Cadline Community

University wants builder for £27m sports centre


The University of Nottingham has started the search for a contractor to build a new £27m sports centre.

The single stage design and build deal is scheduled to get underway next February.

An OJEU notice stated: “The outline scope of works for the sports centre project will be: partial demolition of existing sports centre; the relocation of services supplying the existing sports hall and surrounding buildings, including the retained swimming pool which will remain in use throughout the project; the construction of a new building including but not limited to; a substantial new main sports hall, large fitness suite, clinical spaces and office accommodation.

“The project will also include the fit out of the whole building.”

Up to six firms will be invited to tender and expressions of interest must be made by September 17.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Go-ahead for new £12m bridge in Solihull


Construction will start in January on a new £12m bridge in Solihull after Government funding for part of the project was confirmed today.

A winner is due to be confirmed by the end of this month by The Metropolitan Borough of Solihull for the new A45 South Bridge

Transport minister Baroness Kramer has confirmed £8m in Government cash for the structure which will directly serve Birmingham International Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, Jaguar Land Rover and other local businesses.

She said: “This new bridge will reduce congestion and improve safety, and include new pedestrian and cyclist facilities.

“The £8.3 million the government is putting into this project is part of our wider economic plan of investment in our local and national infrastructure to help drive economic growth.”

The new bridge will replace the existing 150 year old structure carrying the westbound carriageway of the A45 over the West Coast Main Line.

It will create an extra westbound running lane and an improved access slip road to Birmingham International Airport.

A temporary bridge will be created during the work, allowing the route to remain open throughout.

The main works are due to start in January 2015 with completion in August 2016.

Councillor Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Council said:  “We are now in discussion with our preferred bidder for this major project and will announce further details in due course.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Osborne boss woos Balfour staff facing the axe


Osborne chief executive David Fison has questioned the latest round of industry mergers and believes smaller contractors will benefit.

Fison – who was previously chief executive at Skanska and managing director at Balfour Beatty Civils -spoke out as the Carillion/Balfour saga rumbles on.

And Fison is hoping to attract new staff to Osborne during the fallout if the merger goes ahead.

Fison said: “I am watching the merger moves of the large contractors and consultants with great interest.

“It is what big companies do to gain market share and maximise earnings by cutting costs through combining teams, offices, etc.

“What that means of course is laying people off, often the most experienced and therefore most expensive– usually described in press releases as ‘creating synergies’.

“But this is happening at a time when the construction industry is becoming increasingly aware that it faces major issues over resources, by which I mean people as well as materials and plant.”

Fison highlighted reports that show 300,000 people left construction during the recession and another 300,000 are due to retire shortly.

He said: “Replacing them will not be easy or quick.

“As investment in infrastructure and construction generally ramps us having enough good quality, trained people is going to be the deciding factor in what work firms have the capacity to bid for and deliver.

“The anticipated synergies in those big mergers may not evolve as companies find they need to hang on to resources.

“But if they do, big company efficiency savings look like being to the benefit of smaller companies.

“Most small businesses have a longer horizon, less ambitious profit ambitions and can offer secure job opportunities for construction staff.

“The jobs may not be so big but we are closer to our customers, more agile, and value what individuals have to offer.

“For staff, and in fact for clients, it’s a bit like choosing a restaurant.

“You can go to a top class hotel with formal service or the local restaurant round the corner.

“Both give you good food to suit your budget but with a different style. It’s just about making the choice. Smaller businesses have a lot to offer, I believe.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new recruits going forward.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Carillion courts Balfour Beatty


Carillion courts fellow construction giant Balfour Beatty

Construction giants Balfour Beatty and Carillion continue to battle it out over a proposed takeover.

Carillion has sweetened its takeover offer for rival Balfour Beatty, arguing there is ‘powerful strategic logic’ in a merger. The company yesterday announced a 5% rise in pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of June to £67.5m, compared with £64.2m a year earlier.

According to Carillion, a merger would save both companies £1.5bn and reduce the cost base of the combined group by at least £175m a year by the end of 2016. Which would help cash-strapped Balfour Beatty who had swung back into profit, making £1m for the six months to the end of June, after taking a heavy financial loss of £4m for the same period a year earlier.

In a press release Carillion continues to believe there will be a financial benefit of a merger with Balfour Beatty and is therefore continuing to consider its position.

Balfour Beatty is currently working on the Corssrail project, while Carillion was given the £75m contract to expand Anfield’s stadium. Between the two companies they employ over 80,000 people.



Interserve wins £85m Welsh hospital upgrade


Interserve has won an £85m contract to upgrade and refurbish the Prince Charles District General Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

The deal has been awarded by Cwm Taf University Health Board following approval by the Welsh Government of the Outline Business Case.

Design and survey work has already started with enabling works expected to finish in June 2015 in readiness for the main building works.

The project is expected to take seven years to complete with the hospital remaining fully operational throughout the many stages of redevelopment.

Interserve won the deal under the Welsh Government’s Designed for Life 3 framework.

Works include the replacement of existing mechanical and electrical services, ground and first floor refurbishment, asbestos removal as well as fire protection, infrastructure and car park upgrades.

Facilities will be replaced in operating theatres, radiology, pathology, critical care, pharmacy and outpatient areas, while a helipad will also be relocated.

All existing mechanical and electrical services will be replaced by Interserve Engineering Services.

Andrew Edmonds, Divisional Director of Interserve Construction said:  “We are looking forward to working closely and collaboratively with the Health Board and its advisors, together with our local design partners and supply chain to ensure that patients in Merthyr Tydfil and neighbouring areas will benefit from the highest quality healthcare in modern, fit for purpose facilities.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Autodesk Ships Nastran 2015, Nastran In-CAD 2015


AutodesklogoLAKE OSWEGO, OR, Aug 12, 2014 – Autodesk has enhanced itssimulation software portfolio with the addition of two new simulation products, Autodesk Nastran 2015 and Autodesk Nastran In-CAD 2015. Autodesk acquired NEi Software – and the NEi Nastran platform on which the products are based – in May 2014 in order to add additional structural analysis capabilities to the company’s growing simulation portfolio. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Autodesk Nastran In-CAD includes linear statics for stress, strain and deformation

“Since 2005 Autodesk has been consistently adding new technology to its simulation platform with the goal of building a comprehensive cloud-based portfolio that spans finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, plastics and composite solutions,” said Ian Pendlebury, senior director of simulation at Autodesk. “Autodesk’s acquisition of NEi Software and the introduction of Autodesk Nastran and Autodesk Nastran In-CAD reinforce this long-term strategy to broaden our footprint in the mechanical simulation market as part of Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping toolset.”


Autodesk Nastran offers an industry-recognized FEA solver for analyzing linear and nonlinear stress, dynamics and heat transfer characteristics of structures and mechanical components, and providing real-time results and changes in solution parameters while solving. This technology helps engineers and analysts gain accurate results to complex simulations.

Autodesk Nastran In-CAD 2015 is a CAD-embedded, general-purpose FEA tool powered by the Autodesk Nastran solver. The new Nastran In-CAD offers a wide range of simulation spanning across multiple analysis types, delivering another high-end simulation in a CAD-embedded workflow – that works within both Autodesk Inventor and SOLIDWORKS – to help engineers and analysts make great products.

Additionally, the Autodesk Nastran Solver is available to customers using the Autodesk Simulation Mechanical and Autodesk Simulation Flex product offerings. Autodesk Simulation Flex, formerly Autodesk Sim 360 Pro with Local Solve, consists of:

  • Autodesk Simulation Mechanical with cloud-enabled FEA tools for static stress, linear dynamic analysis and mechanical event simulations;
  • Autodesk Simulation CFD Motion including Design Study environment and 3D CAD connectors with cloud-enabled CFD tools for fluid flow and thermal simulations; and
  • Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis with cloud-enabled simulation for detailed analysis and code checking on a range of structures, including buildings and frame structures.

“We’ve been working with Autodesk tools since the acquisition of Algor and CFDesign and have seen first-hand how incredibly powerful the combination of strong numerical solvers and Autodesk’s advanced visualization, cloud and user interface tools can be,” said Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, co-founder, CEO and CTO at Escape Dynamics. “Nastran is a great solver with very powerful non-linear and dynamic simulation capabilities so its integration with Autodesk’s front end and elastic cloud computing platform is extremely exciting.”

Autodesk Nastran and Autodesk Nastran In-CAD are now available. For more details about both products and licensing and pricing options, visit

Source: Tenlinks

Prep work starts on £745m Aberdeen Bypass


Preparatory work on the Aberdeen bypass starts this week after preferred bidder Connect Roads signed a pre-start works agreement.

The agreement for preparatory work along the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is worth about £8m.

Connect Roads – consisting of Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Galliford Try (Morrison Construction) – can now undertake further designs and begin fencing, environment surveys and ground investigations ahead of the main works contract.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The people of Aberdeen and the north-east have been waiting for decades for a sign that works are due to start on the AWPR/Balmedie-Tipperty scheme. Today, we can announce that the preferred bidder will be on site from this week.

At peak the job will support 900 construction jobs and also provide on-the-job training for apprentices and local employment opportunities.

The Minister added: “We are also committed to making improvements at the Haudagain Roundabout once work on the AWPR scheme is finished, a new Inveramsay Bridge on the A96, and we have already made a longer term commitment to dual the key route between Aberdeen and Inverness.”

Alan Gibson, Bid Director at Connect Roads added: “We are working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils to reach financial close on the main DBFO contract, which will enable full works to commence on this strategically important project for the north east.”

Road consists of four sections (click map to enlarge)

  • Balmedie to Tipperty: 12km from Blackdog to Tipperty
  • Northern Leg: 16.1km from North Kingswells to Blackdog
  • Southern Leg: 18.7km from Charleston to North Kingswells
  • Fastlink: 11.5km from Stonehaven to Cleanhill


Source: Construction Enquirer

Go-ahead for Oxford University £45m data institute


The University of Oxford received planning this week to build a pioneering data centre to lead the battle against disease.

The new building designed by architect Make will store vast amounts of information to give researchers new insights into illnesses and treatments worldwide.

The Big Data Institute has been funded with a £20m gift from the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

During a visit Prime Minister David Cameron said it would put the UK at “the forefront of revolutionising healthcare through big data and better drug discovery”.

It will be located at Headington between two of Make’s recently completed laboratory buildings – the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and the NDM Research Building – at Old Road Campus.

It forms part of a £1.8bn decade-long capital masterplan which the university began implementing this year.


The chevron-shaped building, which will house 600 staff, will have a green roof and feature a sunken garden area with a bridge.

As part of the sustainability strategy for the building, a labyrinth is located beneath the lower ground floor which draws in air through a light well and uses the thermal mass of the ground to cool it, before circulating it to the main roof top plant room.

This air is then distributed via floor plenums as part of an assisted natural ventilation strategy and extracted via the atrium using the stack effect.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Brickies set to break £1,000-a-week pay barrier


Soaring pay rates for bricklayers in London are set to break the £1,000 a week barrier.

Wage inflation rates are currently running as high as 10% a month as skills shortages and the continuing construction recovery force up pay.

The rises are causing headaches for firms looking to price work and financial hardship for companies locked into long-term contracts tendered at much lower wage rates.

One brickwork specialist told the Enquirer they won’t be bidding for further work in the capital in the current climate.

A director said: “We’ve stopped pricing work because it’s too hard to price jobs until the rates brickies are demanding start to steady.”

Another firm said pay rates have soared by 30% in the last three months alone.

The current going rate for a day shift in London is £170 with pay set to hit £200-a-day with no let-up in demand or labour shortages.

Similar rates are also being paid for experienced carpenters in the capital.

The director said “You could catch a big cold if the price you submit for a job doesn’t cover the wages in a few months time.

“This is going to store up major problems ahead and could play havoc with construction programmes.

“Main contractors have walked all over subcontractors for so long they think its the norm now.

“But they will soon have to change their attitudes if they want to get work done.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Construction growth forecast upgraded again


Industry crystal ball gazers have revised up their growth forecasts once again and predict construction will now expand by about 10% over the next two years.

This year’s new growth forecast from the Construction Products Association has been marked up from the earlier estimate of 3.4% at the start of 2014 to 4.7%, despite a slowing of growth in the first quarter, according to the last official output figures.

The rise will see construction contribute nearly £11bn to the UK economy.

Office building is expected to kick in alongside private house building as a big workload driver, while warehouse schemes will jump 20% this year.

CPA Summer 2014 forecast

CPA forecast summer 2014

Key Points

  • Construction output to grow 4.7% in 2014 and 4.8% in 2015
  • Private housing starts to rise 18% in 2014 and 10% in 2015
  • Commercial offices output to grow 10% in 2014 and 8% in 2015
  • Industrial warehouses construction to rise 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2015
  • Education construction to rise 2.2% in 2014 after three years of consecutive falls
  • Health construction to fall, the sixth consecutive year of falls, due to lack of PFI work

Dr Noble Francis, Economics Director of the Association, said: “Overall levels of activity will likely match their 2007 peak in 2017.

“In the short-term, the activity will primarily be led by private housing, infrastructure and commercial.

“Notably, in the long-term, we expect this activity will be boosted by work on schools and hospitals.”

The private housing sector continues to benefit from the improving economic backdrop and government policy measures, with housing starts expected to grow 18.0% in 2014 and 10.0% in 2015.

After that affordability and higher mortgage repayment costs are expected to subdue private housing growth to 5% per year from 2016.

Commercial work is expected to also pick up strongly on the back of office building activity spreading from London to other key regional markets such as Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

The CPA forecasts that commercial offices output will rise 10% this year and 8% in 2015.

The Association anticipates infrastructure output will rise across roads, rail, energy, and water and sewerage, delivering a net expansion of 9.2% this year and 7% next, primarily due to major projects such as Crossrail and nuclear decommissioning.”

Dr Francis added: “Forecasts continue to be revised up as the UK economy rebalances away from consumer spending and services towards manufacturing.

“Greater than expected UK economic growth could stimulate even more private sector construction.”

Source: Construction Enquirer