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Daily news update Monday 31 March: Farrell Review and Climate Change findings; Fluor/Cavendish wins £7bn nuclear decommissioning deal

It’s a day of review findings as the IPCC sets out its warning about the threat from climate change and architect and masterplanner Sir Terry Farrell issues his ideals for architecture and the built environment; meanwhile the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority awards Fluor/Cavendish a £7bn deal.

Government decision-making panels for major infrastructure reviews should have design and planning professionals represented, said masterplanner and architect Sir Terry Farrell.

Farrell made the assertion in the findings of his review into architecture and the built environment on behalf of culture minister Ed Vaizey.

“Infrastructure crucially and permanently shapes places, and transport projects must have planners and designers involved from the outset,” says the review. “All government-funded infrastructure projects, whether adapting or building new, must have a masterplan and should instigate early and ongoing place review. The ‘design envelope’ for the built environment should be agreed in advance, particularly for the public realm affected by new or changed infrastructure.”

It adds: “When we talk about ‘design’, the majority of people who were consulted agreed that we must talk more about integrity and less about style. In other words, how well buildings suit their purpose and not what they look like. But it goes further than this into streets, parks, social and transport infrastructure and the entire package that makes up the built environment.”

  • More to follow soon


The world is ill-prepared for risks posed by a changing climate, according to a report by a group of influential global scientific experts.

The influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today issued a report called Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, which says that risk from a changing climate comes from a lack of preparedness and from people or assets being in harm’s way, and from hazards.

The report says that economic losses due to extreme weather events have increased globally, flooding, for example, can have major economic costs in term of impact (through destruction of infrastructure and disruption) and adaptation (through construction and defence work), it said.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “The science has spoken. Left unchecked, climate change will have far reaching consequences for our society.

“This evidence builds the case for early action in the UK and around the world to lessen the risks posed by climate change. We cannot afford to wait.”

Some 243 lead authors and 66 review editors from 70 countries were involved in preparing the report.


HS2 Ltd has launched a supplier survey to help gauge supply chain readiness to work with building information modelling (BIM) on the £42.6bn high speed rail scheme.

BIM Level 2 will be required for all central government projects after 2016 and HS2 will be one of the first major public infrastructure projects to use it from the start.

The survey is open to any company planning to bid for work on the project and aims to help the project promoter identify where it can help suppliers get ready for the new requirements.

“The survey we’re launching today is all about getting to know whether the potential supply chain is ready to use BIM and what we need to do to get them up to speed,” said HS2 Ltd commercial director Beth West.

Mace is to run the survey as part of a larger BIM up-skilling study. This will include an electronic BIM capability scorecard for potential suppliers to complete, together with a series of interviews, meetings and events designed to capture views from the supply chain.


Dredging of one of the major rivers in the Somerset Moors and Levels has begun today, the Environment Agency has announced.

Initial work on a 200m stretch of the River Parrett is being done ahead of dredging along an 8km stretch of river near where the Tone and Parrett meet at Burrowbridge.

The preliminary work is on a section of the river that the Agency said had experience a build up of “significant amounts of silt”.

The dredging forms part of the Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan, commissioned by environment secretary Owen Paterson and which received government funding earlier this year.


A Spanish-led consortium has won a multi-billion pound construction and management contract for the expansion of the Lima metro in Peru.

The concession is worth around $9bn (£5.4bn), of which civils work accounts for over half the value (£2.8bn). Infrastructure management over the 35 year concession accounts for the rest.

The project is expected to be completed in five years and is divided into line 2 (27km) and part of line 4 (8km) including a total of 35km of underground tunnels. It also includes 35 stations and two interchange stations between the lines.

The Nuevo Metro de Lima consortium is led by ACS Group subsidiaries Dragados and Iridium, with FCC subsidiary Vialia, together with Italian companies Impregilo and Ansaldo.


Magnox decommissioing deal awarded to US giant Fluor

A consortium comprising Cavendish and Fluor has won a £7bn contract to run the Magnox and Research Sites Restoration Ltd nuclear decommissioning sites for the next 14 years. Cavendish is the new name for Babcock.

The partnership will take ownership of the 12 Magnox and RSRL sites as the Parent Body Organisation under a decommissioning programme worth £4bn to £5bn over the next seven years and almost £2bn for the following seven years, from 1 September 2014.

Network Rail has set out how it plans to spend £38bn over the next five years.

The rail operator set out its investment plan for Control Period 5, which runs from April.

It will include electrifying more than 1,300km of railway and transforming hundreds of stations including London Bridge, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Victoria. More than 7,000km of track will be renewed, and 300,000 sq m of station platform replaced.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Millions of passengers and freight users will benefit enormously from the plans we set out today to wisely spend and invest £38bn in transforming some of the busiest parts of our railway network.”

Civils contractors said the plans were “commensurate to the task in hand” of renewing the UK’s railways and that efficiencies can be driven through the use of new technologies and smarter ways of working. The plans also require efficiency savings of 20% to be made over the course of the five year period.


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