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Bid race starts for £1bn Manchester Uni expansion


The University of Manchester has started the hunt for three main contractors to deliver its £1bn campus masterplan.

The University will take a contractor partnering route to deliver the ambitious programme over the next eight years.

It believes that a collaborative partnership will encourage innovation in delivery and improved performance management of suppliers.

This mirrors the approach taken by private developer Argent to deliver the massive King’s Cross development programme.

The nub of the plan is to create a single campus that will see construction of new teaching and research buildings, student facilities and major improvements to the public realm.

Part of the campus building programme has started, but the remaining bulk of projects have so far been costed at £670m and could rise to over £1bn as future projects are more clearly defined.

Phase 1 will be carried out between 2015 and 2018 and involve a £360m spend on jobs between £10m-£200m.

Phase 2 will run from 2018 to 2022 with an estimated construction value of £310m, covering projects of £10m-£70m.

First phase

The first phase of the building programme is now underway and will be delivered by 2019. Works include the building of the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development, new centres for the School of Law and Manchester Business School, a major refurbishment of the University Library, and a bigger and better Students’ Union.

Second phase

Outline plans have been drawn up for the second phase from 2018 to 2022. This will involve building a Biomedical Campus and a new health centre for students and staff. There will also be refurbishments in the Schools of Computer Science, Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, and Chemistry.

The University is hoping to shortlist 6-9 firms to enter detailed negotiations before three firms are selected for the partnering framework.

Further details regarding the phases and the envisaged projects within them will be set out in the tender documentation.

Further information is available from the procurement portal or by contracting, tel: 01612752160 before 28 August.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Skanska wins £90m Battersea first phase M&E fitout


Carillion has awarded Skanska a two-year contract to deliver the M&E shell, core and fit-out works for phase one of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment in London.

Skanska will deliver building services and fit-out for 866 prime residential apartments, located in two buildings just west of the power station.


Carillion won the £350m first phase known as Circus West, fending off bids from Laing O’Rourke and Brookfield last year.

Work on the £90m fit-out contract is set to commence in September and scheduled to conclude in October 2016.

Martin Neeson, managing director, said: “This contract is great news, not just for Skanska, but also for our client and eventually for those people who will be living in the newly-built homes.

“Residential schemes are a strategic priority for our engineering business and this development offers an opportunity to build on our successful work at One Tower Bridge.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Autodesk BIM to help Philippines urban planning


By Manila Standard Today 


GLOBAL technology company, Autodesk recently introduced and showcased its latest design solutions that could help the Philippines in better urban planning and in analysing building and construction strategies for sustainability.

BIM is rapidly transforming the global architecture, engineering and construction industry.

In a conference held in Manila, Autodesk presented the Building Information Modelling (BIM) integration, a global design solution that the company hopes to see in the in the workflow of local practitioners for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) including the manufacturing industry.

The one-day conference acted as a knowledge sharing platform “to enable local practitioners maximize their existing tools to boost their business and ultimately, the industry as a whole” Autodesk said in a statement.

Autodesk Philippines Country Manager Teddy D. Tiu expressed that this event is a testament to Autodesk’s dedication to the Philippines market.

BIM: A multidisciplinary design &collaborative approach

BIM provides architect, engineers and contractors the foundation for innovation by enabling modelling, analysis, and collaboration at any point in the project lifecycle.

Autodesk AEC Industry Manager for ASEAN Gianluca Lange, said that,“BIM is rapidly transforming the global architecture, engineering and construction industry”.

Lange further added that, some of their Filipino customers have successfully implemented BIM and are reaping the benefits, including time and cost savings, clash detections and reductions in change orders.

Unlike CAD, which uses software tools to generate digital 2D and/or 3D drawings, BIM facilitates a new way of working: creating designs with intelligent objects.Autodesk BIM software includes a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for design, visualization, simulation, and collaboration that aids in delivering better insights to do better business.

Tiu added that, Philippines is on rapid infrastructure development that offered the technology companies like Autodesk a lot of opportunities to participate in some of the most critical and iconic infrastructure projects. Tiu is optimistic about the role Autodesk has to play in the country’s industrialization and urbanization and sees great prospects for Filipino practitioners in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector to learn new technology practices and raise the level of their industry expertise.

State of Affairs in disaster-prone Philippines

Discussing about the natural disaster management, Tiu shared that “we need to provide a definitive and proactive approach to disaster risk mitigation and management”.

“With all the natural disasters that have been ravaging the country, the company firmly believes that this part of the technology is a vital component in disaster management”.

Tiu notes that while we cannot prevent the occurrence of such disasters but we can certainly develop certain mechanisms, systems, and infrastructures that can help us be more prepared and minimize the losses and damage caused by these events. Preparedness is always the key, according to Tiu.

Autodesk presents more technological solutions that can help the Philippines take massive leaps forward towards better preparedness in cases of disasters.

Lange shared that, short-sighted design is at the root of much of the destruction caused by environmental crises, whether it is flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis or other natural disasters.According to him, buildings and critical infrastructure fail because they were not originally designed to withstand today’s more intense force of Mother Nature.

Lange says that technology can provide governments, planners and engineers with essential feedback, offering a better way to predict behavior of the built environment – or soon to be built environment—during a crisis.

Autodesk technology and solutions been used successfully by professionals, policy makers and the public to accurately anticipate the impacts of earthquakes on major infrastructure before they happen. Autodesk technology can also be used to understand the potential impact of storms and floods.

Lange stressed that, for the construction industry, 2014 will be characterized by the continued rapid adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) process to drive greater productivity.

Balfour Beatty wins £129m M3 smart motorway job


The Highways Agency has confirmed that Balfour Beatty has picked up the scheme to upgrade a 13 mile stretch of the M3 through Hampshire and Surrey to a smart motorway.

The firm won the job, as tipped in the Enquirer, with a £129m bid and will upgrade the M3 between Junction 2 on the M25 and Junction 4a to a four-lane motorway by converting the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane.

Electronic signs, operated by a regional control centre, will be installed to manage the flow of traffic in response to driving conditions.

Mobilisation work is due to start at the beginning of August.

Main construction works starts this autumn with completion scheduled for spring 2017.

Construction activity will include installing and refurbishing gantries, new static and variable signs, concrete safety barriers, drainage and surfacing works.

The contract is the latest in a series awarded to Balfour Beatty since the contractor joined through the Highways Agency’s National Major Projects Framework in 2010.

In June 2014, Balfour Beatty was awarded the £184m M60 J8 to M62 J20 smart motorway scheme.

In April 2014 the company’s construction joint venture with Skanska completed upgrading a 12 mile stretch of the M25 to a smart motorway, and in January 2014 Balfour Beatty completed upgrading parts of the M4 and M5 to a smart motorway in a £88 million scheme.

Balfour Beatty Executive Chairman Steve Marshall said: “This award further strengthens our position as one of the UK’s leading contractors for smart motorways and reflects the strength of the relationship we have built with the Highways Agency over the last 20 years.”

The M3 passes through Chobham Common, one of the largest areas of heathland in Surrey, and Balfour Beatty’s sustainable design will take into account ecological considerations with natural habitats reinstated and enhanced.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Galliford Try wins two Scottish school jobs


Galliford Try’s newly acquired Miller Construction business has reached financial close on projects to build a £35.4m Inverness Royal Academy and £15.4m Noss Primary School in Wick.

Inverness Royal Academy

Miller Construction will be working on these projects for Hub North Scotland, the public/private development company working in partnership with The Highland Council.

Galliford Try bought loss-making £409m turnover Miller Construction for just £16.6m earlier this month, citing the contractor’s £1.4bn order book as the deal clincher.

Inverness Royal Academy, which is due for completion by summer 2016, involves the construction of a new four-storey replacement school and sports pitches.

The new Inverness Royal Academy campus will cater for around 1,500 pupils across the ages of 11-18.

Noss Primary School involves the construction of a combined replacement primary school for both the North and Hillhead existing primary schools.

The new school will accommodate close to 400 pupils over 14 classrooms. The project will be delivered in two phases with final completion due in spring 2016.

Galliford Try Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald stated: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with Hub North Scotland Limited and The Highland Council on these significant education contracts and are now able to get the projects underway.

“The Miller Construction business is an important addition to the group and these awards reflect its reputation and strong market presence in the education sector in Scotland.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Autodesk to give Keynote at 3D Printer World Expo


Made in Space, Autodesk Visionaries to Deliver Keynote Addresses at 3D Printer World Expo Seattle. Made in Space Chief Strategy Officer Mike Chen to discuss “How 3D Printing Will Help Us Conquer Space” Friday, Aug 22; Autodesk Technology Futurist Dr. Jordan Brandt to discuss “The Complexity of Compiling Matter” Saturday, Aug. 23 at 3D Printer World Expo Seattle


SEATTLE, Jul 22, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Already revolutionizing art and industry, 3D printing is a technology of today and the future. As 3D Printer World Expo Seattle commences Aug. 22 and 23, delivering live demonstrations, training and exhibits of leading-edge 3D printing technology in today’s marketplace, the conference program will be led by keynote sessions from two industry visionaries on how 3D printing technology will shape our future – both on and off our home planet. Their keynote addresses are as follows:

Keynote Address: “How 3D Printing Will Help Us Conquer Space” 
by Mike Chen, Chief Strategy Officer, Made in Space 
Friday, Aug 22, 10:00 a.m. Pacific

This fall, in a pivotal step toward humans becoming a multi-planetary species, the International Space Station will receive its first printer from Made In Space . From logistics simplification to massive reductions in budgets and time-to-delivery, 3D printing promises practical solutions that overcome the economic – and physical – barriers to space exploration, commercialization and colonization. Learn how Made in Space solved the “built on earth” supply chain problem by developing a microgravity-tested 3D printer that builds parts off-world and on-demand.

About Mike Chen

A software architect, entrepreneur and relentless proponent of human space colonization, Chen founded his first company in 2002. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2009, where he received high honors for his thesis research on human consciousness. A graduate of Singularity University, member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Autodesk Scholar-in-Residence, Chen co-founded Made In Space to push the envelope of human space exploration and cause a paradigm shift in the way we think about humanity's place in the universe.

Keynote Address: “The Complexity of Compiling Matter” 
by Dr. Jordan Brandt, Technology Futurist, Autodesk 
Saturday, Aug 23, 10:00 a.m. Pacific

As we enter the age of algorithmic design and computational materials, 3D print instructions will become exponentially complex. Our entire digital infrastructure and methods of representation will need to be rethought. Join this conversation to explore a future in which we teach our machines to design and make things.

About Dr. Jordan Brandt

Dr. Jordan Brandt is a Technology Futurist at Autodesk , with educational and professional background spanning the architecture, aerospace, cloud computing and composites manufacturing industries. Brandt came to Autodesk through the acquisition of Horizontal Systems, which he cofounded and served as CEO, overseeing the creation of Glue (now BIM 360 Glue), a 3D cloud collaboration platform. Brandt received his degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas, while his doctoral dissertation at Harvard developed the concept of distributed manufacturing systems (mobile factories) for composite building envelopes. He has consulted extensively with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research to develop next generation Additive Manufacturing technologies and materials, as well as the GSA for their laser scanning program. He spends most his time in the future designing and making things.

About 3D Printer World Expo

3D Printer World Expo Seattle, hosted by , brings together the largest range of 3D printers, technology and professionals ever assembled under one roof. The two-day 3D printing event, which includes exhibits , demonstrations , education tracks , contests and networking opportunities, takes place Aug. 22 and 23 at theBellevue Hyatt Regency . To register, or for more information, .

SOURCE: 3D Printer World Expo

For 3D Printer World Expo 
Casey Freymuth, 480-893-2424

Copyright Business Wire 2014 

Vast HS2 construction HQ to be based in Birmingham


A new HS2 project headquarters employing 1,500 construction and engineering staff is to be based in Birmingham.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will announce today that Birmingham has secured the new project base, shifting jobs from London to Birmingham.

He will also reveal that a £130m scheme to take the Midland Metro to Adderley Street, in Eastside, has been given the green light.

The HS2 Birmingham base will be in charge of building the track, stations and signalling as well as managing the staff needed to support their work.

Once the headquarters opens in 2015 it will represents the largest public sector relocation to Birmingham there has ever been.

The City Council also today announced it will create an urban regeneration company to lead the redevelopment around the planned Curzon Street HS2 station.

Curzon Street HS2
Curzon Street will become the Birmingham hub for HS2

Curzon Street HS2

In February, the council first announced plans to regenerate the Curzon Street area by building offices, a hotel and 2,000 homes.

McLoughlin said: “HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. By locating the new HS2 engineering HQ in Birmingham, we are bringing skilled job opportunities into the area, spreading HS2′s benefits beyond those using the new rail line.

“It is great news that Birmingham City Council has created a company specifically to focus on the regeneration opportunities created by HS2. It will bring new investment and work into the city, helping secure the future prosperity of the region and the country.”

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership said it would be investing £30m to support plans for the 141 hectare site.

Earlier this month, the LEP was awarded more than £350m over three years through the government’s Growth Deal.

Funding was also earmarked for a new construction training centre in Dudley, as well as facilities at Birmingham’s South and City College, to help equip local people for jobs connected with the building of HS2.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Type A Machines: Direct 3D Printing With Autodesk



Although Autodesk has yet to begin selling their own SLA based 3D printers, which they unveiled earlier this year, that doesn’t mean that they are not already seriously competing for a portion of the rapidly growing 3D mesh-3printing market. Autodesk’s Meshmixer has become quite the free 3D printing tool, for those looking to create and print designs quickly and easily.

Earlier in the year the company announced that they had teamed with Stratasys to support several of their 3D printers, which included the Makerbot Replicator 2. This allowed further integration of the software with the Makerbot Replicator devices.

Autodesk has not stopped there though. In a drive to make their software compatible with the printers used by a larger number of designers and 3D printing enthusiasts, today they announced that the Series 1 3D printer from Type A Machines is now compatible with their Meshmixer software as well, to a much higher degree than that of even the Makerbot line of printers.“This level of functionality is a first in our industry and makes the Series 1 3D Printer the obvious choice for professionals using Autodesk software,” said Type A Machines CEO, Espen Type A Machines Series 1 3D PrinterSivertsen. “Teaming up with Autodesk brings the advantages of our extensible approach to both hardware and software to more professionals, makers and educators than ever.”

With this partnership, owners of the Series 1 3D printer, can now mix, mash, stamp, sculpt or paint their models within MeshMixer, hit the print button, and have their 3D printer begin fabricating that object in no time.

“Type A Machines makes an extensible, professional machine that creates prints up to one full cubic foot, which is ideal for users of Meshmixer software,” said Christian Pramuk, product manager at Autodesk. “Integrating the direct print feature with the click of a button aligns with Autodesk’s mission of unlocking creativity and helps provide users with a more simplified design-to-print workflow.”

As competition heats up between Autodesk and Adobe, within the expanding 3D printing space, we are certain to see even more partnerships along the way. Although Type A Machines’ Series 1 3D Printer is not as widely used as that of the Makerbot line of machines, the printer is certainly a force to be reckoned with. It was the recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award in PC Mag and Best in Class Award by Make: Magazine.  It is known for its long lasting durability, as well as large build volume.

Do you have a Series 1 Printer? Do you use Meshmixer? Let us know your opinion on this news in theAutodeck/Type A Machines Partnership forum thread on  Check out the video clip below, provided by Type A Machines, showing just how simple the Meshmixer integration is with their Series 1 3D Printer.


3D printing to transform aerospace manufacturing

By Edd Gent @ Farnborough Airshow 
Mike Murray, head of airframe integration at BAE Military Air and Information, holds a 3D printed aerospace component

Mike Murray, head of airframe integration at BAE Military Air and Information, holds a 3D printed aerospace component


3D printing could revolutionise aerospace manufacturing as customers demand lower volumes and greater customisation, according to BAE Systems.

The British defence contractor made the news at the start of the year after a 3D-printed metal camera bracket it created was flown on-board an RAF Tornado fighter jet for the first time.

Now the firm is ramping up its 3D printing – otherwise known as additive manufacturing – operations with the goal of a fully developed production system by 2017, as it seeks to cut development costs and respond to demand for bespoke parts from customers.

The firm is currently experimenting with various technologies at its Tornado support and maintenance centre at RAF Marham and has integrated them with both 3D-scanning technology and computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a complete production suite.

“3D printing and additive manufacturing is one of the key technologies that we are starting to use in quite a powerful manner in terms of supporting aircraft,” said John Dunstan, head of agile product development at BAE Military Air and Information (MAI), at an event at Farnborough Airshow today. “We are starting to see real cost savings for both ourselves and our customers.”

The key advantages of the process are its speed and cost-savings at low volumes. Lead times for production using conventional manufacturing methods can run into months and it developing production tools for just a handful of components is highly inefficient.

When it was discovered that ground crews were accidentally damaging new radio antennae’s on the Tornados at RAF Marham the BAE team designed protective plastic covers in a matter of weeks that take a day to build using fuse-deposition modelling and cost less than £100 a unit, saving £1.2m in manufacturing costs over four years.

But the real goal for BAE is to perfect the process of manufacturing large metal structures for aircraft using additive methods. The company is working with Cranfield University on a specific kind of 3D printing known as ‘wire and arc additive manufacture’ and last year they used it to build a 1.2m long structural component known as a spar section from titanium.

The process of designing and manufacturing such a part using traditional forging techniques would have required a lead time of 12 to 18 months, according to Mike Murray, head of airframe integration at BAE MAI, but using additive manufacturing the part was designed in a couple of weeks and printed in 37 hours. “We really want to show engineers the art of the possible,” added Murray.

But while creating small batches of bespoke parts can be more efficient using such process, they still cannot match the volumes of mass production. Altringham-based PI Castings uses 3D printing to create prototype components for its customers, but when it comes to full scale runs they rely on investment casting technology.

“I don’t see it as a threat at all. They’re normally only small batch runs, because the time spent on a couple of parts, you could have had a production tool made,” said sales engineer Andrew Smith.

“I know these machines are getting cleverer and cleverer, but when I talk to people who run them they do say the cost of parts is probably never going to fall in line with what customers want.”

While mass production may be out of reach for current technology, BAE has high hopes for the future of 3D printing. Earlier this month it revealed a collection of ‘drawing board’ technologiesdreamt up by experts at the company’s R&D team that it says could be incorporated in military and civil aircraft by 2040, including 3D printers that could print entire unmanned aerial vehicles.

Futurist and engineering manager Nick Colosimo who lead the work says that as the range of materials available for additive manufacturing grows, as more complex components become feasible and as processes become faster then this kind of fully integrated production system becomes entirely feasible.

“We expect an evolution,” he said. “Eventually you may even see mobile 3D printing systems you could store on the back of trucks and drive to the point of need to get stuff when and where you need it.”

While he concedes the process still cannot match the volumes of mass production, he says heavy plant volume manufacturing is likely to be augmented by additive processes in any future aerospace industry.

“It provides adaptability and, I think, responsiveness. What you’re doing is taking out the whole logistics chain, whether you’re building parts at the home of the customer or out at an operating base.”

One technology that could make mass production with additive manufacturing a possibility is the FACTUM machine created earlier this year by University of Sheffield spin-out FaraPack Polymers and researchers at the University of Loughborough, which uses high speed sintering to build finger-sized parts in roughly 10 seconds.

The machine uses inkjet print heads to lay down a binding agent in a bed of powdered material before infrared heating lamps sinter the material together. Infrared heating can affect a larger area more quickly than traditional lasers, speeding the process up.

“That is a significant change in the way sintered parts are manufactured,” said BAE’s Murray. “That starts to make it competitive with injection moulding as you’re looking at a significantly faster process, anywhere from 50 to 100 times faster.”

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), a £2bn joint venture between the UK Government and major aerospace players that started work earlier this year to promote and develop UK aerospace technology, also has high hopes for additive manufacturing.

But according to Simon Masters, lead technologists for aerospace at the Technology Strategy Board, which is the ATI’s Government delivery partner, the consistency of the process may need to be proven before the technology can have a real impact.

“One of the challenges is repeatability – can you manufacture 100 components at the same standard of quality?” he said. “The powders, or whatever they are using to build up these structures, these materials are new and relatively unproven in aerospace. Some of the requirements for rigorous quality control you need for aircraft are a challenge.”

And according to BAE’s Murray a certain amount of evangelising needs to be done before the engineers warm to the technology.

While it allows engineers to design in a more “organic” way – of particular interest to aerospace engineers is the ability to optimise the geometry of the components they make to save on weight – many CAD packages are not optimised for this kind of approach and it doesn’t always come naturally to engineers.

“Engineers have been brought up in a subtractive environment. All of a sudden you are telling them to grow and it’s a very different way of manufacturing. And if you just grow in exactly the same way you machine then there’s no benefit,” said Murray.

“The costs are the materials and time on the machine. The lighter you make it the cheaper it is. It’s very hard to get engineers to believe it, but it’s a fact.”

Source: Engineering and Technology Magazine

Major infrastructure project costs cut by 15%


The Government’s Infrastructure Cost Review programme has delivered 15% of cost savings equating to £3.4bn per annum on major projects.

A report published today by the Treasury shows better project planning, alliancing and work bundling has won big savings in the key infrastructure sectors for the third-year running.

At the current rate of saving, there is an opportunity to deliver efficiencies for taxpayers and consumers of more than £50bn over the next decade.

IUK cost review July 2014

Rail, highways, water and flood defence have achieved progress by improving collaborative engagement with their supply chains, better governance, grouping projects into programmes and using smarter procurement processes.

The Environment Agency estimates that 25% of their efficiency savings have come from packaging of projects and procurement, 20% from streamlining project development and control of scope, with 55% from working with their supply chain to enable innovative value engineering.

Project turnaround times from OJEU notice publication to contract award have been improved by 18% from 302 to 249 working days.

Cost estimates are based on benchmarking data captured by quango Infrastructure UK from selected investment projects.

The gains have been delivered against a background of falling industry tender prices.

IUK is now planning to set up a cost forecasting tool for major infrastructure schemes taking into account demand and capacity constraints ahead as concern grows about the impact of upward cost pressures.

Highways, rail and water sectors achieved most progress according to supply chain surveys in their approach to planning and procurement with over 80% of respondents noting that the rail sector had improved both the transparency and certainty of its forward investment profile.

But the feedback also showed less than 30% felt the energy sector provided certainty on its forward investment pipeline.

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton, said: “The Infrastructure Cost Review programme has helped to establish a refreshed relationship and more open dialogue between government and industry.

“This has been a success for the third year running. However, we cannot be complacent. As the economy recovers, we will redouble our efforts to ensure that we have the necessary skills, capacity and innovation to embed cost and efficient delivery.”

Source: Construction Enquirer