Stay up to date with this week's top industry news with Construction Buzz.
£2.5bn deal to build modular homes
A major Chinese building materials company has become the latest player to tackle the UK housing crisis with an unprecedented plan to build six prefabricated home factories that will pump out 25,000 low-energy dwellings a year. Read the full article here.
Government pledges £400m broadband fund
Culture secretary announces new money days after Ofcom said 1.4m UK properties still had below-par broadband speeds. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has freed up the money to help homes and businesses in the “hardest-to-reach” parts of the UK receive broadband speeds considered to be essential to modern life. Read the full article here.
RICS predicts 3% hike in house prices
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have released their latest survey, which forecasts that prices will rise an average of three per cent in 2017. Since the EU referendum in June, RICS members have reported a fall in the number of housing coming onto the market, and a rise in demand from would-be buyers registering their interest. Read the full article here.
Government urged to tackle pollution
Select committee calls on government to take urgent action to tackle air pollution after court ruling rejects the adequacy of current plans to tackle the issues after finding the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Transport had failed to act on the Committee's recommendations for tackling air pollution. Read the full article here.
Design schools will "hit the wall"
The Council for Higher Education in Art & Design warns the Brexit vote has led to a "brain drain" of teaching staff and a drop in student numbers. The report adds: "Figures from June 2016 show a UK five to 10 per cent fall [in students taking up art and design higher-education courses] this year following the referendum and its campaign." Read the full article here
SMEs receive £2M in funding from CITB
Over £1.9M has been given to a total of 442 SMEs across Great Britain, after successful applications for funding, with increasing numbers of firms from Scotland and Wales, including some in Gateshead, Aberystwyth and on the Scottish islands. Read the full article here
£120m investment for last aluminium yard
Plans to create up to 600 jobs and invest £120m at the site of the UK’s last remaining aluminium smelter yard at Fort William have been announced. Their plans include creating an aluminium wheel manufacturing facility, and a further 300 jobs directly, with another 300 in the supply chain.
Read the full article here
Plant ‘glue’ key to wooden skyscrapers
Scientists discover secret behind the toughness of plant cell walls, and say it could pave the way toward low-energy binding of timber skyscrapers. The study, led by a father-and-son team at the universities of Warwick and Cambridge, solves a long-standing mystery of how key sugars in cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials. Read the full article
Sheets for seats
Layers of flat fabric form stools and benches inside South Korean cafe. The studio was brought on board to create the interiors for a new branch of the On Ne Sait Jamais cafe chain in Gyeonggi.
Read the full article here
Corsica rail upgrade
French engineer Systra has been awarded a contract to project manage the installation of a train management system for Corsican Railways over a seven-year period. The development aims to meet increasing demand on the island, where ridership has increased by more than 50% in five years. Read the full article