Industry urges quicker end to self-isolation requirements

Construction industry trade bodies including the CLC have called on the government to speed up the end of isolation requirements for people ‘pinged’ by the NHS app.
The industry, like others in the country, has been affected by people being told to isolate by the NHS app after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to a lack of workers on site.
The government said earlier this week it would look at exemptions for workers from some “critical” industries that have been badly disrupted, with an expectation that a list of exempt occupations would be published on Thursday.
Instead the government will only allow specific people in critical jobs in 16 designated sectors – which include the waste and water sectors – to be exempt from isolating, providing they have received two vaccinations. Organisations will have to make an application for specific workers to receive the exemption by emailing a government department, which will then decide whether to grant exemption.
The exemptions will only apply until 16 August, from which date people who have received both vaccinations will no longer have to isolate.
National Federation of Builders chief executive Richard Beresford said many sites were being badly affected now: “Every member we have spoken to has COVID-negative staff isolating, some have had to shut sites due to a site managers or other key staff being pinged and no replacements available,” he said.
Beresford warned the situation, combined with other problems in the market, could even affect the survival of some firms. “It also appears that the difficulties in the supply chain, such as the shortage of drivers, are being further compounded by this issue and there is now a real risk that the supply chain will collapse if we continue this trajectory until mid-August,” he said.
The CLC has called for the 16 August date to be brought forward. CLC co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “We have reports from across the industry of plants, sites and offices having to wind down activities as staff have been asked to isolate. This is putting very significant pressure on the sector, risking project delivery and even the viability of some firms. Where staff are already fully vaccinated, and recognising that such people will be free to work from 16 August anyway, we are asking the government to bring forward this date for essential industries like construction, ensuring that the industry doesn’t grind to a halt”
The CLC added that bringing forward the date could also help boost the number of people that are fully vaccinated.
It echoes a statement from the CBI yesterday which said: “We can end the ‘pingdemic’ by bringing forward the date by which all those who have been double-jabbed no longer need to self-isolate if not infectious and introducing a test & release scheme.”
The NFB boss added: “The government needs to act to make sure its self-isolation rules are in line with the progress made by the vaccination programme and reflect the opening up of society. It must bring forward the changes to self-isolation rules as soon as possible.”

Source link
Original Content from

Industry urges quicker end to self-isolation requirements – David Price – 2021-07-23 12:51:03

Lack of information on carbon emissions challenges construction industry

Less than 1% of new building projects are assessed to determine their carbon footprint, according to a new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The report cites a lack of information on embodied emissions as a key barrier. The overcome this challenge, the report calls for more data sharing, more collaboration, and increased transparency on embodied carbon and other data critical to calculating the carbon footprint of new buildings.

Half of all emissions are embodied in buildings—caused by the manufacturing of materials and the construction process—the report says. The report also calls for the industry to adopt whole-life carbon assessments and set clear targets for decarbonizing construction.

There are about 255 billion square meters of buildings in the world, with an additional 5.5 billion square meters added each year. That is equivalent to a city the size of Paris being constructed every week.

Source link
Original Content from

Lack of information on carbon emissions challenges construction industry – dmalone – 2021-07-19 21:22:29

CIOB launches building safety management diploma

The new diploma supports the creation of the new building safety manager role in forthcoming building safety legislation, introduced to parliament this month.

Building safety managers will have a statutory duty for buildings after the completion of the construction process, during their use and inhabitation, in line with the recommendation of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Safety and Fire Regulations.

The new CIOB course is designed to give participants the knowledge and skills to manage building safety in line with legislation and regulations, as well as learning the techniques for managing the safety of an occupied building.

The course also covers looking after the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in higher risk buildings.

Adrian Montague, associate director of the CIOB Academy, said: “Recent events and legislative changes have made the role of building safety manager a key duty holder role. CIOB Academy is excited to offer this new qualification that will give professionals the skills to take on this role and ensure the safe management of buildings.”
Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

Source link
Original Content from

CIOB launches building safety management diploma – The Construction Index – 2021-07-14 07:18:00

Materials shortage: contracts ‘not fit to deal with volatility’

Contractors could be exposed to commercial risk because their contracts do not account for the current material price and delivery volatility, experts have warned.
Construction Leadership Council (CLC) co-chair Andy Mitchell has highlighted the challenges that material shortages are causing: “This volatility is likely to be something we must live with for a while to come and could have a significant impact on the timeframes and delivery costs of many projects.”
He cited the JCT and the NEC 4 Secondary X1 — two different forms of standard construction contracts that include provisions for managing volatility. While the former is designed for national-level (England and Wales, with relevant use in Scotland) contracts, the latter is used in the drafting of global construction contracts. Both contracts have different approaches to managing the risk attached to obligations of time, cost, and quality.
The CLC reiterated the use of these provisions as legal challenges arise: “They are ideally suited to providing a means for managing the volatile period we are now entering and therefore CLC strongly urge those responsible for developing, agreeing and managing contracts, existing and new, to consider adopting these provisions in their contract.”
Construction partner at Boodle Hatfield, Navpreet Atwal, warned the industry was not used to adding volatility clauses into contracts due to years of relatively stable prices and availability: “Given the amount of time that has passed, there is going to have to be this re-education that needs to be undertaken,” Atwal said. She added that resorting to fluctuation provisions was neither an easy fix nor a formula that could be applied in every contract.
The CLC also called for “a collaborative approach” and sharing of risk between clients, contractors, and suppliers. Suggestions included longer lead-in periods and up-front ordering. Bevan Brittan construction partner Louise Robling said risk sharing could only go so far, with contractors still likely to bear the greatest share of risk. She added that other cooperative measures would be subject to conditions: “Up-front ordering and payments to suppliers are likely to need to be subject to security (for example, vesting certificates, advance payment bonds) for the protection of the employer against insolvency.”
JCT and the NEC  do not apply to the industry in Northern Ireland. Mark Spence, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), which represents the construction industry in the country, recently said: “Contractors in Great Britain have contractual remedies in their contracts that Northern Irish procuring bodies have seen fit to delete or chose not to include. CEF has demanded their reinstatement and a more robust contractual model to take us forward, future-proofed for any future ‘unforeseen’ series of circumstances.”
The CLC warned in January that a number of legal disputes relating to COVID-19 would arise.

Source link
Original Content from

Materials shortage: contracts ‘not fit to deal with volatility’ – Tiya Thomas-Alexander – 2021-07-14 06:50:19

As homelessness becomes more visible, building shelters presents opportunities to AEC firms

On any given day, there are close to 600,000 people who are homeless in the United States, according to estimates by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number among those homeless that is unsheltered has been rising since 2016, and now exceeds 226,000.

Sheltering the homeless has always been a NIMBY and political hot potato; witness the brouhaha created when New York City started relocating 8,500 homeless people from many of the 60 vacant hotels they had been moved into temporarily last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. And Boise, Idaho’s Mayor Lauren McLean has named 19 citizens to a taskforce she created in response to what’s been reported as fierce neighborhood opposition to Interfaith Sanctuary’s plan to build a homeless shelter on that city’s State Street.

But the need for more homeless shelters is undoubtedly evident, growing, and national, impacting metros large and small.

A hotel previously used by the City of Austin, Texas, as a COVID-19 isolation center is set to open in August as the second bridge shelter for people experiencing homelessness in the state’s capital, where there’s been a noticeable increase in people living in outdoor tents.

In Anchorage, Ala., there’s been pressure to decommission a mass shelter by this fall, with Mayor Dave Bronson proposing a large new facility, costing $15 million, that would accommodate up to 450 people, and whose development would be informed by what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in markets like Reno, Nev., and San Francisco. And the City Council in Phoenix has just awarded two local organizations—Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) and Community Bridges—$8 million to open homeless shelters in west and northwest Phoenix. CASS would use its portion of that grant to buy and adapt an existing hotel.

 

AEC FIRMS GET INVOLVED IN SHELTER PROJECTS

This crisis would seem to be an opportunity for the AEC industry, just as the COVID-19 outbreak stimulated any number of new ideas for creating safe, emergency healthcare, education, and living spaces. One of AIA’s Small Project awards this year was The Community First! Village Micro House, designed by McKinney York Architects as a non-towable tiny house for a homeless person. It was built in Austin as part of a community of tiny houses that provides shelter to the homeless.

Earlier this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited LifeMoves Mountain View, a modular housing community that opened on May 27 in Mountain View, Calif., and, as part of California’s HomeKey program, provides temporary housing and resources for up to 124 homeless people.

LifeMoves Mountain View, a transitional homeless shelter in northern California built by XL Construction, used 48 shipping containers for 100 living units. Images: Courtesy of XL Construction

The 100-unit facility was designed by Charles Bloszies, FAIA, a San Francisco-based architect. Sares Regis Group Northern California was the Project Manager. XL Construction was the GC. Other building team members were BKF Engineers (CE), ARUP (MEPF), and WEST Environmental (environmental engineer). Connect Homes (individual units), Urban Bloc (dining, bathrooms, laundry), Falcon Structures (case management and support service rooms), and Indie Dwell (family units) provided 48 shipping containers with 100 doors that created the living spaces within this 43,560-sf facility on one acre, 30% of which is dedicated to support services delivery.

“This project strikes at the core of our mission to ‘build to improve lives,’ ” says XL’s vice president Craig Ellis. 

According to XL Construction, the modular structures were ready for habitation in less than 180 days from when construction commenced last December. The facility’s amenities include private locking units for each household, meeting and case management rooms, green spaces and gardens, laundry facilities, food prep and services, 19 onsite and 30 offsite parking spaces, playground, dog kennels, a children’s education center, and family services support buildings.

LifeMoves, the largest provider of interim housing and services for homelessness in Silicon Valley, expects to serve about 350 people in its new facility’s first year, more than half of Mountain View’s current homeless population.

 

NEW FACILITY IS A STEP TOWARD PERMANENT HOUSING

The dining hall at Yale Navigation Center in Santa Ana, Calif., one of that facility’s many services. Image: JunTang Photography.com

 

In Santa Ana, Calif., the general contractor C.W. Driver Companies just completed the 64,000-sf Yale Navigation Center, a two-story emergency homeless shelter that will provide refuge for 275 single men, 100 single women, and 25 couples. The navigation center is set up to help homeless people transition into permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

The facility, which is an adaptive reuse of an existing warehouse-manufacturing building, features two living and sleeping options: 6×6-ft single cubicles for individuals and 8×9-ft stations for couples. The units are furnished and have storage spaces. All stations have twin-sized beds and meet ADA standards for accessibility. The facility includes women and men’s dorms, restrooms, showers, a dining hall, kitchen, outdoor patio and dining area, clinic space, and classrooms.

C.W. Driver Companies worked with the architecture firm IDS Group to complete this $25 million project. The shelter is operated by People Assisting the Homelessness (PATH). The project was spearheaded by HomeAid Orange County, a nonprofit dedicated to building new lives for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. The navigation center will provide permanent year-round 24-hour shelter, and basic needs like meals and sanitary amenities, while creating a pathway to permanent supportive housing. 

Its support services include case management, employment and housing assistance, behavioral and mental healthcare support and substance abuse treatment. For security purposes, the facility will enforce strict no walk-up, no walk-out and no-loitering policies. Prospective residents must be referred to staff by outreach workers, law enforcement, or a hospital. Applicants with outstanding warrants or sex offences will not be granted access.

“Ending homelessness in Orange County is attainable with a housing-first approach,” says Jason Austin, Orange County’s director of care coordination. There are between 7,000 and 10,000 homeless in Orange County, and the Yale Navigation Center replaces an open-air bus terminal in Santa Ana’s Civic Center, which had been the city’s largest shelter.

Source link
Original Content from

As homelessness becomes more visible, building shelters presents opportunities to AEC firms – jcaulfield – 2021-07-08 13:53:09

Second HS2 tunnel boring machine sets off

Aerial view of the southern portal shows the second TBM setting off; the first TBM is already on her way and out of siteHS2 contractor Align this week launched Cecilia, the second of two 2,000-tonne tunnelling machines that will excavate the 10-mile long tunnels beneath the Chiltern hills just outside London.

The first machine, Florence, set off on 13th May from the southern portal site near Maple Cross. Her first landmark was passing under the nearby M25 motorway. Only once that was completed without damage was Cecilia allowed to start.

The Align joint venture – Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick – has a £1.6bn (Apr2020) contract to build the Chiltern Tunnel and Colne viaduct. They have been monitoring the M25 for about a year – initially with cat scans and now using inclinometers – to detect any untoward movements that might be attributed to the tunnelling beneath. The crown of the tunnel will be 9.5 metres below the motorway, which is just shy of a tunnel diameter. However, as one of the project team has pointed out, any risk here is nothing compared to the tunnelling that Crossrail did, under, over, and between central London’s infrastructure.

Each of Align’s Herrenknecht TBMs is operated by a crew of 17 people on board, working in shifts to keep the machines running 24/7. They are supported by more than 100 people on the surface, managing the logistics and maintaining the smooth progress of the tunnelling operation.

They allow for semi-continuous boring, where instead of waiting for a full ring of tunnel segments to be put in place before pushing off again, the TBM pushes off against a half-complete ring to accelerate the process.

Each machine operates as a self-contained underground factory, digging the tunnel, lining it with fibre-reinforced concrete wall segments and grouting them into place at a speed of around 15 or 16 metres a day. Each ring is made of seven segments and takes about 45 minutes to install.

In total 112,301 tunnel lining segments are being cast on site from fibre-reinforced concrete – roughly 56,000 for each tunnel. As of 1st June, more than 2,100 segments had been made – enough for 300 rings, or 600 metres of one tunnel.

Despite starting second, Cecilia will run slightly faster, aided by geological data fed back from Florence, meaning that both machines are due to break through at around the same time, at the back end of 2024. Also, Florence will host most of the work on the cross tunnels that periodically connect the two main bores.

In total there will be 10 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) working to create 64 miles of tunnel between London and the West Midlands for the high speed rail project.

These TBMs are named after astronomer and astrophysicist, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who was born in Buckinghamshire, and nurse Florence Nightingale, who lived in the county at one time.

HS2 Ltd delivery director David Bennett said: “The launch of our second tunnelling machine at our South Portal site shows that HS2 is are now well on our way to delivering the first and longest tunnel on the project.”

Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

Source link
Original Content from

Second HS2 tunnel boring machine sets off – The Construction Index – 2021-07-02 08:45:00

Nissan confirms gigafactory plans in £1bn boost for Sunderland

Nissan has confirmed plans to build a major new ‘gigafactory’ to manufacture electric-vehicle (EV) batteries in Sunderland.
The carmaker said it would partner with its existing battery supplier, Chinese-owned Envision AESC, and Sunderland City Council to invest at least £1bn overall in new production facilities close to its existing car plant. It aims to establish a manufacturing hub focused on EVs and renewable energy named EV36Zero.
Envision AESC is to invest £450m to build the new gigafactory, with an initial goal of 9 gigwatt-hours per year in rated battery capacity. The site has the potential to expand to 25GWh annual output by 2030 via a further £1.8bn investment, Nissan said, and ultimately as much as 35GWh per year. It added that the gigafactory’s “formal planning process is about to begin”.
The potential scale of the project is somewhat larger than was initially reported at the end of May.
Nissan president and chief executive officer Makoto Uchida said the expansion was part of the firm’s goal “to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products”. He added that the gigafactory would make batteries for energy-storage systems as well as vehicles, and that expertise gained in Sunderland would be shared globally.
The carmaker also confirmed that up to £423m of the overall investment would support production of a new electric vehicle at the plant, yielding 100,000 units a year including exports to Europe. Prime minister Boris Johnson labelled the announcements “a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East” and said it would create “hundreds of green jobs and boost British industry”. The scale of any government incentives that may have tipped the balance of the investment decisions has not been revealed.
Batteries for Nissan’s Leaf electric car have been produced since 2013 at a factory in Washington, close to Nissan’s car plant, which has annual capacity of 1.9GWh per year. That existing facility was initially set up by Nissan in a joint venture with Japanese manufacturers NEC and Tokin, but was sold to Shanghai-based Envision Group in 2018.
Envision Group founder and chief executive Lei Zhang said: “Growth in demand [for EVs] could bring future investment of up to £1.8bn, additional capacity of 25GWh and 4,500 jobs by 2030. This will put the North East at the heart of a new EV hub in the UK, collaborating on R&D around the whole battery lifecycle, from storage, to second life use, V2G [vehicle-to-grid] smart charging, and closed-loop recycling.”
As part of the EV36Zero plan, Sunderland City Council is leading an £80m project to deliver a renewable electricity ‘microgrid’, supplied by wind and solar farms with a 132-megawatt generation potential. The council said it aims to bring in private investors to support the project, which will feature a megawatt-hour of energy storage, using second-life EV batteries, to capture excess energy generated during daylight hours to support the grid overnight.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of carmakers’ trade body SMMT, said the UK’s car industry would need “at least 60GWh of gigafactory capacity in this country by the end of the decade” to secure its future as combustion engines are phased out. “We need a Build Back Better Fund to help manufacturing transformation, as well as a plan for charging infrastructure that will assure consumers to make the switch to these vehicles,” he said.
In April, nascent automotive battery supplier Britishvolt announced the acquisition of a site in Northumberland where it plans to begin production from 2023. ISG was appointed as main contractor for that project late last year, in a reported £300m deal, with the contractor’s owner later joining the board of Britishvolt as a non-executive director.

A joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport also has plans to build an EV battery gigafactory in the West Midlands.

Source link
Original Content from

Nissan confirms gigafactory plans in £1bn boost for Sunderland – Lem Bingley – 2021-07-01 13:32:17

How smart cities can become resilient to extreme heat

Extreme heat is the leading cause of climate change related death in the United States. It is more deadly than hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. And, as our planet warms, it is becoming more necessary to cool buildings and people.

Urban areas are especially vulnerable. Since buildings and roads absorb heat, cities can be up to 7°F warmer than natural areas. This adds to the heat island effect, which poses risks to human health and environment. It discourages physical activity, requires greater energy use for air conditioning, and elevates risks for heat-related illnesses.

Reducing heat’s impact on health starts with identifying the physical and social contributors. 

 

 

Heat vulnerability is a function of three factors. They are: 1) exposure to heat at specific locations, 2) sensitivity characteristics of the population such as age and health status, and 3) adaptive capacity (ability to mitigate the stress).

Here is a formula to help visualize heat vulnerability.

Heat Vulnerability = Exposure + Sensitivity – Adaptive Capacity

What is the best way to evaluate vulnerability factors? Our team is using three smart city tools to help decision-makers create measurable public improvements to keep you cool.

 

Tech #1: Triple-bottom-line lifecycle cost assessment

Heat resilience tactics are diverse. Solutions include adding tree canopy, indoor cooling, shade structures, asphalt reduction, cooling centers, green infrastructure, and green roofs.

But finding the most effective mitigation options is difficult. Even more so when viewing all the costs and benefits for each. Triple-bottom-line and lifecycle cost assessments are two decision-support tools that help compare project outcomes. We analyze social, environmental, and economic impacts over the lifetime of a project.

A stand-alone framework for heat vulnerability mitigation would be costly. A better path is to include many benefits within a project. Examples include encompassing categories for greenhouse gas emissions, changes in abutting property value, stormwater management, and human health.

 

 

Strategies that have multiple benefits help earn support from communities, and they make the most out of limited budgets. Our approach to urban design is that it should be multifunctional. Designs should contribute to improved air and water quality, public health, water conservation, and carbon sequestration. As an example, right-of-way bioswales should maximize stormwater retention through plantings that can tolerate a variety of site-specific conditions. Community input during design can boost benefits even further.

 

Tech #2: remote sensing with ECOSTRESS and ExtractX™

How hot? Where? And when? These are all questions answered by ECOSTRESS, a novel data source from NASA. Our Stantec teams have used the tool to look at previous extreme heat events and determine ground temperature in a study area.

This data becomes even more precise with information on the physical ground conditions. Stantec’s proprietary ExtractX™ tool groups areas by similar land use and vegetation. The tool allows us to classify categories such as:

Older neighborhoods without street trees

Unshaded and heavily used public spaces

Older multistory buildings with upper floor residents below the poverty line

New districts with reflective glass buildings

To get even more specific, our Object-Based Image Analysis software produces vegetation-classification data. The tool uses artificial intelligence to interpret color, texture, shape, and size.

Together, these tools create a clear picture of an area’s heat exposure characteristics. Combined with knowledge of heat sensitivity, we can start to make informed decisions on the most impactful investments for vulnerable populations.

 

Tech #3: Estimating adaptive capacity with location data

Adaptive capacity is a person’s ability to respond to extreme heat events. Avoiding the heat is harder for some people. They include those who cannot afford air conditioning or high electricity bills, have mobility issues that prevent them from going to a cooling center, or need to work outside.

People tend to spend much of their time inside buildings, especially in extreme heat. As such, it is important to identify neighborhoods with older buildings with lower thermal performance.

To estimate adaptive capacity, we identify residents living in poor-performing buildings during extreme heat using anonymized location data. These data allow us to understand travel patterns through choices made to stay or go to a cooling center, park, or other destination. We can then paint a fine-grained picture of vulnerability when combined with ECOSTRESS data from the same event. 

 

 

With a map of adaptive capacity, we’ll have an estimate of which neighborhoods are accessing cooling centers, employment, medical facilities, and parks. These results are useful for ranking investments into new or updated facilities.

 

Optimizing impact and equity with evidence-based strategies

In the end, heat vulnerability is about protecting people and prioritizing those who need it most.

Experience shows that the usual method of infrastructure investment tends to benefit the loudest and most visible problems. We know this is not always where it would have the greatest impact.

In our work with the Boston Public Works, we demonstrated that investment was weighted toward areas with the most complaints. We helped Boston focus maintenance on an equity and need basis, rather than prioritizing those who have the privilege to file repair requests.

Through data analysis, cities have the potential to optimize heat mitigation investments for the greatest impact. The end result? The ability to improve human health, equity, sustainability, and economic feasibility. 

Source link
Original Content from

How smart cities can become resilient to extreme heat – dmalone – 2021-06-23 17:24:29

City Building starts work on its own training college

Allan Casey and Alan Burns with some of City Building’s apprenticesThe firm welcomed apprentices to the site as company employees began building their new training college. The apprentices, aged between 16 and 20, joined executive director Alan Burns, who began his career as an apprentice blacksmith 30 years ago, Glasgow City councillor Allan Casey, who began his career as an apprentice joiner with the firm. City Building trains apprentices in a variety of disciplines, including painting, plumbing, electrical and joinery.

The new college, in the grounds of Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBI) near Springburn, has been designed to accommodate more than 250 apprentices and tradespeople.

City Building said that the college will mirror its efforts to contribute to a green economy. Renewable energy technology will enhance the energy-efficiency of the building, and the design includes a ground source heating system. City Building will also be constructing the college, allowing employees the opportunity to build upon their existing knowledge of renewables.

Casey said: “It is an exceptionally exciting time for the firm as we welcome more apprentices and commence the building of the training college. The college represents our commitment to renewables within the construction sector, and to the workforce in the wider construction industry. We are delighted that City Building employees will gain first-hand experience in the college’s construction, which will also allow us to use more innovative construction technologies in skilling our apprentices and workforce.

“Through our existing renewables workstream, we retrofit homes in Glasgow with solar panels and ground source heating to encourage a greener city, which feels particularly apt with COP26 fast approaching. The training college will allow us to upskill our workforce and provide much more sustainable construction.”

Burns has said that despite the delays that lockdown has presented to the firm, City Building has held over £200m in contracts for both of its entities: City Building (Glasgow) and City Building (Contracts). This allowed the company to continue with its annual recruitment of apprentices for Glasgow City Council and Wheatley Housing Group.

Burns said: “There was a real buzz in the air as we watched the site enter the first phase of its transformation. It is our hope that both current and future apprentices will be able to enjoy the training college and benefit from the new training opportunities it will support.”

The building is set for completion by 2022.
Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

Source link
Original Content from

City Building starts work on its own training college – The Construction Index – 2021-06-22 08:54:00

Plans for Wales-Ireland tunnel being considered by government

The government has confirmed that a fixed link between Wales and the Republic of Ireland is being formally considered, though only as a “comparator” to the notion promoted by prime minister Boris Johnson of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Baroness Charlotte Vere, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, said yesterday that a route between Holyhead in north Wales and the Irish capital Dublin is under consideration as part of the Fixed Link Feasibility Study begun in March. That independent study is being led by Douglas Oakervee, former chairman of HS2 and Crossrail, and Gordon Masterson, former vice-president of Jacobs Engineering.
In response to a written question tabled by a Liberal Democrat peer regarding an “underwater tunnel”, Baroness Vere said: “As with any assessment at this early stage, it is important to consider the broad range of options, so a route between Holyhead and Dublin is being assessed as a comparator. Since this route is not the main focus of the study, only high-level discussions around it have taken place. These have been facilitated by the independent technical team leading the study.”
Last month, transport secretary Grant Shapps floated the possibility of a Wales-Ireland link an interview with the Financial Times, suggesting it as a potential alternative to the Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge put forward by the prime minister. “I don’t know whether it should be there [via Scotland] or to Wales,” he told the newspaper.
The Fixed Link Feasibility Study was initiated as part of the Union Connectivity Review (UCR), a wide-ranging study of the economic potential of UK infrastructure chaired by Sir Peter Hendy, launched by Shapps in October last year.
In November, Hendy told the Railway Industry Association conference that he felt a fixed link across the Irish Sea would be more practical as a tunnel than a bridge. In an interim UCR report published in March this year, Hendy explained he had engaged Oakervee and Masterson to “assess the feasibility, cost and timescales” of constructing a fixed link.
Earlier this month CN’s sister publication New Civil Engineer described one potential Holyhead-Dublin plan of action: a £200bn project that would see the construction of two 5km-long artificial islands in the Irish Sea, reached via 40km bridges, with a 45km central tunnel connecting the new islands.

Source link
Original Content from

Plans for Wales-Ireland tunnel being considered by government – Lem Bingley – 2021-06-17 13:14:47