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NCE Live News Updates: Tuesday 17 September: HS2 plan to simplify standards; Northern Hub plans submitted

National standards body BSI and High Speed 2 promoter HS2 Ltd have revealed they are to work together to ensure infrastructure design standards and codes deliver the best solutions efficiently.

Watch today’s news unfold as it happens here. Highlights so far:

  • HS2 joins forces with BSI to simplify standards
  • Deadline day for NCE Graduate Awards
  • New chief exec for CH2M Hill
  • Planning application in for Ordsall curve

11.45am: Calling all graduates - today is deadline day for NCE’s Graduate Awards

Recent graduates wishing to enter NCE’s Graduates should get cracking now before it its too late: today is deadline day for NCE’s coveted Graduate Awards. Find out more here:

Awards secretary David Hayward’s phone is ringing non-stop with enquiries. Keep him busy!

11.30am: HS2 Ltd and BSI to lead innovative project to update infrastructure design standards

National standards body BSI and High Speed 2 promoter HS2 Ltd have revealed they are to work together to ensure infrastructure design standards and codes deliver the best solutions efficiently.

This first of its kind consultation project is part of HS2’s Efficiency Challenge programme and aims to manage and improve infrastructure design codes and standards to improve efficiency and save costs.

It is felt that the plethora of current design codes and standards means that numerous duplications and overlaps, sometimes with conflicting requirements, make the design process unnecessarily complex. As a result this often leads to different interpretations by different designers complicating the compliance and construction processes. This project aims to identify the best way in which current design standards and codes can be harmonized and define what specific additional guidance is necessary to help deliver the design and construction of HS2 more efficiently.

As part of phase one of this three part process, BSI will be carrying out a series of industry workshops. Experts from the civil engineering, building and power and systems industries will come together to find a solution to the challenges faced by big spend infrastructure projects. The resulting updating of standards and development of project-specific guidance documents will clarify the standards to use and how to apply them.


9.20am: Network Rail presses on with Northern Hub

Plans to deliver faster, more frequent rail travel across the North of England progressed today as Network Rail submitted an application for a new link connecting Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria stations – the Ordsall Chord.

The plans will ease a rail bottleneck to the south of Piccadilly station and enable more trains to travel through central Manchester.

The application is a key part of the wider Northern Hub programme to deliver up to 700 additional trains on the network every day, providing space for around 44 million passengers a year, whilst stimulating much-needed economic growth. It is estimated the Northern Hub will generate over £4bn worth of economic benefits.

Following 18 months of consultation with local and regional stakeholders, the plans were submitted for consideration to the Transport and Works Act Unit within the Department for Transport. If permission is granted, work is expected to start in late 2014 / early 2015.

Read all about the project here.

9am: US programme management giant CH2M Hill has overnight named Jacque Hinman, a familiar face to UK engineers, as its new chief executive.

Jacque Rast in office

Jacque Rast in office

Hinman, nee Rast, will succeed current chief executive and chairman Lee McIntire in January. McIntire will continue to serve as chairman.

Hinman has spent the last few years leading the US programme manager’s international operations and was the driving force behind CH2M Hill’s 2011 acquisition of Halcrow. She initially served as chairman and chief executive of the Halcrow Group during the transition.

Read more here

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