Blog

Up-to-date comment and thought leadership on key industry issues from our expert team.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

School closures shine light on hidden failings

David Frise, BESA Head of Sustainability

So what possessed someone to leave out the header ties that should have secured external walls to the steel frame of several Edinburgh schools? This catastrophic quality failure has taken 10 years to emerge, but has now resulted in 17 schools across the city being closed on safety grounds and the education of 7,000 primary and secondary pupils disrupted – not to mention the knock-on effect on...

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Smog police detect indoor air problem

David Frise, BESA Head of Sustainability

Air pollution in many UK cities is, effectively, out of control. This week a ‘Smogmobile’ was seen on the streets of London measuring alarmingly high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Laser technology developed by NASA is now being used to gauge just how serious and widespread the problem is and why the capital breached its European NO2 limits for the entire year in the first week of January. The...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Great, but tough, times ahead

Malcolm Thomson, BESA President

This is going to be a big year – in fact the next three years will be pretty ‘full on’. The technical and financial market drivers we have faced up to now will be magnified by a factor of 10 as workloads and the type of work really picks up and we will do well just to keep pace with what is about to happen between now and 2018. Skills shortages, labour costs, movement of resources, modern methods...

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Time to just say ‘no’ to cost cutters

Paul McLaughlin, BESA Chief Executive

Three Tier One contractors have just walked away from major projects. Bouygues, Kier and Morgan Sindall have all said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to significant projects for blue chip clients having decided there was no way they could get the sums to add up to a profit. Kier had 50 people on site at the Ram Quarter regeneration scheme in Wandsworth with enabling works well underway on the £170m...

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Retentions – light at the end of the tunnel

Paul McLaughlin, BESA Chief Executive

Payment retentions are one of those necessary evils that have been a lurking shadow over construction supply chains since Victorian times. We know we will never be completely rid of them, but we are closer than ever to having them reformed so that they become a more positive force for change – and not just an underhand way for large firms to protect their profits at the expense of SMEs. There is...

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