Stay up to date with this week's top industry news with Construction Buzz.
UK government 'must take action' on 5G
Lord Adonis, Head of the National Infrastructure Commission, urges ministers to ensure fewer dead spots on the next-generation network. The current 4G network ranks only 54th in the world in terms of coverage, the government-appointed experts said.
Read the full article here.
Government acts to support UK steel
UK construction needs three million tonnes of steel in the next four years, the government has calculated. As part of moves to support the UK steel industry, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a pipeline of upcoming steel requirements for infrastructure projects. Read the full article here.
RHI reform receives positive reaction
Reforms announced to the UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme have been welcomed by both industry and trade associations. Changes to the scheme were proposed in a public consultation in March. At that time, the renewable heat industry was deeply concerned that the revised tariffs would result in a steep fall in the deployment of many renewable heat technologies. Read the full article here.
Batteries to play bigger role in energy grid
In a step forward for green energy, the government has said low-carbon batteries will play a role in balancing the national grid for the first time. About 500MW of battery storage will come online by 2020-21, it said, helping to assure electricity supply at times of high demand. Read the full article here.
CIOB launches Academy for the industry
A new training academy launched by the Chartered Institute of Building aims to enhance excellence and boost productivity of the sector. The CIOB Academy is open to anyone working in the built environment. It has been created in consultation with industry partners to meet the needs of an industry that is undergoing unprecedented technological change whilst embracing new challenges. Read the full article here.
4D modelling aids smart motorway project
Contractors converting a section of the M5 to smart motorway claim significant results using 4D software as a management tool. Balfour Beatty Vinci joint venture is converting a 10-mile stretch of the M5 between junctions 4a and 6 to smart motorway for Highways England. Its £45.4m contract invovles installing electronic overhead signs and cameras, and turning the hard shoulder into a running lane. Read the full article here
The 'hole' truth about ventilation
As buildings become more airtight to improve energy efficiency, the need to keep occupants healthy has become a more exacting science. Building services engineers have tended to focus on increasing the quantity of air in the space to dilute contaminants, reduce stuffiness and manage the relative humidity (RH).
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Modern Mews named on RIBA longlist
Coffey Architects use traditional Japanese design techniques to make the most of space and light in tiny London mews house. The narrow house contained just under 100 square metres of floor space, spread out over four storeys. Additionally, the only windows were at the front of the property. Read the full article
Taking energy in their stride
Recycled plastic paving system harvests solar and kinetic energy. Although conventional wisdom has it that road and sidewalk surfaces aren't the optimal placements for harvesting solar energy, that hasn't stopped the development of 'underfoot solar' products, as this latest entry into the sector illustrates. Read the full article here
Wood goes under the microscope
Linnaeus University project to study the mechanical properties of wood. Plywood is a well-known board material, composed of several layers of thin wood veneers (lamellae) laid up with rotating the grain direction 90 degrees to each other, glued and pressed together. Read the full article here