Mental Health in construction

This week we posted about a senior employee at a large construction firm discussing health and safety in the FT. We shared that on our social channels and then we shared the legal perspective of his statements. The same firm a day before boasted about its massive spend on health and safety.

The facts are suicide is higher in construction than any other sector; two people die from suicide in the construction sector every day; men in construction are three times more likely to die from suicide than the national average; the cost to employers on the UK construction industry is estimated to be £26bn every year or £1,035 per employee.

In the article the employee highlights the importance of open conversation, collaboration with industry suppliers and awareness.

Spend is just one part of the conversation but properly funded initiatives lead to better outcomes. This employer said they see health and safety spend as a value equation rather than cost equation, and that cost = value.

Yorkshire: major works contractor sought

image credit illiya-vjestica-via-unsplash

A new tender framework has been published by Leeds City Council on behalf of Yorkshire Highways Alliance for major works to the value of £7m or more with a total contract value of £360m.

There are 6 Council buyers in the framework – Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield and City of York.

The contract will run from 1 April 2023 for 4 years until 31 March 2027 and cover highways, roads, engineering and construction. 4 contractors will be awarded.

Deadline to apply is 25 January 2025, apply here

John Lewis & Abrd to build 1,000 rental homes

image credit daniel-adesina-via-unsplash

Retailer John Lewis and investment company Abrdn have formed a £500m JV with the intention to convert old unused John Lewis shopfronts to 1,000 built to rent homes.

For example, Waitrose Bromley and West Ealing will be redeveloped in 2023 subject to planning permission.

The homes will be furnished with John Lewis furniture and aimed at the high end of the market.

Swan housing closes modular factories

Blackwall Reach Image Credit Swan Housing

Essex housing association Swan has closed 2 modern methods of construction modular steel housing factories in Essex after they failed to make a profit since 2017.

It received £4.5m from a Government fund ‘Get Britain Building’ and were supposed to be producing up to 850 homes by 2024 but both factories have been running at a loss and have not reached potential.

Swan has a troubled past having breached regulatory standard (lending covenants) last year and has stated it will run out of cash in early December. A merger with much larger housing association Sanctuary was signed off by both boards last Thursday after a potential merger with another housing association Orbit broke down earlier this year. Sanctuary since issued a statement that the merger was subject to lender approvals.

New town centre for Farnworth

Credit Capital & Centric

Demolition has started on a new £50m Farnworth town centre near Bolton which will replace a 1960s shopping precinct with new homes and retail space. There will be 85 one and two bedroom apartments and 12 two and three bedroom family homes.

The development will include a new town square and 20,000 square feet of indoor space for bars, cafes and shops.

Funding comes partly from the Government’s Future High Street Fund and partly from Manchester / Bolton Authorities.

New logistics mega park for Yorkshire

Credit Sherburn42

McLaren has won a 660,000 square feet logistics warehouse project in North Yorkshire near Leeds called Sherburn42 which includes 4 warehouses ranging in size from 60,000 square feet to 280,000 square feet providing a total of 660,000 square feet of warehouse space.

The website says space will be available from Q3 2023. It is located 5 miles from Junction 42 of the A1 which leads to Leeds, York, Sheffield Airport and Hull.

An adjacent logistics park is home to large logistics industry players such as Eddie Stobart and Clipper.

Sunbelt battery storage units cut carbon at Kier

Credit Kier

Kier is saving 7 tonnes of carbon per month by switching to battery storage units from generators.

The battery storage units supplied by Sunbelt Rentals work with generators to provide continuous energy supply with backup provided by the generators. When the battery runs low the generator kickstarts to charge it up.

Kier recently completed a trial with 10 battery storage units which reduced generator runtime by 59%.

Kier’s target is to reduce carbon emissions by 65% by 2030.

New Esh retrofit division for energy efficiency


Credit Esh Group

Constructor Esh Group have launched a new retrofit division which will retrofit properties in order to make them compliant with new regulations that properties must achieve Energy Performance Certificate of C and above.

Such projects may include window and door seals or glazing, insulation, heat pumps and solar panels.

HS2 earth moving record

HS2 begins enormous dig in Bucks/Oxon for two of the route’s longest cuttings: HS2 Barton Mixbury start of excavation Sept 2022

HS2 JV contractor has hit an earth moving record having moved a volume of earth equal to 4 times Wembley Stadium in 20 months.

Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial and Bam Nuttal moved 15 million cubic metres of earth which will be used to reinforce structures on the project, build embankments and for landscaping purposes.

The JV is currently ahead of schedule by one week.

Another 36 million cubic metres of earth will be moved along the 80km section over the next three years.

HS2 includes 70 cuttings to keep the railway level from London to Birmingham.