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FEB 2017

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HIGH SPEED NORTH National Infrastructure Commission clarifies case for HS3.

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FLEET IN FOCUS Faraday Future unveils electric supercar.

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SEA CHANGE Independent review in favour of tidal lagoon power.


WELCOME to the latest edition of UK Construction Excellence – celebrating the very best in British building. It’s a time of political uncertainty. In a landmark ruling, Parliament is to have its say on Brexit, potentially thwarting Theresa May’s plans to trigger Article 50 before the end of the fiscal year. In Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness has resigned as Deputy First Minister in protest of a bungled energy initiative, and triggered a snap election in the process. Across the Atlantic, Donald Trump has been

sworn in amid a sea of protesters and early controversy. And yet, the UK construction industry remains resilient in the march towards economic prosperity and future growth. Construction has a vital role to play post-Brexit, and the mood is one of optimism rather than anxiety. With HS2 on the horizon, we look into the far-flung future of HS3 – the conceptual high speed railway linking North East and West. The National Infrastructure Commission has

56 Highway to BIM Innovating England’s road infrastructure.

advised the Government to put HS3 at the heart of a ‘High Speed North’, and UK Construction Excellence finds out why. And, as the newly-released Hendry Review makes waves, we delve a little deeper into tidal lagoon power and the arguments for and against. All this and more can be found inside, along with contributions from guest commentators and breaking news from Great Britain and beyond. Robert Atherton

69 The Forth Dimension The quest to digitally map Scotland’s most iconic bridge.

82 Cash for Ash Northern Ireland in crisis over bungled heating scheme.

Publications Editor Robert Atherton

General Manager Ian Parker

Designer James Ormerod

Production Manager Gareth Trevor-Jones

Publications Officer Abigail Burr Sales Administrator Sarah Livesley

Creative Digital Seamus Norton

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UK Construction Media, Stirling House, Ackhurst Business Park, Chorley, PR7 1NY 01257 231900 • admin@ukconstructionmedia.co.uk • www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk © Copyright Pro-Mark. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Pro-Mark. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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UK City of Culture 2021 competition launches THE search for the UK’s next City of Culture has officially been launched by the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock. Following on from the success of Londonderry in 2013, Hull was named the UK’s City of Culture for 2017 and it is predicted that this will add £60M to the local economy across the year. It has also stimulated an estimated £1Bn investment in the City since the announcement. Hull 2017’s launch was marked with a fireworks display which was attended by over 50,000 people and a series of further events which attracted almost 350,000 people. The key driver behind the City of Culture title is to boost tourism and attract investment primarily into the arts and culture sector. Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “The UK City of Culture is not only a prestigious title, but as Hull has shown, it is a great opportunity to use culture as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration.

“It showcases the unique identity of our cities, helps boost tourism, and raises the profile of art and culture. I urge local authorities and partnerships across the whole UK to consider entering the competition and I hope to see plenty of ambitious, exciting and innovative bids for 2021.

demonstrating how UK City of Culture can transform the fortunes of a city. For Hull, bidding and hosting UK City of Culture is part of a long-term plan to harness our city’s wonderful heritage and culture to change perceptions of the city, attract investment and create much-needed jobs for local people.

“Those interested in submitting bids to be UK City of Culture 2021 are invited to register with DCMS by the end of February. Bids for the 2021 competition must be received by 28 April 2017 after which they will be assessed by an Independent Advisory Panel. A shortlist will then be announced in the summer, before the winning city is announced in Hull in December.”

“Whilst culture and the arts are just one part of the jigsaw, we are already seeing huge benefits. Confidence in the city has never been higher and more than £1Bn of investment is flowing into Hull, creating thousands of new jobs. Visitor numbers are increasing, new businesses are opening in the city centre and the volume of positive media coverage Hull is enjoying in the UK and around the world is staggering.

Phil Redmond, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, said: “Having been on the journey from Liverpool 2008, Derry-Londonderry 2013 and now Hull 2017, I am delighted other cities will have the opportunity to bid and build upon the award for 2021.” Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Hull is already

“Winning UK City of Culture has generated an enormous sense of local pride among local people and a renewed sense of confidence and self-belief in what the city can achieve. This started during the bidding process and is why I would encourage other councils to consider bidding to be the next UK City of Culture.”

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CCS course raises awareness of vulnerable road users THE Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched a new online course to increase awareness of vulnerable road users. The course – created by the Best Practice Hub, a free online platform that allows users access for sharing best practice – is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the risks construction activity can cause vulnerable road users and provides practical solutions which can be adopted to reduce these risks. A key aspect to the course is that it provides users with an understanding of CLOCS, the national standard for Construction Logistics and Community Safety, and how it can be adapted for any type of construction

activity across the UK. Other learning areas include current road safety legislation, the Highway Code and details of other important road safety programmes including FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. The CPD eligible course is already proving popular and has seen hundreds of individuals from scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers completing it. As part of an effort to raise standards nationally, the Scheme has also launched a dedicated section about the CLOCS Standard on the Best Practice Hub as well as additional questions about CLOCS in the 2017 Monitors’ Checklist.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “All types of construction activity can involve potential risks to vulnerable road users. It is, therefore, essential that the industry knows and understands these risks and does all it can to minimise them, both for the general public and the workforce. “The vulnerable road users e-learning course and section about the CLOCS Standard on our Best Practice Hub provides an easily accessible and practical way for everyone within the industry – including site managers, contractors, suppliers and clients – to raise safety standards for every road user and pedestrian affected by construction vehicles.”

Chelsea get go-ahead to revamp Stamford Bridge CHELSEA Football Club have received planning permission from Hammersmith and Fulham Council for the proposed rebuild of Stamford Bridge. The £500M redevelopment project, which will see stadium capacity increase to 60,000, was given unanimous backing after a hearing at Hammersmith Town Hall last month. The Blues have called Stamford Bridge home since 1905 and have explored alternative sites to satisfy the Club’s ambition, most notably Battersea Power Station. The stadium’s current capacity is 41,663 – the seventh largest in the top flight of English football. Passing this hurdle means the Premier

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League leaders are one step closer to the redevelopment becoming reality. Full planning consent must yet be given and approval from Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron are behind the design of the new stadium, having worked other iconic stadiums such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing and Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. The complex construction process will require Chelsea to seek a temporary home while work is carried out at the Bridge with both Wembley and Twickenham being mooted as options. The buildings known as the Chelsea

Village will need to be demolished as part of the project. Excavation will see the pitch lowered below ground level in order to maximise capacity on the 12-acre site and walkways created to negotiate he railways lines close to the stadium. In a statement, Chelsea said: “We are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home. “The committee decision does not mean that work can begin on site. This is just the latest step, although a significant one, that we have to take before we can commence work, including obtaining various other permissions.”


Sunderland centrepiece transported to site THE centrepiece of Sunderland’s new bridge - a 100m pylon - is now at its final location, having been transported onto the construction site in the middle of the River Wear. The structure left Greenwells Quay at the Port of Sunderland, taking just two hours to be transported by barge along a three mile stretch of the River Wear. The new bridge is being constructed on a site between Pallion and Castletown in the City. The pylon travelled beneath the Wearmouth Bridge, passed the Stadium of Light – home of Sunderland AFC – before negotiating a tight corner at Deptford Bend, and finally moving under the Queen Alexandra Bridge, making her way to site. Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s great to see the pylon now in its final location on the River Wear. A lot of hard work and planning has gone into building the

pylon, and getting it to site, and I think we can now begin to imagine just how impressive it will look when it’s raised into position.” Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for Farrans Victor Buyck Joint Venture (FVB), which is delivering the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said the transportation of the pylon to site had gone extremely well. He commented: “A lot of work has been carried out on site during the last 18 months in preparation for the arrival on site of the A-frame pylon, so it’s great to get it here and focus on the next phases of the project. “We needed to transport the pylon during a specific tidal window and unfortunately that meant taking it up the river during the early hours. However, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to see the pylon on site in the weeks and months ahead – particularly when it is raised into place in a few weeks’ time.

“Nothing of this scale has been lifted in this way in the UK since the London Eye was raised in 1999, and it will be quite something to watch, so we will definitely be telling people when that is happening.” The next steps will see the pylon rotated 90 degrees in the river and final engineering works to connect its legs to the giant concrete tusks fixed into the riverbed inside the cofferdam, which will support the A-frame in its final position. Sarens, a world leader in heavy lifting and engineered transport, are transporting and raising the pylon. The new bridge will link Castletown to the North of the River Wear with Pallion to the South, and will have dual twolane carriageways for vehicles, as well as dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes. The bridge is due to open in the spring 2018.

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Planning submission for 583-bed student accommodation in Coventry CROSSLANE Student Developments has announced the submission of its first planning application in Coventry, to deliver a 583-bed purpose-built student accommodation on Friar’s Road.

ONS: House price inflation hits highest level in over two years ACCORDING to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house price growth picked up 6.7% in November, adding £2,000 to the cost of property in one month. In October, the figure had fallen to 6.4%, having previously peaked at 9.3% in June. According to the ONS and Land Registry data, the average price of a UK home in November was £218,000. Monthly growth was most rapid in London, where prices rose by 1.9% The average house in London cost £482,000 in November. The ONS said the figures, which include cash sales, continued the “strong growth seen since the end of 2013”. The local authority which saw the sharpest increase was Rutland, England’s smallest county by population size, where prices rose by 20.7% over the 12 months. Aberdeen and Inverclyde, to the west of Glasgow, saw the biggest drop in prices, with a fall of 7.8% Housing market experts have said they expect house price growth to cool in 2017 amid the economic uncertainty. The average price for renting a house privately rose by 2.3% in the year to December 2016, unchanged for the fifth consecutive month. In the South of England, rental costs have been growing more rapidly, while in the North, Wales and Scotland, rental costs have risen more slowly.

According to Paul Smee, Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CMl), mortgage lending has remained resilient, despite the recent tax changes and uncertainty. Recent figures from CML show that a total of £4.7Bn was borrowed by firsttime buyers in November - a 4% rise on October and a 9% rise compared to the previous year. Home-movers borrowed £6.3Bn in November, down 5% compared with a year earlier but still a 7% increase compared with the previous month. Mr Smee said: “November lending reflected stable market conditions. Overall, 2016 did not match recent years in terms of house purchase lending growth, but lending remained resilient through regulatory and political change and aspirations for home ownership remain strong in the UK. “Our forecasts for 2017 may be less bullish than a year ago, as economic uncertainty weighs on the market, but we still predict 1.2 million transactions and a slight increase in gross lending to £248Bn.

Proposed is a new high specification 19-storey student offering, comprised of 140 studios and 443 en-suite cluster flats with dedicated communal areas. These include a common room, study room, gym, cinema and kitchendining room in addition to a private outdoor courtyard. The development is ideally placed at the junction of Friar’s Road and St Patrick’s Road, to the South of Coventry city centre and a short walk from the Coventry University campus, the City’s main shopping centre and train station. Coventry has the fastest growing university in the UK by student enrolment, and the University has committed to significant investment in its facilities and buildings over the next five years. Demand for student accommodation in the City continues to rise, leading to a significant supply-demand imbalance. Mike Moran, Development Manager, Crosslane Student Developments, said: “Crosslane is delighted to have submitted its first planning application for a student accommodation development in Coventry. The proposed scheme is right in the heart of the city centre and a short walk to Coventry University. At 583 beds, the scheme would be a significant contribution to easing the supply/ demand fundamentals which persist for purpose-built student accommodation in the city.”

“Buy-to-let lending, driven by remortgage activity, saw its strongest monthly lending level since the stamp duty changes on second properties introduced last April. Despite this, we expect buy-to-let lending levels in both 2016 and 2017 to prove lower than their 2015 recent peak as further tax changes take effect.”

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MPs concerned renovation of parliament not “value for money” letter to David Lidington, Leader of the House of Commons, that the net present cost calculations do not align with the Treasury’s “green book” on best practice in discounting. Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury committee, said: “The restoration and renewal programme is estimated to cost between £3.5Bn and £4Bn over five to eight years. Neither the report by Deloitte nor that by the joint commission provides enough of the evidence needed to come even to a preliminary decision on these proposals. MPs have launched an inquiry into the planned renovation of the Palace of Westminster, following a lack of sufficient evidence to justify the spending. The committee is exploring different cost options and will suggest in a

“So the Treasury committee will attempt to collect some of it. This is why the committee has called for evidence on this massive, and hugely expensive, restoration project. The proposals certainly need thorough scrutiny.” MPs and peers had warned the palace

risks a “crisis” without repairs. A joint parliamentary committee of MPs and peers were appointed to examine the refurbishment options, and suggested that all MPs and peers should vacate both Houses of Parliament for six years during the works, and said the plans should not be delayed any further. It has been said that due to the age of the Grade I listed building, and the severe effects of asbestos, fragile stonework, and ageing electrics and wiring, the building would have to be knocked down if it was not protected. Chris Bryant, a Labour MP on the committee, said: “All the evidence points to having to move out of the whole palace simultaneously. That is the lowest-risk, most cost-effective and quickest option.” A decision on whether to press ahead with a full or partial evacuation is expected in the coming weeks.

Antarctic research facility to be upgraded A £100M deal has been struck to upgrade Rothera Research Station, the British Antarctic Survey has announced.

success of science and innovation in the UK is ensuring our world-class research sector has the tools it needs to thrive on a global stage.

The facility, which lies on Adelaide Island, is a centre for biological research and a hub for supporting deep-field and air operations. This new investment will ensure British scientists remain at the forefront of polar-based innovation and research, gaining insight into the impact climate change is having on the world.

“The Government’s £200M investment on specialist research ships including RRS Sir David Attenborough underlines our commitment to this burgeoning sector and our upcoming industrial strategy will go even further, placing science and innovation at its absolute core.”

From 2019, Rothera will become home to the RRS Sir David Attenborough, one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. At approximately 128m long and 24m wide the new ship will be capable of spending 60 days at sea without resupply, and have a range of over 35,000 km. It will provide a multi-disciplinary research platform to support a wide range of science and has been designed to be very quiet for environmental monitoring. Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Key to the long-term

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The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) commissioned the partnership and their CEO Professor

Duncan Wingham said: “The Polar Regions, although geographically remote, are of equal importance in our drive to understand how the Earth is changing. NERC science in Antarctica plays an important role in meeting this challenge. “Working with BAM and design partner Sweco, on this long-term approach to modernising our infrastructure in the Antarctic, we will jointly foster and further build the UK’s high level of expertise, experience and good practices for working in challenging design and construction environments.”


FOLLOWING the deaths of several cyclists and pedestrians in collisions with HGVs on the streets of London and amid mounting public pressure, mayor Sadiq Khan recently announced a new policy to address the matter. He has proposed a rating system ranging from zero to five stars, based on the level of visibility the driver has from within the cab of the vehicle. The vehicles rated zero stars would be removed from the roads by 2020 whereas those with three or more stars would be given until 2024. While accounting for just 4% of road miles, HGVs are involved in 25% of pedestrian fatalities in London, as well as 39% of cyclist fatalities. During the morning rush hour, goods vehicles account for an estimated 25% of traffic, this is a time when the number of cyclists and pedestrians is highest. Construction vehicles in particular have come under heavier scrutiny in a TFL report, stating that as they

are (on average) 32% taller than normal HGVs, cyclists and pedestrians need to be 3x as far away to be seen. While these statistics are shocking and certainly warrant investigation, the broader picture must be taken into account before such wide-reaching proposals are implemented. 90% of all freight is carried into London by the roads, construction and retail play a huge part of the economy of the city and almost every industry will rely on efficient and unhindered transport of goods. Estimates put the number of vehicles that would be banned under the new legislation at 35,000. Taking this many vehicles from the roads of London would have a devastating impact on the innumerable businesses to which road freight is critically important. Some companies have been making improvements to their vehicles in regards to pedestrian and cyclist safety; DAF Trucks have introduced the CF Haulage 8x4 and Dennis have unveiled their Eagle

Elite tipper truck. Both vehicles feature far greater driver visibility with larger windows offering much better views from the cabin. While these improvements are certainly welcome, forcing a significant proportion of London’s HGV traffic from the roads without much time to phase in these new designs is unlikely to fully solve the problem and will just create another. Surely it would make more sense to slowly bring in the new proposals in a way in which the repercussions will be kept to a minimum. For example, why not prohibit the lower ranked vehicles from the streets at times of peak pedestrian and cycle traffic? Lowering the risk of poor visibility vehicles encountering vulnerable road users while keeping the impact felt by the city’s businesses small. Further investment could be made in education to promote road safety for all users, wider lanes could be looked into as well as other proposals that will create a mutually beneficial outcome without the crippling impact that the proposed rule change will undoubtedly deliver.

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