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Posted by Dean Suttling

Avoiding Mistakes in Construction Tenders

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Tendering for projects can be fraught with issues for both sides. The organisation issuing the invitation to tender will want to ensure they have clear, concise, and unambiguous information that clearly describes what they are trying to buy. The tenderer will submit a return based on what they consi...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Mixed-Use Property Investment

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Property development includes residential dwellings, i.e., flats, houses, and with this development, sizes are scalable from one at a time to mass developments with yield from this set against a constant backdrop of demand for housing. But what about investing in mixed-use property? What does this e...
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Posted by Eve Lameks

Want Project Success? It All Starts at Tender Stage

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Views of procurement success vary between Main Contractors. One perspective on success is a signed contract, within budget, with the Subcontractor meeting the main programme dates. Another is a subcontractor's engagement at a low price, carrying the majority of the risk, and signed to strict contrac...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

OJEU and the Brexit Impact

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OJEU is an abbreviation for the Official Journal of the European Union and is used to publish tender opportunities across every EU member country. It has been in place since 2003, and the intent is for public sector contracts to be made available for bidders, not just in the resident country but acr...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Programme Negotiations – The Developer’s Perspective

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Before entering the next contract with a main contractor or subcontractor, ask yourself if you know the programme in detail? I mean, beyond "yes, they need to finish in 20 weeks". I didn't ask myself this question often enough and probably made a mistake to that end. To my liking, the programme a...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

The Construction Playbook

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The construction industry contributes between £90-£110b to the UK economy each year, approximately 7% of the countries GDP. Harnessing this level of spend, controlling it and turning its focus towards being more efficient, greener, sustainable, and more productive is nothing new as this aspiration...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Early Contractor Involvement

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UK construction has been the subject of many independent reviews, with a general theme being that it needs to become less adversarial to become more effective and efficient in the delivery of projects. The key example being the Latham report in 1994, which was a big advocate for more partnering to c...
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Posted by Paul Heming

In what circumstance is Construction Management not suitable for a developer?

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Construction Management is a distinctive procurement route in that the developer (also known as the client) places, and then manages, individual subcontracts with separate specialist subcontractors as opposed to employing a principal contractor to undertake this work on their behalf. Although I...
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Posted by Paul Heming

How do I Structure Construction Management?

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Construction Management is a unique procurement route. Using this method, a property developer directly employs multiple subcontractors instead of a single main contractor. The single feature that makes Construction Management distinctive is that it’s the developer who places individual subcont...
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Posted by Kristina Smith

Protect your supply chain – and your project

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We asked C-Link director Chris Barber for tips on how developers and main contractors can support their subcontractors, as construction projects fight to get back on track. Although most construction sites are back in operation now, post-Covid, industry pundits are warning of tough times ahead. ...
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Posted by James Finnie

Modular trends

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What is modular construction? Modular building types in the UK were conceived a hundred years ago at the end of World War I when steel and aluminium factories needed new sources of work, and there was also a housing shortage. Many housing prototypes were designed, though hardly any used. Another su...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Building a pricing document

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If you are looking to value variations, put your own cost plan together or compare prices back from the market, then you can utilise construction price books for rates and prices in order to establish current market rate. The benefits of price books are that they are compiled from industry feedback ...
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Posted by Sophie Parry

A lighting specification: The commercial office environment

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Part 1 of this series of articles focused on the basic principles of good lighting when developing a specification or having to make informed purchasing decisions. The first article commenced with the residential environment on the basis that most people live in their own or rented homes and so can ...
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Posted by Callum Brown

Installation and maintenance of fire doors: 3rd party accreditation is critical

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3rd Party Accreditations and Certifications are instrumental in the control of quality on construction projects and form an important part of the quality control process in maintaining the standards of installation expected by manufacturers, suppliers, clients, and their insurers. In Passive Fire...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Retention: How and what to put in place

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Retention in the UK dates back to the 1840s where it was used as security against contractor insolvency through the boom of railway expansion in the Victorian era. The rising demand for contractors was met with a growth in new business formation, which often meant that quality standards were not met...
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Posted by Callum Brown

How to improve the performance of an underperforming subcontractor

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Subcontractor underperformance happens within the construction industry, as I am sure it does across all industries. However, in our industry, managers and surveyors are often relying on the expertise of the subcontractors they employ to carry out trades and works they themselves cannot undertake. T...
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Posted by Karen Toms

The importance of the Information Release Schedule (IRS)

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What is an IRS? An IRS is, quite simply, a schedule that outlines what design information is going to be released during a construction project and when. As we all know, it’s common for not all of the necessary design information to be available at tender stage or when contracts are being exch...
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Posted by James Finnie

Early contractor engagement in two stage tendering

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A brief introduction on two stage tendering Where time is at a premium, typically on larger more complex projects, two stage tendering has become a unique building procurement process. It allows the design to be developed and the tender process to run in parallel, early in the life of the project. ...
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Posted by James Finnie

Performance Specification vs Full Design

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You’re a developer building 10-20 residential units per year and are always looking for ways to streamline the building process. For starters, you realise that you need to pay more attention to the specification mix you use on your projects. Hopefully by considering the following aspects, your ...
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Posted by Kate Kilborn

Building Regulations: a changing landscape

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“Building standards are not sufficiently ambitious; they are overly complex and compliance is poor.” The 2018 Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety identified worrying deficiencies in the current system of building regulation. While clearly well-intentioned, the regulations can ...
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Posted by James Finnie

How do I employ an architect?

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As a developer running an SME property development business, where to start with employing an architect? The guidelines set out in this article should help you choose the right architect. How and where to start The most obvious place would be to seek advice from others in your company, like par...
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Posted by Sophie Parry

What should a lighting specification look like?

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Lighting is becoming an increasingly complex part of building services and project delivery. The reason for this increase is due to several factors: The development of LED lighting technology Methods of controlling the lighting Energy efficiency Circular economy considerations Emerg...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Packaging of Works – What is the Best Way to Split out a Project?

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The packaging of works by contractors to subcontractors and subcontractors to SMEs is widespread in construction dependent on the scope and nature of projects undertaken. How to package up works and what influences the decision as to how small to break the packages down is generally driven by the ri...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Special Purpose Vehicles and Construction Management

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If you were to contact Companies House and ask them how many Special Purpose Vehicles or ‘SPVs’ are currently operating, they wouldn’t be able to tell you as they are not legal entities. SPV’s, or as they are also known ‘Special Purpose Entities’, are usually a limited company but could ...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Principle of Entitlement

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Unless amended, all construction contracts contain the provision for changes to be made. This could be from the developer instructing them or by the contractor claiming that a relevant event, compensation event, variation etc has occurred. If it is the latter, and as a developer you’re receiving n...
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Posted by Dean Suttling

Groundworks, Archaeology and Minimising Risk in Procurement

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If you’re a Developer and you intend to proceed on a construction management basis then you’ll be procuring individual packages of works including groundworks and archaeology. Understanding the risk of excavating in the ground, what you can do to mitigate it, your own risk profile, and how to pa...
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Posted by Jon Williams

Construction Partnering

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What is Construction Partnering? Construction partnering originated in the United States during the early 1980s. It was developed in connection with procurement as a technique for reducing the cost of contract disputes through improved communications, processes and relationships across the project ...
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Posted by Jon Williams

Contract Sum Analysis

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What exactly is a Contract Sum Analysis? A Contract Sum Analysis (CSA) is an alternative pricing document to a Schedule of Works (SoW) / Bill of Quantities (BoQ). It’s often prepared in a standard format by the Employers Agent to support the tender returns review. The Employers Agent requests tha...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Collateral Warranties in Construction

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What are collateral warranties and do I need them on my project? We put forward the following scenario to Jason Farnell, Adjudicator and CEDR Accredited Mediator: I'm a Property Developer working on projects across London and the South East and I’m interested in understanding more about Collate...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Design and Build Contracting for Developers

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The Scenario We put forward the following scenario to Jason Farnell, Adjudicator and CEDR Accredited Mediator. I'm a Developer with a number of secured sites across the UK. Our business has historically taken the Traditional, Architect-led approach to procurement but as we look to expand and grow...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction Procurement

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Procurement methods in the UK construction market work with an Employer issuing a Main Contract to one Main Contractor and thereafter, the Main Contractor issues multiple Subcontracts to various Subcontractors. [1] Projects in the £25 million range can involve a main contractor with approximatel...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Procurement & Subcontract Tendering – Project Lifecycle 9

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We’ve discussed cash-flow and its importance to running a project. Good cash-flow gives you flexibility and control during Sub-Contract procurement. How often have you been offered a discount in trade for reduced payment terms by a Subcontractor? If your project is cash positive and you could a...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Variations – The Elephant in the Room

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I’ve got breaking news for you, and you heard it here first: A lot of people in the construction industry don’t like Quantity Surveyors. In fact, you could probably split the industry into three groups. A third of the industry don’t like what we do; a third of the industry don’t know what we...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Undervalued CPD – improving your Construction Knowledge via Specialist Subcontractors

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In my experience, when I think about the best QS’ that I’ve come into contact with, they all share one thing in common. Not only do they have the pre-requisite contractual knowledge to do the job, but they also have a really sound practical understanding of construction. By best I mean the QS wh...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Eggs in one basket – weighing up the risk of multi-letting packages to one subcontractor

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I was letting a ventilation package to a subcontractor and there was a big AHU (air handling unit) partially connected to the package. With the AHU, my initial thoughts were to buy the unit and have the ventilation subcontractor install it. Although this was my planned method to proceed, at tender, ...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Bringing your construction team into the procurement process

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It’s difficult not to feel isolated as a QS. Everyone working around you on a project tends to work within a team, whereas the QS tends to work as the sole lead on the commercial aspects of the project. Where you fit into the dynamics of the project is integral, but to make sure you’re really ef...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Understanding where materials are sourced

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A few years ago, I was trying to source a carpet that had been specified by the architect. I knew a little about carpets and competitive rates, and the specified product was double the rate of similar products I’d seen in the past. I approached my flooring contractor to ask if there was an alterna...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Making the most of equal approved

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When you’re handed a job as a QS, you want to find the potential financial gains that you can make based on what you’ve allowed versus the scope, and if there is an equal approved opportunity. Getting a good understanding of this upfront is one of the most effective and simplest ways of internal...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Squeezing every penny – Is it really worth it?

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Knowing when to stop squeezing your supply chain is an important intuition that you develop with time. Most people involved in procurement see their main objective as buying at the lowest price possible. But is the lowest price the lowest cost? As a QS, I have felt that other people within the bu...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

Spec and Drawings – Minimising your risk and reducing cost

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Procurement is one of the most time-consuming tasks for a QS and when I've tendered packages in the past, I normally chose the spec and drawings approach. But, from my experiences as a subcontractor from the other side of the table, I’ve also seen it used as an opportunity for the main contractor ...
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Posted by Christopher Barber

C-Link Upgrade!

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We’ve just undergone some product upgrades at C-Link. We're really happy with the changes and think they'll have a big impact in helping our connect professionals with specialist contractors, and improve the procurement process all round. Supply Chains With C-Link, Pros can now host their en...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Choosing The Best Cladding For Your Residential Build Project

If you’re managing a residential build project and you’re looking for exterior cladding contractors, there are many factors to consider. Not only do main construction contractors need to assess the reputation and experience of the cladding specialists, but they also need to consider what type of...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Working With Piling Contractors For Your Project

If you require piling contractors for your next project, there is a lot that will need to be taken into consideration. Not only do you need to find the best contractors for the job, but you also must work together to determine the best approach. With that in mind, read on to discover how to successf...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Building Contractors London – Components Of A Good Procurement Strategy

Building contractors London wide need to have an expert procurement strategy in place if they are to run every project efficiently and keep their costs down. The process of developing a procurement strategy can be broken into three steps: gathering and analysing project data, determining the preferr...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction E-procurement!

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Paul Heming, founder of procurement platform C-Link discusses the benefits of E-procurement. The term 'E-procurement' refers to tendering processes carried out online and through information and networking systems, and may include; E-tendering, E-auctioning, E-invoicing, E-payment and so on. The...
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Posted by Paul Heming

C-Link Partner Harris Calnan Scoops RIBA Award!

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A sublime project, constructed by builder Harris Calnan for photographer Juergen Teller, has recently been crowned RIBA London’s Building of the Year. The brief was to utilise over 500m² of space to create a bright, flexible and welcoming set of areas; with a natural flow and sociability in add...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Best Procurement Practices!

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The effectiveness of a contractual relationship will usually be dictated by how well the initial procurement process has been done and whether the contract fully reflects the intentions of the contracting parties. Relationships and behaviour are strong influences for achieving successful outcomes....
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Posted by Paul Heming

HS2: Full Speed Ahead

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High Speed 2 (HS2), Britain’s single biggest infrastructure project of this millennium, cleared its final hurdle last week construction works will now begin in Spring. The project received Royal Assent on 23 February and this Act of Parliament means the nine-year programme of works will start o...
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Posted by Paul Heming

£400m City Skyscraper

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Yet another skyscraper has this week been approved for development in the City of London with Brookfield Developments and Make joining forces to deliver '1 Leadenhall Street', a 36-storey tower adjacent to Richie Rogers, Cheesegrater. Comprising 538,000 sq ft of high specification office space, ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Infinity Project Liverpool

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Plans for a £250m project to extend Liverpool’s business district further north have been submitted for approval. Dubbed the ‘triple towers’ project, the scheme - by developer Elliot Group - includes three towers ranging in height from 27 to 39 storeys. The development will formally be referr...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Quantity Surveyors expecting difficult 2017

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2016 closed with positive news for Construction in the UK as we enjoyed our largest growth in new orders according to an industry survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). The survey concluded that improving order intake and a rebound in business conditions generally had...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Procurement problems ahead for Contractors

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UK construction companies are reporting difficulties in procurement as a result of the steepest rise in prices during the last decade. In what comes as the latest sign that the pound’s sharp fall since the referendum in June is raising import costs for UK businesses, the Chartered Institute of ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Google’s Groundscaper

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Google has confirmed plans to build a massive new UK headquarters in London which is seen by political commentators as a huge vote of confidence in post-Brexit Britain. Google already has another two buildings under development at King’s Cross but this new 650,000 square foot complex will ma...
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Posted by Paul Heming

London’s second tallest skyscraper

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The tower known as ‘1 Undershaft’ will add to the City of London’s swelling sky-line and become the Square Mile’s tallest skyscraper if approved. Rising 73 storeys, the development is proposed to include London’s highest viewing gallery and restaurant as well as educational space, for whic...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Twickenham Redevelopment

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In late 2015, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) drew up redevelopment plans to invest in excess of £50 million towards the revamp of the East Stand at Twickenham. The plans are part of a genuine attempt to enhance the corporate hospitality offering at Twicken­ham with Premier League grounds such as A...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Regeneration in Liverpool

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An innovative construction scheme is set to breathe new life into an area of Liverpool long overdue for regeneration that will help to reinvigorate the region and potentially boost its economic standing within the city. Sigma, which is a private rented sector Construction specialist, has secured ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Bidding on Civil Engineering project in Worcestershire begins!

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The bidding and Procurement process has begun for the final phase of a Civil Engineering Project on the A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road and Specialist Contractors with relevant expertise are being encouraged to tender for the project, which is valued at £70 million. Worcestershire City Counci...
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Posted by Paul Heming

£60million project kicks off in Coventry

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C-Link is pleased to announce that work on a £60 million construction project that intends to develop student accommodation and shopping facilities in Bishop Gate in Coventry has begun. The work will be completed on the site of the former Royal Mail building, with mechanical diggers having recentl...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction at the University of Hull!

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University Partnerships Programme (UPP), a PFI scheme between the various Universities and Jarvis plc to build and maintain student accommodation, has announced that it is set to deliver a new construction scheme for the University of Hull that is valued at £130 million. The organisation i...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Midlands Construction Amongst The Most Stable in the UK

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Despite recent reports that construction in the Midlands, specifically the East Midlands, has been struggling in recent months, recent research has demonstrated that Specialist Contractors in the area are actually at the least risk of insolvency in the UK. An insolvency trade body named R3 surveyed ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction Industry Shows Signs of Recovery

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There was a lot made about the potential contraction of the Construction industry in recent months, with a number of surveys and statistics showing that the industry has been struggling somewhat in the wake of the EU referendum. However, in line with the latest Economic figures from the Government, ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

East Midlands Skills Shortage Causing Issues

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As an industry it is becoming more and more evident to all in Construction that we are struggling to attract talented young professionals. There are numerous reports that go into detail on how the industry needs to step up its game in terms of attracting A-Level students and many claim that Construc...
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Posted by Paul Heming

New Tech – Bendable Concrete Could Become a Reality

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Construction has always thrived on the introduction of new technologies that Specialist Contractors can use to provide innovative solutions. We are delighted to read about a brand new form of concrete that is currently being developed that has the capacity to bend. Scientists from Nanyang Technologi...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction Workforce Increasing

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There has been a lot made of the skills gap in Construction in recent months, particularly in regards to how the industry needs to do more to attract A-Level students and other youngsters towards the industry by highlighting how their talents can be applied to various aspects of Construction. Whi...
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Posted by Paul Heming

University Construction Increases

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Recently reported figures suggest British universities are investing in construction more than ever before. With universities aiming to make use of new technologies and interesting architecture to lure top students to their institutions, investment is up over 43% during the last few months. The High...
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Posted by Paul Heming

London Enjoys High Levels of Construction Orders

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Construction appears to be on the upswing in London and other areas of the UK, if recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics are accurate. London continues to dominate the sector, having seen an increase in new orders to the tune of 30% year on year, which is a remarkable growth co...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Construction Industry Questions

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Latest Office of National Statistics Figures The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently released figures suggesting the Construction industry has seen a downturn during the first quarter of 2016, with their research apparently demonstrating a 1.1% drop in the amount of work completed, with th...
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Posted by Paul Heming

C-Link is the Key to reducing Procurement Periods in 2016

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In our previous blogs we have touched on the major issues surrounding construction procurement activities including, but not limited to, tight programmes and the fact that many Professionals lose precious time scouring the market for the most appropriate Specialists for their project. With order boo...
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Posted by Paul Heming

How a Brexit may Affect the Construction Industry?

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The hot-button political issue at the moment is Britain’s status as a member of the European Union. The possibility of a Brexit is very real and it is important that all of us, including construction professionals, consider what might happen if Britain does leave the EU. Current industry opinio...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Short Programmes and the effect on Professionals and Specialists

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Achieving efficiency in the procurement process has long been a problem in the construction industry with many Professionals finding it difficult to source the right Specialist for their project within the timeframe allocated. As we know all too well, a lack of time is inherent to most construction ...
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Posted by Paul Heming

Are you ready for the future?

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Construction 2025 Report  The UK Government published its Construction 2025 Report in order to outline the steps that will be taken to deliver continued growth in the industry, such as reforming the existing planning system and funding for key infrastructure projects. The Government worked al...
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