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#3: 13, October

A Skanska publication in print • online

r e c y c l e

The collaborative issue

Green horizons

Construction 2025 industrial strategy

Major investment safeguards jobs

Trailblazing London civic centre set to be named UK’s greenest public building

Peter Hansford on working together for future success

Manufacturing hub to boost employment in South Yorkshire

London Power Tunnels Client: National Grid Main contractor: Costain Skanska joint venture Start date: 2011 Completion date: 2018 Value: ÂŁ270 million Scope: Design and build contract


Anna Mann Editor

2013 has been a big year for Skanska. We made a major acquisition, when we bought Aktins’ road maintenance business. This will open up a range of growth opportunities for us, and is very significant. We are also investing nearly £12 million in modernising our Bentley Works site in Doncaster. This will safeguard jobs in the area. So, it is a really exciting time for us. We also have many other interesting projects, which are currently underway. At Skanska, doing the right thing and being green are very important to us. Find out more inside about our collaborative approach to business, commitment to being open and honest, and drive to be greener.

Get in touch today


Produced by Skanska UK’s communications team Upfront



04 Jobs for South Yorkshire 08 Collaboration: Building strong foundations for the construction industry 14 Cover story: Ultragreen building benefits community 18 Super alliance bags major water contract 20 Significant expansion for Skanska 22 Blowing in the right direction 26 Green: Leading the way 34 Power to the people 40 Wanted: Women in construction

46 Waste not, want not 50 In the dead of night 56 Why good ethics is good business 60 Top project dedicated to Skanska employee’s memory

Cover shows: Inflated ETFE pillows covering Brent Civic Centre’s atrium roof provide insulation and natural lighting and heating. forename.surname@ Telephone 01923 42 plus: Editor Anna Mann (3246) Reporters Christina Hand (3072) Eva Harris (3901) Sarah Hayes (3396) Clare O’Connor (3906) Richard Saw (3217) Lizzie Sparrow (3905) Katie Sutton (3280) David Tuddenham (3494) Design Ting-Kai Chang (3630) Debbie Wheeler (3522) Production Chris Smith (3902) Distribution Isabel Legg (3217)

Investment feature Bentley Works

Jobs for South Yorkshire

£12.9 million investment will modernise Skanska’s Bentley Works site in Doncaster

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Investment feature Bentley Works

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or almost a century, Bentley Works has been an important local employer in Doncaster, an area that was formerly one of the largest coal mining centres in the country. But the manufacturing facility is now in bad need of some TLC. Enter Skanska.

to embark on apprenticeships in the industry.

The company’s Swedish parent has committed to invest £11.6 million to redevelop the site, adding to a £1.28 million grant secured from the Regional Growth Fund.

In keeping with Skanska’s position as one of the world’s leading green contractors and developers, more than 1,800 sqm of office space and 3,200 sqm of workshops will be developed to the highest environmental standards.

It means Skanska’s offices and workshops will become a hub for the company’s business in the north of England, supporting its strategic ambitions to grow regionally. The investment will provide a modern facility for engineering, manufacturing and pre-fabrication of products for the whole construction industry. Skanska is set to create 72 direct jobs during the construction period, while expanding the facility to cater for an additional 62 permanent employees. Skanska’s President and CEO, Mike Putnam, commented: “For nearly a century, Bentley Works has been delivering engineering and manufacturing services to sites across the UK. It is an important local employer, which provides training for young people who want

“Skanska is committed to the local area. We have invested five years of planning and preparation to secure this funding. It’s great news for the community, supply chain and local businesses.”

“These buildings will be classed as Deep Green™ workplaces. We will combine renewable sources like rainwater harvesting with on-site power generation from photovoltaic roof panels. The site will be extremely energy efficient with almost zero impact on the environment,” explained Skanska’s Managing Director Martin Pedley. An in-house piling and ground engineering team will be based at the site as tenant. Skanska is both developer and main contractor for the scheme. Permission for planning has been submitted for the northern end of the site, where more than two hectares of land could be released for residential development. Work commenced on site in August 2013 and is due for completion in spring 2015.


Investment feature Bentley Works

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Driving towards greener construction It was only a few years ago that piling rigs conjured up images of dirty, noisy engines splattering oil everywhere they went. But the last 10 years has seen a series of new European legislation measures that is driving manufacturers to redesign their engines, reducing the amount of harmful emissions they generate And at Cementation Skanska, the company’s piling and ground engineering specialist arm, there is a determination to improve the environmental performance of older machinery as well.


Construction plant is essential to be able to carry out Skanska’s complex and varied nationwide projects. Cementation has an extensive plant fleet housed in Bentley, near Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Back-up maintenance and repair services are also provided from here. Plant Manager Steve Joynson comments: “It all started around 10 years ago when legislation changed forcing all new plant engines to conform to greener standards. Clients and developers are beginning to set the

minimum standards on large scale projects. We saw it starting with Crossrail and when HS2, the new high speed line between London and the West Midlands, starts construction around 2017, it will no doubt impose tough minimum standards.”

With a rise in revenues from £55 million in 2011 to £90 million last year, Cementation Skanska has moved up from fourth place to claim the top position in the 2013 Geotechnical Services File

Investment feature Bentley Works

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Above: Plant Manager Steve Joynson at Bentley Works Right: Mats Williamson, Executive Vice President for Skanska AB, toured Bentley Works earlier this year Left: Skanska’s multi-function machinery is cutting carbon and costs for the clients

But the new legislation only governs the manufacture of new engines, so the existing plant fleet is potentially unaffected. Joynson explains: “Skanska UK has invested around £25 million in new plant and equipment over the last 10 years and, currently, we have over 40 major plant units in the fleet. That’s a lot of older, less-green machines.” Therefore, Cementation Skanska has started an ambitious programme known locally as ‘bio-switch’. “Our aim is to convert each major plant unit from mineral to bio-degradable oil,” Joynson says. The company has also recently taken receipt of one of the world’s first bespoke piling rigs. It is the first of its class in terms of the depth and diameter of holes that can be bored and is capable of performing

multi-piling and ground engineering techniques. It is also able to work in heights of as little as 8.5m. In line with the ‘bio-switch’ project, the machine has come supplied with fully bio-degradable oils and lubricants. Just one litre of traditional mineral oil can contaminate one million litres of drinking water, and oil accounts for about a quarter of all the water pollution incidents the Environment Agency deals with each year. Joynson adds: “We go through thousands of litres of oil every year. Although rare,

spills can happen and our workforce is fully trained to deal with any incident. Working near water presents huge risks for us, but with bio-degradable oils those risks are massively reduced.” Martin Pedley, Managing Director, said: “Quite rightly, our clients are demanding green construction. Whereas in the past the end result had to be sustainable, more are now interested in ensuring the construction process is green from start to finish – and that’s what we aim to achieve.”


Infrastructure feature Collaboration


– transforming construction together Government Chief Construction Adviser Peter Hansford says working together is key for the industry’s success

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Infrastructure feature Collaboration

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eter Hansford, the government’s Chief Construction Adviser, set out his vision for 2025, at a Skanska-hosted industry debate on collaboration, held at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in Westminster in September. ‘Construction 2025’ is a joint strategy that sets out how industry and government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming years. Mr Hansford argued how, over the next decade, the industry can drive value, achieve savings, reduce interfaces and deliver ‘right first time’ projects through a collaborative model of delivery. He said: “We can achieve this through developing a talented and diverse

workforce within an industry which is inspiring to young people and one they wish to be a part of. “We should be making best use of new technology too, driving innovation and building the UK’s competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design through the Built Britain agenda. Ultimately, we can be an industry that drives growth across the entire economy.”

People An industry that is known for its talented and diverse workforce

Smart An industry that is efficient and technologically advanced

Joining Hansford on the Construction Leadership Council, the group responsible for the new vision, is Skanska President and CEO Mike Putnam. He joined Hansford in a panel debate at the event, alongside David

Sustainable An industry that leads the world in lowcarbon and green construction exports

Our vision for 2025

Growth An industry that drives growth across the entire economy and a strong and resilient supply chain

Leadership An industry with clear leadership from a Construction Leadership Council

Glover, AECOM CEO Global Building Engineering, and Neill Carruthers, Network Rail’s Head of Collaborative Working.

Far left: Peter Hansford, the government’s Chief Construction Adviser, set out his vision for ‘Construction 2025’ at a Skanska-hosted debate on collaboration Left: Hosted by Skanska’s Greg Craig, the industry panel included David Glover, AECOM CEO Global Building Engineering, Neill Carruthers, Network Rail’s Head of Collaborative Working, Peter Hansford and Skanska’s Mike Putnam


Infrastructure feature Collaboration

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Reproduced with kind permission of the Daily Telegraph’s Business Reporter

Working together to build strong foundations for the construction industry


s UK PLC stutters along, pressure is mounting for politicians and businesses to find a way out of the mire and boost the country’s industries. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the British Chamber’s of Commerce are just a few prominent business groups urging a boost in capital expenditure on the country’s infrastructure. This year, following the spending review, the government set out in more detail how it intends to spend its investment in infrastructure over the next few years, and followed it up with ‘Construction 2025’, the new long-term strategy for the construction industry. Bill Hocking, Executive Vice President at construction firm Skanska UK, said: “It’s so easy to take

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Above: Skanska and Costain working together to deliver seven contracts for Crossrail, one of Europe’s most ambitious infrastructure schemes

infrastructure for granted and we only notice when things go wrong. The reality is that we are still relying on infrastructure from the Victorian era, so projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel are vital. Not only will it prevent sewage discharges into the River Thames but the investment is a stimulator for economic growth. The same principle applies to our roads, railways and energy infrastructure.” The argument is robust: figures from the 2009 study; ‘Construction

in the UK Economy, the benefits of investment’, commissioned by the UK Contractors Group, show that in 2008 alone, the construction sector made up a whopping £124 billion, or 8.5 per cent, of UK gross domestic product (GDP). The investment tends to give strong returns. Every £1 invested in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, as well as raising tax and stimulating the various sectors supplying construction projects.

UK GDP 2008 In 2008 alone, the construction sector made up a whopping £124 billion, or 8.5 per cent, of UK GDP.

Infrastructure feature Collaboration

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Halting race to the bottom

But the construction industry has been battered by recession. And, as some firms feel forced to cut back to keep their balance sheets in order, they are in danger of sacrificing product quality. But this race to the bottom can be halted, and firms can still succeed by focusing on managing projects efficiently. Skanska, which funds and constructs new infrastructure, has worked on a number of high profile success stories. As part of a design, build, finance and operate contract for the Highways Agency it widened a 62km stretch on the northern section of the M25 in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Hocking said: “In this economic environment having access to such financial resources is really important to developing new infrastructure, providing a stimulus to the wider economy too.”


££ Every £1 invested in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity.

Below: Skanska and Costain have joined forces to construct 33km of cable tunnels through London for National Grid

One priority is co-operation with others – whether clients, users, suppliers, partners or community groups. Companies must involve contractors and developers in the procurement discussions early to make the process smoother, and show what is and isn’t possible. And maintaining good relationships with other concerned parties is vital. “Good relationships are helpful in any project,” says Hocking. “The key is early involvement, stakeholder management and ensuring you have appropriate project controls in place, such as planning, forecasting and risk management. We apply this principle to all our clients, from Crossrail and Network Rail to the Highways Agency and National Grid. Contracts can be inefficient in the delivery phase if you have the wrong people. We make sure we have competent people with the right attitude who are focused on client goals and outcomes.”

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Infrastructure feature Collaboration

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Above: Skanska Executive Vice President Bill Hocking Left: Teaming up with Costain, Skanska is constructing a new station in Paddington for Crossrail Below: Skanska and Balfour Beatty are working in collaboration with the Highways Agency to deliver extensive widening works on the M25

Getting it right involves not only assessing and meeting client expectations but also maintaining good relationships within the supply chain. Skanska, for example, does this by committing to fair payment terms for suppliers to give financial certainty in an uncertain climate. Hocking also stresses the importance of flexibility, such as when a client needs change. He says: “The main thing here is a can-do attitude, but you also need the technology,

competence and the ability to absorb change and minimise the impact.” And he argues other forms of collaboration also matter. Joint venture partnerships have become an inevitable part of tackling major projects, and Hocking believes this has numerous benefits. He says: “Joint ventures provide muscle in terms of resources and may reduce a very competitive landscape. They can be useful if

you need a wider range of skills or technologies. It also makes sense because it means you can be involved in a major project but manage your risk in doing so.” The recent work on the M25 was carried out using a joint venture partnership, as Skanska and Balfour Beatty came together on what was a £1 billion construction project. Hocking also mentions the need to focus on sustainability in projects. He says: “We design to minimise embedded carbon and whole-life carbon, because carbon equals cost. “Having efficient infrastructure assets will become increasingly important with energy prices rising and infrastructure having a long lifespan; we think it gives us a tangible edge.” Hocking says the firm’s people and values, its balance sheet, focus on relationships and sustainability gives it a bright future.

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Infrastructure feature Collaboration

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Exceptional engineering Construction projects are rarely easy but carrying out complex work is even tougher, slap-bang in a popular tourist spot. Working on the Borough Viaduct at London Bridge, right above the bustling Borough Market, was always going to be a challenge. Skanska constructed an eye-catching 400m-long viaduct alongside the existing railway and above one of London’s busiest road junctions. It had to be carefully placed between and over existing historic buildings – within inches of some.

Going back around five years, all the social media buzz honed in on the chaos this was expected to cause. Skanska’s Managing Director for civil engineering, Greg Craig, says that with meticulous planning and people trained to engage with the local community, the project was successfully delivered with minimal impact to local residents. Craig says: “We worked closely with the local community through Network Rail. We had community liaison workers continuously explain

Greg Craig, Managing Director for Skanska’s civil engineering business

what was happening, to persuade people to adapt to the change and to respond to their needs. “Very few people actually realised that whilst they were shopping in the market, a 1,200-tonne viaduct was being built right above their head. In fact, many of them only realised what we had been doing after we rolled the completed bridge into place over a single weekend.”

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Ultra-green building benefits community Trailblazing civic centre sets new standards in sustainable construction

Contact: Web: [ 14 ]

Architecture photography Š Morley von Sternberg

Project feature Brent civic centre

Project feature Brent civic centre

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he new Brent Civic Centre, built by Skanska, is on track to be the greenest public building in the UK. The showpiece building in west London is in Wembley, in the shadow of the famous football stadium. “It is such a hit with the public and employees,” according to Skanska Project Director Paul Davies, who oversaw the construction of the building. He says that local people love the result: “I went on a recent visit and the atmosphere inside was absolutely vibrant. The sheer number of people there was amazing. It’s clear it is already having an impact on the local community.” Skanska won the £85 million construction contract from Brent Council, and began work in November 2010. The building was opened to the public this summer.

Brent Civic Centre Client: Brent Council Architect: Hopkins Architects Main Contractor: Skanska Contract Period: 109 Weeks Value: £85 million Scope: Design and build contract

The new 39,948 sqm building was designed by Hopkins Architects. It replaces 14 buildings which were used to house most of Brent Council’s services. The new civic centre has offices and facilities for up to 2,000 staff and councillors. It has a range of community facilities, including a state-of-the-art new library, civic hall, wedding suite and even a restaurant. This includes over 20 areas for events, such as rooms for galleries and exhibitions. There is both an indoor garden and an outdoor space, with room for up to 1,000 people. Brent Council says that it expects to save £2.5 million every year as

a result of moving into the new building. It says the savings will come partly through reduced heating, lighting and maintenance costs. The leader of Brent Council, Councillor Muhammed Butt, said: “Not only will it save the council money, but it will be an environmentally friendly, beautiful public space at the heart of our community that everyone can use.”

Paul Davies, Project Director

The building is right in the centre of Wembley’s regeneration area. Brent Council has set out an ambitious vision of how the whole area will be transformed by 2030. The construction of the new Wembley stadium, which opened in 2007, was part of the regeneration process. Over 650 people were involved in the construction of the building. Skanska Executive Vice President Paul Chandler said they were committed to helping the community throughout the construction period: “We kept our promise and made this a local project employing 150 people from the surrounding area. The vision, technology and design of the building makes it outstanding.” The civic centre has impressive green credentials. It is on track to get an ‘outstanding’ rating from the

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Project feature Brent civic centre

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Brent Civic Centre...

39,948 a sqm new building


14 buildings

for up to

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1,000 people

BREEAM international assessment system, which measures how environmentally friendly buildings are. This is the highest BREEAM standard that can be awarded. The design phase of the project has already received an ‘outstanding’ accreditation – the first time this has been given for one of the UK’s public buildings.

A number of BREEAM workshops were held in 2011 for the project team. The aim was to make everyone aware of all the potential issues. Davies said the workshops were invaluable: “They were so worthwhile. They opened our eyes to what we needed to do to achieve an ‘outstanding’ level.”

It was a real challenge to ensure the building could meet the highest BREEAM rating. Davies said: “You have to start early – at the design stage. If you don’t do that you won’t pick up enough credits in the early stages and you won’t stand a chance of getting the highest standard.”

The building reduces carbon emissions by 33 per cent through a number of energy saving technologies, including solar shading. The combined cooling, heating and power system uses waste fish oil. During the summer, it will produce enough energy to

650 150 people involved

locally employed

feed electricity back to the national grid. “This building uses cuttingedge technology to make it as environmentally friendly as possible,” according to Davies. There are computer controlled valves in the heating system, for example, which allow it to be regulated by the building’s intelligent central control unit. The computer can also automatically open windows to improve ventilation, and reduce power consumption. Skanska and Brent Council’s approach to the project was recognised in 2012. They won the

Architecture photography © Morley von Sternberg

...has an indoor garden and an outdoor space with room

Project feature Brent civic centre

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...has offices and facilities for up to


staff and councillors

33% less carbon £2.5

achieved partly through reduced heating, lighting cost saving and maintenance costs per year expected



...uses different types of cladding system

innovation category in the Local Government Chronicle’s Business Partnership Awards. The judges said they were impressed by the way the two organisations worked together and with the community. Davies said this made the project “bigger and more successful”. Skanska was also recognised by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. In successive years it won bronze, silver and gold awards for the way it carried out work on-site. “The community engagement has been phenomenal,” explained Davies. Skanska went out to local

schools and colleges to explain more about the new civic centre, and about the construction industry as a whole. This included a number of workshops for teachers. A community project was carried out at a local women’s refuge to improve the facilities there. Davies says Skanska received lots of praise for its work: “The level of engagement has made a real difference to the project.” There were lots of challenges, because of the unusual nature of the building, according to Davies: “The building uses a lot of fairfaced concrete. This had to be really high-quality to ensure that the

emissions achieved through a number of energy saving technologies, including solar shading. The combined cooling, heating and power system uses waste fish oil

finish was good enough. We had to employ specially skilled craftsmen. The building uses 34 different types of cladding, which is an enormous number of different types of system. There were also huge logistical challenges with installing the mechanical and electrical services, such as wiring and piping. This was because they were all installed in the void under the raised floor on each level.” Davies says it’s been a very successful journey: “When I was visiting, one of the local councillors came over to me. He was over the moon with the work we did.”

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News update

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Super alliance bags major water contract Thames Water has named a Skanska MWH Balfour Beatty (SMB) joint venture as a design-and-build partner for its latest asset management programme

SMB has been selected to deliver one of the largest and most varied water infrastructure improvement programmes in the UK. The joint venture will be providing design-and-build solutions for the development and delivery of Thames Water’s new capital investment programme in a ‘super alliance’ of industry-leading organisations.

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Secured this year, the contract is worth £1 billion to £1.5 billion, shared equally between the three companies. It began with a 23-month early contractor involvement (ECI) phase, in preparation for the start of delivery, running from 2015 to 2020. Greg Craig, Skanska’s Managing Director for its civil engineering

business, said: “This win is the result of fantastic collaboration between Skanska and its partners. We have worked together to harness our skills and experience to develop a solution that meets the client’s ambitious needs.” The ECI phase reflects Thames Water’s decision to confirm its partners two years before the next five-year regulatory

News update

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period, transforming the way it delivers capital investment. It enables a sustained period of collaboration with early involvement of the contractors helping to define how works are delivered, while driving innovation to achieve efficiency gains and reduce costs. Peter Jones, Skanska’s Managing Director for its

utilities team, said: “All three of the joint venture partners bring industry leading experience and best practice to the contract, offering balanced capabilities across the portfolio of work for Thames Water. “In winning this contract, we have shown we not only meet all the technical requirements, but also have the collaborative

team dynamic to deliver the best solutions, working with the alliance members and with a range of stakeholders.” Using its industry experience, the joint venture super team will focus on creating a safe workplace, driving out waste and promoting a sustainable procurement strategy, focused on whole-life costing.

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Investment feature Highways maintenance

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Investment feature Highways maintenance

Significant expansion for Skanska Skanska has bought Atkins road maintenance business, putting it in an even stronger position for the future

Contact: Web:


kanska says it is looking forward to new growth opportunities after buying Atkins’ road maintenance business. Over 1,200 staff at a mixture of council and Highways Agency contracts covering large sections of east Anglia and the south-west have joined Skanska. The company now has an 8 per cent share of the £2.4 billion roads maintenance market in the UK. The £18 million deal sees the number of staff at Skanska UK increase by over 25 per cent. It is estimated it will bring an extra £180 million of revenue per year to Skanska. Skanska UK’s President and CEO, Mike Putnam, said: “This represents a significant, strategic development for our UK business. It demonstrates our strength in the market and the confidence of our parent company, Skanska AB, on the back of four years’ robust performance by our UK operation.”

getting injured when they lift heavy manhole covers. The acquisition brings in a considerable range of design capability to Skanska. This includes significant experience in designing and managing a vast range of road renewal and improvement projects. Above: Deirdre Murphy, Managing Director for Skanska’s infrastructure services business Left: Members of Skanska’s new highways maintenance team

The business that Skanska has acquired has had a major impact on the road maintenance market, with a track record of innovation, along with a number of firsts. These include becoming the first single managing agent contractor for the Highways Agency in 2008. Innovations include the award winning Grid Lift, the bright idea of an operative keen to prevent workers

The arm of the business which deals with road maintenance is led by Managing Director Deirdre Murphy. She said: “Our business is now in a strong position for the future. We will have a larger regional base, with an extra 55 sites across the UK, which gives us a chance to grow in new markets, as part of our strategy to expand the business.” The acquisition puts Skanska UK in a strong position during the current economic climate. The move is also designed to benefit potential clients, as Skanska can now offer them a greater range of services.

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Project feature Offshore wind

Blowing in the right direction Reduced carbon and emission targets are driving a radical rethink in the energy sector. The number of UK homes powered by wind is set to increase by 340 per cent to 17 million by 2020

Contact: Web:

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Project feature Offshore wind

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ffshore wind is the energy of the future, according to RenewableUK, the trade association for wind, wave and tidal power industries in the UK. And Skanska is wellplaced to play a major part in this promising sector with a dedicated team looking at new opportunities off the coast of the UK. The Chief Executive of RenewableUK, Maria McCaffery, said the world was standing “at an energy crossroads” where old energy choices are no longer adequate at a time when fossil fuels are rising in cost, energy security concerns are increasing and the dangers of climate change are becoming more pressing. She explained how ambitious carbon reduction targets, along with policies promoting energy self-reliance, had prompted a rethink of the energy sector. The message from leading western politicians, she said, was clear: renewable sources

must play a much greater role in modern societies for the sake of economic growth, energy security and reducing emissions. Offshore wind power meets all three of these objectives with the greatest resource lying beyond coastal waters. The UK’s exclusive maritime economic zone covers 773,676km², of which only 30,000km² has been released for development. This relatively small area of the sea could provide around 40 per cent of our annual electricity needs. Progress so far has been rapid: from 568 turbines already installed and providing around 1.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity today, the sector is set to reach a contribution of around 8 per cent in the next five years. By the end of the decade the UK government is calling for 18,000 megawatts of installed offshore wind capacity, contributing around 55 terawatt hours of electricity and more than 40,000 jobs.

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Project feature Offshore wind

The next sites for offshore wind farms to be leased by the government in the North Sea will provide new challenges. The sites are located further out to sea – potentially 200km from the shore at depths of 50m or more. This will require larger structures, bigger turbines, deeper foundations and longer construction times. These turbines will be taller than the Gherkin in London and have turbine-rotor diameters larger than the London Eye. The larger turbines need bigger foundations and, at the greater water depths, existing low-tech and relatively low-cost steel foundations hammered into the seabed start to become impractical. Steel jacket foundations, which resemble miniature oil rigs, will play a significant role in this next phase of development. However, in the more challenging conditions off the coast of Scotland where piling can be difficult and may require drilling, or environmental consent places restrictions on piling noise, a need for alternative foundation solutions is required.

Upfront #3:13

The team has also joined up with one of the world’s largest marine installation companies, Boskalis Offshore, part of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., which owns in excess of 1,100 vessels.

Colin Nicol, Skanska’s Project Director

Richie Young was brought together to think about potential solutions and strategies. Working with leading environmental engineer Grontmij, which designed the world’s first large-scale offshore wind farm in Denmark, Skanska has developed a self-buoyant concrete gravity foundation which rests on the seabed.

Greg Craig, Skanska Managing Director, says: “This joint venture means that all aspects of the construction and installation process are within our control and we hope this is going to give us an edge over the competition.” The partners launched their concrete gravity foundation solution at the Global Offshore Wind conference and exhibition at London’s Excel last year. Building information modelling (BIM) has been a central focus

“Three years ago we recognised the potential of the sector and investigated how we could take advantage of it,” explains Colin Nicol, who heads up Skanska’s offshore wind project. “There are many components to an offshore wind turbine, but once we realised there were alternative foundation structures to steel, such as concrete, we believed there was a real opportunity to utilise our knowledge, experience and capabilities gained in other sectors.” A core team of Project Director Colin Nicol and Technical Director

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Above: The wind industry in the UK is set to take off. By 2020 it will provide 90,000 jobs, an increase of 750 per cent on current figures

Project feature Offshore wind

Upfront #3:13

for the team during design and planning. The 3D visualisation supports automated design analysis to find the most effective and cost-efficient solution.

Skanska’s concrete gravity foundation • is self-buoyant eliminating the need for specialist towing vessels • uses recycled materials and has a low carbon footprint and eco-friendly design • employs mass production logistics using standard, proven techniques including the pre-fabrication of component parts • can be future-proofed for repowering at a later date • installation is designed

The joint venture’s solution has been successfully tested at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands. This is a high-class facility with an extensive track record in hydrodynamic and nautical research and development. There still remains much debate about where all the investment is going to come from, with a mix of government funding and private investment the most likely outcome. But there is little doubt that it will have to happen if jobs and a new manufacturing base are to be created and cheaper alternative energy sources are to be provided to ‘keep the lights on’ and meet environmental targets. Craig adds: “For Skanska the next challenge, once we have a contract in place, is to find the ideal location to design and build

the fabrication plant. Some fairly significant refurbishment to port facilities will be needed to allow us to deploy our foundations offshore.” An animated video has been created, available on Skanska’s website, to show potential clients the process

about offshore wind

5 million homes by wind industry in UK economy in 2012, with projects in the pipeline between now and 2020 worth a further

£50 billion

from start to finish, expected to become a reality some time in 2014. This development will be watched with interest by many in Skanska as the UK team look to transfer the knowledge and skills built up here to opportunities in other areas of the globe.

7 million tonnes every year –

Did you know? £5 billion invested

to minimise noise and vibration impact on marine life • is based on a ‘caisson’ watertight structure •u  ses readily available and locally sourced materials, labour and suppliers •p  rovides a total solution encompassing design, construction and installation • is flexible and scalable to suit multiple sites and metocean conditions, and various water depths up to 60m

amount of carbon dioxide emissions cut by wind power, equivalent to taking 1.75 million cars off the road

in UK powered by wind – set to increase to 17 million by 2020

2p per day – cost of investment in UK’s wind energy capability to the average household per day (according to recent Ofgem figures)

12,000 jobs created in UK by wind industry – set to increase to 90,000 jobs by 2020

These turbines (tip height 187m) will be taller

than London’s Gherkin building (180m) and have turbine-rotor diameters (164m) larger than the London Eye (120m)

Source: RenewableUK’s Wind Industry Charter

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Values feature Green leadership

Upfront #3:13

Reproduced with kind permission of Environment Industry Magazine

Leading the way Co-chair of the government’s Green Construction Board, Mike Putnam, explains why going green is the only option for this sector


oing green can be a tough choice for some companies, but in a sector like construction, there really is only one way to go.

The built environment 40% of carbon emissions 50% of water consumption 33% of landfill 25% of raw materials

Today, it is believed that the built environment accounts for 40 per cent of carbon emissions, 50 per cent of water consumption, 33 per cent of landfill and 25 per cent of raw materials, so the construction industry has the scope to make a significant difference to our collective footprint. Government and European Union regulations and societal pressures are also pushing the construction industry to find greener ways to build, operate and maintain the UK’s infrastructure – and to find ways to make the existing built environment more green.

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Most companies share information on their websites about their approach to sustainability. Green credentials are essential for any business that wants to show that it cares about its people, brand, reputation, investors and the planet,

but being a leader in green means doing more – it’s about having high aspirations, driving through change and never being satisfied. A determination to be a leader in green begins with a strong vision. “At Skanska, we believe that construction with near-zero impact on the environment is realistic; selfsufficient buildings that generate their own power, and are built and maintained with zero net impact on the environment, are the future,” says President and CEO of Skanska UK, Mike Putnam. Existing environmental legislation and accreditations are useful benchmarks, but they are not the end. Putnam believes we don’t need to wait for a mandate to set stricter targets. The technology is already on the market – it’s not holding us back. Bold, forward-thinking leadership, together with some targeted funding, also helps to stimulate real action. “The focus for Skanska and our clients lies in reducing energy use and minimising the carbon footprint of our projects. Consequently, Skanska’s projects are becoming more and more green, with some tough targets to keep us moving forward,” says Putnam. “By constantly analysing new products and technologies, the company is able to incorporate ever-more sustainable options in its design specifications, procurement and construction processes.” Skanska categorises its projects using the Skanska Color Palette™, developed to measure and guide green performance. The range from vanilla to green to Deep Green reflects the stages between

Values feature Green leadership

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Skanska’s Mike Putnam Co-chair of the government’s Green Construction Board

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Values feature Green leadership

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Skanska Skanska Color Color Palette™ Palette™ Building Building

Vanilla Vanilla Compliance Compliance

GreenGreen Beyond Beyond Compliance Compliance

Deep Deep GreenGreen FutureFuture Proof Proof

Energy Energy

Net Zero Net Zero Primary Primary Energy Energy

Carbon Carbon

Near Zero NearCarbon Zero Carbon Construction Construction

Materials Materials

Zero Unsustainable Zero Unsustainable Materials Materials Zero Hazardous Zero Hazardous Materials Materials Zero Waste Zero Waste Net Zero NetWater Zero Water


Skanska tracks the green performance of its projects using its Color Palette™

regulatory compliance and near-zero environmental impact. Deep Green projects are future-proofed because they’re self-sufficient, generating their own energy, and built with a minimal environmental footprint. The company uses the Skanska Color Palette™ to help simplify its communications about green – for itself and for its clients. By limiting the use of technical terms and focusing on the benefits, everyone can understand and support the green message. “Mapping our projects on the Skanska Color Palette™ also shows what we have achieved to date and what we have left to do. It’s called our Journey to Deep Green™,” says Putnam. A green team To be a green company, you need to be a green team. That doesn’t just mean having environmental specialists on hand – everyone in the organisation can make a difference. Skanska wants everyone to be a leader in green, with the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their day-to-day contribution. Not

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everyone is expected to be an expert – but they do need the right support and to ask the right questions. Green thinking transcends the business world. Many employees have their own environmental beliefs and commitments. Recycling, green travel and reducing energy consumption are all part of everyday life now, so bringing them into the corporate world is a natural next step. Likewise, experiences at work can influence what happens at home.

For the last eight years, Skanska has celebrated all things green during a week of looking at greener ways of working, sharing knowledge about green approaches to project work and making personal commitments. This is just one way of embedding green thinking into the culture of the business – and employees really get behind it, every year. Ultimately, the process is one of culture change. “We can’t all be green overnight because it’s an evolving journey. By tracking our progress and celebrating our successes, we can show we’ve moved forward and that we’re embedding green within the organisation. Eventually, green becomes business as usual,” Putnam adds. Working together to make a difference “We’re often told that the reason people want to work at Skanska is our green credentials. It helps to attract the brightest young talent. That accolade is not won by working alone,” says Putnam.

Values feature Green leadership

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“To make a real difference, businesses like ours need to work with clients, the supply chain, government and even competitors. Engaging others increases your sphere of influence, and develops a united voice in driving forward the industry,” he explains. Ten years ago, the Global Reporting Initiative set worldwide standards for sustainability reporting. It inspired Skanska to do the same. For example, the company has voluntarily calculated its carbon footprint, as a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project, for the last five years. By contributing to industry bodies and government taskforces, such as the Green Construction Board, which Putnam co-chairs, Skanska helps to fulfil the wider leadership remit of stimulating economic growth and, ultimately, creating jobs. “Developing strategic partnerships between industry and government brings both consistency and confidence for investment and growth. It creates mutual understanding and aligns industry and government strategies for the long term,” Putnam adds. “Our clients tell us that they want greener buildings and infrastructure, and to deliver on that we need a supply chain that supports these values,” Putnam explains. “Again, standards and policies can only do so much. To really revolutionise an industry supply chain, you need to support them in changing the way they do business.” In 2012, Skanska worked with its competitors – major contractors in the construction industry

Above: Skanska’s headquarters in Hertfordshire is treated to a £1.4 million green makeover

Green retrofit at Skanska’s HQ


lower carbon emissions


reduction in energy usage


energy bill savings over ten years

– and government (CITB – ConstructionSkills) – to establish the Supply Chain Sustainability School. This industry-wide resource is a virtual environmental learning centre for small and medium sized suppliers, helping them to assess where they are on the green journey and to enhance their green

credentials to better align with the aspirations of their clients, firms like Skanska. The business case Despite what some might say, sustainability has not dropped off the agenda – businesses simply think about it in a different way. Today, being green isn’t just about ‘doing the right thing’, it’s a commercial decision. In the current economic climate, clients look to benefit from energy and cost savings by embracing green technology, but it is not a quick fix. Taking a longer-term perspective can really influence building design and changes the business case for sustainable solutions. For example, by considering what a building will cost over its lifetime, rather than just for the construction phase, Skanska can offer its clients efficiencies that continue to deliver for years to come. A Deep Green building can attract higher rental premiums and increase the value of a client’s portfolio.

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Values feature Green leadership

Some 80 per cent of buildings that exist today will still be standing in 50 years’ time. That’s why another important area is building in resilience to climate change by green retrofitting existing buildings. Putnam explains: “Green retrofit is not yet mainstream, but we believe that improving building performance is vital if we are to meet government carbon reduction targets. It also makes commercial sense, not only for us, as a contractor, but also for landlords, tenants and owners. Improving building performance cuts down energy bills and studies of post occupancy evaluation show it increases productivity.”


Some % of buildings that exist today will still be standing in 50 years’ time

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The payback isn’t instant, it is a long-term investment, and there are some who remain sceptical because of the different financial model. But Skanska believes in the model so much, it has invested its own money to green retrofit its own offices. “We believe in the benefits, so we invest in green ourselves,” confirms Putnam. We advocate green retrofit to our clients, but we also apply it to our own offices. Skanska UK has refurbished its Hollywood House office in Woking. Last year, the two floors that Skanska occupies achieved LEED Platinum status, gaining the highest-ever score recorded in the UK for an office fit-out. The company is now retrofitting its UK headquarters in Rickmansworth. By introducing green technologies, it will see a 40 per cent reduction in energy usage, 50 per cent lower carbon emissions and savings on energy bills of 50 per cent over ten years. “We’re not just demanding more as a tenant, we’re investing our own money in clients’ projects. In some cases, we provide up-front capital

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Clockwise from top left: Skanska’s green vehicles; Hollywood House, Woking; Biomass boiler for Skanska’s headquarters

to make green projects happen. It means that next time they know it will work, because they’ve seen it for themselves,” concludes Putnam. Join our Journey to Deep Green™ Green has become something that sets Skanska’s business apart from the rest, and the team works hard to maintain this position. Through organisations, such as the Green Construction Board and Construction Leadership Council, Putnam is able to share his expertise with government and help make green commonplace in construction, and not the exception to the rule.

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News update

The tower of power Skanska is delivering mechanical and electrical services to a Berkeley Homes’ prime residential development situated next to Tower Bridge in London. The development is made up of nine blocks, which include 353 luxury properties and 43 housing association apartments. The team will be drawing on its proven capabilities to deliver the £18 million contract. Works include main lowvoltage distribution, hot and cold water distribution and drainage services, as well as the building management, technology, television and fire alarm systems. Once complete, Skanska’s facilities services team will maintain the development for two years.

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News update

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News update

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Creating an injuryfree environment A Skanska behavioural change programme has reduced by half the number of injuries on Skanska’s UK sites since 2009. Skanska’s Injury-Free Environment (IFE) programme extends to all Skanska UK’s employees and subcontractors. All 5,000 employees, plus thousands of subcontractor personnel have received training in IFE. President and CEO Mike Putnam has personally led the programme. He explained: “At Skanska, we’re aiming for more than zero accidents; our goal is to have healthier, happier and safer people. “IFE is a leveller. It’s all about empowering people, sharing concerns and building relationships. It doesn’t matter if you are managing director or an operative on site. We all have families and care about the same things. Our language today is very different compared to a few years ago. It’s now okay to talk about emotions. It’s becoming part of what we do, our culture.”

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Project feature Energy security

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Power to the people Skanska has embarked on an eight-year joint venture project for National Grid, helping ensure the safety and reliability of the UK’s gas mains pipework for years to come

Contact: Web:

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Project feature Energy security

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132,000km of gas distribution pipelines


t the turn of a button, we have gas available at our fingertips. It’s so easy to take for granted that it will be there when we need it – to take a steaming shower, warm our home or cook our favourite dinner in the evening. Never far from the media headlines, gas is now a hot topic. Over recent decades the UK has moved from being an exporter of gas to an importer, with supplies coming from the Middle East. Security of our gas supply lies not just in having enough gas to meet demand, but also the necessary pipework to ensure that gas reaches right up to our doorsteps and into our homes, safely, securely and reliably.

Responsibility for the majority of the gas mains infrastructure in England rests with National Grid. Its networks cover some 132,000km of gas distribution pipelines, serving around 10.8 million consumers.

“That means continuing to update and extend the gas network to ensure that we continue to operate a safe and secure supply, while providing all our customers with the highest level of service.”

In the UK there are eight gas distribution networks. National Grid runs the four which cover London, East of England, West Midlands and the North West.

RIIO world Ofgem, which regulates the electricity and gas markets in Great Britain has set out a new regulatory framework called RIIO.

“We are committed to piping gas and connecting people to the gas network in the safest and most efficient way possible, to homes and businesses across the UK,” said Steve Mason, Head of Gas Distribution Strategic Partnership (GDSP) Contract East for client National Grid.

RIIO came into effect in April 2013. It’s a price control framework which will ensure that £35 billion worth of investment in the country’s energy infrastructure will be delivered at a fair price to consumers. It will also help make sure that Britain’s energy infrastructure remains the most reliable in the world.

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Project feature Energy security

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10.8 million customers served by National Grid

Mason adds: “Our aim is to review and challenge everything we currently do and develop new innovations that will allow us to become even more efficient, safer and more compliant in the future. It’s a huge challenge but we are confident that through the new GDSP contracts we have the right partners to deliver our objectives.” This year Skanska, in joint venture with Morrison Utility Services (MUS), started work on two of the four gas distribution networks: London and the East of England. It’s an eight-year, £1.6 billion contract, under which the partners will schedule and undertake works on behalf of National Grid. Steve Mason says: “The GDSP contracts are the single largest contract that National Grid has ever

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let. In making this contract award we were looking for numerous qualities, including partners who share our values, particularly around safety, compliance and customer experience. “National Grid’s reputation is very important to us so we needed partners we could trust. Our aim is to build a long-term relationship with strategic partners, which will help us to produce the outputs required under RIIO.” Joint working Collaboration is seen as key to success. This was demonstrated in the way the contract has been set up, with a new joint venture unifying approach developed for staff working on it, called tRIIO®. This conveys the idea of three organisations, Skanska and MUS

with National Grid, working together to deliver RIIO outcomes. Steve Jones, Skanska’s Operations Director for tRIIO® (East of England), said: “By working collaboratively we are gearing everything that we do, which includes the way that we work, our systems and processes to delivering National Grid’s obligations under RIIO. “We are taking the ‘best of the best’ from all three tRIIO® organisations; National Grid, Morrison Utility Services and Skanska, into our future working model.” There are now more than 3,000 people working at tRIIO®. During March and April an induction exercise to mobilise and introduce staff to tRIIO® took place

Project feature Energy security

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Natural gas imported into the UK

45% in 2009

with ‘military precision’. It took in six different sites, from London in the south up to Sheffield in the north of England. Staff and sub contractors were familiarised with tRIIO® and given an operational briefing into how National Grid’s requirements will be met and their role in helping to deliver them. “We are now moving into full operational mode,” adds Jones. “We are implementing new structures and working practices, while also planning for cultural transformation to make sure that new ways of working are fully embedded.” Investing in innovation Under tRIIO®, Skanska and MUS will be responsible for replacing

around 1,000km of gas mains pipework each year and 100,000 gas meters in an extensive area spanning from London to the Humber. It’s a huge operation which includes scheduling works, writing to householders and businesses so they are kept fully informed and carrying out the work itself. Jones says: “Developing and introducing a culture of innovation will be key to our success. We cannot stand still and we need to make best use of new technology to drive operational efficiency and economies. We have already invested in iPhone technology which has improved the way that works are scheduled, tracked and delivered. It’s also helped ensure better two-way communication


the expected figure by 2019

with field-based staff, which has made us more efficient in the way that we operate. “We will work sustainably too. National Grid is ambitious to reduce its impact on the environment and we will carry that through in the way that we work, from our use of materials to thinking intelligently about the scheduling of work to reduce lorry movements.” This focus on innovation is endorsed by National Grid’s Steve Mason. He said: “RIIO has provided us with an opportunity to do things differently, from the way we approach work to the techniques and materials we use. We need to be doing things better and more efficiently through innovative solutions.”

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Project feature Greener schools

Upfront #3:13

A lesson in saving energy

by entering information about heating, electricity, travel, products and services. The toolkit highlights excessive levels, identifies potential savings, and provides comparisons with other schools. The facility is also used to engage pupils in issues relating to energy use, climate change and social behaviours.

While 84 per cent of young people think schools can help in the fight against climate change, only 8 per cent think schools are actually doing something about it, according to figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Schools across the UK are facing rising energy costs and increasing carbon emissions. But a school’s energy use is not the only contributor to its carbon footprint. The travel habits of students and staff – and the products and services a school buys – make a significant contribution too. To tackle this problem, Skanska has been involved in the Atlas Schools Project, led by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL). A low carbon toolkit is the centrepiece


of young people think schools can help in the fight against climate change


think schools are actually doing something about it

of the project; this is a web-based tool that any school can access. Schools can use this facility to find out the size of their carbon footprint

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Linked to this, Skanska has developed an energy performance contract tailored specifically for schools. Under this model, the company provides funding for schools to implement energy saving measures. The guaranteed savings the school makes from these measures is used to repay the cost of the investment over the duration of the contract, after which the schools can directly benefit from the savings. The Atlas Schools Project has been set up by CPSL, along with a group of businesses and expert partners who are committed to working together to address climate and energy challenges.

News update

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A gold-plated investor in people Some 20,000 companies have achieved the Investors in People (IiP) accreditation, but just 1 per cent have gained Gold status. This year, Skanska’s civil engineering team achieved 183 points out of the maximum 196, well above the 165 required to achieve Gold.

Olympic legacy

Issy Maxwell (above), Skanska’s IiP project lead, said: “We regard ourselves as a learning organisation and are delighted to have made such significant strides, particularly in the areas of employee recognition and continuous improvement.”

Skanska is working on a £14.5 million contract from the London Legacy Development Corporation, as part of a £300 million construction project to transform the Olympic site into a venue known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The project team is converting the South Plaza into a dynamic open space, with fountains, spectacular lighting and impressive gardens. The area lies between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics centre. Deirdre Murphy, Managing Director for Skanska, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this prestigious project. Winning this contract is testimony to the high-quality public realm work delivered by the South Park team and by

Top: Wild flower meadows created by Skanska for London 2012 Above: Skanska built the halo masts that harness wind energy to feed into the national grid

Skanska across the whole of the Olympic Park.” The project is due to finish in March 2014. The South Plaza will provide a stage for an exciting range of cultural, sporting and community events and activities.

Bob Haywood, lead specialist for IiP assessment, commented: “The unit is the embodiment of the Investors in People standard and framework in how it leads, manages and develops its people. Its leaders and managers regard their people as their greatest asset and work tirelessly to develop, encourage and empower them, creating opportunities, as well as rewarding and celebrating their achievements.”

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People feature Women in construction

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Wanted: women in construction Traditionally male dominated, the industry needs to attract more women to head off a looming skills gap

Contact: Web:


he construction industry faces a huge challenge in trying to attract more women to work in the sector. And Skanska UK is meeting that challenge head on with Katy Dowding, one of its top executives, serving as chair of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). More than two million people are currently employed in the UK’s construction industry, but women make up only 13 per cent of that workforce. And within that number, only 1.2 per cent are based on sites, with 80 per cent in support roles. Recruitment to the industry

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is predicted to run at an average of 29,050 a year from now until 2017 to head off a skills gap, so a lot of work still needs to be done to attract more women to bring new skills and a new dynamic to the industry. Dowding, Managing Director of Skanska’s facilities services business, said: “When I first came into the industry it wasn’t in people’s minds that women would be on a site. The personal protective equipment was in large sizes only and there were no facilities for women.” Dowding explained that, as with many traditionally male-dominated professions, there was an

assumption that construction was a ‘man’s job’, and this ultimately means the industry has often been over looked by women when choosing a career. She said: “Although the word ‘construction’ probably creates images of cranes, bricks, mud and noise, the fact is that the industry involves so much more with a huge variety of roles and responsibilities, and that is how construction needs to be perceived.” Dowding is now a strong advocate for women in construction, so much so that she has been chair for NAWIC – an elected position – for the last eight years.

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People feature Women in construction

Katy Dowding Skanska Managing Director and Chair of the National Association of Women in Construction

During this time, the number of NAWIC members has increased every year, which Dowding hopes is a promising sign that the industry is changing, and that more women are enjoying careers in construction. Dowding was recently named a finalist in the 2013 Women of Achievement Awards. Her advice to young women considering a career in the sector is: “Be yourself, develop your skills and be prepared to take opportunities when they come along. Woman can sometimes be too cautious, so be brave and take the leap.” Skanska was short-listed for a ‘People Development Award’ at the

Women in Construction Awards last year for promoting development opportunities for women through its annual Female Mentoring Programme. Feedback from the programme has been extremely positive with many pre-conceptions changed and networking opportunities created. Participants said that the programme made a significant contribution to their personal development and, in some cases, opened up new career opportunities they previously had thought not possible. Skanska made a commitment to improve the diversity of its workforce, in particular in relation to women,

in its global and UK 2015 business plan. To achieve this aim, Skanska UK and its parent company, Skanska AB, have implemented several global and UK initiatives to demonstrate their desire to use the talent and contributions of women in the current workforce and to attract women from other industries. To demonstrate commitment to appointing women in leadership roles, Skanska’s main board in Sweden publicly stated that it would increase the number of women on it. Two of the nine board members are now female. In the UK, four of the company’s most senior 20 executives are women and sit on the company’s Senior Management Team.

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People feature Women in construction

Jennifer Clark At the forefront of Skanska’s green journey Jennifer Clark is Director for Environment in Skanska. She has built up the environmental profile of Skanska throughout her career at the company, having joined in 1999 as an environmental advisor. She studied geography at Middlesex University in Enfield, north London. Her first job was working on the

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Channel Tunnel project. Clark said: “There were 15,000 men on the project, and just six women. Most people were quite supportive, but there was some prejudice towards women. However, I thought it was important that my work did the talking, and let people judge me on the quality of that.” Times have changed since then, according to Clark, who does not think there is a barrier to women joining the industry nowadays: “It’s

Upfront #3:13

about your attitude. If you think there’s prejudice, you’ll find it. I think there are more female role models these days. There weren’t really any when I started. A lot of women have told me it’s very important for them to see women who have been successful in the industry.” She says there is an advantage in having a greater number of women in the construction industry. She said: “A lot of published work shows that a well-managed, diverse team is

People feature Women in construction

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Within the first year I’d started running my own project. Liz Rawlinson, Graduate engineer

Liz Rawlinson Graduate engineer learning from major projects Liz Rawlinson is a graduate engineer who joined Skanska in 2010. She graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in civil engineering.

more productive. That’s accepted. I think that now we need to get more women in at senior positions in the industry as a whole.” Skanska’s mentoring programme for women is also important. Clark adds: “I encourage the wider industry to run schemes like our mentoring programme. I think there would be increased productivity as a result. It encourages a more diverse and innovative workplace, and helps to retain the best people.”

She was first based at the Olympic Park in Stratford in London, installing footbridges and a large piece of artwork. She’s also worked on a project to dig 33km of new tunnels for high-voltage electrical cables in London for National Grid. She’s even been on a secondment with a design consultancy firm, a step in her journey to chartership with the Institution of Civil Engineers. Rawlinson says: “Once I was on the training and development scheme, there was a set career path for me. You undertake two or three years’ of summer work experience as a student, which means that the company gets to know you and your strengths while you gain experience of working on site. That gave me a good idea of what to expect from a graduate role and what I was interested in.”

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People feature Women in construction

Kerri Chambers Overcoming adversity to carve out a brighter future Back in 2003, Kerri Chambers was facing major tragedy and challenges in her young life. She’d just lost her little sister, Cali-J, who’d died aged just 12-years-old following a difficult childhood. But she decided to build herself a new future – first by studying at Lewisham College in London, and then by starting work as a bricklayer on the Youthbuild scheme. Early success in her new job saw her named as runner-up in the Youthbuild UK Young Builder of the Year Awards 2011. And at the ceremony, held at the House of Commons, she met Skanska UK’s Executive Vice President Paul Chandler, who introduced her to some new opportunities in Skanska.

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She said: “Before I met Paul I had heard him speak about his personal career journey starting life in the east end of London. I found his story so inspirational.” In June last year, she started working as a trainee quantity surveyor for Skanska’s London-based commercial property team. Now she is working on a project to refurbish a commercial office block in London. Looking back at her efforts to build a new future, she said: “Before my sister’s death, my family life was not great. However, we realised that life is too short and we have used this tragedy to make our lives better. “My teacher at Lewisham College had a general chat and I mentioned my family background. It was then that he asked me if I wanted to take part in the Youthbuild scheme. I decided to apply and have never looked back.”

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As well as her success at work, she’s also helped her mum to conquer her addiction to alcohol after a 15-year battle. She said: “My mum and I have never been closer and we support each other every day, she is very proud of what I have achieved.” Now a big advocate of the Youthbuild UK scheme, she gave a speech at last year’s award ceremony, in which she said: “I felt so proud to be able to talk about the positive effect Youthbuild UK had on my life. “Getting involved with the scheme is giving me the opportunity to train to become a fully qualified quantity surveyor. Working for a company like Skanska means I will be able to work on some of the country’s most iconic buildings, like Heron Tower. It has given me a lot of confidence and reminded me that no matter what is going on in your life, there is always someone there to support and get you through.”

People feature Women in construction

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Deirdre Murphy Heads up Skanska UK’s largest operational business Deirdre Murphy joined Skanska more than 30 years ago as a Site Engineer helping to install gates on the Thames Barrier project. Since then, she’s had a varied career at the company, including everything from being a Site Agent for the civil engineering business on road and taxiway construction at Heathrow Airport to her current role as Managing Director, for the infrastructure services unit. It’s unusual for a woman in construction to follow a traditional

route to the top, but Murphy came up through the ranks. A chartered civil engineer, she spent 23 years on site in a variety of project management roles, followed by business systems and business development positions. She’s been responsible for all aspects of the infrastructure services business since 2008. Its work included landscaping for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, transforming a brownfield site to wild flower meadows. She is one of the

20 most senior managers in the UK business. In February 2013, Deirdre successfully led the acquisition of the Atkins Highways Services business, one of the first consolidations in the highways maintenance sector. This acquisition doubled the size of infrastructure services, making it one of the biggest businesses in the UK operation, with 1,600 team members and revenues above £250 million for 2014.

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An innovative, online platform to enable projects to ‘swap’ waste material or stock is reaping rewards

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Project feature Reduce, reuse, recycle

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intage and pre-owned goods are in vogue, with an increasing number of consumers choosing to buy second-hand. Online auction sites, vintage markets, and swishing events (where people exchange things they don’t want for things they do) are all helping people turn their unwanted items into someone else’s treasure. The UK generates a staggering 290 million tonnes of waste each year and, traditionally, the construction industry has been a significant contributor. Major contractor Skanska is determined to make a difference, with an objective of not using landfill sites. Site Swap Shop is the brainchild of Skanska Procurement Manager Graeme Crossley, who has revolutionised the company’s procurement procedures with a simple concept – redistributing spare goods and materials to other sites that can make use of them. “It was really painful for me to see that people were throwing away new, or nearly new items,” explains Crossley. “We’d order the usual sitestart up kit – such as cabins – then a few months later when the project finished we’d have to get rid of them.” Crossley started to arrange the items to be transferred from projects that were coming to an end – to new ones starting up, but it soon became timeconsuming and difficult to manage. Inspired by eBay, Freecycle and online shopping websites, he devised a simple online platform where project teams can advertise their spare stock to other sites. It meant that colleagues are made aware of items of kit that are about to become available and who to contact.

Swapping savings at SEESA Transaction costs

£122,477 Equivalent waste cost

£68,892 CO2 savings

190 tonnes Total savings

£191,369 The pilot took place on South East Electricity Substation Alliance (SEESA), where Skanska has been working in joint venture to upgrade National Grid’s electricity transmission network across the South East of England.

It led to astounding savings of more than £190,000 over three years and cut the project’s associated greenhouse gas emissions by 190 tonnes. “There are commercial benefits too, but this is more about doing the right thing. We’re doing all we can to reduce waste on our projects,” said Crossley, whose passion for the green agenda is clear. “I saw a cultural change. Site managers became more savvy, waiting for projects to near completion before buying stock, thus reducing their own outlays. “The upshot is purchasers are now telling me they’re visiting ‘swap shop’ without even thinking about it.” The Site Swap Shop has already been recognised by Waste and Resources Action Programme for its innovative way of aiding recycling. “I’m excited about it – it could be something really big,” says Crossley.

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News update

Green city development Land Securities Group has appointed Skanska as main contractor to design and construct its new mixed-use development in the City of London: 1 & 2 New Ludgate, London EC4. Designed to meet the environment standard BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the £260 million development in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral will be completed by mid-2015. Covering 35,210 sqm, the contract includes design and construction, to Category ‘A’ fit-out on selected floors, plus public realm works. The scheme will link two office buildings by a public piazza and improved pedestrian routes and includes 3,066 sqm of retail and restaurant facilities at ground and basement levels. “1 & 2 New Ludgate will be an attractive addition to the City of London and reflects increasing confidence in the City office market,” said Paul Heather, Managing Director, Skanska UK.

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Upfront #3:13

Upfront #3:13

News update

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Project feature London Underground maintenance

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In the dead of night As late-night passengers disembark from the last train, eagerly anticipating their soft pillows and a good night’s sleep, the ‘working day’ is just beginning for maintenance crews across the network Contact: Web:

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Upfront #3:13

Project feature London Underground maintenance

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Project feature London Underground maintenance


kanska people working on London Underground’s maintenance contract experience a very different world to that of everyday travellers and commuters using the capital’s tube network. The usual hustle and bustle of platforms crammed with office workers, tourists and shoppers is transformed into a quiet, deserted and, sometimes, creepy maze of platforms and tunnels once the trains have stopped. Working with London Underground staff, the Lot A project team from Skanska’s infrastructure services business maintains around twothirds of the tube network, which involves more than 1,000 bridges

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and 125 tunnels. Starting in April 2011, the £33 million contract runs for four years with the possibility of a two-year extension depending on performance. The project is headed up by Senior Project Manager Campbell McKechan. He is no stranger to this London Underground maintenance programme, having previously managed the contract for Mabey, Gleeson and McNicholas. With 99 per cent of the tube maintenance programme taking place at night, the 120-strong team splits into gangs of four and works through the hours of darkness on both planned and reactive maintenance. Planned maintenance covers works such as:

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■ drainage ■ removing vegetation ■ coating brickwork and concrete to waterproof it ■ works to platform ramps, like making them strong enough to carry equipment and removing trip hazards ■ putting in place equipment for inspections, such as towers Reactive maintenance includes more long-term work and anything that can affect train operations. These works are split into categories depending on severity, with heavy penalties applied if the work is not completed on time. Above: Campbell McKechan, Skanska’s Senior Project Manager

Project feature London Underground maintenance

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Gangs arrive at Snaresbrook depot and are given a briefing by the manager.

Cup of coffee before leaving the office, usually getting to the worksite at midnight.

1:30am last tube train departs

The team receives briefing from the Site Person in Charge explaining the night’s activities and any associated hazards, and the Protection Master’s (PM) briefing describes any trackside dangers.

PM contacts the Track Access Controller (TAC) who books-in the team. TAC gives the team a reference number to confirm its presence and that the electric current will be turned off.

A night in the life… of an underground shift worker

A Current Rail Indicator Box (CRIB) is placed across the rails to check the current is deactivated; lights will illuminate if the 720-volt current is detected.

On leaving the worksite, the team walks the track to make sure that no equipment is forgotten.

£10,000 for every minute delay When everyone is safely back on the platform, the PM contacts the TAC to confirm the site is clear and it is safe for trains to run. The TAC gives the PM a time and the call is recorded. Heavy fines can be issued if the gang is late.

A challenging project Describing the differences working on this project compared to others, McKechan said: “It’s nighttime working, and is logistically challenging with gangs all over the network. We need to make sure we have the right men, with the right equipment, at the right site every night. It’s difficult as the project is managed during the day, if there is a problem at night, I can’t just pop down to site and have a look.”

4:30am Work finishes

An outstanding performance With the many challenges facing the team members, you’d think they would struggle to meet the required performance levels. On the contrary, this is a high-performing group that is achieving some truly outstanding results. Pointing out the importance of this, McKechan said: “As we are paid based on hitting key performance indicators (KPIs), which are related

The gangs carry out the work needed – lasting anything from an hour to several nights.

No one leaves inbetween

If anyone wants to leave the area, then everyone has to go. The PM ensures that nobody is left behind.

to programme completion, it is all the more meaningful when we achieve KPIs of 100 per cent for planned and reactive maintenance – which we have done for more than 24 months. “We have only failed eight quality inspections, which I can live with as we have completed thousands of jobs and have gone through more than 1,400 client quality inspections since the start of the contract.”

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Project feature London Underground maintenance

A happy client Although the project is demanding, relationships with London Underground remain on track, as McKechan explained: “The team is averaging 94 per cent client satisfaction month-on-month, rising to an unbeatable 100 per cent during the Olympics fortnight. I’ve known the client since the 1990s so the relationship is well developed. “We have also helped London Underground with its green agenda, contributing to an environmental presentation delivered at its supply chain road shows, and have shared carbon footprint good practice which has been transferred to its operations.” The team was recognised for its high levels of customer

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satisfaction by Skanska, receiving an infrastructure services award. A solid team McKechan’s project highlight so far has been the team delivering the pre-Olympics work. “We completed over £1 million of work in the tunnels in less than one month. We were working flat out right up to when the first gun went off to ensure that the network would perform at its best for the Games.” This would not have been achieved, without great teamwork. He said: “I know the team, the same faces have moved from contractor to contractor, their knowledge and experience is second to none. They know the assets like the back of their hands and we haven’t had an

accident since we started.” Building this winning team is all the more remarkable considering many of the employees were transferred from other contractors. McKechan explained that the mobilisation period was crucial – setting off on the right foot. He said: “It takes a while for new employees to settle in and get their head around what working the Skanska Way entails. But the key performance indicators start on day one, so we have to provide a good service from the off.” With teamwork delivering key results and a sound working relationship between London Underground and Skanska, the project can only go from strength to strength.

Did you know? Source: Transport for London website

Highest station above mean sea level – Amersham, 147m (490ft)

Total number of passengers carried each year: 1,229 million

Deepest station below street level – Northern line, Hampstead, 58.5m (192ft) Length of network: 402km/ 249 miles Proportion of the network that is in tunnels: 45 per cent

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During the three-hour morning peak, London’s busiest Tube station is Waterloo, with 57,000 passengers

Longest continuous tunnel: East Finchley to Morden (via Bank) 27.8km/ 17.25 miles

Total number of stations served: 270

Total number of escalators: 426 The busiest station in terms of passengers each year is Waterloo with 82 million

Station with most escalators: Waterloo with 23

News update

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With more than 2,400 members, industry sustainability school smashes targets In its first year, the Skanskafounded Supply Chain Sustainability School has gained 2,400 registered members, exceeding the original target of 800. Members come from more than 1,300 companies that have demonstrated a commitment to improving their sustainability credentials by being part of the online school. Building on an impressive line up of partners, two more major contractors – Balfour Beatty and Wates – have recently announced their decision to support the school. They join Skanska, Kier, Lend Lease, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Willmott Dixon and Aggregate Industries in creating a more sustainable, responsible industry.

Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Adviser to UK Government, said: “With more than 2,400 members since launching just 12 months ago, the Supply Chain Sustainability School is an excellent example of the industry working together to tackle shared challenges. “The environmental and social sustainability issues the industry faces can only be effectively dealt with by the value chain working as one; from client to contractor through to suppliers and subcontractors. “With the active support of 10 major contractors and the UK Contractors Group, suppliers are presented with a common assessment and range of resources. This allows them to upskill to meet the demands of

Top: Government’s Chief Construction Adviser Peter Hansford speaks at the school’s one year on event in June Above: Skanska’s Nick Baker led the formation of the school

their clients and put themselves in a position to take advantage of emerging green markets.” Launched in June 2012, the Supply Chain Sustainability School is a virtual learning environment that aims to help construction suppliers and subcontractors develop their sustainability knowledge and competence. The school is being delivered by an independent third party, Action Sustainability, and has been backed by the Construction Industry Training Board’s Growth Fund.

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Values feature Ethics

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Why good ethics is good business At a time when the economy is struggling to emerge from recession, Skanska Executive Vice President Mark Galloway argues that an ethical approach is the only way to conduct business

Contact: Web:

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Values feature Ethics

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t is now headline news when companies and those in a position of authority and influence behave unethically. Society expects and demands higher ethical standards above and beyond legal compliance and this trend will continue. Making money the right way Examples of the media, politicians and the public putting organisations and senior executives under the spotlight include everything from “fat cat” salaries and bankers’ bonuses in the financial sector to the blacklisting scandal within the construction industry. The public sector hasn’t escaped either, with the impact of the MPs’ expenses scandal leading to fundamental changes to the system. Phone hacking and zero hour contracts are two other live issues. Tax avoidance by companies has become another major issue, with some businesses having to rethink their approach to tax payments, in the light of negative public opinion. They are looking to pay tax not on what is legally required but what is seen to be morally right and acceptable to society. It is no coincidence that such issues have come to the fore at a time when the voice of the public has never been stronger. Social

We look to recruit and retain people with similar values to Skanska Mark Galloway, Skanska Executive Vice President

Above: Skanska Executive Vice President Mark Galloway

media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, have provided a way for people to share their views, set up campaigns and organise demonstrations which hit the headlines. “It’s no longer good enough for companies simply to make money: today they are subject to much greater challenge and scrutiny into how profits are made. Companies need to behave ethically and need to be seen to be doing so,” asserts Skanska Executive Vice President, Mark Galloway.

Fundamentally, it’s all about reputation – and a damaged reputation is very hard to repair and the effects can last a long time. Skanska sees ethics as fundamental to the business and regards an ethical breach as its number one risk on a global basis. With more than 56,000 employees worldwide, in regions ranging from the US, Scandinavia and the UK to Latin America and eastern Europe, ensuring everyone takes an ethical approach in how we do business on a daily basis is no small feat.

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Values feature Ethics

Culture of Learning So, how does Skanska go about it? It starts with a clear and unambiguous statement of intent. Skanska’s Code of Conduct sets out how all Skanska employees are expected to behave, no matter where in the world they are based. In the UK, we have established training on our Code of Conduct, rolled out every two years for all employees and within three months of starting for new employees. The training has helped to embed and reinforce the values of honesty, fairness and transparency. Two UK-wide ethics groups have also been established to promote ethical behaviour, set policy, organise

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training and provide guidance. An employee hotline and site-based dropboxes provide avenues for employees to report any ethical concerns they may have – anonymously, if they prefer. Employees are also encouraged to raise any concerns directly with their managers.

meetings where ethical dilemmas – both real and hypothetical – are debated. “It is important for people to become more comfortable discussing difficult matters and to increase awareness of the breadth and depth of issues that have an ethical angle,” says Galloway.

But it doesn’t stop there. “We look to recruit and retain people with similar values to Skanska,” explains Galloway. “We are certainly not perfect, but we are doing everything we can think of – and then a bit more – to embed an ethical approach to business throughout our entire organisation.”

Ethics touches every part of Skanska’s organisation: “Our ethical values should be evident in every interaction we have with anyone we deal with including Skanska people,” says Galloway.

This includes regular discussions at all senior management team

Skanska’s commitment to ethics and its other values helps the company stand out in the market. It’s The Skanska Way with people at the heart of the company.

Project feature Defence

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Skanska redevelops RAF Wyton Another successful project for Skanska, in the heart of East Anglia

Contact: Web:


kanska has successfully completed a multi-million pound development project at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire on time and on budget. The £150 million contract included the design and construction of a range of buildings at the site in Huntingdon. Skanska was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Defence in 2009. The government made the decision to increase substantially the size of RAF Wyton following a major review of the military. Personnel will move to the base from a number of the armed services. Skanska has built a range of buildings as part of the project. These include the main technical buildings, as well as three squadron blocks for an army regiment. The contract also included building a number of recreational and other facilities.

This is not the first project that Skanska has done for the Ministry of Defence. The company refurbished its Whitehall headquarters in London and redeveloped Rock Barracks in Woodbridge near Ipswich in Suffolk. Skanska has been responsible for the architectural, structural and civil design of the RAF Wyton development. It has installed all the lighting and utility services, such as piping in the new buildings, and is now responsible for facilities management at the site. Skanska used lean construction techniques during the project. This practical problem-solving process helped identify issues before they caused serious disruption. Kingspan, the company that worked on the suspended floors at RAF Wyton, was so impressed with the lean construction process that it is now used on many of its projects.

RAF Wyton Client Defence Infrastructure Organisation Value £150 million

Duration 2009 to 2013

Scope • Construction of new technical and training buildings. • 48,000 sqm of new buildings next to an active military base.

RAF Wyton highlights

29 months 0 r eportable incidents


1.33 million man-hours 0 r eportable accidents


no environmental incidents Silver 2012 Considerate Constructors award

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Project feature Facilities management

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Top project dedicated to Skanska employee’s memory The successful completion of a top facilities management project has been dedicated to the memory of a Skanska manager

Contact: Web: [ 60 ]

Project feature Facilities management

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his untimely death.” Eddie Myles, Regional Manager for Skanska, said: “Everyone has been saddened by Willie’s death, his hard work and dedication to his clients was a credit to Skanska.”

Sadly, Willie died a year ago of Myeloma, a rare blood cancer, and tributes have since poured in from both his Skanska colleagues and the client NCR.

NCR – formerly known as the National Cash Register Corporation – also praised the whole facilities management (FM) team for the smooth installation and fit-out of the training laboratory, which will be used for its engineers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

illie Ferguson was a Skanska facilities services manager based at its Eurocentral office, Glasgow. For the last 10 years he worked on a facilities contract for NCR Corporation.

Willie’s last role was the installation of a new £1.5 million training laboratory for NCR, and the successful completion of this project has now been dedicated to his memory. Client Daniel O’Hara, NCR’s Network Operations Centre manager, said: “Willie was involved with us from the beginning and always did a tremendous job. We loved the way he went about his work for us and we were so sad to hear of

The laboratory is equipped with the finest Cisco networking equipment used to train NCR engineers on the latest products supplied to their customers. Once the laboratory was opened, the extensive cabling network and server equipment was found to be producing high levels of heat. To avoid any electrical faults, the FM team, led by Willie, came up with a solution and installed air conditioning units to cool the laboratory.

Daniel O’Hara said: “We had an issue with the power and thought it was going to blow some circuit boards. Within a couple of hours the team had sorted the problem and sourced this back to the Cisco equipment. This is typical of Skanska’s high standards and we are pleased with the fantastic way they handled this job.” NCR’s head office is located in the Eurocentral business park, 11 miles outside of Glasgow. The office accommodates 575

For more than 125 years, NCR Corporation – formerly known as National Cash Register – has helped companies around the world better connect, interact and transact with their customers. They provide a range of self-service technologies and support services, such as: cashpoint machines, selfcheckouts, airport check-in kiosks and chip-and-pin handheld terminals for the financial and retail industries.

employees who provide technical and logistical support. Each week 20,000 calls are received from customers and engineers seeking advice, so it is vital that the infrastructure is maintained well and runs without any disruption.

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Project feature Facilities management

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To keep services operational, Skanska’s FM team in Scotland maintains a wide-variety of equipment, including: ■ Water heaters ■ Air conditioning extractor fans ■ Electrical items ■ Closed circuit television systems ■ Alarm systems ■ Lighting controls However, unexpected events such as fire or floods can happen and need to be planned for. To do this, the FM team holds regular meetings with NCR to keep them prepared, carrying out disaster recovery mockups, fire alarms and evacuation tests. O’Hara said: “We recognise that things will happen to interrupt the running of our business and need to plan for these. At the monthly meetings with Skanska we draw on their expertise and skills to ensure we can support our customers’ requirements at all times. Skanska plays a major role by maintaining generators and uninterruptible power supply systems to make sure these will kick in, if required, and are ready to be first on the scene to rectify any problems.” The FM team had such a robust maintenance plan in place that when a power-cut happened at the Eurocentral office procedures worked like clockwork. During Skanska’s 10-year contract, not a single complaint has been logged. O’Hara added: “Skanska has an outstanding maintenance programme in place and it is nice to see the same people attending the jobs as you build-up good relationships on a long-term basis. Willie was very much a part of this team and he is badly missed.”

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Above: Client Daniel O’Hara praised the service and commitment of the Skanska facilities services team

NCR’s head office NCR


11 miles outside of Glasgow




calls each week

O’Hara, who is also the health and safety manager for NCR’s Glasgow office, added: “It is obvious that Skanska is committed to the safety of its employees and clients. The team

always ensures that risk assessments are in place, correct personal protective equipment is worn and that work areas are sealed off.” NCR regularly has to dispose of a large amounts of electronic equipment. The regulations can vary from country to country and are stringent in the UK. As the greenest company in the UK*, Skanska has been able to suggest advice and guidance to meet these regulations and give different disposal options such as waste compactors. These are kept on site, which reduces the amount of vehicle collections, leading to a reduction in NCR’s carbon footprint. The Sunday Times Best Green Companies Award 2011, across all industry sectors.


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News update

What’s next...? The next edition of Upfront will include a special feature on one of London’s most famous icons – The Gherkin. Built by Skanska, it has recently been selected as the building of the decade by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

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Introducing Workplaces by Skanska Sustainable, innovative commercial buildings from one of the world’s leading construction and development companies

Now in Bristol


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Upfront Magazine - Issue 3  

2013 has been a big year for Skanska. We made a major acquisition, when we bought Aktins’ road maintenance business. This will open up a r...