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Man who changed BAA'S construction world is keynote speaker at Civils event

BAA CHANGED its construction process to afford Terminal 5. Now construction director Andrew Wolstenholme, who will be the keynote speaker at Civils 2002, has to prove its worth in delivering the £2.5bn scheme.

BAA tore up the construction rule book almost a decade ago, introducing partnering deals with framework suppliers to reduce construction costs by at least 30%. But the airport operator had more than just cost savings in mind when it started its revolution. The end game was always Terminal 5.

The company's planners had worked out that if they did not bring down the price of construction and deliver projects on time and with no claims, then T5 was unaffordable.

T5 received the go-ahead at the end of 2001 (GE January 2002) and construction could start before the end of the year.

'The complexity of the project is so interwoven, should you get behind on one area you impose a risk on the whole scheme, 'Wolstenholme said.

BAA cannot stand price increases and it needs the terminal open as soon as possible to relieve pressure on Heathrow's already overcrowded facilities.

Wolstenholme, who will be at Civils 2002 on Tuesday 12 June, is one of three major figures guaranteed to draw crowds at the event.

Friends of the Earth executive director Charles Secrett will be setting the tone on Wednesday 13 June, challenging the construction industry to take the initiative in delivering environmentally responsible construction and sustainable projects.

'Only the most extreme environmentalist would claim that capital development and technological advance should be halted. For society to function you need power, transport, industrial infrastructure, housing. The argument isn't about whether construction and engineering are necessary, but what types of projects are realised and how, ' Secrett said.

At Civils Secrett will be setting out the imperative for sustainability and making the case that it is in the best interests of business as well as the environment to change working practices.

Civils 2002 is being held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham from 11-13 June. The event will feature more than 500 exhibitors, technical seminars and daily debates tackling the most important issues facing the civil engineering industry including skills shortages, private finance, transport and the environment.

Visitors on day two of Civils 2002 will be able to watch the UK's leading civil engineering firms raising money for disaster relief charity RedR (Register of Engineers for Disaster Relief ). Up to 50 teams of engineers will compete on a course built outside the main exhibition hall in the RedR Challenge to find the most resourceful problem solvers in the country.

And for anyone worried about missing vital World Cup action, Civils 2002 has a World Cup café showing the matches live.

l For details, visit www. civils. com. To book a stand, call Sally Devine on (020) 7505 6644, (sally. devine@construct. emap. com), or Russell Kenrick on (020) 7505 6699; (russell. kenrick@construct.emap. com).For more information on the RedR Challenge contact Sue Russell, (020) 7233 3116; fax (020) 7222 0977; www. redr. org

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