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The Week That Was - 23 December 2022

Published on 23 December 2022

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Zero-carbon school plan approved

Planning permission has been granted for a new zero-carbon secondary school for children living in the Burgess Hill area.  West Sussex County Council approved £57m of capital funding for the project, which is expected to open in 2025.  The design is set to enable the school to generate its own renewable energy on site without using any fossil fuels, by having nearly 1,000 solar panels on site and using LED lighting controlled by detecting daylight and movement.  The hope is that the school will be the first in West Sussex to achieve a Passivhaus certificate which is the highest standard of energy efficiency that a building can reach.

For more information, please click here.

Redevelopment of West London studios

 It has been announced that Glencar Construction has been chosen to head up a £25m redevelopment project of the historic Ealing Studios in West London.  The studio has been making films since 1902, but is due to be transformed into one of the 'most advanced studios' in the world.  One element of the redevelopment is to create the first net-zero-carbon stage in the UK, with the stage predicted to be around 1,300 square meters.

For more information, please click here.

Updated fire safety management good practice guide released

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management's fire safety management good practice guide has now been updated with the latest statutory guidance and industry best practice.  These changes will start to come into force from 23 January 2023.

The guide covers requirements imposed by the Regulatory (Reform) Fire Safety Order 2005 and it has now been updated to include requirements from the Fire Safety Act 2021, the Building Act 2022, and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.

For more information and to download the guide, please click here

Construction output continues to rise

Despite negative growth in the economy, construction workloads have increased leading to rises in output for four successive months.  In October, the construction output rose 0.8% and the value of construction work was the highest since 2010 at £15.25billion.

The construction sector continues to prosper in an uncertain economy.  However, challenges lie ahead with high inflation, high interest rates and construction labour shortages.

For more information, please click here.

Parliament's Victoria Tower bids are readied

 Tenders for the repair and restoration of Parliament's 160-year-old, grade 1 listed, 99m tall Victoria Tower will be invited in March 2023.  The project requires the crumbling masonry covering the tower to be repaired and replaced, and steps to be taken to protect the tower from the effects of the more severe, stormy weather and freezing temperatures the UK has faced in recent years.

Work is expected to start on the site in 2024 and take approximately five years to complete.

For more information, please click here.

Warwickshire County Council establishes 30-year sustainable housing plan

 A joint venture between Warwickshire County Council and construction firm, Countryside, seeks to build 2,000 sustainable homes over a 30-year period across the county, with three development sites already confirmed.

The homes will be timber-framed and feature solar panels, demonstrating the Council's desire to create sustainable homes in the region.  Councillor Peter Butlin said that the partnership allows a “more strategic approach" which enables the authority to "maximise investment and efficiency in delivering developments”.

For more information, please click here.

Balfour Beatty signs onto modular nuclear reactor project 

 A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Balfour Beatty, US energy equipment supplier, Holtec, and Korean firm, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, to develop small modular nuclear reactors in the UK.

Balfour Beatty will act as the main UK construction partner, with their Chief Executive for transport, energy and power stating that the project will ultimately support the UK's transition towards a net zero future.

Provided the UK regulatory acceptance process goes well, construction of the first unit could commence as early as 2028.

For more information, please click here.

The Week That Was will be taking a holiday next week, so the next edition will be with you on Friday 6 January 2023. We wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2023.
Authors for this week's edition: Nicci Da Costa, Amy Taylor &  Emma Higgins

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.