The week that was - 21 October 2022

Published on 21 October 2022

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

And the winner is…

The New Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge, is the winner of the 26th RIBA Stirling Prize.  The Library is located within the college grounds in Cambridge's city-centre and replaces the cramped study spaces of the adjacent 17th century Grade I listed Pepys Library.  The architects involved in the project were Niall McLaughlin Architects.  RIBA President Simon Allford, speaking on behalf of the RIBA Stirling Prize jury had this to say about The New Library:  

“A unique setting with a clear purpose – The New Library at Magdalene College is sophisticated, generous, architecture that has been built to last.  Creating a new building that will last at least 400 years is a significant challenge, but one that Niall McLaughlin Architects has risen to with the utmost skill, care and responsibility.  The result – a solid and confident, yet deferential new kid on the college block."

Please read more here.

Government abandon appeal against successful Net Zero Strategy Challenge

Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project pursued proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy alleging that the Government's Net Zero Strategy failed to show how the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets would be met.
On 18 July 2022, the High Court handed down judgment and found that the Government's plan to reach net zero did not meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2008.  Although the Government initially applied for permission to appeal, it has confirmed this week in a letter to the court and the other parties that it will not pursue an appeal against the High Court ruling.

The Government must now (and before the end of March 2023) provide a revised Net Zero Strategy which demonstrates, among other things, how the UK's legally-binding climate targets will be met.

The Government's current Net Zero Strategy can be found here.  A copy of the judgment from 18 July 2022 can be found here

Fall in construction material sales

The latest trade survey of Construction Products Association members has revealed that the third quarter saw the first decline in sales since the nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns, ending eight quarters of growth.  Manufacturers are now predicting a decline in sales over the next 12 months due to falling demand.  The Survey also found that overall costs are expected to increase over the next year. Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist has said: “High inflation continues to erode household finances and take big chunks out of project budgets.  Strong rates of input cost inflation pervade the supply chain and have begun to delay decision-making on construction projects."

Please read more here.

Mace taking Roots in the Sky

Mace is set to build a 1.4 acre rooftop forest garden on top of the former Blackfriars Crown Court in Southwark in its latest £180 million London commercial project 'Roots in the Sky'.  The scheme will include over 100 trees on top of the former court complex which will be reimagined as a next-gen workspace with contemporary and sustainable office, commercial and community space.  It will be the first London office building to offer an urban forest rooftop with access for the public to community gardens, a rooftop restaurant, bar and swimming pool. 

The project is set to make a significant contribution to London's biodiversity and sustainability ambitions.  The Greater London Authority described the project as "an exemplary scheme that demonstrates what is possible when urban greening is truly considered as a fundamental aspect of site and building design".

Please read more here.

Updated Technology and Construction Court Guide

On 12 October 2022, the latest version of the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) Guide was published.  The TCC Guide is intended to provide straightforward, practical guidance on the conduct of litigation in the TCC and is designed to ensure the effective management of proceedings.

A minor change was published in June 2019, but this is the first major revision of the TCC Guide since 2014.  The changes include significant amendments to reflect developments since then, such as electronic working using CE-filing and Practice Direction 51O, changes to witness statements, case and costs management and, of course, disclosure (initially under Practice Direction 51U and, more recently, Practice Direction 57AD).
Please see a copy of the updated TCC guide here.


Thanks to Georgina HaynesRakesh Pandit and Nina Charalambous for contributing to this week's edition.

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.

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