Construction Industry

Construction Industry

Semarang Demak Toll Road Using Bamboo

Using Bamboo Indonesia is a country that has been using  as a construction material for many years.  is a sustainable, fast-growing, and strong material that can be use for various purposes. Recently, there has been a growing trend to use bamboo in building infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges. One such project is the Semarang Demak Toll Road in Central Java. Which is eing built using bamboo as a key component.

Advantages of Using Bamboo in Infrastructure Projects

is a popular material for infrastructure projects due to its numerous benefits. Firstly,  is a sustainable material that grows fast and can be harveste without causing damage to the environment. This makes it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials such as concrete and steel. Secondly,  is strong and durable. It has a higher tensile strength than steel and is resistant to insects and rot. Thirdly,  is lightweight, which makes it easy to transport and install, and reduces the overall cost of the project.

The Semarang Demak Toll Road Project

The Semarang Demak Toll Road is a 39.7 km highway that will connect Semarang City and Demak Regency in Central Java.  The road will have two lanes in each direction and will include two main toll gates, six interchanges, and 11 bridges.

Bamboo as a Key Component of the Semarang Demak Toll Road

is being use as a key component in the construction of the Semarang Demak Toll Road. The  is being use to reinforce the soil in the roadbe, which helps to prevent erosion and ensure the stability of the road.  Is also being use to create retaining walls and drainage systems along the road.

The use of in the Semarang Demak Toll Road project is a significant step forward in sustainable infrastructure development in Indonesia. The project showcases the … Read more

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Muscogee nation criminal charges Criminal Defense Practice Areas
Construction Industry

Muscogee nation criminal charges Criminal Defense Practice Areas


Our defense attorney in Oklahoma provides legal counsel to Native American communities. We understand that the unique cultural and social issues that face tribal members can make it difficult for them to navigate the criminal justice system. We also know that the federal government has special jurisdiction over tribal lands, which means there are unique federal laws relating to tribal members who violate state or local laws.

Muscogee nation criminal charges Criminal Defense Practice Areas

Muscogee Nation criminal charges Criminal Defense Practice Areas

At Elsasser Law, we provide legal counsel to the Muscogee Nation. Our practice area is to assist Native Americans in matters of criminal law. We will represent you in any case involving a misdemeanor or felony that is brought against you by the Muscogee nation. We have experience in many areas of criminal law including:

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Our defense attorney in Oklahoma provides legal counsel to Native American communities.

We provide legal counsel to Native American communities. Our experience includes:

  • Tribal courts;
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  • Federal courts

Muscogee nation criminal charges Criminal Defense Practice Areas

As a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma, I have represented countless clients in Muscogee nation criminal charges. My experience and knowledge on the subject matter have helped me build a great reputation for providing the best representation possible to my clients. Because of our years of experience, we have helped many people with their criminal cases and expungement cases as well. We are proud to be able to offer our specialized services at affordable prices that fit within each client’s budget while delivering top-quality results.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another.

Domestic violence can … Read more

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Construction Industry

Plans to regenerate Weybridge site submitted

Proposals by Leos International to begin the £50m regeneration of St Georges Business Park have been submitted to Elmbridge Borough Council.

The St Georges Gardens proposals include the demolition of the Block A business unit and its replacement with 18 new houses and 134 high quality apartments, along with basement car parking.

The site already has permitted development which allows its use to be changed from commercial use to residential creating around 198 units.

However, Leos International’s proposal seeks to enhance the opportunity. including the delivery of 5200 sq. metres of public realm which equates to one-third of the site area and comprises a landscaped boulevard, public village square and a semi-private pocket park for residents.

Mature trees on the site will be protected and the developer will also provide a series of ecological measures including butterfly boxes and dog bins throughout the site.

The new proposals also focus on carbon reduction with initiatives such as solar panels, rain water harvesting and provision for electric car-club vehicles included.

The 18 new houses along Brooklands Road have been designed in a mix of styles and heights to reflect the existing homes opposite.

Leos International has included 134 basement car parking spaces for the apartments, each of which will come with an electric car charging socket.

“This is an important proposal for the local area which addresses concerns about the delivery of new housing and environmental sustainability,” said Chris Pittock, Leos International’s planning director. “We have worked closely with the local community to make sure the design reflects the local character.

“We also want to engage with local people about the future of the planned, community multi-use building on the site.”

Leos International has revised its original proposals as a result of an extensive community consultation which started in December 2021 and

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Construction Industry

Brett Martin to cut buildings’ carbon footprint with ISCC

Brett Martin is set to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings around the world with a remarkable new Polycarbonate glazing product largely based on bio-circular attributed material such as used cooking oil, produced in a ISCC Plus certified mass balanced approach.

Called Marlon BioPlus, the new sheet offers a major carbon footprint reduction by cutting the use of fossil-based material by 70%. This raw material delivers an 84% decrease in carbon emissions and in addition Brett Martin achieves further reductions in carbon by producing the sheet using 100% renewable energy, generated at its own site.

Marlon BioPlus has already achieved International Sustainability & Carbon accreditation with ISCC Plus certification. ISCC PLUS is a globally recognised sustainability certification program for bio-based and bio-circular (recycled) raw materials with a focus on the traceability of raw materials within the supply chain.

What makes Marlon BioPlus unique is the combination of this certification and Brett Martin’s 100% onsite renewable energy which together represents a huge step towards a zero-carbon polycarbonate sheet.

As the UK’s largest producer of polycarbonate roofing and facades Brett Martin supplies high profile projects as diverse as London’s Royal College of Art or Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium as well as a wide range of commercial and industrial buildings.

This new low carbon alternative retains all the physical and performance properties of the company’s other Polycarbonate ranges and will be available to be specified in any Brett Martin’s Marlon polycarbonate multiwall, corrugated or flat sheets for use in roofs and walls.

Employing over 1,000 people in total and with sales of £220m, Brett Martin is already one of Europe’s largest plastic sheet producers for the construction industry, and the new range is expected to create strong demand from a construction market eager to reduce its environmental impact.

Brett Martin Director, Paul

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Construction Industry

Planning granted for new 160,800 sq ft warehouse on the

The construction of a new speculative 160,800 sq ft industrial warehouse on the site of the former Weetabix factory on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate in Corby has been given the green light by councilors. 

Copley Point Capital – on behalf of its Block Industrial program and Pembury Real Estate Ltd – submitted a planning application to North Northamptonshire Council earlier this year having purchased the eight-acre site on one of the town’s prime industrial parks.  This application has just been approved by local councilors at a planning committee meeting. 

The demolition of the existing building is close to being completed and the construction of the new unit will commence shortly with a view to delivering a new best-in-class facility by Q3-2023.  The unit will be BREEAM Very Good rated and will feature a 12.5m minimum clear eaves height, 16-dock and two-level access doors, together with a 50m yard. 

Copley Point Capital, Director, Nimit Oberoi, said: “We’re very pleased to have obtained planning permission for ‘Earlstree160’ just seven months after our acquisition.  This is a testament to the hard work of our team and the positive and pragmatic attitude of North Northamptonshire Council.” 

“The development is in an excellent location where there is very little supply of new, high-specification industrial units. Earlstree 160 is best placed to help satisfy the strong demand for Grade A urban logistics and industrial space that there is for businesses operating locally, regionally and nationally.” 

Prop-Search, Cushman & Wakefield and Potter Learoyd have been appointed as marketing agents and Richard Baker, a Director of Prop-Search, added: “We are already encouraged by the level of enquiries we have received. The appetite for ‘A’ grade warehouse space in the region remains high and this development will further support local economic growth and offer new job opportunities.” 

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Construction Industry

Bringing life to the desert with biophilic design

In this timely article, Bruce Kennedy,  Architect Director at BDP, talks about the use of biophilic design for the Heriot Watt campus in Dubai.

When visitors cross the threshold of Heriot Watt’s new university campus in Dubai, they leave behind the searing heat of the desert for climate-controlled comfort, where diffused lighting offers relief from the harsh glare of the sun.

In such an extreme environment, where summer temperatures can reach 50C, this alone would create a sense of ease, but it is just the first in a series of subtle features and carefully considered themes that run like a green thread through every level of the campus.

The redevelopment of a seven-storey office block overlooking the Arabian Gulf into a unified vertical campus for a Scottish university, has been realised using biophilic principles. Here, human affinity with nature has informed the orientation of learning spaces; the choice of materials for walls, floors and furniture; the flow of air, and even hanging felt screens that absorb sound and provide privacy in open-plan staff areas.

Biophilic design has been shown to enhance wellbeing, and it’s not just about plants although, as in Heriot Watt’s Dubai Campus where interior green walls run through all levels, these can form an important part of the design. It is also about textural elements, a rich variety of patterns, the choice of natural over synthetic materials and the inclusion of ‘biomimicry,’ which in this case includes carpets that recall stone, moss and grass.

The human brain has been programmed over millennia to detect subtle differences in the natural environment, allowing us to feel the breeze on our skin and sense the light change as the day progresses. Indoor environments, by contrast, are more static and it’s that disconnect with nature that biophilic design seeks to redress.

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Construction Industry

Reducing carbon emissions in construction and building

In recent years there has been a focus on producing more efficient buildings that will reduce operational emissions. As it stands it is estimated that 39% of all global energy related carbon emissions comes from the built environment with 28% coming from operational emissions (ie heating, cooling and power) and the other 11% from embodied carbon emissions (from the construction of the building). 

As the population of the world quickly approaches 10bn, the global building stock is expected to double in size. 

But now, we are starting to see a coordinated action to tackle embodied carbon, with the World Green Building Council promoting a bold new vision: 

  • by 2030, all new builds, infrastructure and renovations will have at least 40% less embodied carbon, and all new buildings should be net zero operational carbon, and;
  • by 2050, new buildings, infrastructure and renovations will have net zero embodied carbon and all buildings, including existing buildings, must be zero operational carbon. 

Closer to home, to help meet embodied carbon benchmarks, there is increasing pressure for London’s large scale projects to prioritise retaining existing buildings over demolition. For example, under updated planning guidance published by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan in March 2022, as part of the London Plan: “Retention should be seen as the starting point,” and “Retaining existing built structures for reuse and retrofit, in part or as a whole, should be prioritised before considering substantial demolition, as this is typically the lowest-carbon option.” 

Where refitting is not possible, Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee has recommended more effective use of low-carbon building materials, including recycled steel and timber or using second-hand materials such as brick, metal, wood and even broken concrete. 

While there is a degree of political consensus on the issue, this position is perhaps supported more strongly by the Labour Party and

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Construction Industry

Jacobs selected for Northern Ireland Water’s Major Project

Jacobs has been selected as a design consultant for Northern Ireland Water’s (NI Water) Major Project Partnership Framework, which will deliver large-scale water and wastewater projects across Northern Ireland. 

The framework will deliver individual capital projects, including upgrades to major water and wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and network mains. One of the first major projects to be delivered under the framework will be vital upgrades at Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works, expected to commence this year, to provide much needed additional and secure capacity. The framework will run for an initial four-year period, with the option to extend for an additional four years.

“Jacobs has supported clients in the UK with major water and wastewater solutions for decades and these NI Water projects will make a real difference to people’s daily lives,” said Jacobs People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President Europe Donald Morrison. “Together with our framework partners, we’ll design resilient, sustainable infrastructure to provide essential water and sanitation services to communities and businesses in Northern Ireland.”

NI Water provides water and sewerage services to approximately 840,000 households and businesses in Northern Ireland.

At Jacobs, we’re challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world’s most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With $14bn in revenue and a talent force of more than 55,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.

Donald Morrison

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Construction Industry

Apprentice with passion for carpentry urges women to

A carpentry apprentice has urged women to consider a career in construction as she reflects on an action-packed year working within the industry.

Emily Baker, an apprentice with Persimmon Home’s Cornwall and West Devon business, joined the company last autumn and is working on the Trevethan Meadows site in Liskeard while studying at City College Plymouth.

Emily Baker

Emily opted for an apprenticeship with Persimmon as she felt the firm’s programme was the best way to learn the skills and knowledge required to becoming a fully qualified carpenter.

The company has recently established its ‘Target 50’ initiative, which is an ambition to recruit 50 female apprentices or technical trainees into construction-related roles across the country this year.

The scheme forms part of Persimmon’s 50th anniversary celebrations and supports its commitment to building and retaining a more diverse workforce.

Commenting on her journey in the industry so far, Emily said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year as an apprentice at Persimmon, learning how to use all the different tools and devices on site, and I also love the college aspect of the apprenticeship.

“Carpentry is all about problem solving, using your brain, thinking logically and systematically, which adds variety to the skills you learn and use.

“My tutors have been excellent and provide us with plenty of exposure to all aspects of carpentry which stands me in good stead for my time on site.

“Whether it be 1st fixing with studwork, battening and staircases to timber framing and roofing, every day is different.

“I’m delighted to have opted for a career with Persimmon and I’d urge any woman who is considering a career in the construction industry to follow their dreams.”

As part of the apprenticeship, Emily is supported by the company’s regional apprenticeship manager, Andy Wallis, who is based in

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Construction Industry

Seddon pledges to support Friends of Energy House 2.0

Construction contractor Seddon has announced it has joined the University of Salford’s Friends of Energy House 2.0, a community of like-minded industry partners committed to fighting the climate emergency.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing society and Friends of Energy House 2.0 is an initiative and Impact Fund that will help to drive the world-leading research of Energy House 2.0, a £16m test and research facility, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), due to open on the University of Salford campus this autumn.

To become a Friend, Seddon has donated to the Friends of Energy House 2.0 Impact Fund that will focus on driving the activity of the new facility and enhancing the social impact by funding:

  • A STEM PhD Studentship;
  • Educational Outreach Programmes;
  • Student & Local Community Initiatives.

The STEM PhD Studentship will cover the tuition fees for a PhD researcher to work at the Energy House Labs alongside the renowned academic team.

Applications for Educational Outreach Programmes and Student & Local Community Initiatives which focus on climate change, energy efficiency, and sustainability are now open – click here to find out more.

Friends of Energy House 2.0 also has the support of Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, who said: “The mission behind this network is to join forces in raising the profile, amplifying the activity, and enhancing the impact of Energy House 2.0.”

Take a look at Andy Burnham’s introduction to Friends of Energy House 2.0:

Peter Jackson, Managing Director at Seddon, added: “Friends of Energy House 2.0 is an innovative initiative which closely aligns with Seddon’s own environmental commitments as we look to help tackle the climate crisis with a community approach. Seddon is committed to lowering carbon emissions throughout its supply chain and it’s important that, as a community, we

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Construction Industry

CITB responds to industry demand for leadership and

CITB has announced a new development opportunity for employers wanting to improve leadership and management skills across their business. 

It is hoped the launch of 11 short courses, developed following industry feedback and aligned to the Institute of Leadership and Management frameworks, will provide frontline construction supervisors and managers with the skills and increased confidence needed to carry out their roles. 

Whether they are site based or office based, employees can access the standardised leadership and management training and receive support in areas such as, leading and organising their teams, handling difficult situations, and problem solving. They will also be able to tailor the training to their specific needs, choosing to take one module as a short course or take a “pick and mix” approach to learning, opting to take several different courses within the framework to benefit their personal development. 

The training aims to help all Levy-registered employers, enabling them to receive between £70 – £120 for each module through short duration grant support. Additionally, for those wanting to further increase personal development, they can complete the Construction ILM Level 3 Award or Certificate in Leadership and Management Practice, which continues to be available through the CITB Grant Scheme. 

Further benefits come from the new range of courses being solely available through CITB’s Approved Training Organisations (ATOs). Employers can rest assured with the knowledge that their provider has met CITB standards, as well as benefitting from the increased flexibility in the delivery of training. For businesses keen to minimise travel time, they can participate in training at a location convenient for them, through accessing a live learning session with a tutor online.  

James Fleming, Managing Director of The Power Within Training, said: “Leadership and Management is a core competency of any successful and thriving business, and is required more

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Construction Industry

Climate crisis needs to be focus for new Prime Minister,

New Prime Minster Liz Truss will have to look at three key areas in which to support UK construction, according to the head of one of the industry’s leading bodies.

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, says that the new PM – who replaces Boris Johnson after winning a Conservative party leadership vote – will need to be proactive in supporting the construction industry as it looks to help the UK meet its ambitious carbon targets.

Mr Carpenter said: “We were disappointed that during the leadership campaign, neither of the final two candidates put enough emphasis the challenge posed by the climate crisis, but what this means is that there is a real opportunity to pick up the net zero agenda.

“The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions globally, so the opportunities are massive and need to be taken if the UK has any chance of hitting net zero by 2050.

“As an industry, we are actively working on ways to reduce our carbon footprint, but change moves much more swiftly when it is backed by strong legislative leadership.”

Mr Carpenter believes that despite the expected economic downturn, the government needs to continue to invest in infrastructure projects to keep momentum going.

He said: “If you look at what happened particularly during the first Covid lockdown, it was the continued operation of the construction industry that kept UK plc going, with investment in key government-procured projects being what kept the economy ticking over.

“The same needs to be the case with the economic challenges we as a country are now facing. The government needs to continue to create a pipeline of projects that they can influence, be that housing, education, healthcare or nuclear power.”

Carpenter also states that a focus on education and

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Construction Industry

John Marston obituary | Engineering

My father, John Marston, who has died aged 87, was a dynamic and inspiring businessman, civil engineer, adventuring sailor and longstanding educational governor. His drive was always to find ways for individuals to fulfil their potential – he managed this through the running of the family businesses, promotion of apprenticeships and support for numerous charities.

Born in Wandsworth, south-west London, he was the son of Elsie (nee Shepherd) and John Marston, who ran the family construction company WJ Marston & Son, set up by his grandfather, William Marston. John Jr went to Dulwich college, in south London, then Rugby school.

After completing an engineering degree at Manchester University in 1957, he worked as a young engineer for Costain. Diverse projects ranged from laying out the new M20 motorway in Kent to building an aircraft refuelling stop in the middle of the Indian Ocean, on Gan in the Maldives, with a runway longer than the island itself.

John Marston on the island of Gan in the Maldives
John Marston on the island of Gan in the Maldives

After joining the family company, John managed many of WJ Marston’s diverse construction projects for the next four decades: schools, hotels, Tottenham Hale tube station, the Kingston School of Architecture, London Oratory school and numerous residential and commercial developments in south London.

Concurrent with his work career, John enjoyed a social and playing life as a tight head prop with Shirley Wanderers Rugby Club, whose members distinguished themselves by stealing the Twickenham crossbar after the 1965 Varsity match in an incident that made the national papers, before negotiating its safe return.

His achievements include guiding Marston Hotels to become the largest independent hotel group within Best Western UK, winning AA hotel group of the year 2004, before the company was sold in 2006.

He served for 25 years as governor at the further education

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Construction Industry

McGowan government says it cannot find builders for social

Efforts to address homelessness in Western Australia are being hampered by a construction market so heated that even the government is struggling to find contractors.

John Carey, the state’s housing minister, has told a forum organised by Shelter WA “massive cost escalations” are forcing a rethink of how best to provide social housing.

WA’s social housing waitlist has grown to almost 19,000 applications, with the average wait time exceeding two years.

University of Western Australia research this week highlighted an almost 40% increase in the number of homeless people accessing services in WA over the past five years.

It found women sleeping rough were more likely than men to experience violence and health problems, with more than 85% reporting having been attacked on the streets since 2020.

The McGowan government will spend $2.4bn on housing and homelessness measures over the next four years, but a spike in demand for builders and other specialists, as well as global materials shortages, has caused headaches.

“The biggest challenge I have is getting that money out the door,” Carey told the forum on Wednesday.

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“Every day that I’ve been the minister for housing … I get up and think ‘How can we accelerate the delivery of social housing?’.

“I can go out for tenders [but] no one responds to build the property or wants to refurbish property.”

Carey last week revealed the government had withdrawn a request for tender to build a new Common Ground accommodation facility in East Perth because the offers received had not demonstrated value for money.

The 112-unit development, one of two Common Ground facilities in the works, is expected to provide permanent housing and support services for rough sleepers and low-income earners.

A new request for tender

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Construction Industry

UK builder Bellway reports record revenue as house prices

Bellway has reported a record year of sales as rising house prices offset increasing energy and building costs, and the housebuilder predicted a bumper 2023 despite higher interest rates and the cost of living crisis.

The company reported a 13% increase in revenues to a record £3.5bn and 10.5% growth in completions to a record 11,198 in the financial year to the end of July.

Bellway said it benefited from a higher than expected rise in the average selling price, which rose 2.6% to £314,000.

“Bellway has delivered another strong performance, with volume output and housing revenue reaching record levels against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment and macroeconomic uncertainty,” the chief executive, Jason Honeyman, said.

Despite the growing economic pressures as the Bank of England raised interest rates despite predicting an imminent recession, Bellway forecast another record year. The number of home completions is expected to reach 12,200 – about 12% more than in pre-Covid 2019. The company’s forward orders book stands at 7,223 homes with the value rising 4.5% to £2.1bn – another record – and it said it has already sold nearly 50% of private completions.

During the year the pace of business increased as buyer demand remained strong with the reservation rate increasing by 6.9% to 218 a week, while the cancellation rate remained at a low 13%.

“Confidence among customers is strong,” the company said. “Although interest rates and fuel costs have contributed to the rise in the cost of living, Bellway’s range of modern, well-designed new homes continues to provide an attractive and affordable proposition for our customers.”

The company expects the average selling price to drop slightly to just over £300,000 in the year to the end of July 2023 owing to previously announced changes in its geographical and product mix.


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Construction Industry

Master of all trades: retrofit firm tackles climate and cost

Like many others, Orianne Landers left school feeling it had failed to prepare her for the challenges of life. “I did OK at GCSE and A-level. But the subjects I took aren’t much help to me now. I took English and drama, which helped with confidence,” she says. “But they’re not as useful as you think they’re going to be.”

Landers, 25, soon found her calling in construction. “I did a painting and decorating qualification. That got me thinking about getting a house one day. I thought it would be easier if I could do all the maintenance work myself.”

Then her training provider, B4Box, offered her the opportunity to take a course in retrofit. “I’m obsessed with recycling and biodiversity and stuff like that,” she says. “I’m always bringing in my WWF Living Planet reports to the workplace. It’s just the way I was brought up. It was drilled into us as kids.”

Landers is retrofitting a redbrick, semi-detached house in suburban Stockport, Greater Manchester, with a team of builders from B4Box. From the outside the house is unassuming, on an ordinary council estate. Step inside, however, and the building has been gutted. The plaster is gone, with brickwork and wiring exposed. The sounds of hammering and drilling echo around, as builders in hi-vis workwear install insulation and block up the chimney.

A house in Stockport being retrofitted by B4Box.
A house in Stockport being retrofitted by B4Box. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Measures such as loft and external wall insulation, draught-proofing doors, and swapping double-glazed windows for triple-glazed will all help prevent the property leaking heat. “Every conceivable crevice is completely sealed,” Landers says. B4Box has even installed a switching monitoring system that reads humidity levels and feeds them back to the tenant to prevent damp.

Buildings are among the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. Figures

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Construction Industry

Bill Milner obituary | Construction industry

My friend Bill Milner, who has died aged 76 from mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos, worked in the building industry during the 1970s and 80s.

Bill had a hard life. He was taken into council care in 1954 when he was eight years old, with his younger brother, Fred, aged six, but never understood why. As far as he could remember, they had been quite happy at home living near Lambeth Walk in Kennington, south London, where Bill was born. His father, Thomas Milner, was a corn and cereals warehouseman, and his mother, Alice (nee Skeggs), worked at United Dairies at Vauxhall.

The brothers were placed in Wood Vale in Norwood, a large Victorian institution housing more than 200 children. They ran away only to be brought back to the home, where they were punished – strapped and made to stand in a corner for hours.

After some months they were moved to Shirley Oaks in Surrey, an even larger establishment run by London county council (LCC). They lived in cottages of 10 run by a house mother. It was a better place, and near woods and open fields, which Bill loved. Eventually, Bill told his brother that they should knuckle down and accept that they would never be going home.

Bill attended Sedgehill comprehensive school in Lewisham. He hated playing football and often deserted the pitch, preferring to explore wildlife in the long grassy borders of the playing field. Later, on an outward-bound survival course in Dartmoor, Bill, about 14 years old, went off alone and discovered a nearby family farm, where he offered to help out for a week. The farmer wanted to give Bill a paid job but he had to to finish his education. Bill became a prefect but, later, after a serious altercation with

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Construction Industry

Demolition job: the Liberal party war surrounding NSW

David Chandler, a tough-talking 40-year veteran of the New South Wales construction industry, had reached the end of his tether when he resigned abruptly as the state’s building commissioner in July.

The man responsible for getting developers to fix unsafe buildings felt he had endured attacks on his character, a smear campaign swirling through the corridors of state parliament, lobbying by former ministers and a deteriorating relationship with his own minister.

His resignation letter, tabled in parliament last week, pulled no punches, revealing that he felt “a functional and trusted relationship” with previous ministers and their offices fell apart once Eleni Petinos became the fair trading minister in December 2021.

He complained that his engagement with her office had been “problematic”, and not at the same level as with previous ministers.

Much of the attention has since focused on Chandler’s mention of his concerns about what he called “the advised relationship” between Petinos and Coronation Properties, a property developer that hired the former deputy premier John Barilaro after he left parliament.

Specifically, Chandler referred to calls he received both from Petinos’s office and from Barilaro shortly after he issued a draft stop-work order against the company earlier this year. (Barilaro said the stop-work order “concerned me” but his request for a meeting with Chandler was not in relation to the order.)

But Chandler had also found himself, through his focus on developments in the Hills district of north-west Sydney, in the middle of an ugly war between the Liberal party’s centre-right and right factions, which have been battling for nearly a decade over control of the Hills district branches of the party.

Weekend app

Over the years there have been allegations of branch stacking by both factions. At least one episode is now the subject of a formal complaint to

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Construction Industry

‘They said it was impossible’: how medieval carpenters are

At Guédelon Castle the year is 1253 and the minor nobleman, Gilbert Courtenay, has ridden off to fight in the Crusades, leaving his wife in charge of workers building the family’s new home: a modest chateau that befits his social position as a humble knight in the service of King Louis IX.

Here, in a forest clearing in northern Burgundy, history is being remade to the sound of chisel against stone and axe against wood, as 21st-century artisans re-learn and perfect long-forgotten medieval skills.

The Guédelon project was dreamed up as an exercise in “experimental archaeology” 25 years ago. Instead of digging down it has been built upward, using only the tools and methods available in the Middle Ages and, wherever possible, locally sourced materials. Now, in an unforeseen twist of fate, Guédelon is playing a vital role in restoring the structure and soul of Notre Dame cathedral.

Paris’s imposing 13th-century cathedral, a world heritage site, was consumed by fire in April 2019, destroying its complex roof structure, known as La Forêt because of the large number of trees used in its construction. The widespread view was that it would be impossible to rebuild it as it was.

“The roof frame was extremely sophisticated, using techniques that were advanced for the 12th and 13th centuries,” Frédéric Épaud, a medieval wood specialist, tells the Observer.

“After the fire, there were a lot of people saying it would take thousands of trees, and we didn’t have enough of the right ones, and the wood would have to be dried for years, and nobody even knew anything about how to produce beams like they did in the Middle Ages. They said it was impossible.

Notre Dame ablaze in 2019.
Notre Dame ablaze in 2019. Hopes are pinned on Guédelon know-how to restore its famous La Fôret roof.
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Construction Industry

Alan Maddison obituary | Construction industry

My father, Alan Maddison, who has died aged 96, was a quantity surveyor who later moved into construction management.

His career highlight was probably the complete refurbishment of the Ritz hotel in London, begun in the late 1970s when it was bought by the conglomerate Trafalgar House. No major work had been done to the hotel since its construction in the 1900s. The first weekend of the new constructor’s commission saw the kitchens, basement and staff areas condemned under public health regulations, with the team given 48 hours to get it fit to avoid closure. After that, each room was refitted and redecorated – many with designs from leading interior designers – all while remaining open to guests.

Alan was born in London, to Charles, a quantity surveyor, and Eleanor (nee Hubbard), a housewife, and was the younger brother of Helen. On leaving King’s College school, Wimbledon, he started training as a quantity surveyor before being called up to the RAF in the second world war. Still in uniform, he served as an RAF steward at the Wimbledon tennis championships when they resumed in 1946.

He met Gill Prickett while they were both doing Christmas Post Office work. It was clearly love at first sight for him: he had a box of chocolates delivered to her home, anonymously, later owning up after inquiring disingenuously if she had received any good parcels.

They married in 1952, initially living in Worthing, West Sussex, then Dorking in Surrey. For the rest of his professional life Alan commuted every day to London, working for a succession of building companies, including 25 years at Trafalgar House, on increasingly challenging projects, such as the refurbishment of the Royal Society of Arts in John Adam Street and the St Ermin’s hotel in Victoria.

In 1996 Alan and

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Construction Industry

Like a beige, banal biscuit tin: why London’s new buildings

If you’ve walked through redeveloped parts of London recently you may have noticed an eerily similar type of building. Every edge is so crisp and flat that staring at it face-on gives you the weird sensation the world has temporarily turned 2D. This single style has emerged as the hegemonic default for housing developments in London. Dubbed New London Vernacular (NLV), it has three key markers: lots of brick, deep-set portrait windows and flat facades. The name is utilitarian, to match its attitude: new London to mark its age and location, and vernacular to describe its defining purpose, which is to speak broadly the same dialect as some of the capital’s most valuable properties.

NLV is catnip to planners, who have had to abide by the London Housing Design Guide since 2010. This guide spells out exactly what the NLV should be: “great background architecture”. It came from the desk of the then mayor of London, Boris Johnson, whose mark on the face of London’s contemporary housing stock will long outlive the expensive wallpaper on the walls of No 10. Developers are drawn to the discretion offered by NLV because everything from a studio flat to a penthouse can be slotted into these facades, meaning they can appeal to a variety of buyers.

The style entered the mainstream architecture discourse in 2012, in a report by Design for Homes and Urban Design London (UDL). The report drew a direct link between the identikit buildings that were appearing in architecture competitions and the political and economic conditions of the period. UDL director Esther Kurland, who co-authored the 2012 report, first heard about this new style when listening to Johnson give a talk at City Hall. Slowly, every new development and competition entry she saw started to look the same.


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Construction Industry

NSW building commissioner who raised concerns about minister

The New South Wales building commissioner, David Chandler, has decided to stay in the role, less than two months after he raised concerns in a resignation letter about the “advised relationship” between his former minister and a property developer.

Chandler’s surprise resignation in early July, just months after signing a new contract, came after he raised concerns about former fair trading minister Eleni Petinos.

The letter, which was later released through parliament, referred to an advised relationship between Petinos and Sydney property developer Coronation Property, which hired former deputy premier John Barilaro after he left parliament.

In the letter Chandler said those concerns “crystallised” after he issued a stop-work order on a 790-apartment development in Merrylands owned by Coronation. He detailed a series of contacts from Petinos and the developer in the letter.

He said that “important pieces of previously canvassed legislation have now run into serious disruption” under Petinos.

The letter has since been referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac) out of what the premier, Dominic Perrottet, described as “an abundance of caution”.

Petinos was later sacked from cabinet by Perrottet, after media reports of unrelated bullying allegations. Petinos has repeatedly denied all allegations against her.

It was revealed on Thursday that Chandler’s resignation letter was sent to Perrottet’s office just four hours before the premier sacked Petinos, though the premier has insisted the two events were not linked.

Since Petinos’s sacking, the government has privately been urging Chandler, a 50-year industry veteran, to remain in the role.

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Construction Industry

Timber cities ‘could cut 100bn tons of CO2 emissions by

Building new urban homes from wood instead of concrete and steel could save about 10% of the carbon budget needed to limit global heating to 2C this century, according to a new study.

The overhaul of construction practices needed for such a shift would require up to 149m hectares of new timber plantations – and an increase in harvests from unprotected natural forests – but it need not encroach on farmland, according to the paper by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Housing 90% of the world’s growing urban population in mid-rise wooden buildings could prevent 106bn tons of carbon emissions by 2100, says the research.

Abhijeet Mishra, the paper’s lead author, said: “More than half the world’s population currently lives in cities and by 2100 the number will increase significantly. This means more homes will be built with steel and concrete, most of which have a serious carbon footprint. But we have an alternative. We can house the new urban population in mid-rise buildings – that is four to 12 storeys – made out of wood.”

The study, published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, is the first to analyse the scale of emissions cuts possible from a large-scale transition to “timber cities”.

Using four different land-use scenarios, PIK scientists used the Magpie open source global land use model to explore the impacts and practicalities of the “timber cities” idea.

Their reasoning was that wood has the lowest carbon footprint of any building material, because the carbon dioxide absorbed during tree growth will not be emitted until the timber is finally destroyed.

Alexander Popp, a co-author of the study, said that preventing logging for timber in pristine forests and biodiversity conservation areas was crucial to their calculations.

“The explicit safeguarding of these protected areas is key but still,

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Construction Industry

UK housebuilders Vistry Group and Countryside to merge in

Two of the UK’s largest housebuilders are to merge after Vistry Group agreed a £1.3bn cash and shares deal to take over smaller rival Countryside.

The deal would represent a victory for two US activist investors in Countryside, Browning West and Inclusive Capital Partners, which have been pushing for a sale of the company.

The takeover would give Vistry increased scale as the housebuilding sector braces for an expected UK recession amid high inflation, threatening to put to an end a very strong housing market during the coronavirus pandemic in which prices rose rapidly, buoyed in part by a stamp duty holiday.

The companies said they would aim for “meaningful cost synergies” of £50m a year. Vistry also highlighted Countryside’s “partnerships” business building developments for institutions such as local authorities, which it said “offers greater resilience to the cyclicality of the housing market”.

Vistry, a member of the FTSE 250 index of mid-cap companies formerly named after its Bovis Homes brand, was valued at £1.6bn before the deal, while Countryside was worth £1.1bn. Countryside shareholders would receive 0.255 of a share in the new company and 60p in cash for every Countryside share they held, leaving them with about 37% of the merged business.

If voted through by shareholders, the deal would propel Vistry from the seventh biggest UK housebuilder by turnover to roughly the fourth biggest. Vistry built more than 6,500 homes in 2021, while Countryside built nearly 5,400.

The activist campaign at Countryside followed a difficult 12 months during which its value has slumped by more than half. In January it ousted its chief executive as it revealed that trading was worse than expected even as rivals had cashed in, and in June it formally put itself up for sale shortly after rejecting an offer from Inclusive.


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Construction Industry

UK construction industry shrinks as recession looms |

Building firms suffered a squeeze on activity for a second month in a row during August as new orders slowed to their lowest level since the summer of 2020 in the latest sign that a UK recession is looming.

With inflation at a 40-year high, construction businesses reported that their customers were putting new work on hold, forcing them to stop buying materials and hiring staff.

S&P Global’s construction sector index showed depressed activity last month, after an even steeper fall in July. The Cips UK construction purchasing managers’ index was 49.2 in August, after a reading of 48.9 in the previous month. A figure below 50 indicates the sector has contracted.

Andrew Harker, the economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the sector “looks set to be in for a challenging period”.

Civil engineering was the hardest hit over the two months combined, while commercial building also experienced a reduction in activity. Only housebuilding enjoyed a lift in August, but that was too modest to push the rest of the industry into growth.

Harker said despite the August increase in activity, housebuilding was in a period of stagnation and the only silver lining was that employment remained strong.

Gareth Belsham, a director of the national property consultancy Naismiths, said the construction sector was a “canary in the coalmine” for the rest of the economy.

“As the recessionary vice begins to close on the UK economy as a whole, the construction industry’s brakes are being squeezed harder and faster than most,” he said.

Andrew Wishart, the senior property economist at the consultancy Capital Economics, said a drop in demand by the leisure and hospitality industry for new work as the cost of living crisis spilled over to the demand for gyms and hotels was especially significant.

He said the

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