The Construction Index Supplier News The Construction Index - Latest Supplier News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif The Construction Index Supplier News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:21:35 +0100 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.12.3 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news 2014 The Construction Index ElecoPrecast in the docks ElecoPrecast has completed storage improvements for a dockside warehouse, at the port of Grangemouth. ]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:19:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/elecoprecast-in-the-docks http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/elecoprecast-in-the-docks

ElecoPrecast has completed storage improvements for a dockside warehouse, at the port of Grangemouth.

Annually more than 9 million tonnes of cargo pass through, Scotland’s largest container port. ElecoPrecast has been working with both the port and there client Biomar, to convert some 40,000 sq.ft of the 100,000sq.ft operation, into bulk storage facilities using rocket walls.

Derek Knox, Port Manager, Port of Grangemouth said “It is important to our customers that we provide the highest quality warehousing facilities and we chose ElecoPrecast rocket walls for our specialist storage unit at the port. Our customer Biomar, is delighted with the rocket wall installation as they need their feed product to be stored well and handled efficiently.”

The improvements allow Forth Ports to provide separate storage areas for each compound, maximise the floor space and help with quality control.

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Knauf Insulation upskills contractors at its training academy Wed, 14 Nov 2012 09:18:21 +0000 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/knauf-insulation-upskills-contractors-at-its-training-academy http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/knauf-insulation-upskills-contractors-at-its-training-academy Knauf Insulation has opened its ThermoShell® Training Academy in Birmingham to up-skill contractors from various trades, enabling them to install its innovative ThermoShell Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and External Wall Insulation (EWI).

As part of the Green Deal, launched at the beginning of October, there is an increased emphasis on upgrading the thermal performance of the 6.6 million solid wall properties in the UK. Therefore, Knauf Insulation’s new academy is an ideal route for tradesmen of all disciplines, from builders, to heating engineers or solar panel installers, who are looking to take advantage of the Green Deal.

Each course consists of a full day of training, with the delegates having a thorough theoretical workshop in the morning followed by a practical session in the afternoon – putting what they have learned into practice. 

After attending the course, the tradesmen will have permission to install Knauf Insulation’s systems but will only become fully accredited once they have completed three installations that are checked and verified by a Knauf Insulation Regional Technical Manager (RTM).

The RTM will observe and help with any problems the installers have whilst fitting the systems. Once three visits have been made and the RTMs are happy with the work the contractors are doing, they will then be awarded full accredited installer status.   Additionally, RTMs will visit installers working with the systems on a quarterly basis to make sure everything is still running smoothly.

Craig O’Donnell, Business Development Manager – Residential Refurbishment for Knauf Insulation commented: “We have already had a high level of interest and praise for the course, with places filling up quickly. The academy is a great way to up-skill tradesmen and will help create a pool of competent providers to help deliver the Green Deal.

“With the sheer volume of work to be done around the country on upgrading solid wall properties, it presents a huge new business opportunity and from an installers perspective it therefore makes sense to be in a position to provide as many services as possible. Offering to upgrade a home’s thermal performance seems a logical step and one that presents great awards.”

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Larkfleet Homes launches ‘Test House’ to demonstrate feasibility of new building technologies Housebuilder Larkfleet Homes, part of the Larkfleet Group, has constructed a new Startlink ‘test house’ alongside its headquarters in Lincolnshire that demonstrates the potential for housing to be constructed much faster, more energy-efficiently and at reduced costs in the future.]]> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:29:21 +0000 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/larkfleet-homes-launches-test-house-to-demonstrate-feasibility-of-new-building-technologies http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/larkfleet-homes-launches-test-house-to-demonstrate-feasibility-of-new-building-technologies

Housebuilder Larkfleet Homes, part of the Larkfleet Group, has constructed a new Startlink ‘test house’ alongside its headquarters in Lincolnshire that demonstrates the potential for housing to be constructed much faster, more energy-efficiently and at reduced costs in the future.

Following many months of collaborative research, Larkfleet (as part of a consortium) has developed Startlink Lightweight Building Systems (SLBS) – energy-efficient, low cost housing that is quick to build using lightweight, energy-saving materials and innovative, labour-saving assembly techniques.

Importantly, the housing is designed to mitigate flood risk and may even make it possible to develop housing in areas of potential flooding – a major issue in many areas throughout the country.

The Startlink test house was constructed as a modular building in which all the parts were pre-designed to fit neatly together without cutting, resulting in no site waste. The major components are pultruded glass reinforced composite modules which can be rapidly assembled into a wide variety of low-rise buildings without metal fastenings.

Organic fibre insulation has been used to control internal temperature and humidity. The house has a mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system which is the main space heating system, supplemented by electricity produced by solar PV (photovoltaic) panels. The domestic hot water is provided by solar thermal panels.

Using natural fibre insulation, the Startlink test house has lower embodied energy than traditionally built homes.

Also, SLBS materials are much lighter and less dense than either mild steel or reinforced concrete (the two conventional structural materials) so have the effect of greatly reducing the embodied energy in any structure made from them.

Lightweight buildings such as Larkfleet’s Startlink test house (which weighs just 18 tonnes compared to a conventional 40 tonne house) need less energy to heat in winter. The low-maintenance system offers the possibility of extremely energy-efficient housing.

The Startlink test house also has a ‘green’ roof which not only gives thermal mass but also retains water and therefore provides evaporative cooling during summer.

The SLBS processes and products which Larkfleet helped to develop with its consortium partners provide the opportunity for housing to be constructed much faster, more energy-efficiently and at reduced costs in the future.

If built and furnished with suitable flooring material and decorative finishes on the ground floor, Startlink homes are highly ‘flood resistant’.

The absence of extensive foundations and the nature of the pultruded materials of construction means that the structure is unaffected by flood water. If the house is flooded, it can swiftly and (compared with conventional homes) inexpensively be brought back into use. This may make it possible to construct such homes in areas where flood risks mean that the construction of conventional buildings is not viable.

In the longer term, the light weight of the homes opens the intriguing possibility that they could be built on foundations which would rise in response to flooding – keeping the house itself entirely clear of the water.

This is one of the areas which Larkfleet hopes to explore in the next phase of Startlink research.

The new building methods and materials were developed with the assistance of funding from the government’s Technology Strategy Board. In addition to Larkfleet Homes, other members of the consortium are Exel Composites UK, Odour Control Systems Ltd, Warwick University, The Costain Group and conservation architect John Hutchinson.

South Kesteven District Council leader Cllr Linda Neal recently officially opened the Startlink test house with Larkfleet managing director, Karl Hick.

Larkfleet managing director Karl Hick commented:  “The official opening of the Startlink test house builds on Larkfleet’s strong record in creating sustainable homes and communities. The construction of the test house has proven the technical feasibility of SLBS products and processes which could be used very effectively in the construction of future housing developments.”

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McAlpine opts for ground props on Glasgow School of Art Groundforce Shorco has supplied some of its most advanced hydraulic shoring equipment to contractor Sir Robert McAlpine for use on the £50m redevelopment of Glasgow’s School of Art. ]]> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 08:53:58 +0000 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/mcalpine-opts-for-ground-props-on-glasgow-school-of-art http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/mcalpine-opts-for-ground-props-on-glasgow-school-of-art

Groundforce Shorco has supplied some of its most advanced hydraulic shoring equipment to contractor Sir Robert McAlpine for use on the £50m redevelopment of Glasgow’s School of Art.

The project involves construction of a new five-storey building in Renfrew Street, directly opposite the famous Grade A listed art school building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The substructure of the new building requires temporary propping during the construction of the double storey basement in an excavation measuring approximately 60m x 34m x 10m deep.

McAlpine opted for a propping solution over structural steel because it offered the benefits of speed of installation and the capability to monitor loads, said Groundforce technical sales manager Mark Whitmore. The cost was roughly the same.

The support structure comprises nine hydraulic props in total; six at the upper level and three raking props at the lower level. As the site slopes quite steeply, all props are also on a vertical incline, meaning that Groundforce had to ensure that the end bearing plates, which are designed to permit lateral articulation, were rotated 90° to suit the connection detail on the capping beam.

As there was a need to measure the effect of the basement excavation on the surrounding buildings, wireless load monitoring system was used, which uses electronic load pins to log prop loads and transmit readings to a central server via GPRS. This data is then displayed in the form of charts and graphs on a secure website which the client, and any other authorised users, can access at any time.

Using the modular hydraulic system in combination with active load monitoring allowed Groundforce and McAlpine to be fluid with the design requirements which provided flexibility to change aspects of the design to accommodate changes to the construction sequence. The wireless load monitoring system enabled McAlpine to adopt an observational approach to the lower level propping, so it could significantly reduce the number of struts required.

One of the props is 150-tonne capacity. All of the others are 250-tonne capacity MP250 hydraulic units with 610mm diameter steel tube extensions. “With the two upper level central props,  which have a  the relatively long span of around 31.5m, we had to specify our 1220mm-diameter Super tubes,” Mr Whitmore said.

 

 

Delivery started during the first week of May 2012 with the total duration  expected to be around five to six months. However progress has been quicker than SRM had anticipated with the lower level of props scheduled for removal mid August with the upper level removed during September.

“I’ve worked with smaller equipment, like hydraulic manhole braces, many times before, but this is a whole different order of scale” says McAlpine construction manager Peter Unwin. “Instead of handling units weighing 250-500 kg, you’re handling pieces weighing 16 or 18 tonnes. But it’s very user-friendly and everything’s gone very smoothly.”

When completed the new building, designed by New York-based Steven Holl Architects and Glasgow practice JM Architects, will house a range of studios and teaching facilities as well as workshops, communal areas and exhibition spaces.

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Seddon Property Services appoints operations manager for Scotand Painting and maintenance specialist Seddon Property Services has appointed Andy McNicol as operations manager for its expanding Scottish business.]]> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 06:54:52 +0000 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/seddon-property-services-appoints-operations-manager-for-scotand http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/seddon-property-services-appoints-operations-manager-for-scotand

Painting and maintenance specialist Seddon Property Services has appointed Andy McNicol as operations manager for its expanding Scottish business.

He joins Seddon from Mitie Property Services where he was area surveyor, based in Airdrie. In his new role, based at the Seddon office in Roystonhill, Glasgow, he oversees operations for Seddon Property Services’ delivery of planned and responsive maintenance services, building refurbishment, repairs and painting for clients in Scotland.

“With his strong property services and work-winning expertise, Andy will help drive the continuing growth of our Scottish operation,” said Seddon Property Services chairman Stuart Seddon. “We are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Key successes for the Scottish business this year include a five-year deal to provide reactive maintenance services to leading affordable housing provider Home Scotland and its appointment by the I-FLAIR group of housing associations to a five-year framework to provide painting and joinery services for tenants’ homes.

Seddon Property Services specialises in the affordable housing, local authority, commercial, leisure, facilities management and heritage sectors and is part of the Seddon Group, a family-owned company specialising in construction, painting, maintenance and housebuilding, with a national turnover of over £250 million.

 

 

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Peterborough Cathedral role for Focus Consultants Focus Consultants has been appointed as part of the team introducing improvements at Peterborough Cathedral to mark the 900th anniversary of its founding.]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 08:34:12 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/major-peterborough-cathedral-role-for-focus-consultants http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/major-peterborough-cathedral-role-for-focus-consultants

Focus Consultants has been appointed as part of the team introducing improvements at Peterborough Cathedral to mark the 900th anniversary of its founding.

Heritage and funding experts at Focus have been chosen to project manage a second-round bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant to take the project forward.

Now Focus is working with a number of specialists to develop the scheme design for the planned new Heritage and Education Centre at Peterborough Cathedral, which is the first phase in a multi-million pound project.

Other developments being planned for the future include a new Cathedral and Community Music School and improvements to the cathedral, its furnishings and its precincts.

It is the second cathedral contract won by Focus recently, and follows the firm’s appointment as buildings project manager and quantity surveyors on a £3 million project to conserve and repair England’s second oldest cathedral, Rochester.

“We are very pleased to be working with Peterborough Cathedral and its wider community on this special project to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the cathedral’s founding,” said Focus project manager Ellie Clarke.

“The vision is for the cathedral to be a place of worship, education and music, encompassing all aspects of an ever-growing and changing society, and Focus is proud to be playing a key role in helping the achievement of these aims.”

Focus Consultants, which is based in Nottingham with offices in London, Leicester, Boston and Lincoln, is spearheading the development of the new Heritage and Education Centre, which involves refurbishing the Grade 1 listed Knights’ Chamber.

The £3 million development is part of a £10 million campaign of improvements at the cathedral, which, in 2018, will mark the 900th anniversary of the foundation of the present cathedral building.

The plans received a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) earlier this year, with the second-round capital bid being prepared for submission in the New Year.

Focus Consultants specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the Midlands and the UK.  Focus has secured more than £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1 billion of projects and programmes since 1994.

It has worked on a number of heritage and ecclesiastical developments including Lincoln Cathedral Old Palace, St. Margaret’s in Bradford, Nottingham’s St. Martha’s the Housewife and Greyfriars Tower, King’s Lynn.

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Bell appoints national accounts manager Bell Equipment UK has appointed aggregates industry professional Robin Piper as its new national accounts sales manager.]]> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 08:50:24 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bell-appoints-national-accounts-manager http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bell-appoints-national-accounts-manager

Bell Equipment UK has appointed aggregates industry professional Robin Piper as its new national accounts sales manager.

Mr Piper will be responsible for handling key customer accounts across the UK, primarily those operating in the quarrying and opencast mining sectors.

This new position was created largely to provide customers who have operations in more than one UK region with a more defined channel for contact at Bell.

Mr Piper, who has previously held senior positions at Carillion, Tarmac and CEMEX, will work alongside Bell’s team of regional sales managers and report directly to the UK sales and marketing manager Nick Learoyd.

Mr Learoyd said: “Robin brings an incredible amount of top-level experience with him to this new role. He is also very well known throughout the industry.

“His appointment will certainly aid the synergy of the sales team as a whole, but, more importantly, it will give some of our most important customers and future prospects a much clearer line of contact with the sales team.

“Where a customer may have several offices or operational sites across the UK, the addition of a dedicated national accounts manager will prove invaluable in terms of day-to-day contact and accountability.

“Our regional managers will continue to play a role within those key accounts, but Robin’s overall responsibility will ensure even greater consistency of communication.”

Mr Piper (53), who has a BSc Honours degree in Geological Sciences, joined Bell directly from his role as national operations director for Carillion Plant Services, having previously been promoted from regional contracts manager.

Prior to that, he has been district manager for Tarmac Quarry Materials in the south-west region and operations manager at RMC Western (CEMEX) in Bristol. He is a former chairman of the West of England branch of the Institute of Quarrying.

Mr Piper said he was delighted to have been appointed to this new role within the UK arm of the South African plant manufacturer.

“I’ve gained a lot of experience in more than 30 years of working within the sector,” he said. “And I’m fortunate enough to have also made a large number of friends in the industry.

“I’m now relishing the challenge of this new position, not least because the Bell team has a uniquely personal way of working which filters right through to the customers. Bell has earned a fabulous reputation across the industry for its customer support, so I’m delighted to now be part of that.” 

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Skelair International appoints drilling & blasting operations supervisor Ground engineering and rock drilling specialist, Skelair International, has appointed Steve Lashley as Operations Supervisor for its Contract Drilling & Blasting division. ]]> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 09:01:30 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/skelair-international-appoints-drilling-and-blasting-operations-supervisor http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/skelair-international-appoints-drilling-and-blasting-operations-supervisor

Ground engineering and rock drilling specialist, Skelair International, has appointed Steve Lashley as Operations Supervisor for its Contract Drilling & Blasting division.

The Holmes Chapel based company recruited Steve from Bam Ritchies where he gained well over 20 years’ experience across the full range of quarry operations. Spanning surveying, drilling and blasting as well as NVQ supervisory roles, Steve brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new position with Skelair.

Taking over six permanent sites and regular project assignments from clients such as the Forestry Commission, Steve will also be responsible for driving forward new business and expanding the portfolio of services.

A Member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers, Steve said: “Working with a forward thinking and fast paced company like Skelair will open up a lot of new opportunities for me personally. The scope of the role gives me flexibility to shape the future of the business and at the same time put into practice all of the skills I have acquired during my time in the industry.

“Skelair is well established as a credible provider of drilling and blasting services and I am very much looking forward to building on this reputation to achieve continued and sustained growth.”

Through its Contract Drilling & Blasting division, Skelair delivers an integrated service approach which combines the right equipment with high level consultative advice and a customer-centric focus. In doing so it ensures the efficient, effective and safe completion of all rock extraction and stabilisation projects.

With a fully accredited surveying team, Skelair works with reputable explosives partners and offers a free UK-wide site visit to assess specific project requirements.

Commenting on Steve’s appointment, John Mayo, Managing Director, Skelair International, concludes: “Steve possesses well respected knowledge and has great drive when it comes to looking at how we can continue to develop the business. He has very quickly fitted in with the team and gained the respect of our existing client base. In short, he is a valuable asset and we are very pleased to have him on board.”

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Contract finance launched by CRS to help construction sector Thu, 04 Oct 2012 08:55:46 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/contract-finance-launched-by-crs-to-help-construction-sector http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/contract-finance-launched-by-crs-to-help-construction-sector Short term finance of up to £100,000 for businesses in the construction and contracting sectors has been announced by construction solution specialists Contract Recovery Solutions (“CRS”) through their new division “CRS Contract Finance”.

Capitalising on their working relationship with commercial and private lenders, CRS Contract Finance is now able to arrange finance facilities to help constructors and contractors take on contracts and projects that they may otherwise have to turn away due to a lack of funding.

Facilities are available on a selective basis for contracts of no more that 6 months duration where the company can show that it is financially stable with a good credit history.  Applications can be made by limited companies and applicants must be able to offer personal guarantees.

Contracts that will be eligible for funding are expected to be simple, short term and profitable and entered into with a main contractor that also has a good credit history. 

Launching the funding, CRS Director, Wayne Shore, said “We have been aware for quite some time that short term contracts are often turned away by sub-contractors because traditional bank funding is simply not generally available.  We have worked hard to secure funds to enable us to help fill this gap in the construction and contracting sectors.”

Wayne added “We hope that in a small way we will help to oil the wheels of the economy in this sector at a time when construction is struggling particularly with smaller SME companies.”

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Speedy Stewart Milne makes the grade A timber frame structure from Stewart Milne is helping BAM achieve BREEAM Excellent on an £8.5m student accommodation project in Cornwall.]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 15:52:38 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/speedy-stewart-milne-makes-the-grade http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/speedy-stewart-milne-makes-the-grade

A timber frame structure from Stewart Milne is helping BAM achieve BREEAM Excellent on an £8.5m student accommodation project in Cornwall.

Plymouth University appointed to BAM Construction to build its new student accommodation development in Truro with two challenging targets: a BREEAM rating of Excellent, and a programme of just nine months.

The bespoke £8.5 million scheme will serve both student and medical staff 'on-campus' at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.

The 232-bed development comprises seven blocks of four storey units, arranged as a series of self contained four and five bedroom flats, which feature modern facilities.

Designed by Burwell Deakins, the blocks are arranged informally around a central landscaped area, with materials such as timber frame, Siberian Larch rain screen cladding and a low pitched standing seam zinc roof selected to complement the woodland surroundings and to create an entity distinct from that of the hospital.

For the timber build system, Stewart Milne Timber Systems was selected to work with BAM.

Dave Roper, project manager for BAM, explains: “One of the key factors in Stewart Milne Timber Systems being selected to provide the timber system solution was that they had experience of working on large scale projects to meet BREEAM Excellent rating. They also provided cost benefits through their ‘one stop shop’ concept.”

Stewart Milne opted for a 'fabric first' approach to meet the required U values on the project. It used a semi closed pre-insulated panel system to achieve an external wall U-value of 0.21.

Alex Goodfellow, group managing director at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, says: “Along with the environmental credentials inherent when building with this natural material, timber frame also makes it easy to achieve a high performance building fabric by maximising thermal performance and minimising air leakage.

“This ‘fabric first’ approach is a low risk, cost-effective way to achieve higher levels of BREEAM.”

“Timber frame projects was relatively new to this division of BAM,” Goodfellow adds, “so partnership was crucial. We engaged with the design team from the outset and we were in continuous dialogue with BAM to ensure a final design in line with the overall programme timetable.”

Speed of build was a vital aspect of the project. Besides the pre-insulated panels, other offsite-constructed elements which reduced build time included a pre-fabricated cassette floor, an acoustic floor system, and the stairs for the project, all supplied by Stewart Milne.

The timber kit for all seven blocks was assembled on site in just 16 weeks.

“For developers, it is imperative student accommodation projects are delivered on schedule because of term deadlines,” adds Goodfellow. “Due to offsite construction, timber frame is one of the best materials for delivering large scale projects fast and effectively.”

The development is due for completion at the end of November 2012.

 

Project details

Client: Plymouth University

Contractor: BAM Construction                                                     

Key subcontractor: Stewart Milne Timber Systems

Client architect: Burwell Deakins       

BAM Construction architect: Grainge Architects of Exeter                                    

Project value: £8.5m

Programme start on site: February 2012

Completion: November 2012.

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Timber test Cross-laminated timber frames have been used to extend the West London Academy in Northolt, where Kier is main contractor.]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 15:50:18 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/timber-test http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/timber-test

Cross-laminated timber frames have been used to extend the West London Academy in Northolt, where Kier is main contractor.

Kier has just completed two major extensions at the West London Academy in less than a year – by using a high-speed timber frame construction method.

One extension, the 'Arc', expands primary and nursery provision at the all-ages academy in Northolt by 210 extra places, while the two-storey 'Quad' extension provides additional secondary teaching space.

Kier built the new facilities using cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction methods, chosen for its growing reputation in delivering strong environmental performance, cost-savings and time certainty. The design was a key factor in Kier being selected to build the Academy, according to the contractor.

West London Academy principal Hilary Macaulay says: "We opted for CLT because it offered speed of build, quality of finish and a feeling of solidity. We have not been disappointed."

The timber frame concept for the two extensions was developed by structural engineer Ramboll and CLT specialist KLH, who had worked with Kier on two previous Academies in Norwich.

From an early stage, 3D integrated modelling software was employed to co-ordinate structural design. Components were precision-made at KLH's plant in Austria using AutoCad 3D machining data and CNC computer-controlled cutting tools.

The design was made as flexible as possible, to meet the likely future requirements of the academy.

The Arc is shaped in a long sweeping curve, and contains a 52-place nursery, plus reception and Year 1 classrooms. Tunnels of natural roof light illuminate the ‘heart space’ at the centre of the structure.

The Quad features huge Glulam beams and exposed roof timbers, and will accommodate the design and technology department, art department, and ICT. The 'Zeppelin', a futuristic pod-shaped media studies centre ‘floats’ over the main atrium area.

Assembling the Arc started last November and the Quad followed in January. Each timber frame was erected in less than seven weeks, involving 17 lorry loads delivered in a closely co-ordinated programme.

Kier senior project manager Rob Brown explains: "We ensured that all deliveries could be handled by conventional articulated lorries. Avoiding special arrangements for extra wide or long vehicles was crucial, as the site entrance is on a congested dual carriageway close to the A40.

"No special lifts were necessary, as the timber system is much lighter than a comparable steel or concrete structure. We just needed a pair of 50-tonne mobile rigs, which minimised the amount of crane matting required."

The modular erection system also coped well with extreme weather conditions. During January's heavy snowfall, while many other sites were closed, West London Academy maintained full operation.

Because it was not clear if the existing school structure could accommodate the additional load, the Quad extension was treated as a standalone structural frame, but this raised the tricky question of how to support the central atrium roof. Ramboll solved this by using the Zeppelin's ribs as columns, with the roof structure cantilevering off the central pod.

Brown was struck by the cleanliness, speed and efficiency of erecting CLT panels. "Off-site manufacturing means less energy and water are required on site, compared to traditional concrete or steel structural frames, and using CLT has also reduced waste on site," he says.

Subsequent fit-out operations were also faster, as dry lining and other follow-on trades could use basic hand tools for fixing onto the timber.

A major benefit of using CLT instead of conventional construction methods is the considerable savings it brings in carbon dioxide emissions. Just over 1,200m3, or 550 tonnes, of CLT were used at Northolt. KLH has calculated that more than 900 tonnes of CO2 have been removed from the atmosphere - even after allowing for transportation of materials. Recent tests revealed the precision manufacture of CLT has also achieved an impressively low air leakage rate of just 2.7m3/hr/m2.

 

Project details

Client: London Borough of Ealing

Contractor: Kier Construction

Architect: Architects Co-Partnership

Structural engineer: Ramboll UK

CLT specialist: KLH UK

Start date on site: 31 August, 2011

Completion: August 27, 2012

Value: £10m

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Orkney's new flagship A steel frame was specified for the new grammar school in Kirkwall, one of the largest building projects ever undertaken on the Orkney Islands. ]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 15:47:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/orkneys-new-flagship http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/orkneys-new-flagship

A steel frame was specified for the new grammar school in Kirkwall, one of the largest building projects ever undertaken on the Orkney Islands.

A multi-million pound schools investment programme in the Orkney Islands will eventually see main contractor Morrison Construction deliver a new grammar school and arts centre, a halls of residence, and a swimming pool and squash courts, all in Kirkwall, as well as a new primary school in Stromness.    

With a population of just over 8,000, Kirkwall is the biggest town and capital of Orkney. It is a centre of education and a focus for the local arts scene, both of which will be accommodated within the new Kirkwall Grammar School (KGS), the largest component of the overall programme. 

The new school is under construction on land previously occupied by KGS’s playing fields. Once pupils have decamped into the new buildings, the existing school will be demolished to make room for new outdoor sports facilities. 

According to the architect the new school has been designed to create a distinctive focal point, not just for pupils but also for the local community as a whole. 

To this end the school structure includes, within its overall footprint, the 350 seat Orkney Arts Theatre. This will replace an existing theatre and has been designed as a public performance venue as well as a facility for pupils to use during school hours. For security reasons, the design of the theatre and its surrounding rooms incorporates a ‘locked down’ element to allow any outside users access without compromising the privacy of other areas of the school.

The new KGS comprises one large building consisting of three teaching wings connected by an interlinking curved ‘street’ - which also accommodates social and dining spaces - with the oval shaped Arts Theatre located at the head.

Providing 15,000m2 of floor space, the building is large and one of the biggest structures in Kirkwall. It has a curving and irregular shape and so the structural design has incorporated movement joints placed at strategic points to break up the mass of the building. There are five in total, one each where the wings join the main block, one running straight through the middle of the main block, and finally one isolating the theatre.

Designed as a pin jointed steel frame, cross bracing, located in partition walls, cores and risers, provides all of the structural stability.

“Much of the steelwork is quite complex with a lot of curved members in the theatre,” explains David Custer, Morrison Construction design manager.

Steelwork contractor BHC started on site last November and by arranging the job into six phases, it was able to work its way down the structure in a sequential manner, allowing  follow-on trades to get started on areas where the steelwork and metal decking had been completed.

The erection sequence began with the sports hall and BHC then worked its way down the structure completing the three wings and the main teaching block and atrium, before finishing off with the theatre.

“The entire shape of the school presented a challenge as the grid changes constantly, but the final sector - the theatre - was the most complex requiring a thousand individual steel pieces,” says BHC project manager Eddie Brown.

The oval shape of the theatre required a number of curved beams to be supplied to the project. These members not only form the curved perimeter of the venue, but they were also used to construct two-storeys of classrooms that wrap around a portion of the theatre.

The complexity of the steel frame is at its greatest where the theatre joins the main school building. Here a large entrance foyer, which connects into the main central atrium, has curved members adjoining a straighter line of steel columns and beams.

Forming the open plan column free space of the theatre are two 17m-long trusses, positioned on either end of what will become the main stage. These large steel sections were brought to site fully assembled and erected during one weekend, after getting a police escort through Kirkwall’s narrow streets from the ferry terminal.

Working on the Orkney Islands means all of the project’s materials have to be transported from the mainland, with the steel arriving by ship from Aberdeen. BHC had to limit each load to 25t, with the longest individual load being 24m-long.

“We generally allowed four days for each delivery to arrive after leaving our yard in South Lanarkshire,” says Brown. 

Two locally supplied mobile cranes were utilised during the first stages of the job, when two erection gangs were employed. But as the work came to end and only the theatre remained to be erected, just one 200t capacity crane needed to remain on site.

Elsewhere on the project the steelwork frames follow an irregular grid pattern. For instance, each of the three two-storey teaching wings are different lengths and accommodate classrooms that are based around a 7.1m grid, but get slightly smaller the further away they are from the main building. This design feature creates more circulation and breakout space and is formed by the central dividing corridors in each wing splaying outwards.

The main feature of the school is the centrally positioned and naturally lit three-storey high ‘street’ or atrium. Overlooked by corridors from the adjoining three-storey teaching areas, the ‘street’ is connected to the dining hall and a dance studio. Both of these areas can be opened up into larger spaces by using moveable partitions. Spans across the ‘street’ are a maximum of 24m, and have been formed by a series of cellular beams.

The local authority and client is keen to stress its high sustainability credentials and the new KGS is aiming for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. It is scheduled to be operational by spring 2013.

 

Project details

Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney Islands

Main client: Orkney Islands Council

Architect: Keppie

Main contractor: Morrison Construction, part of the Galliford Try

Structural engineer: A.F. Cruden Associates

Steelwork contractor: BHC

Project value: £35m

 

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Foremans on the fast track When a Reading academy wanted a new sixth form centre built in just six weeks, it chose modular specialist Foremans for the demanding programme.]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 15:47:29 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/foremans-on-the-fast-track http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/foremans-on-the-fast-track

When a Reading academy wanted a new sixth form centre built in just six weeks, it chose modular specialist Foremans for the demanding programme.

Piggott School is a new academy in Reading which specialises in modern languages and humanities. To meet increasing demand for places, the school needed a dedicated sixth form centre which would free up teaching accommodation elsewhere on the school site.

And it wanted the new centre built as quickly as possible.

The school was drawn to the idea of offsite construction, specifically

recycled steel modules from Shepherd subsidiary Foremans, which would enable it to meet both cost constraints and the tight programme.

Nadine Doble, business manager at Piggott School, says: “Time and cost were the key factors in us choosing a recycled modular solution. We were looking at traditional site-based construction but would have had to wait several years for the funds to be available, and the construction phase would have taken longer too.”

Foremans designed the two-storey sixth form building from 48 pre-owned steel modules, which were refurbished the firm's production centre in East Yorkshire and reconfigured to the school’s specific requirements. The project cost was £1m.

The use of a recycled modular building solution typically reduces programme times by around 70%, according to Foremans, compared to site-based construction or new manufacture.

Andrew Noble, Foremans’ project manager for the Piggott School project, adds: “Good logistics planning and detailed project management are also important when a programme is really tight. We have a long established and loyal supply chain so our suppliers and specialist subcontractors are very accommodating to help us meet the most challenging lead times.”

Foremans carried out a thorough assessment of the project at the outset and planned the programme meticulously, says Noble. “This included close co-ordination and management of all trades on site in both Yorkshire and Reading, a detailed traffic management plan for vehicle movements to carefully control vehicles arriving on site, and a full site survey to avoid any unforeseen issues,” he explains.

To minimise disruption to teaching, many schools prefer to install buildings during holidays. But on this project, the programme demanded delivery in term time, which made the project management even more complex.

The modules could only arrive on site at certain times, maximising car parking and avoiding the busiest periods in the school day – between 8am and 9am, 12pm and 1pm, and 3pm and 4pm.

“To achieve this, we had to be very strict with the timetable for vehicle movements for the module delivery phase,” says Noble. “Only one vehicle could be on site at any time so we used an off-site holding area and banked the lorries in. We also had separate unloading and cranage areas.”

Foremans maximised off-site working on the project to further reduce disruption to teaching. Around 70% of the fitting out was completed at Foremans’ production centre. This included installation of internal plasterboard, flooring, stairs, windows, doors, plumbing and electrics. The over cladding was also completed off site.

The building was configured to accommodate eight dedicated classrooms for the sixth form, office accommodation, meeting room, social space for students, kitchen and a quiet study area with the potential to expand the number of PC stations from 75 to 115 to meet the academy’s future needs.  A folding partition divides up two classrooms which can then be opened up to create a single flexible space for exam periods.

Externally, the scheme features timber cladding, brise soleil, and a canopy over the entrance.

The building was handed over just six weeks after the first module arrived on site.

 

Project details

Client:  Diocese of Oxford

Principal contractor:  Foremans Relocatable Building Systems

Groundworks:  Redlime Ltd

Electrical engineers:  Richardsons Electrical

Mechanical engineers:  Neville Tucker Engineering

Brise Soleil:  Louvresol      

Glazing:  MBE Glazing

Lifts:  Invalifts

Glazed partitions:  Premier Solutions

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NMC transforms reception for BP Civil engineering and building specialists, North Midland Construction (NMC) is celebrating the completion of its first contract with BP after refurbishing and remodelling the visitors reception at the company’s Hull headquarters at Saltend Chemicals Park.]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:02:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/nmc-transforms-reception-for-bp http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/nmc-transforms-reception-for-bp

Civil engineering and building specialists, North Midland Construction (NMC) is celebrating the completion of its first contract with BP after refurbishing and remodelling the visitors reception at the company’s Hull headquarters at Saltend Chemicals Park.

The £270,000 contract took four months to complete and has transformed the existing building into a modern, contemporary reception to welcome staff and visitors.

NMC undertook a range of internal and external works including; reconfiguration of internal walls, installation of suspended ceilings, new floors and full mechanical and electrical installation. NMC has also installed new signage and constructed new hardstanding areas and path connecting the building with the car park.

Stuart Campbell, Business Development Director at North Midland Construction said, “We were thrilled to be working alongside a prestigious client such as BP for the very first time and our aim was to exceed their expectations with our delivery on this project. We have achieved this and produced a high quality project on time and on budget and we hope this will be the start of a longer term relationship with BP.”

Edward Dupont. Project Manager for BP commented “The project execution from NMC has been excellent from start to finish, they quickly familiarised themselves with the standards, processes and workings of a new site and then discharged their duties with competence and professionalism within the programmed timescale.”

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Kingspan picks Eco Environments as renewables partner Renewable energy company Eco Environments has been awarded accredited installer status by Kingspan Renewables.]]> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 09:00:46 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/kingspan-picks-eco-environments-as-renewables-partner http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/kingspan-picks-eco-environments-as-renewables-partner

Renewable energy company Eco Environments has been awarded accredited installer status by Kingspan Renewables.

Kingspan Renewables, part of the global Kingspan Group Plc, has awarded the Liverpool-headquartered company accreditation for four different technologies – solar, wind, air source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting.

Eco Environments, which achieved turnover of £6.4million last year, is one of only a small number of installers across the UK to win accreditation for all four technologies.

The companies have already teamed up on a number of projects including the UK’s first zero energy cost business park, Armstrong Point in Wigan.

Eco Environments installed a range of renewable energy technologies on the old Britvic site in Swan Lane, Hindley Green, including a Kingspan wind turbine and solar thermal and heat pump systems.

David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, said: “We are delighted to have passed Kingspan’s rigorous processes to be awarded accredited installer status for the four different technologies

“It is recognition of how far we have come as a business during the past four years that a global organisation like Kingspan is keen to partner with us on projects.

“By working closely together we have ensured that Armstrong Point has been able to harness some of the most advanced renewable energy solutions available on the market.

“This is a ground-breaking project not just for the North West but for the whole of the UK.”

Alan Wright, sales director with Kingspan Renewables, said: “Eco Environments has established itself as one of the fastest growing and most professional renewable energy companies in the UK.

“The company fully deserves its accreditations and we look forward to working on many more projects like Armstrong Point.”

Eco Environments designs, installs and commissions technologies including solar PV, wind turbines, solar thermal, air source heat pumps and energy efficient lighting.

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Shepherd Construction appoints commercial director for South Division National contractor Shepherd Construction has appointed Paul Raine as commercial director for the South Division. ]]> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 08:57:39 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/shepherd-construction-appoints-commercial-director-for-south-division http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/shepherd-construction-appoints-commercial-director-for-south-division

National contractor Shepherd Construction has appointed Paul Raine as commercial director for the South Division.

Paul will be based at Shepherd Construction’s London office and will be responsible for managing the commercial performance of each of the projects across the South Division which is forecasting a turnover of £110 million in this financial year.

Paul, who started out as a quantity surveyor, joined Shepherd Construction in 2010 as commercial manager and was most recently based at one of the contractor’s flagship projects – the £100 million + delivery of world class facilities for The Pirbright Institute in Surrey. Prior to joining Shepherd he worked as area commercial manager across the North East and Yorkshire for Taylor Woodrow Construction.

His expertise and experience will play an integral role within the team as Shepherd Construction looks to build on its project pipeline across London and the South East.

Current London projects include:

•the London EDITION, a £33 million project on Berners Street on behalf of Marriott International

•the Atrium, a £27 million luxury apartment development on Park Road near Regents Park

•A £20 million project creating a Premier Inn Hotel and office space on Euston Road on behalf of Romulus Construction. 

Mark Tant, Shepherd Construction’s regional managing director commented: “In the last 12 months we have raised our presence in London and we’re becoming known for our technical expertise and the amount of time and effort we put into understanding the client’s vision.

“With a number of high profile projects already under our belt and more in the pipeline Paul’s expertise will reinforce the senior management team as the London business moves forward.”

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Seddon Construction appoints Stoke construction manager Seddon Construction has appointed Nick Young as construction manager leading the delivery of projects from its Stoke-on-Trent office.]]> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 09:08:47 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/seddon-construction-appoints-stoke-construction-manager http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/seddon-construction-appoints-stoke-construction-manager

Seddon Construction has appointed Nick Young as construction manager leading the delivery of projects from its Stoke-on-Trent office.

Nick will have particular responsibility for Seddon’s four-year, £60 million scheme for housing provider Sanctuary to build 700 new affordable homes in the Midlands.

Nick joins Seddon from Bullock Construction where he was construction manager overseeing the delivery of projects from the company’s north west regional office in Altrincham, Manchester.

Nick, who began his career as an engineer before moving into construction management, has worked for 25 years in the construction industry with extensive experience of building new-build and regeneration housing schemes in the affordable sector.

“Nick is a strong addition to our management team, bringing solid construction management expertise with an excellent track record in delivering major projects,” says Seddon Construction managing director Jonathan Seddon.

Part of the Seddon Group, Seddon Construction has a turnover of more than £150 million and employs over 1,000 people. The company provides the full range of construction services, specialising in new-build, refurbishment, development and sustainable energy.

The Seddon Group is a family-owned company specialising in construction, painting and maintenance and housebuilding, with a national turnover of over £250 million. 

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Tarmac2Go asphalt collection service launched Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:42:47 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/tarmac2go-asphalt-collection-service-launched http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/tarmac2go-asphalt-collection-service-launched Tarmac is set to help customers order and pick up asphalt direct from plant, with the launch of a new collection service.

Launched on 1 September 2012, ‘Tarmac2Go’ offers a range of  asphalt products, including hot rolled asphalt, stone mastic asphalt and red asphalt at 25 plants across the UK.

The plants offer customers an easy way to collect Tarmac’s high quality asphalt conveniently and swiftly, with the added benefit of having waste disposal facilities also available at all sites.

Martin Riley, Managing Director UK Regions at Tarmac says: “Our new service gives customers quick access to a practical and hassle-free way to collect our asphalt products, whether large or small volumes, for cash sale orders. Customers can place an order while on the move and receive immediate pricing, collection times and guidance on volumes from our dedicated customer services team. We know that time is precious, so we’re always looking for ways to help our customers to be more time and cost efficient.”

Professional advice and technical expertise to ensure customers’ requirements are met will be available at all plants while additional products, including aggregates, will also be available at a selected number of sites.

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777 Group breathes new life into dilapidated hospital site Specialist contractor 777 Group has recently assisted with an extensive regeneration project in Essex which will see the site of a dilapidated hospital transformed into a new housing development. The company’s remit involved demolishing Harold Wood Hospital and remediating the ground beneath it.]]> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 08:41:30 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/777-group-breathes-new-life-into-dilapidated-hospital-site http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/777-group-breathes-new-life-into-dilapidated-hospital-site

Specialist contractor 777 Group has recently assisted with an extensive regeneration project in Essex which will see the site of a dilapidated hospital transformed into a new housing development. The company’s remit involved demolishing Harold Wood Hospital and remediating the ground beneath it.

The hospital originally opened as a convalescent home for children in 1909 and was reconfigured as hospital during the Second World War in order to provide medical assistance for injured soldiers. In December 2006 the hospital was closed and plans were submitted to clear the site and develop 780 new houses.

777 Group was awarded the contract to demolish all but a handful of the facility’s 73 buildings and remediate the land they stood on. Because of the hap-hazard nature of the hospital’s growth over the last century the demolition phase of the project presented several key challenges according to contract manager, Dave Willcott, “The hospital was a sprawl of randomly placed structures from different eras that took different forms. A 25m-high chimney stood amongst five-storey office buildings from the 1960s, post-war accommodation blocks and older, antiquated buildings housing the hospital’s utilities such as boilers and generators. Most of the buildings contained asbestos and all had suffered damage due to vandals and thieves. The site housed a one mile-long, three metre deep utility tunnel as well as numerous unmarked water pits. All these factors meant the demolition stage had to be well-thought-out and closely managed”.

Before demolition began all residual asbestos had to be removed from the condemned buildings. These works being carried out by 777 Groups, Environmental Division. This was no easy task with an estimated 315 tonnes of the material having to be handled and ultimately disposed of. With the asbestos removed, the buildings were stripped of their interior fixtures and fittings. 777 Group then deployed 18 pieces of demolition machinery en-mass to clear the site of its antiquated structures.

The demolition process produced high volumes of inert material including 800 tonnes of wood and 600 tonnes of metal, all of which was segregated and recycled. A trio of crushers were utilised to process in excess of 15,000m3 of rubble with a third of the crushed arising retained on site for re-use in the future housing development.

With a majority of the site’s buildings demolished, the task of remediating the land began. During the war it was reported that munitions were taken from nearby railway sidings and stockpiled underground. Analyzing the ground generated several areas (Hot Spots) showing likely areas containing munitions, these areas were carefully excavated with a Banksman in attendance at all times and work ceasing periodically for the area to be fully inspected by operatives.

Away from the footprint of the buildings the drainage had been changed many times, some drain runs contained clay, cast iron, steel and non-notifiable asbestos. This also had to be removed by 777 Groups, Environmental division, this was carried out in access-restricted areas ensuring contamination was contained. Other environmental considerations included several listed trees which remained unhindered by the work.

Despite the threat posed by vandalised, asbestos-riddled buildings, and contaminated, explosive-ridden ground, the job of clearing the site and remediating the ground proved a challenging but ultimately successful for the Surrey-based firm.

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Turner & Townsend announces Nottingham office move and appoints new Central South strategic lead Construction consultancy Turner & Townsend has appointed Mark Deakin as strategic lead for its UK’s Central South region. The appointment also coincides with the move of Turner & Townsend’s Nottingham office to new premises in the heart of the city centre. ]]> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 14:14:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turner-and-townsend-announces-nottingham-office-move-and-appoints-new-central-south-strategic-lead http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turner-and-townsend-announces-nottingham-office-move-and-appoints-new-central-south-strategic-lead

Construction consultancy Turner & Townsend has appointed Mark Deakin as strategic lead for its UK’s Central South region. The appointment also coincides with the move of Turner & Townsend’s Nottingham office to new premises in the heart of the city centre.

As the new strategic lead for the Central South Region, Mark Deakin brings with him more than 20 years of construction industry experience, having worked for the last 10 years as the company’s Sheffield director, during which he saw the office treble in size. A current Turner & Townsend Cost Management and Property board member, Mark will now be working out of the new Nottingham office and spearheading the next phase of Turner & Townsend’s growth in the Midlands region.

Mark’s role will be to pull together all the construction divisions across the area, from infrastructure projects to commercial property, with a remit to promote the company’s expansion. He will also be retaining his role as a board member on the high profile £172 million regeneration of The Avenue in Chesterfield. Formerly The Avenue Coking Works, and thought to be one of the most contaminated sites in Western Europe, Turner & Townsend has been providing full cost and project management services to the East Midland’s Development Agency, and latterly the Homes & Communities Agency, as they work together to restore the site’s heavily polluted 98 acres in order to provide much needed housing, development and recreation land.

For the busy Nottingham office, the 10th of September will also see Turner & Townsend make an important move back into the heart of the city as it takes up new premises on Friar Lane close to the Old Market Square. The new office for Turner & Townsend’s over thirty Nottingham staff will provide an improved base from which to serve their expanding list of blue chip clients.

Commenting on his appointment and the office move, new Central South Strategic Lead, Mark Deakin, said: “I am excited to be making the move to the Nottingham office for my new position, where I will be overseeing Turner & Townsend’s work with clients such as Rolls Royce, The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Express Transit (NET), as well as the housing and banking sector in the region.

“Turner & Townsend is growing rapidly in the UK and across the globe, and in Nottingham alone we have already made three appointments since May 2012, including two recent graduates. This move back to the city centre will allow our family to expand as we continue to shape the infrastructure and construction industry in the midlands.”

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