Cement carbon capture

Cement company Hanson has announced a breakthrough in carbon capture research with 100kg of CO2 being bound in a tonne of RCP (recycle concrete paste).

The cement industry is the third largest source of industrial air pollution.

Carbon emissions are a by product of cement production and RCP is a secondary material that can then replace limestone in the production of new cement and concrete.

The trial was carried out at Ribblesdale in Lancashire.

Redcar furnace demolition

Redcar Blast Furnace that opened in 1979 and once made 10,000 tonnes of iron a day was demolished by demolitions experts Thomsons of Prudhoe as the Teesside regeneration continues.

The Blast Furnace was as tall as St Pau’s Cathedral and was destroyed using 175kg of explosives after weeks of preparation.

In its place will be a net zero development and wind energy facility.

Building safety levy

1024px-Grenfell_Tower_fire_(wider_view) by Natalie Oxford via wikimedia commons
1024px-Grenfell_Tower_fire_(wider_view) by Natalie Oxford via wikimedia commons

The Government plans to charge developers a levy to fix unsafe buildings. Residential developers will have to pay a levy contribution no matter the height of the building.

The consultation fails to set a base levy per unit price.

49 leading house builders have committed to fix 11m unsafe buildings over the next 30 years.

Local authorities will collect the levy.

Consultation closes 7 February. Anyone can participate in the consultation & submit feedback here.

Relocating the Museum of London

28 Museum_of_London_entrance by Mike Peel via wikimedia commons
28 Museum_of_London_entrance by Mike Peel via wikimedia commons

The Guardian headline ‘fundamental clash as the City of London dreams on’ says it all really. The ‘local authority-cum-business enterprise’ owns the site and organised the move of the Museum of London which occupied the site on the edge of the Barbican for 46 years to Smithfield so it can redevelop the current site into offices which residents claim will be an overdevelopment not in keeping with the current style. As well as releasing embodied carbon into the atmosphere and not in keeping with its net zero proclamations.

A concert hall was planned but that has been forgotten for new plans that have been replaced with three office blocks that look like ‘gift-wrapped filing cabinets around a tree!’

Sir Robert McAlpine has secured the £340m project of the new site. It involves the relocation of Billingsgate and Smithfield fish and meat wholesale markets for which a Bill in Parliament had to be passed.

Teesside lithium refinery


A new lithium refining processing plant has been approved in Teesside. The new development will reduce Europe’s reliance on China for Lithium which currently controls more than 90% of the world’s processed lithium which is used in batteries for electric vehicles.

Tees Valley Lithium appointed Wave an Australian company as main engineering partner on the £200m plant.

The new refinery is expected to produce 100% of the UKs lithium requirements by 2030 with 35% of the output available for export. TVL refinery is the first merchant lithium converter to achieve full approval status in the region.

Brick prices up 4 times in 12 months

Brickmaker Forterra has announced another double digit price hike of 16.5% at the new year despite three other increases in 2022 amounting to 24% increase in prices.

Forterra company revenue is up 23% on last year.

It has just commissioned a new brick factory at Desford which is expected to be operational early next year and its Wilnecote factory refurbishment due to complete next October.

US modular specialist VBC announces UK expansion

Citizen M Hotel Tower Bridge
Citizen M Hotel Tower Bridge

American MMC company Volumetric Building Companies (VBC) is set to open a manufacturing facility in the UK to support expansion plans and supply ready made structural parts for modular solutions to the UK construction industry including student accommodation, defence, affordable housing and hotels.

VBC built the Citizen M hotel in Tower Bridge and has some staff based in the UK already.

VBC merged with Polish manufacturer Polcom earlier in 2022.

Wales renewable energy mega hub

Blue Eden project
Blue Eden project

A new renewable energy mega hub is planned for Swansea in Wales which looks like a giant snowglobe and will be the largest transport facility in the UK.

It will include a tidal lagoon, data centre, hydrogen production, battery manufacturer, floating solar panels, storage facility and research centre.

Engineer HDR and Enable infrastructure will deliver the hub with Siemens.

Plans for the beleaguered development have been thrown around by Government since 2017. Backing was hard to get and initially continuously rejected due to the scale and originality of the idea. The current plans are part of the Blue Eden Scheme and are still subject to planning consent.

ISG wins £600m Sunset Studios campus

Sunset Studios
Sunset Studios

Global contractor headquartered in the UK ISG has won the £600m Hertfordshire Hollywood Studio job we first wrote about earlier this year.

The campus at 2m square feet is one of the largest studios under construction today.

Sunset Studios joins 3 other studios in Hertfordshire being Sky, BBC and Warner Bros.

Construction is set to complete in 2 years and include 21 sound stages, nine workshops and restoration of Grade II Heritage listed farm buildings.

The project will carry out MMC methodology.

Bouygues starts London 700-home council estate rebuild

Tustin Estate

700 new homes will replace 550 existing homes in a 1960s estate in Southwark’s in Tustin Estate.

Bouygues Construction will build 250 replacement Council & ‘shared equity’ homes, 220 other council and keyworker homes and 220 properties for sale.