Weekly round up – 22nd June

Olympic stadium conversion cost revealed, Arup reports on future of manufacturing, new appointments at Waterman Group and Skanska has its LU maintenance contract extended

Olympic Stadium conversion costs have been confirmed at £272m, a 43% increase on the original £154M contract awarded to Balfour Beatty in January 2014. The London Development Corporation said that the costs reflect the huge scale of the works undertaken to transform the former Olympic venue from a temporary athletics stadium into a year-round multi-use arena. The Stadium work included the removal of the original roof and light paddles and installation of the world’s largest cantilevered roof at 45,000sqm. This needs significant strengthening of the superstructure to support the 8km of cable net, 112 steel rafters, 9,900 roof panels and 14 light paddles each weighing 45 tonnes.

Skanska’s four-year civil engineering maintenance contract with London Underground has been extended for a further two years. Covering two thirds of the Tube network, the contract originally began in 2011 with the possibility of an extension, dependent upon performance. Working alongside London Underground, the team will continue to maintain more than 1,000 bridges and 125 tunnels across multiple routes, including the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, District, Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Circle lines. 

A new report, developed by Arup suggests collaboration between robots and humans will be key in factories of the future. The report called Rethinking the Factory looks to the future with smart robots, 3D prinmting and self healing materials. “The convergence of the physical and digital worlds means that manufacturers have to continue to adapt and adopt new processes quicker than ever before. While developing sustainable and resilient practices will be essential, having access to a skilled pool of workers will prove to be equally important and challenging as these changes are made.” Duncan White, Science and Industry Leader at Arup, comments:

A full programme for the National Infrastructure Planning Association (NIPA) annual conference has been announced. Opened by NIPA council chair Steve Norris the event will cover a range of topics from shale gas and aviation to housing. The event will feature presentations from Alex Herbert, head of planning at Tidal Lagoon Power, and legal experts Nigel Howarth, Julian Boswall, Martin Kingston and Catherine Howard.

Waterman Group has welcomed Ajaz Chaudhri as national frameworks director.Based in Manchester, Chaudhri’s new appointment will see him take on a leading role in the infrastructure and environment business. His upcoming work will include developing and managing a portfolio of frameworks across the UK for both public and private sector clients. His appointment by follows the selection of Steve Katesmark for a leading role in the company’s transportation division.

The Sunday Times has reported that Canadian Investment giant Borealis Infrastructure is once again weighing up an approach to buy water and sewerage provider Severn Trent following its rejected takeover attempt two years ago.

Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies is to become chair of the Environmental Audit Committee. He takes over from Labour MP Joan Walley. Irranca-Davies is the MP for Ogmore in South Wales and has previously served as undersecretary of state at Defra.

European leaders have gathered for an emergency summit to discuss the Greek debt crisis. Yesterday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed a new plan to prevent default on the £1.1bn IMF loan due at the end of June.



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