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£40m road repair deals up for grabs in Somerset


Somerset County Council is looking for contractors to carry-out £40m worth of highways repairs to its storm-ravaged road network.

Up to 50 firms could win a place on the four-year framework.

An OJEU notice states: “Following a number of severe adverse weather incidents, including a significantly higher-than-average rainfall across Somerset towards the end of 2013 to the present time, a need has arisen for repair and resilience works to be undertaken across the highway network in the County.”

The framework has been split into the following lots:

1. Surface dressing (£17.95m)
2. Resurfacing (£9.55m)
3. Haunching works, drainage works and works to footways (£2.59m)
4. Patching (£5.97m)
5. Specialist surface treatments (£3.94m)

Contractors have until May 16 to express an interest in bidding with Somerset County Council
Somerset County Council – Commercial and Procurement Services, County Hall
For the attention of: Mr Jamie Walker
TA1 4DY Taunton
Telephone: +44 1823356730

Source: Construction Enquirer

Mace JV wins £1bn Sellafield waste building job


A three-way joint venture between Atkins, Mace and French firm Areva has been named preferred bidder to restart a nuclear waste encapsulation plant at Sellafield.


Valued at anywhere from £800m to £1.4bn, it is Mace’s first major deal on the nuclear waste clean-up programme.

The massive Silos Direct-encapsulation Plant is a bespoke, mechanical handling plant and building that will be used for the Magnox clear up programme.

The project was retendered after key contractors Vinci and Nuvia pulled around 450 staff off the job two years ago when the contract was halted after significant cost overruns.

The large and technically complex treatment plant will handle radioactive liquid waste, which will be mixed with cementitious material to allow it to be stored in containers within existing Sellafield stores.

It is the only project of its kind in the world and is expected to mobilise several hundred people as well as engaging the local supply chain as much as possible.

Sellafield Ltd will now enter a period of preferred bidder clarification and confirmation of commitment with the a.m.a joint venture while the contract is finalised and all legal processes are completed.

Scott Reeder, Sellafield’s chief projects officer, said: “The market recognised the challenges presented by this important and complex project and two strong joint venture organisations emerged to tender for the contract.”

The team will take the project through detailed design, construction, manufacture, procurement, installation, and inactive commissioning.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Construction growth forecast hiked to 4.5% in 2014


Construction’s crystalball gazers have ticked up growth forecasts for this year once again as the recovery becomes stronger and broadens.

The Construction Products Association’s latest forecast predicts rapid increases in private house building, together with growth in the infrastructure and commercial sectors.

Together these will drive activity up 4.5% this year and promise another two years of good growth on top .

Next year is expected to be another bumper year with growth reaching 4.8% before a slip to 4.3% in 2016.

Spring2014 forecast

Dr Noble Francis, economics director of the association, said  “One year since the construction recovery began, activity is becoming firmly entrenched.

“The construction industry is now on track to grow 18% by 2017 and contribute an additional £20bn to the UK economy.

“We expect private housing starts to surge 18% in 2014 and 10% next year before falling to 5% in 2016 and 2017.

“It’s important to note that private house building only accounts for 15% of total construction.

“Commercial, the largest sector, is expected to grow each year up to 2017.  The office sector in particular has recently shown growth, though demand is mostly in Central London.  We forecast offices construction to increase 7% in 2014 and 10% in 2015.”

He added that last year’s gains in the infrastructure sector would continue to 2017 when levels are anticipated to be 42% higher than in 2012.

Recently, rail has been the fastest growing infrastructure sector. It now looks forward to a steady £38bn investment programme by Network Rail over the next five years.

Roads work, which slumped by almost half in only two years, is forecast to grow every year to 2017, including 15% in 2014.

Francis said:  “The main risks to our forecasts arise around the issue of energy.

“Construction and manufacturing firms have serious concerns regarding energy security and supply.

“Constant delays to the nuclear programme and uncertainty regarding investment in gas-fired power stations only exacerbate these concerns.”

Other key points in spring forecast

  • Public housing starts are set to rise 8% this year and 5% next as growth in private housing leads to increases in public housing via S106 agreements
  • Commercial office building to increase 7% this year and 10% in 2015
  • Infrastructure work to rise 10.1% in 2014 and 7.2% in 2015
  • Retail output growth of 4.0% is forecast in 2014 and 8.0% in 2015
  • Public sector construction is forecast to marginally rise 0.7% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015 as delayed schools and hospitals projects start on site
  • Energy infrastructure output growth is set to slow from 15% in 2014 to only 5% in 2015.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Balfour set to win Cambridge busway extension


Balfour Beatty is being lined-up to build an extension to Cambridge’s guided busway network which has been dogged with construction problems.

The original project was built by Bam Nuttall and resulted in the contractor paying Cambridgeshire County Council £33m in an out-of-court settlement following a dispute over cost overruns.

The council now wants to extend the route to a planned new rail station at Cambridge Science Park which is set to open in 2016.

Balfour is being lined-up as contractor for the extension.

Balfour is a framework contractor with the council and has impressed officials with its work on a similar busway scheme in Manchester.

The extension will be built using different construction techniques following problems on the original scheme.

A council report said: “One of our framework contractors is also the main contractor for the Leigh-Salford Guided Busway, which is currently under construction.

“Discussions are taking place regarding using the same construction technique that has been developed for the Leigh-Salford Busway.

“This form of construction is different from that used for the existing Busway, and involves pouring and shaping the concrete on site using specially developed equipment rather than installing pre-cast beams as used on the existing Busway.”

The report said slipforming has the potential to offer “significant cost and programme savings compared to pre-casting, and based on preliminary work should be broadly comparable in price to conventional road construction.”

It added: “Construction of this section as a guideway is therefore dependent on agreeing an acceptable price and programme with the contractor.

“Should this not prove possible then it is proposed to substitute a conventional road construction with access controlled by short lengths of guided busway at the entry and exit points.”

Source: Construction Enquirer

Kier and Vinci on the hunt for subcontractors


Kier and Vinci are among the firms looking for new suppliers at a Meet the Buyer event in Worcestershire this week.

Contractors from across the West Midlands are being invited to the free event at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire on April 10.

Constructionline is hosting the session to help small and medium-sized businesses in the region meet local clients and learn about winning work.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council will also be there discussing how contractors can do business with them on upcoming construction projects.

Wolverhampton City Council will be one of those looking to engage local contractors on planned works in the region, including framework agreements for the delivery of mechanical and electrical repair services, fixed electrical testing and lifts maintenance services.

Cheryl Wrench, Client Relationship Manager, at Constructionline, said: “SME contractors are often well-placed to deliver work programmes on their doorsteps, and public sector organisations and private businesses keen to engage these smaller suppliers, but it’s not always easy for both sides to access one another.

“This event is designed to offer valuable introductions between the two parties. Local contractors will able to find out about how they can go about winning work from buyers on their doorsteps as well as learning about upcoming opportunities in the region.”

The event will run from 8:30am until 3pm and suppliers do not have to be a Constructionline member to attend.

For more information or to register click here

Source: Construction Enquirer

Scottish Hydro picks four power line contractors


Four groups have been awarded contracts worth a total of £450m to improve connections to the National Grid in the Highlands over the next five years.

The contractors will deliver new or upgraded power lines to areas including Caithness, Fort Augustus and Beauly, creating more than 600 jobs.

SHE power line framework

  • Amec Group
  • Babcock
  • Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions,
  • Morgan Sindall/Vinci Energies

SHE Transmission Transmission director David Gardner said the contracts, along with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where the company operates.

“These awards follow on from our announcement in March 2013 where we placed contracts for the value of £600m to facilitate the delivery of new electricity substations in the north of Scotland,” Gardner added.

SHE Transmission, which is part of Perth-based SSE, is investing at least £1.5bn in upgrading and reinforcing the transmission network, but has said that figure could increase by a further £4bn if required.

More than 2,600MW of renewable energy have been connected to date in the SHE Transmission licensed area.

Source: Construction Enquirer

£1bn London Convoys Wharf scheme approved


London Mayor Boris Johnson has nodded through plans to build up to 3,500 new homes on a site in Deptford that has been derelict for 14 years.

The £1bn Convoys Wharf scheme will provide much-needed new housing in the capital in a series of largely high-rise blocks.

At least 1,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction of the 4.5m sq ft scheme on the south bank of the Thames, opposite the Isle of Dogs.

Over the past decade a series of proposals to regenerate the vast site stalled before they could be considered.

An application was submitted to Lewisham Council last May but the local authority was unable to consider it before the statutory 16-week period to determine planning applications of this nature expired.

Developer Hutchison Whampoa asked the Mayor to act as planning authority speed through a decision on the plans.

Boris Johnson said: “We need to build thousands of new homes in the capital and proposals to do that at Convoys Wharf have stalled for far too long.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work on a scheme that will have enormous social and economic benefits for local people while preserving the heritage aspects of the site.”

The 40-acre Convoys Wharf site was once home to a royal dockyard founded in 1514 by Henry VIII. It is also the site of the historic Sayes Court Garden and the boatyard where the Lenox warship was built.

The Mayor granted planning approval, subject to a Section 106 agreement, which requires the developers with alternative scheme for Sayes Court Garden and explore the feasibility of building a replica of the seventeenth century warship as part of the regeneration scheme.

The developer will also build a community hub that will be linked to Sayes Court Garden, with an integrated new primary school included at the heart of the site.

There will be shops, restaurants, 525 affordable homes and a new riverside jetty park forming part of an increased area of public space.

The Mayor has called in 11 planning applications since 2009 to speed up the decision-making process.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.35.28

Vacant site in Deptford on southside of the Thames showing old grade II listed Olympia ship repair shed.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.16.02

Up to 3,000 of the homes will be one or two bedroom flats


Existing arched Olympia building with be retained and redeveloped as a cultural centre.

Source: Construction Enquirer

Rolls Royce Scores £665m Deal With All Nippon Air


Rolls-Royce aero engines score £665m deal with Japanese airline

Aero engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce have secured a £665m deal with All Nippon Airways to provide its fleet of 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with Trent 1000 engines.

The engines powered the first 787 into service with ANA in 2011 and have completed more than 220,000 in-service flying hours.

An ANA representative said: “We are pleased to once again select the Trent 1000 to power this extension of our 787 Dreamliner fleet. It has served us very well through our entry into service and we have received excellent customer support throughout from Rolls-Royce.”

Chief customer officer at Rolls-Royce, Dominic Horwood, said: “We are proud that ANA, the launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner, has continued to demonstrate its confidence in the performance and economics of the Trent 1000.”

ANA already has 55 of the aircraft in service or on order, all powered by the Trent 1000.

Source: The Manufacturer

Autodesk 2015 Suites Drive Unsurpassed Value


Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced the release of the new Autodesk 2015 Design Suites, which are more tightly integrated with Autodesk cloud services than ever before -- offering customers the ability to collaborate, simulate, analyze and more, many with just one click from within the suite.

Each Autodesk 2015 Design Suite includes AutoCAD 2015, the most advanced AutoCAD yet. A new interface and enhanced productivity tools enable customers to experience a new standard in design and documentation. Additionally, Autodesk Subscription offers customers even more convenient, flexible ways to access the tools they need, when they need them, to help grow their business. Autodesk subscription connects customers with software updates, services and support that help get the most out of their investment in Autodesk software now and in the future.

"The Autodesk portfolio now has something for everyone involved in making products and projects come to life, in addition to designers and engineers," said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of platform products, Autodesk. "Users will notice a difference in how much easier it is to get their work done with the Autodesk 2015 Design Suites."

Productivity-Boosting Enhancements for All Suites

New features and functionality have been added to the 2015 family of Autodesk Design Suites:

   -- Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite offers a refined visual interface, better 
      point cloud support to bring the real world into the AutoCAD canvas, and 
      easier ways to work with online maps and other geographic location 
   -- Autodesk Building Design Suite delivers better integration with BIM 360 
      cloud services, enhanced point cloud capabilities, and numerous customer 
      requested improvements for Autodesk Revit, including a new sketchy lines 
      feature, ability to include imagery in schedules, enhanced hidden lines 
      capability and more. 
   -- Autodesk Factory Design Suite introduces easier moves from 2D AutoCAD 
      drawings to 3D factory layouts with streamlined transitions from legacy 
      workflows; point cloud support for "as is" facility capture; extended use 
      of Factory Design data; and enhancements to Factory Design Mobile app. 
   -- Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite includes major enhancements to 
      AutoCAD Civil 3D software, including improved user interface, greater 
      flexibility for corridor modeling, more efficient creation of profiles 
      layouts, better production drafting, and simpler ways to create custom 
   -- Autodesk Plant Design Suite rolls out significant enhancements to AutoCAD 
      Plant 3D software, including center of gravity, bill of materials (BOM), 
      fixed length pipe modeling, piping and instrumentation drawing (P&ID), 
      and isometric improvements. 
   -- Autodesk Product Design Suite launches with exceptional modeling 
      capabilities, a new user experience, and workflow enhancements. 

Actual features and functionality vary by edition (Standard, Premium, Ultimate) of each suite. Visit the In the Fold Autodesk blog for more in-depth details on the 2015 Design Suites for Autodesk manufacturing, architecture, engineering and construction, infrastructure and oil and gas industry customers.

Cloud Services Just a Click Away

Customers in the architecture, engineering, and construction and infrastructure markets can expect to see significant productivity improvements through one-click access to BIM 360, cloud-based building information modeling (BIM) software for collaboration and management of construction projects. Autodesk InfraWorks 360, which offers civil engineers additional cloud services for collaboration and analysis at the early stages of infrastructure design, includes an updated user interface, support for more data formats, enhancements to Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360 and a new application Bridge Design for InfraWorks 360. The Design Suites for these fields also feature full integration of the Autodesk 360 Rendering service, which uses the virtually infinite computing power in the cloud to create high-resolution renderings efficiently.

Manufacturing industry customers gain easy access to new offerings such as Process Analysis 360, a cloud-based service that helps engineers and system designers model, study, and optimize manufacturing processes. This accessibility -- combined with other feature enhancements and refinements -- removes the barriers to entry so that everyone can design and engineer great products.

"One of my favorite features of the cloud services specifically is access to Green Building Studio," said Andrew Watkins, associate principal, Ayers Saint Gross Architects. "Architects are much more in tune with doing energy analysis early on in the design process, so even in the early concept stages we are able to analyze multiple versions of our building design directly from Revit through the cloud and get immediate data points back for making design decisions based on energy usage through the life the building. That's been one of the best benefits of the cloud for us."

It's Never Been Easier to Access Autodesk Software

Autodesk Subscription offers the most convenient, modern, and flexible way for customers to purchase and access the software and services that they need to grow their business, and new purchasing options allow customers to choose the plan that best fits their current project needs and budget.

"We like the subscription program with Autodesk because it provides predictability and stability; it simplifies our licensing, and it gives us a lot of flexibility," said Gene Evans, Autodesk subscription administrator for Woolpert, a US-based design, geospatial and infrastructure management firm. "In addition, upgrades on subscription are pretty much a no-brainer. We budget a static sum every year, and it's been easy to predict our costs, we can upgrade at any time, whenever it works for us. Subscription also allows us to explore cloud services and evaluate where they will benefit us as a company and make better informed decisions. Subscription is the only way to go for us."

Autodesk Subscription customers gain access to the latest Autodesk software releases and cloud services, technical support, and flexible licensing rights from the following options:

Maintenance Subscription is the most cost effective way to maintain and maximize long-term investment in purchased Autodesk software and services.

Desktop Subscription offers pay-as-you-go plans. Customers can choose from monthly, quarterly, and annual options for using Autodesk Design and Creation Suites and select software products.

Cloud Service Subscription can have a dramatic effect on the way customers work. A broad selection of cloud-based services offer access to virtually infinite cloud computing power that significantly reduces visualization and simulation processing times and frees up desktop resources for greater productivity, mobility and collaboration.

AutoCAD 2015 showcases the biggest redesign in more than a decade, and is included in all Autodesk Design Suites 2015.


Autodesk 2015 Design Suites will become available starting March 28, 2014. Availability varies by country. See details and purchasing options at

Source: The Wall Street Journal

JV formed to develop £8bn Earls Court site


Capital & Counties Properties and Transport for London have formed a joint venture to develop the first phases of the £8bn Earls Court Masterplan.


The JV – known as the Earls Court Partnership – will enable the start of redevelopment of the Earls Court 1 & 2 exhibition centres.

The Masterplan will deliver 7,500 new homes and 10,000 new jobs.

It will also see the development of a new primary school, a new leisure centre, new health facilities as well as community and cultural spaces.

Thirty seven acres of green open space will be provided, including a new five acre park and there will also be significant improvements to the transport infrastructure including increased capacity at Earls Court, West Kensington and West Brompton underground stations.

Gary Yardley, Investment Director of Capco, commented: “We are delighted to finalise this agreement and look forward to working with TfL.

“The re-imagination of Earls Court is moving forward and presents a unique opportunity to establish a new address in central London.

“Together with our partners, we will bring 7,500 new homes, 10,000 new jobs to the area, and benefits not just for the local economy, but for London as a whole.”

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development of TfL, added: “This is the first example of our new approach of retaining and investing in our assets across London, working in partnership with leading developers like Capco, which will deliver real long-term value for fare and taxpayers.”

Sir Robert McAlpine and Keltbray have been instructed to develop detailed strategies for demolition and construction work.

Source: Construction Enquirer