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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 16 January: Water scarcity and climate change among top global risks; good year for tall buildings

Water scarcity and climate change are among the top global risks faced today according to think tank the World Economic Forum; big advance for BIM; strong year for global high rise construction market.

11am: The Davies Commission has today published a consultation document on what it expects developers of airport expansion proposals shortlisted for further development last month to submit in support of their schemes.

The is sets out:

  • the Commission’s objectives, against which options will be assessed and on which its final recommendations will be based
  • a refreshed scheme design for each shortlisted option
  • a business case and sustainability assessment for each option
  • a set of appraisal modules explaining the methodologies that the Commission proposes to use in assessing options

The full consultation document can be viewed here.


10.30am: NCE is at the RunwaysUK conference in London today.

Sir Howard Davies was the morning’s keynote speaker and explained his decision in December to shortlist the Gatwick and Heathrow options for new runway capacity in the South East, for further development,

Over the next few months, Davies’ commission is carrying out a great deal of research work on the non-shortlisted option for the development of an estuary airport plan.

London mayor Boris Johnson’s aviation advisor, Daniel Moylan spoke criticising the commission, saying that the Johnson could provide it with more information, but that this had not yet been asked for. Johnson is a strong supporter of a Thames Estuary Airport.

10am: Environmental risks feature prominently in a top 10 list of the greatest issues facing the world today.

A survey of 700 leaders and decision-makers from the think-tank the World Economic Forum’s global community on 31 selected global risks has highlighted environmental issues as a top concern.

Water crises, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation and a greater incidence of extreme weather events were all singled out as major issues being faced today.

The World Economic Forum’s report is compiled annually. It looks ahead 10 years and assesses 31 global risks that have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place.

8am: Tall buildings best practice body the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has revealed that 2013 was another strong year for the sector.

It’s 2013 Tall Buildings Data Research Report shows that 2013 was the second-most biggest year on record for completing of buildings 200m or greater in height. In 2013, 73 such buildings were completed, second only to the 81 completions of 2011.

Of the 73 buildings completed in 2013, 12 – or 16% – entered  the list of 100 Tallest Buildings in the World.

Tallest buildings by year

For the sixth year running, China had the most 200m-plus completions of any nation, at 37 – located across 22 cities. Three of the five tallest buildings completed are in the United Arab Emirates which also boasts the tallest building completed in 2013 with the 355m tall JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. But of the 73 buildings over 200m completed in 2013, only one, 1717 Broadway in New York, was in the United States.

Update from overnight: European Parliament moves to make BIM mandatory on public projects across the Continent.

UK building industry leaders have applauded the European Parliament’s call to modernise public works projects in the European Union by using Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology.

The European Parliament yesterday moved to modernise European public procurement rules by recommending the use of electronic tools such as BIM, for public works contracts.

The UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Norway have already set dates by which the use of BIM will be mandatory for publicly funded building projects. Now, with today’s vote allEU countries will be encouraged over a two-year timeframe to adopt BIM in public works to reduce costs and project overruns and to modernise the procurement process.

As the UK building industry has world-leading expertise in using BIM, this news potentially opens-up new export market opportunities for UK design and construction businesses.

Other changes voted through include:

  • Public works contracts must be awarded on the basis of value, rather than simply the lowest tender;
  • Life-cycle costs can be taken into account, enabling public authorities to think longer-term;
  • Simpler bidding processes;
  • Electronic procurement to bring practices into the 21st century;
  • Innovation partnerships, where the supplier enters into a technology development partnership with authorities to provide innovative solutions;
  • Encouraging the breaking down of large contracts into lots so that smaller businesses can bid for them;
  • Smaller companies have more flexibility to bid for large contracts;
  • Businesses will be able to access a central online point of information about the documents needed to bid in all EU countries;

Good morning. Mark Hansford here to guide you through the day. First, an apology - technology glitches meant we couldn’t send a daily news email yesterday. Many apologies.

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