more intense. Just like the politicians, almost every construction and infrastructure company has to be seen to be saying and doing the right thing to help avoid runaway climate change. However, cutting carbon dioxide emissions is harder than it seems. Despite unparalleled effort aimed at reducing CO2 from buildings by the government and industry, since the Kyoto Protocol was signed these emissions have remained virtually flat at about 240 million tonnes of CO2 per year since 1990 (BERR, 2008). It’s not always clear how to bring down CO2 emissions quickly. Should we, for example, focus on new buildings where it’s easier and cheaper to incorporate super insulation or low and zero carbon technologies? Or should we focus attention on bringing older, more wasteful buildings up to modern standards? What about demolishing all those very inefficient Victorian houses where attractive streets conspire with solid walls and smallish rooms to make them hard to heat and so hard to treat? Couldn’t we replace them with new eco-homes with technology that will make them zero carbon? Or would the “embodied” carbon in new building materials outweigh the gains from better energy consumption in use? Most climate change experts think it’s easier to cut CO2 emissions from buildings than from other sectors like transport and industry because there are tried and tested methods of making big savings in our sector. But the fact is better air tightness doesn’t help much if occupants leave the doors open. Low energy lights might save 80 per cent of the CO2 from old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but this saving is lost if the same house runs a 1kW plasma TV for more than two hours a night. Top-up loft insulation can save up to 700 kg CO2 per year, but this


gain is lost if the owners decide to heat their homes 3°C warmer, and average winter temperatures have gone up from 13 to 20°C since 1970. Ultimately, in housing and nondomestic buildings, a big part of the problem comes down to behaviour. Yet this is outside the control of any designer or contractor.

Government action The government certainly sees construction and buildings as one of the easier wins in its bid to shave 80 per cent from CO2 emissions by 2050 and at least 26 per cent by 2020. “Climate change mitigation” is a core part of its Sustainable Construction Strategy (HM Government, 2008), which CIRIA helped to put together.

Kingspan's Lighthouse is the first house in the UK to achieve Level 6 on the Code for Sustainable Homes – meaning zero CO2 from all household energy use. However, this has not yet been confirmed by occupancy trials (courtesy Jason Palmer)

Although it has been criticised as unrealistic in some quarters, the government has introduced policies to make all new dwellings zero carbon by 2016, and announced its ambition to do the same for all new schools in the same timeframe. It has also announced the intention for all new public sector buildings to be zero carbon by 2018, and other new buildings to follow soon after in 2019. A Planning Policy Statement on climate change (CLG, 2007) set out to ensure that the planning system explicitly addresses the problem as one of its core objectives. Last year, the Climate Change Bill went through the final stages of parliamentary approval and received Royal Assent in November. This means the government will produce five year carbon budget and its CO2 reduction targets will be legally-binding. The Climate Change Bill also introduces a legally-binding commitment to cutting CO2 by public sector organisations including schools and hospitals and big businesses, called the Carbon Reduction Commitment. Between them, these organisations will have to save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020, and this will mean they have no choice but cutting energy use in their buildings.

Avoiding the sticks These government initiatives act in tandem with the plans to tighten Part L of the Building Regulations, which deals with energy conservation. Part L went through a radical overhaul in 2006, which meant that all new buildings now have to be modelled to assess their likely CO2 emissions per m2 in use. Essentially, the onus is now on building designers to show that new buildings will have CO2 emissions 20 per cent lower than an identical building that met the previous Part L (2002). Like a limbo dancer’s bar, this will be lowered in future revisions to Part L: a further 25 per cent saving in 2010, 44 per cent less in 2013, and down to zero carbon in 2016 2019. The main tools to show whether buildings meet these targets are

available already: the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for housing, and the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) for nondomestic buildings. SAP was revised in June this year in part to improve its treatment of new technologies, and both of the tools are bound to be revised many times to keep pace with changes in building design.

References and further information There is a huge amount of work ongoing in this area. Some of the significant projects include:  CIBSE runs an annual campaign called 100 hours of carbon clean-up to encourage building services engineers to do more to reduce CO2 from existing buildings (see  The UK Green Building Council is doing research into how to save more CO2 from existing buildings (see  Communities and Local Government is looking at how to update the Building Regulations to encourage more action on new and existing non-domestic buildings  Cyril Sweet has revised its cost estimates for achieving the Code for Sustainable Homes on behalf of Communities and Local Government (see  An announcement is imminent from Communities and Local Government about how to define “zero carbon”  The National Health Service is consulting on a draft Carbon reduction strategy for the NHS.  The government’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Securing the future (2005), and the Sustainable Construction Strategy (2008)  Business and Regulatory Reform (BERR) publish quarterly Energy Trends data

Here, though, the real issue is the gap between modelled CO2 emissions and what actually happens. Almost every building uses more energy than models indicate at the design stage, and almost every renewable energy source saves less CO2 than the manufacturers claim. This means that even though Part L is sending the right message and forcing designers to do more to reduce climate change emissions, it will not be sufficient on its own to meet the government targets for buildings. The gap is caused partly by behaviour of occupants that is very difficult to model (and in particular wasteful use of energy like leaving lights on when a room is unoccupied) and partly because poor construction quality on site does not achieve the thermal performance assumed by the models. As with other innovations in construction, much of the technology to save CO2 already exists, but the technology alone is not enough. Attitudes and behaviour shaping energy use need to change along with the technology – this is a problem for our clients but also for construction firms. It is our responsibility to make sure that the building users understand what they need to do to meet the low carbon objectives set at the design stage.

The St Francis of Assisi Academy in Liverpool was built to achieve the highest levels of sustainability, although design energy and CO2 performance has not yet been attained (courtesy Department for Children, Schools and Families)


Infrastructure longevity Background

Extent of assets by sector

The vast majority of civils infrastructure assets, particularly bridges, tunnels and embankments, were designed and built over a hundred years ago, well before the current concepts of design life. These elderly assets have to be maintained as operationally safe and fit for purpose as they are an integral part of our transportation network. Clearly mass replacement or renewal is not an option so asset owners deploy risk based proactive asset management processes that allow them to maintain their assets and meet Regulator requirements and societal expectations.


Past generations of engineers are credited with providing the core of the UK’s infrastructure. The over engineered brick, masonry and metallic structures and crudely constructed embankments have demonstrated qualities of endurance, durability and adaptability, proving in many cases to be more robust than comparable structures built in the 1970s and 80s. The table describes the extent of some of this infrastructure. Greater strain is being put on all these assets from increased demand and more testing climatic extremes. For example, rail traffic has increased with passenger journeys peaking in 2006/7 at a level not seen since 1945 when the network was twice the size; freight traffic has also shown dramatic increases; flood resilience and resistance for critical infrastructure is a current focus of attention for many.


•20 000 km of earthworks •40 000 bridges

Trunk roads•7754 km including motorways Water main

•32 5000 km of water •30 0000 km of sewers


•3540 km of canals and rivers

Electricity •7206 route km •21 863 towers •994 circuit km of underground cables Classification for rail sector Asset breakdown • 40 000 bridges (20 000 masonry, 16 000 metallic and 4000 concrete) • 17 000 retaining walls (length 13 000 km) • 700 tunnels (length 400 km) • 20 000 km of earthworks (embankments/cuttings) • 2500 stations (leased + 17 majors operated directly) Asset age • 70% over 100 yrs old • 13% 50 - 100 yrs old • 10% 20 - 50 yrs old • 7% less than 20 yrs old

Managing the asset Despite there being record levels of investment in the UK’s civil engineering infrastructure in recent years, the greatest proportion of expenditure relates to the maintenance and repair of existing assets as opposed to new construction because of the need for relevant top driven asset management systems, processes and practices. These are progressively being introduced by all the asset holders throughout their business structure to ensure a wise and accountable spend of maintenance and renewal budgets:

 first steps in asset management are to understand the physical nature and functionality of the asset in its local environment. Thereafter the asset management processes will describe the control regimes for inspection and assessment. It is from the assessment that decisions are made as to what to do next. This approach is a significant step change for many where responsibilities for managing the asset were much lower in the corporate management structure and where businesses operated reactive procedures rather than a planned managed process.

Key challenges and a way forward Information about the asset and its condition Considerable amounts of information about these assets together with knowledge of its maintenance history have been lost over time. This must be recognised and actions taken to re-establish data bases that are future proof. Establishing the baseline condition of the asset and identifying component deterioration can often be a significant undertaking. Apart from basic observational monitoring techniques using simple hand devices, instrumentation and monitoring is usually only undertaken for selective new structures or when major repair works have been undertaken where performance needs to be monitored. The current reliance on simple instrumentation and monitoring is in part one of systems confidence and because much of the UK’s infrastructure is remote and not easily accessible. There is a need to monitor existing structures to manage overall risk and be able to accurately assess the condition of assets and their

deterioration over time. In addressing these considerations there are opportunities for knowledge and technology transfer from other market sectors:  there is no doubt that instrumentation and monitoring can provide significant amounts of data that can effectively be used to manage the asset. However there are many key considerations that system specifiers and suppliers must be fully aware of. They all relate to the environment that instrumentation systems have to work in and the assurance of data collection. It is the specific environment in which monitoring and instrumentation is expected to function that restricts what can be effectively employed. Account must be taken of location and accessibility, robustness, collection arrangements etc.

Interventions - maintenance, repair, replacement and strengthening Maintenance involves maintaining the physical condition of the asset and may involve minor repairs. Repair makes good degraded components using a range of potential materials and techniques. Replacement becomes necessary when components are deemed unsafe, have failed, are not fit for purpose or the asset is being upgraded. However, inappropriate repairs can lead to accelerated degradation. For example, cementitious rather than lime based repairs to brick and masonry structures and inappropriate metals and protective coatings typically used in anchorage systems to stabilise slopes and retaining structures. Climate change may bring with it new challenges for material durability in the modern built environment such as increased corrosion in steel, increased carbonation in concrete, faster deterioration in timber, the long-term performance of bonding agents.

CIRIA guidance The strengthening of existing structures is an effective way to increase the residual life of some structures and/or to increase its load carrying capacity. Key to the success of any structural improvement is the initial structural assessment and redesign using components and combinations that may be unfamiliar to many designers. Recent developments in materials and joining techniques have led to the increased use of externally bonded fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) as a strengthening component for bridges, a development on their past use on bridge decks. Effective bonding and joining of composites has been a challenge and there remains some uncertainty of the long-term performance of bonding agents under some extreme climatic conditions. These new breeds of construction materials are light weight, can be preformed into any shape, are highly durable and confidence in their use is increasing.

Engineering skills Retention of good experienced staff is an issue. Considerable investments are made to train staff at all levels. Also, it is recognised that civil engineering and building construction degree courses in the UK are focused on new-build and rarely cover aspects of maintenance. This needs to be redressed.

Current guidance Collaborating with industry practitioners over many years, CIRIA has produced a comprehensive suite of guidance that covers the majority of civil infrastructure assets. These take account of new techniques, technologies and philosophies for effective assessment, maintenance, repair and upgrade of civil infrastructure assets to assist industry in improving asset management in the UK and overseas.

C592 Infrastructure embankments – condition appraisal and remedial treatment. 2nd edition C591 Infrastructure cuttings – condition appraisal and remedial treatment C580 Embedded retaining walls – guidance for economic design C656 Masonry arch bridges: condition appraisal and remedial treatment C671 Tunnels: inspection, assessment and maintenance C664 Iron and steel bridges: condition appraisal and remedial treatment C676 Drystone retaining walls and their modifications: condition appraisal and remedial treatment

The future There is good reason to believe that in a hundred years time most of the current infrastructure assets could still be in use unless society, the economy or technological developments dictate otherwise.The careful application of good asset management processes and prudent expenditure using life cycle costing techniques supported by developments in technology will ensure this. What will be different though will be the use of intelligent systems and smart structures, which report on their state and condition and highlighwhere some attention is needed. Different suites of construction materials and composites will be used particularly those that are lightweight and durable. In summary the emphasis is likely to be on remote monitoring, early warning diagnostics systems and progressively the use of materials that require less maintenance. Also, for new large structures that are operationally intensive, building in some residual capacity should be planned rather than being a fortuitous benefit as it is with our many of our existing structures.


space invaders introduction from one part of the UK to another is a contributory factor. Non-native plants and animals can become a serious problem by becoming invasive, a process where, uninhibited by the usual population controls (eg predation, disease and competition for resources), the species multiplies and spreads at a rapid rate growing to dominate the new environment.

Legislation and policy are also key factors in the management of invasive species and practitioners are required to be aware of: restrictions on the release, planting or movement of species; safeguards for animal welfare to prevent them, and their habitats, from being harmed; regulations controlling the use of pesticides; and health and safety legislation to protect workers.

Invasive species management for infrastructure managers and the construction industry – the title of the publication arising from the above research – gives a clearer indication of the focus of the project, and deals with an issue where the effects are not just inconvenient, but can result in extensive costs and even be life-threatening.

Few can fail to have noticed Japanese knotweed, given the media attention afforded to it in recent years. DEFRA1 estimate the cost to eradicate this plant nationwide to be over £1.5bn.

A managed approach

However, there are many and varied other species and effects as quantified in Box 1, including:

The topic illustrates the increasing multi-disciplinary approach involved in the creation and management of the built environment, and the inter-dependency of the various systems within it. CIRIA has long championed a holistic approach to the built environment and the interest in recent and not so recent publications (as illustrated in Box 2) that consider interactions with natural systems is an indication of the growing interest and importance of this area.

 physical/ structural damage to buildings and developed land  human and animal health hazards  delay to development  environmental damage  loss of biodiversity  loss of land-use or production.

Do I know what landholdings or assets I have that are affected by invasive species, where they are, how they are managed, and how well?

As a research project title, Alien and invasive species conjured up visions of extra-terrestrial life-forms and science fiction dramas. However, while the subject matter studied was slightly less esoteric, damage, destruction and quests for domination by aggressive species were key themes.


Inter-species competition is not a new phenomenon. However, the increase in the rate at which species are being introduced, and the mechanisms that make this possible are intensifying the problem. Many new species are deliberately introduced in the UK every year for reasons as varied as horticultural trade, as pets, for food production, energy production and for ground stabilisation. Several non-native species are also accidentally introduced from elsewhere in the world in ship ballast, food packaging and other means. On occasions, the


Box 1

Considering the potential scale of the impacts, questions that developers, land owners or land managers should be asking themselves include:

What is the overall risk to my business and how can I effectively remove or minimise it? How can I incorporate preventative measures into the ongoing management of my landholding

Quantified effects

The Zebra mussel causes over £2m of damage annually to water treatment infrastructure. Over 50 000 vehicle collisions with deer occur in the UK network each year causing over £14m worth of damage to vehicles as well as several fatalities and serious injuries. Giant hogweed has been shown to cause severe river-bank erosion. The plants die following flowering each year, their roots rotting leaving large destabilising holes in river banks leading to hundreds of metres of bank material to wash away, increasing flood risk. It cost over £11m to eradicate rhododendron from one national park in Wales.

The challenge posed by the above can be met by approaching the problem in a structured way. The stages follow a generic form that will be familiar to many involved in other forms of land management.  surveying, assessing and identifying invasive species  risk assessment  management  preventing invasion  post-management surveillance, monitoring and maintenance. The publication provides guidance on these topics, and includes fact sheets on a number of common and emergent problem species. It provides a structured approach and is designed to compliment

The invasive non-native species framework strategy for Great Britain (2008) developed by the English, Scottish and Welsh governments in response to the problems caused by invasive non-native species.

Prevention is better than cure Until recently, the main emphasis of the management of invasive species has been on dealing with those plants and animals that are causing problems on a landholding. However, little effort has been directed at preventing the problem occurring in the first place. A more efficient approach is to use risk assessments to ascertain whether or not to protect landholdings from invading species and to identify the species involved. When considering prevention it is important to remember that some species may be invasive in some parts of the UK but not others. Some may be established in the UK but not yet in an invasive mode, while others may not yet be in the UK, but could establish and become invasive and in the future. Climate change is clearly a factor in the above. The principles of undertaking prevention include: Source containment or elimination – identifying the sources of invasive species and removing or containing the source. Pathway disruption – identifying and disrupting the pathway(s) along which the invasion might occur. Habitat management – identifying the susceptible habitat and modify it to reduce the risk of the invasive species establishing itself. Surveillance – monitoring to ensure early identification of any invasion so that an early elimination can be attempted.

The future The profile given to the topic in recent years is helping raising awareness although some may argue that interest in the topic is often sensational or superficial. However invasive species is set to become another issue in the long list of considerations that those responsible for the management of the built environment will need to consider. Box 2 Relevant CIRIA publications

C679 Invasive species management for infrastructure managers and the construction industry (Booy, Wade and White, 2008) C587 Working with Wildlife. A resource and training pack for the construction industry (Newton et al, 2004) C567 Working with wildlife – site guide (Newton, Thackray and Nicholson, 2005) C708 Use of vegetation in civil engineering (Coppin and Richards, 2007) B9 Protection of river and canal banks (Hemphill and Bramley, 1989) C645 A guide to rabbit management (Wray, 2006) C646 Wildlife fencing design guide (Pepper, Holland and Trout R, 2006) Notes 1 Defra (2003) Review of non-native species policy, Defra, London


Taking production

offsite The offsite sector is often perceived as a applying mainly to housing, but offsite activity is far wider and is now ingrained, to varying degrees, across most building, civil and infrastructure sectors. The offsite sector is not a single industry, but rather a collaboration of many different industry groups working together to deliver products and solutions, with the common vision of moving an increasing proportion of the work to a manufacturing environment. Offsite or manufactured construction exhibits a number of benefits over more traditional construction methods. Key among these are:  greater predictability of delivery time  reduced costs for repeatable components or solutions  improved quality  reduced material waste  higher standards and associated improved performance  reduced accidents and injuries  enhanced skills and labour retention As more construction activity is moved offsite the opportunities to develop further benefits increases. By adopting and adapting techniques and process (using larger components, assemblies, panels or complete volumetric units) offsite construction provides a way to a more substantially sustainable and efficient built environment. These new and adapted techniques and processes include: Pre-assembly: A factory environment allows a significant increase the level of pre-assembly. This technique has been used in pods, typically bathroom pods, for a number of years but offers the potential to be extended to other common building areas. Pre-assembly offsite reduces waste, onsite installation time and improves quality and performance.


Mass customisation: Offsite manufacturing provides the opportunity to develop standardised components and assemblies that can be incorporated in to customised designs to suit particular applications or needs. This component level, or assembly standardisation, has enabled the motor industry to improve productivity and quality while reducing overall production times and costs – all without removing the individual design and customisation of the end product. Flexibility: In moving towards a manufactured environment we can also develop components and assemblies that are not only flexible in terms of how they are brought together on any one project, but may also offer levels of flexibility in use. Work in this area already includes developing spaces that have moveable walls, allowing a building to be re-configured relatively easily to maximise its effectiveness for changing use over its lifetime. Such techniques will become increasingly important as we strive to deliver a truly sustainably built environment. Mobile factories: The concept of mobile factories is now being developed to enable the manufacture of assemblies and larger building elements on or close to the construction site. Potentially, mobile factories can deliver many of

the benefits of manufactured construction but close to the point of final delivery, reducing transport costs and impacts as well as changing the character of construction sites towards safer and cleaner working environments. Logistics: Offsite construction provides the opportunity for more effective logistics with the benefits of reduced programme times, greater predictability and a leaner process. Integrating logistics systems across the supply, with integrated tracking of materials and components, offers significant benefits to the construction process and provides new opportunities to manage components and assemblies both in use and ultimately during future refurbishments or disposal. Quality and Safety: A controlled factory environment provides a significant advantage in managing quality and safety aspects of construction or, indeed, any form of manufacturing. Factory type environments are very effective for raising standards, training new workers and improving skill levels. As more construction is brought in to this environment we should expect to see significant improvement in all these areas of construction and, by extension of a manufacturing culture, improvements in onsite final assembly or build. These represent just a few of the

potential improvements and new approaches that are enabled or deliverable by thinking about construction as the manufacture of buildings and infrastructure. The potential to deliver construction in a different and much improved way by a greater adoption of offsite is significant. However the barriers to investment and development in the industry are also significant, with tight operating margins and no steady demand on which to base longer-term business plans coupled with a general lack of awareness and understanding of the potential benefits. The Future: In the recent past the move towards offsite manufacturing has been slow and fuelled principally by a mixture of a slow cultural acceptance of the potential overall benefits and an increasing awareness of its economic viability. Work is now progressing through research projects such as the European Community funded framework 7 programme on manufactured building and Buildoffsite – a UK initiative to promote offsite techniques. This will help in the understanding and exploiting the benefits offsite can offer. However, the next significant change in how offsite is both viewed and developed is likely to be fuelled by the sustainability agenda.

continue and new approaches will be required, including offsite. The increased use of offsite manufacturing will open up the relatively new to construction concept of design for manufacture. This approach is based on whole teams, including clients, designers, constructors, manufacturers and suppliers, working together with the aim of maximising the use of manufacturing techniques and processes in the delivery of construction. Supported by building information modelling systems and engaging with new materials and methods, this approach offers the potential to make significant steps forward to meeting our needs from the built environment.

For further information go to: ManuBuild Buildoffsite Scottish Construction Centre

The future will see us designing, constructing and operating buildings and infrastructure that are significantly more sustainable, of increasingly higher quality, and that provide ever more flexibility and adaptability in use to meet our changing requirements – and offsite manufactured construction will have a significantly increased role.

Sustainability, and particularly low carbon development, are key drivers in the future of construction. The UK has taken the lead by enacting legislation to force the pace of change in how we respond to carbon emissions and the broader sustainability agenda. Offsite construction will have a significant role in helping to address these challenges. This is not just because of the efficiency gains available. More importantly, offsite offers a greater opportunity to explore new designs, materials and associated new assembly and construction methods that will be required to make construction less carbon intensive and more sustainable during construction, in use and in re-use or disposal. The carbon penalty of traditional designs, methods and materials cannot


An introduction to CIRIA activities

evolution magazine has a far broader circulation than just our members and for those of you who are new to CIRIA here is a quick tour of who we are and what we do. We would be delighted to talk to you about how you can be involved.

CIRIA CIRIA is the construction industry research and information association. Operating across market sectors and disciplines we deliver a programme of business improvement services and research activities for our members and those engaged with the delivery and operation of the built environment. CIRIA is a an independent member based, not for profit association.

engagement and influence Acting as a focal point and independent forum for industry innovation and improvement we engage with policy groups, government sponsors and regulators, clients, consultants, contractors and suppliers. This engagement provides our members with a unique insight to new and emerging developments and the opportunity to influence policy and industry development.

improvement, innovation and research At the heart of our activities are work streams and projects that address industry issues, challenges and opportunities and all with the aim of providing business and delivery improvement. Working collaboratively across traditional sector boundaries provides opportunities to identify best practice, develop new approaches and to identify and enable innovation.


networks and networking

information services

Our networks and forums enable industry groups and stakeholders to share knowledge and exchange ideas through events, reports, meetings and web services.

Our activities place us in a unique position to gain an early insight into policy and regulation development, changing operating environments and new developments in construction techniques and materials.

Networks and events also provide unique opportunities for networking and relationship building across supply chains and market sectors.

Newsletters, briefings and events supported by the CIRIA knowledgebase are designed to keep members informed on developments affecting both construction and the wider built environment.

training and CPD Our training courses, training packs and CPD events cover a wide range of construction and built environment related topics. We also organise in-house training.

publications The majority of our research projects and activities culminate in the publishing of guidance documents, many of which have been adopted as the standard for excellence in their respective areas. Members can also access these guides on-line.

conferences and events Our rolling programme of conferences and events is designed to raise awareness, share knowledge and to promote discussion on new and emerging topics.

For more information visit


Flood risk management:

PEOPLE POWER In the UK, the occurrence of flooding events has been the most frequent and widespread of all natural hazards. About 10 per cent of the land area (developed or otherwise) and an equal proportion of the population lie within the boundaries of high flood risk areas as defined by the Environment Agency (DCLG, 2006). Flood risk within the built environment has raised major concerns over the last decade. Flooding can have severe social and economic impacts. The UK’s 2007 flooding incidents resulted in thirteen deaths and a financial loss estimated at £3bn. Essential services were disrupted, leaving many without mains water and electricity and imposing an increased health risk on those communities affected. Since then, there have been consultations and reviews undertaken by government and other regulatory organisations.

Developments in science, technology, planning and engineering have been recognised as an integral part of flood risk management. Today there is an overwhelming requirement to establish long-term goals and frameworks that result in a change in current attitudes, practices and behaviours. Sir Michael Pitt (2008) sums it up in his review by stating that strong and effective leadership is required to instigate this change. This leadership should be government-driven and a coherent operational approach should be adopted to ensure that recommendations are carried out locally. This requires overcoming technical, managerial, organisational and institutional challenges that have existed because of the complex regulatory approach. There is no clear coordination and structure for flood risk management in the UK. This was first recognised in Making space for water, a Government strategy launched in 2004 to investigate the wide range of flood and coastal erosion risk management issues. This lack of coordination and governance was further highlighted in The Pitt Review. Pitt recommends that increased stakeholder engagement and interaction should be encouraged to overcome challenges and improve the communication of risk through a government-lead initiative. Pitt recommends that measures are taken to:  provide the Environment Agency with a strategic overview for flood risk management  establish a Cabinet Committee dedicated to flood risk management  establish a National Resilience Forum to help planning for flooding at a national level  publish progress summaries at regular intervals of the recovery phase in the event of flooding.


To achieve these objectives, stakeholders with responsibilities relating to flood risk management should adopt a co-operative approach where relevant data, information, knowledge and expertise should be shared to improve the process. Clarification regarding the roles and responsibilities needs to be addressed and a coherent approach should be adopted across industry and communities to guarantee a successful flood risk management strategy. Pitt recommends that the Environment Agency assume a non-regulatory role as part of a strategic overview of flood risk management setting a high level strategy and engaging with those responsible for critical infrastructure and local delivery. These include local authorities, water companies, highways authorities and internal drainage boards, and encourages closer working relationships, knowledge transfer and co-ordination of flood risk management. Pitt also believes that greater onus should be on local authorities for surface water management building on existing responsibilities for watercourses, drainage, highways and planning. Obtaining participation of local authorities in the local delivery of flood risk management will also ensure that the actions taken will best reflect the requirements of the immediate communities. This will, according to Pitt, be helped by greater consultation with other regional stakeholders and the development of surface water management plans in high-risk areas.

Despite advancements in practices and improvements in our knowledge base, a level of uncertainty remains. So it is necessary to incorporate an element of flexibility in the design of future flood risk management strategies, relevant to both government and non-government frameworks alike. Pitt and his team conclude that the issue of governance, stakeholder engagement and communication of risk management strategies remain key factors in delivering a robust flood risk management strategy. The challenge of engagement between different sectors and disciplines and encouraging closer working relations needs to be overcome and it is hoped that changes to existing frameworks, legislation and associated clarification will help this. Engagement with the general public is also required to effectively communicate risk and adequately deliver local solutions.

From a stakeholder perspective, the Local Authority Network on Drainage and Flood Risk Management (LANDFRM) is a network formed in 2007. The network helps to disseminate research outputs, policy and good practice relating to surface water and flood risk management issues. The network provides a forum to discuss issues and challenges, share knowledge and new approaches to help identify common solutions at both regional and national levels. Continued research and improved communications between all stakeholders concerned is required to attain the goals as determined by The Pitt Review. The approach should be led by the Government. Local authorities should lead on ensuring that the needs of communities are met.

References and further information: DCLG (2006) Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk. Pitt, M (2008) The Pitt Review – learning lessons from the 2007 floods. Cabinet Office, London Floods and Water Bill (2008) floodsandwaterbill.htm LANDFRM (2007) Making space for water (2004) fcd/policy/strategy.htm

For policy, Pitt recognises that current legislation is disparate with several different private and public sector organisations having permissive and statutory duties and as such does not adequately address the challenges of modern flood risk management. Responding to these challenges, the Government will publish a draft Floods and Water Bill for consultation in 2009 with the intention of producing a framework that addresses all sources of flooding, clarifies stakeholder roles and responsibilities in a bid to improve flood risk management. There are several projects developed by CIRIA in progress that have addressed some of the key issues raised in The Pitt Review. The practical elements of flood risk management, including surface water management through sustainable drainage, and flood resistance and resilience, have been investigated and several guidance documents produced.


Publications from CIRIA With nearly 600 titles in the current publications catalogue CIRIA’s research has given rise to huge variety of publications over the years, with many of our publications regarded as the best available in the industry. Sales via our online e-bookshop continue to grow. Visitors to the e-bookshop can also sample extracts from the publications before buying. CIRIA members have the added advantage of being able to access all CIRIA titles online via our link with IHS, the leading worldwide provider of critical technical information and decision support tools. CIRIA are also investing in updating many of the titles in our back catalogue, these already include publications on health and safety, environmental good practice and setting out procedures.

UK Best Sellers The Rock Manual. The use of rock in hydraulic engineering (2nd edition) (C683) The SUDS Manual (C697) Environmental good practice on site (C650) CDM 2007 – work sector guidance for designers (C662) Early age thermal crack control in concrete (C660) Site safety handbook (fourth edition) (C669) Working with wildlife. A resource and training pack for the construction industry. (C587)


Guidance on designing for crowds – an integrated approach (C675) There are ever more buildings, spaces and events that are intended to attract crowds. This naturally focuses attention on the design and management of the venues to ensure that the people attending are safe and comfortable and can move without risk or difficulty. There is a range of regulation and guidance relating to user comfort and crowd safety. Much of it is formulated with specific types of venue or building in mind, reflecting the safety aspects and user expectations of the particular environment. This guidance explains what is considered good practice and has been developed to help designers enhance user experience and minimise the risk of crowd incidents and accidents. The advice applies to any place where crowds are expected, such as music venues, theatres, railways stations and shopping malls, or where crowds may gather, such as at Hogmanay or for public events. This advice builds on the environment-specific guidance and regulation to describe common challenges and approaches to making sure crowd experience and safety are addressed in the design process.

Our latest publications include  EC7: Implications for UK practice (C641) Price £50 (£100) ISBN 978-0-86017-641-1  Environmental good practice training resource (C678TP) (DVD) Price £250 (£125) ISBN 978-0-86017-678-7  Structural design of modular geocellular drainage tanks (C680) Price £80 (£40) ISBN 978-0-86017-680-0 To order any of the above publications please visit

Forthcoming in early 2009  Noise and vibration issues in urban development (RP722)  A clients’ guide for assessing risk on UXO sites (RP732)  Manual on the use of concrete in maritime engineering (RP764)  Assessment and management of VOCs (RP766)  Update of the Cost standards for dredging equipment 2005 (CON158)  Tunnels: condition appraisal and remedial treatment (C671)

Price: £20 (£40) ISBN 978-0-86017-679-4

Networks, events and conferences CIRIA’s networks provide a forum for industry groups and their stakeholders to share knowledge through events, guidance documents, meetings and web-sites. Our Environment and Sustainability network, CIEF, and Technology and Process network, CPN, have been operating for over 15 years, building a large network of participants and supporters. Allied to our research activities these networks have broad agendas and respond to changing industry needs and development agendas. In addition to these long standing networks we develop and facilitate theme or sector networks to respond to specific needs as new opportunities and issues emerge. CIRIA networks include:  Construction Industry Environmental Forum (CIEF)  Construction Productivity Network (CPN)  Local Authority Contaminated Land Network (LACL)  European Marine Sand and Gravel Group (EMSAGG)  Safety and Environmental Guidance for the Remediation of UK Nuclear and Defence Sites. (SAFEGROUNDS)  Site Decommissioning: Sustainable Practices in the Use of Resources. (SD:SPUR)  Site Decommissioning – Contractors’ and consultants’ forum (SAFESPUR)  Local Authority Network on Drainage and flood risk management (LANDFORM)  University Infrastructure Group (UIG)  Brownfield Risk Management Forum (BRMF)

In conjunction with our networks, CIRIA events and conferences provide a highly effective means to both communicate and generate new ideas and approaches as welll as providing business to business opportunities. In 2008 we ran more than 135 events attracting some 3,800 delegates. The programme included conferences, workshops and best practice seminars. Our events programme continues to grow and full details of our 2009 programme is available from the CIRIA website at 2009 Exhibitions CIRIA staff will be on hand at both Futurebuild and Ecobuild from 3 to 5 March 2009 at Earls Court, London. We will have a dedicated CIRIA stand in the Ecobuild hall and through our involvement with Buildoffsite and the Manubuild project we will be represented on both these stands within the Futurebuild exhibition. Ecobuild and Futurebuild are the UK’s leading shows for sustainable design and construction and new and innovative approaches and technologies respectively. CIRIA’s main stand will showcase a range of our services and products including some of our latest guidance publications. We look forward seeing both current and future members there. More details at and


Training CIRIA’s best practice guidance has found its way on to the desks of construction professionals worldwide for almost half a century. Tailored to industry needs, the comprehensive training programme has delivered over 85 courses in various locations since its launch in 2007. Each course is developed by recognised experts in the field who have worked with CIRIA extensively in the past. All course content is assessed and guided by the relevant CIRIA research manager and the training department to ensure its high quality and that it offers plenty of opportunity for delegate interaction. Examples of topics covered to date include: Environmental good practice on site Following CIRIA’s hugely successful handbook on environmental good practice this course has been running throughout the UK and has been incredibly popular. Like all courses from CIRIA there is a strong interactive element with a number of exercises for the delegates. Rock manual training: design of coastal and port structures Part of a series of four courses based on the rock manual this course is delivered by leading practitioners in coastal and port design. The day is structured around two case studies one in the UK and one in the middle east. Each section of the course contains an exercise related to the case studies so delegates build up a complete design over the day.

All CIRIA training courses can be delivered in-house at company offices. A standard course can be delivered as an update for company personnel or CIRIA can work with companies to develop a specific course for their staff. For more details and current schedules see

2009 SUDS foundation course 13 January 10 February 4 March, 31 March 5 May 16 June 21 July Designing SUDS 26/27 January 24/25 February 18/19 March 21/22 April 20/21 May 7/8 July 11/12 August

Edinburgh Limerick Inverness Belfast London Bristol Manchester

Environmental good practice on site 14 January London 21 January Bristol 11 February Birmingham 7 May London Resource use and waste management 19 February London 25 February Manchester 10 March Bristol 15 April Birmingham Sustainable construction 29 January London 19 February Bristol 25 March Manchester 21 May Birmingham Green roofs 20 January 17 February 10 February 10 March


Edinburgh Limerick Inverness Belfast London Bristol Manchester

Sheffield Glasgow Bristol Belfast

Working with wildlife 4 February 18 March 14 April 11 June

London Birmingham Bristol Manchester

Control of water pollution from construction 22 January 24 February 7 April 9 June

Manchester Bristol London Glasgow

Sustainable procurement 21 April London Introduction to The Rock Manual 3 February London Design of coasts and ports 17 February London Design of rivers and canals 3 March London Construction and maintenance 17 March 2009 London CDM for designers 4 February 5 March 8 April 28 April 14 July

Manchester London Birmingham Bristol London

CDM co-ordinators 31 March/1 April


Tower crane stability 30 April


Viewpoint Designing in an uncertain climate Keith Clarke, Chief Executive, ATKINS and Chairman Construction Industry Council. There is nothing wrong with worthy debate. This take place daily throughout the world – in parliaments, in conferences, in the media and in pubs. However, it is not effective unless it results in change – and that requires someone to do something. Keith Clarke’s lecture at CIRIA’s recent Council meeting emphasised, from the start, that talking about the issues relating to carbon and climate change is not enough. Individuals, and in particular, built environment professionals have a responsibility to ensure this leads to action. Unlike other major sectors such as aviation and automotive, where carbon is only one of a number of major impacts, construction is a sector where carbon – whether in the form of embodied energy or operational energy plays a more dominant role. Fortunately, the number of individuals who deny the links between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change is reducing. However, too many still see climate change as an inconvenience rather than a threat. The fact that adapting to climate change could involve carbon-intensive actions is also frequently overlooked. To illustrate this point, the world population is predicted to stabilise at about 10 Billion. Most affluent societies already have stable populations. However, to provide basic infrastructure for developing countries will require the equivalent of constructing the entire infrastructure of western Europe, from scratch. Clearly this is not an option using current practices.

The Government targets for zero carbon buildings are driving innovation amongst leading designers although this is presently an area where even the largest design consultancies can only claim a few expert teams. At present, there seems to be more worthy debate about what constitutes zero carbon homes than the design, construction and monitoring of such buildings. Construction professionals have a role in moving practice forwards and have a responsibility to contribute to current developments that will influence future practices. It is too easy to place responsibility on government or use clients and end users as excuses for inactivity.  the sector needs to work with Government and not stand back and comment or, worse still, object to emerging policies. The position previously taken by the housebuilding sector over building insulation standards is often quoted as an example of such behaviour  the development of standards relies on voluntary input from individuals with “spare time”. This results in timeframes of five to ten years or even longer. The industry needs to recognise that this is fundamental work and not a hobby and that change needs to happen more quickly  the sector needs to recognise problems with standards of construction. Poor construction frequently results in design energy performance standards not being achieved – often by 10 per cent or more – even on prestige buildings  the industry needs to better advise clients, many of whom feel obliged to visibly demonstrate commitment to sustainability issues, even if the

approaches undertaken are not always the best environmental option – photovoltaics and micro-turbines being two examples  accounting for carbon in design options needs to be something that the majority of design teams can grasp. To do this they need simple transparent tools. Emerging discount rates for whole life models need to be influenced by the construction sector and reflect the true future value to those using the infrastructure or the impact on society of its use. Otherwise, carbon trading will become overly influenced by the financial sectors  information, whether in the form of data or in relation to the tolerance of models needs to be more transparent. In conclusion, there needed to be a re-framing of the role of engineers and other built-environment professionals together with the commitment of the profession to society as a whole. Worthy debate is important. However, action is imperative. A copy of this summary, together with Keith Clarke’s slides can be found on the Core Member area of CIRIA’s website.


membership matters...

Evo 3