The Week That Was - 22 March 2024

Published on 22 March 2024

Welcome to the week that was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

JCT announces the release of the 2024 Edition of Contracts

The current 2016 edition of the JCT suite of contracts is the most widely used standard form contract suite in the UK construction industry.  The JCT has announced that the 2024 Edition of Contracts will be launched on 17 April 2024, including changes in the following areas:

  • Extension of Time: including new events that can give rise to extensions, including epidemics.
  • Loss and expense: optional additional grounds for the contractor to claim loss and expense on the occurrence of certain relevant matters.
  • Liquidated damages: in order to reflect the Supreme Court's decision in Triple Point Technology, Inc v PTT Public Company Limited (2021) UKSC 2019/0074.
  • Risk Allocation: new provisions on risk allocation to deal with UXBs, contamination and asbestos.
  • Dispute resolution: a new requirement for parties to notify potential disputes to senior executives to seek a negotiated settlement.
  • Legislative changes: major updates to reflect the requirements of the Building Safety Act 2022, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and the Construction Act.
  • Modernisation and streamlining: including the adoption of gender-neutral language.

We will receive the updated Design and Build contract on the day of release and will be on hand to assist with updating your schedule of amendments to the JCT Design and Build 2024 contract and to provide any training required to make a seamless transition.

More information and updates can be found here.
Extended deadline for building control accreditation

Under the Building Safety Act 2022, building control professionals advising on or carrying out certain building control works must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator by 6 April 2024. 

However, the Health and Safety Executive has extended the deadline in England until 6 July 2024, following concerns that there was insufficient time to carry out the registration process.  This follows the Welsh Government extending the deadline in Wales by 6 months.

As a result, existing building control professionals in England will be able to carry out their work between 6 April 2024 and 6 July 2024 providing that:

  • they register as a Class 1 Registered Building Inspector by 6 April 2024;
  • they are in the process of having their competence assessed through a BSR approved assessment scheme; and
  • they have not failed their competence assessment more than once.

Find out more on the extension here.

60km pipeline to transport CO2 given the go ahead 

A new colossal pipeline will run from Cheshire and through Flintshire, transporting CO2 from North Wales to the North West of England and will be capable of transporting 4.5 million metric tons of CO2 per year.  Liverpool Bay CCS Limited's plans to develop the pipeline were approved on Wednesday (20 March 2024), with the gas to be stored in gas reservoirs at Liverpool Bay, which are currently running low. 

36.4km of the pipeline will be purpose built, whilst the remainder will come from repurposing existing natural gas pipelines.  The pipeline development will form part the HyNet Project, which aims to support growth in the economy by lowering carbon dioxide emissions across multiple sectors.  

The proposal also includes an “embedded pipe bridge”, to minimise the risk of harming water quality in order to comply with the requirements set by Natural Resources Wales. 

To read more, please click here.
Calls for women to be included in PPE laws

A research study by the National Association of Women in Construction Yorkshire has found that 60% of employers do not provide women-specific PPE.  This can lead to a "range of health and safety issues" including slips, trip and falls from poorly fitted PPE, as well as long term issues such as plantar fasciitis caused by ill-fitted boots.

Emma Hardy MP told the House of Commons that the law on PPE for construction sites and other workplaces needs to be "designed with female anatomy in mind".  Currently, PPE regulations state only that PPE provided by employers must take account of ergonomic requirements. 

Mims Davies, Minister for Disabled People, said that the British Safety Industry Federation is working with the British Standards Institution “to look at whether industry standards can be better framed to ensure that inclusive PPE is better designed”.

You can read more here, and find the full research study here.
First images of HS2's green bridge revealed

HS2 Limited, the company building the high-speed railway line between Birmingham Curzon Street and Old Oak Common, has revealed new images for the largest green bridge set to be built along the line. 

The bridge is 99m wide and will be constructed over the new HS2 line near Turweston in south Northamptonshire.  The bridge will carry a road as well as being the home to vegetation, hedgerows, and wildlife.  The green bridge has been designed to support biodiversity and wildlife, as well as to offer some environmental protection. 

Green bridges are currently not common in the UK, however there are plans to incorporate a total of 16 green bridges along the HS2 route, so we there is likely to be a significant increase as a result of this project.   

You can look at the new images and read more here
FCBS gets green light for £200m Natural History Museum facility

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been granted planning permission for the Natural History Museum's new 25,000 square-metered research centre.  Based in Reading, the centre will provide workspace for scientists and storage for 28 million specimens.

The building includes lecture spaces and high-tech labs, with planning permission requiring a 20% increase in biodiversity as a result of the project.  Expected to be built by 2027 and operational by 2023, the project has received £201 million of investment as part of the wider Westminster funding drive for science and R&D.  Although not open to the public, the centre will provide engagement activities for the local community.

More information on the project can be found here.

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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