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Modest year one growth



A NEW fleet of JCB excavators

has shifted more than 50,000m


of earth as part of the £8 billion

Battersea Power Station development

in London. The development will

regenerate the historic London

landmark, combining residential

areas with retail outlets, workplaces,

galleries, markets, restaurants and

pedestrian streets between the

Thames riverside and Battersea Park.

Concrete frame specialist MPB

Structures purchased three JCB

JS220LC and two JS130LC models

to dig the foundations for new

residential, retail and office buildings.

The work is taking place adjacent

to the existing power station building;

the JCB models are digging to a depth

of 8.5m and removing approximately



of earth. Once completed,

MPB Structures will insert pile walls to

create the basement area for the new

development. The excavators have

been carrying out the bulk excavation

duties and subsequent digging around

and underneath the props, along with

the creation of a service trench.

The excavators are specified

with 360o camera systems, green

beacon seatbelt warning lights, upper

structure handrails and twin-locking

hydraulic quick-hitches for maximum

on-site safety.

New JCBs help power

Battersea development

UK • Precast

Precast concrete manufacturer Kijlstra

has launched an easy-to-build robust

modular wall system. The Concrete

Blok system now features two lifting

anchors and two forklift points cast into

each block to ensure maximum ease

of manoeuvrability while its seating

nodules allow for quick construction

with no groundwork or fixings required.

Suitable for flood control, partition

walls, car parks, security compounds

and traffic calming/blocking, the

Concrete Blok system has a design life

of 50+ years.

France • Transportation

The South Europe Atlantic (SEA) Tours-

Bordeaux high-speed line has been

inaugurated in France. The new high-

speed line between Bordeaux and Paris

spans 302km, with 10 links spanning a

further 38km to connect the new line

to other cities in south-west France

which will dramatically shorten journey

times between the two cities, and have

capacity for 20m passengers a year.

In total, the project employed almost

10,000 employees, with an investment

of €7.8 billion from both public and

private sector parties.

UK • Housing

Galliford Try has won a £25m

contract to build the Hambrook

House residential scheme in Brixton.

Hambrook House was previously used

by Lambeth Council as a housing office

and is part of a wider development of

the council’s estate, which includes

refurbishing and remodelling the Town

Hall and creating new council offices.

Galliford Try will construct a tower

block of 94 flats on the site where the

old Hambrook House previously stood.

The development is scheduled to be

completed in September 2018.

BRITISH Precast, in conjunction with

the Precast Flooring Federation (PFF),

has published a third-party-verified

BS EN 15804-compliant generic

hollowcore flooring environmental

product declaration (EPD), launched

at Ecobuild 2017. The EPD covers a

generic 1m


of 150mm-deep precast

hollowcore flooring and incorporates

data frommembers of the PFF.

British Precast’s EPD project,

commissioned the sustainability

consultancy ‘thinkstep’ to deliver a

bespoke calculator tool, which has

been used to deliver the hollowcore

EPD, the first of many generic and

company-specific EPDs for the

concrete sector.

The publication signifies an

important milestone in the project

because the calculator tool is now

verified by Institut Bauen und Umwelt

(IBU) to produce EPDs for the concrete


The EPD is now available for

download on the IBU and British

Precast websites.

Four new prisons to be built inUK

UAE • 3D printing

Cazza, a Dubai-based construction

firm, will use a new technique called

‘crane printing’ to build the world’s first

3D-printed skyscraper. Chris Kelsey,

Cazza CEO, said, “Developers kept

asking us if it was possible to build

a 3D printed skyscraper. This led us

to research how we could adapt our

technologies for taller structures. We

will be able to build architecturally

complex buildings at never-before-

seen speeds.” The structures will be

manufactured primarily from concrete

and steel.

CIVIL engineering was the

construction industry’s strongest-

performing sector in March, buoyed

by the start of significant large-scale

projects across the country, according

to latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction

PMI figures.

Construction output softened

slightly in March. Residential building

once again posted disappointing

figures, with the cooling of the UK

housing market seen as a key factor

in this. Optimism remained high with

positivity at its highest recorded level

since December 2015.

Peter Vinden, managing director of

The Vinden Partnership said, “With

HS2 and Hinkley Point now under

way, we can expect to see sustained

civil engineering performances over

the coming months. The fear must

be whether the UK can cope with the

exacerbation of the skills shortage,

should a deal on skilled EU workers

not be reached.

“I don’t believe the drop-off in

housebuilding will be a long-term

problem, given the continued demand

for housing and the Government’s

commitment to building new homes

through its housing white paper.”

Civil engineering sector

is highest performer

Hollowcore flooring EPD

SHEFFIELD City Council has confirmed

BAM as main contractor for the first

phase of the city’s ambitious retail

quarter (SRQ), which includes a new

city centre location for HSBC and

associated retail and business units.

Work on-site has started on the first

phase of the SRQ, which includes



of office space and 5400m


of retail space.

Construction is expected to be

completed in the first half of 2019.

PLANS to build four prisons in England

andWales have been unveiled,

creating up to 2000 construction

jobs and 5000 modern prison

places to replace old, overcrowded

establishments with new, fit-for-

purpose buildings. The scheme builds

on the Government’s commitment

to create up to 10,000 modern

places, to reduce overcrowding and

create conditions for reform. Justice

Secretary Elizabeth Truss said, “This

significant building programme

will not only help create a modern

prison estate where reform can

truly take root, but will also provide

an economic lifeline for the local

community – creating hundreds of

jobs for local people and maximising

local business opportunities.”

Sheffield confirms BAM

FORTERRA, formerly Hanson Building

Products, has shown modest growth

in its first year as a listed company.

HeidelbergCement sold Hanson

Building Products to a US affiliate of

Lone Star Funds for £900m in 2015.

It was then rebranded under new

ownership as Forterra and floated on

the London Stock Exchange in April

2016. Forterra is the second largest

manufacturer of bricks in the UK and a

manufacturer of aircrete blocks, block

paving and other precast concrete


In 2016, the company generated

revenue of £294.5m, up 1.5% from

2015’s £290.2m. Pre-tax profit

increased 3.8% to £54.3m.