It goes without saying that a happy worker, is a hard worker. Putting in the necessary steps to ensure that your construction site meets the needs of your workforce will undoubtedly increase productivity and efficiency levels. Nic Marks of the New Economic Foundation argues that “people who are happier at work are more productive – they are more engaged, more creative, have better concentration”. Taking the simplest of steps to keep your workforce satisfied and happy will contribute to the productivity of all construction sites, and simultaneously ensure that you will be complying with the relevant legislation and health and safety regulations.
In England and Wales, 2007 saw the ban on smoking in public spaces enforced, which naturally encompasses the workplace and construction sites. Smoking in the workplace can quite literally divide a workforce and it is vital that the needs of both smoking and non-smoking workers are adequately met. It also important that your site is compliant with the legislation and guidelines surrounding smoking in the workplace, for which further details can be found here.
While it is important that the needs of all workers are taken into consideration, with regards to smoking, the focus needs to remain firmly with non-smokers. Employees and site managers must take the adequate steps to ensure that an appropriate space is allocated for the use of smokers, whilst ensuring that second-hand smoke is not going to cause a nuisance or a health hazard to other members of the workforce. Hiring a smoking shelter for the duration of a building project, such as those provided by Bespoke Shelters (who specialise in construction site smoking shelters) will satisfy the needs of all workers, whilst ensuring that your site is complying with the relevant legislation.
Toilets. Every worker needs to be able to access one and although a building site throws up the obvious problem that there may not even be a toilet, again employers and site managers must take the necessary steps to ensure the appropriate facilities are made available. Specific legislation is also relevant with regards to toilet facilities. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines the specific requirements for toilets in the workplace, based on the number of workers and whether the workforce is all male or of mixed gender. Further details of these requirements outlined by the HSE can be found here.
Depending on whether you’re working in England and Wales or in Scotland, the guidelines can vary. HSE requires that Scottish construction sites are legally obliged to provide hot wash portable toilets, which companies like Nixon Toilet Hire offer as part of their portable toilet hire range. The firm also stock chemical toilets, which can be used when mains access is not available and are the natural solution to the problems that are thrown up by working on a construction site and will adequately comply with regulations outside of Scotland. Providing access to a clean and functioning toilet is a basic necessity, but one that is vitally necessary to the wellbeing of your workforce.
Taking into consideration the most basic of individual needs takes little time and little action. Nevertheless, such simple measures will dramatically increase the satisfaction and wellbeing of a workforce, leading to better results and success.
BRE is encouraging UK construction businesses to come forward to showcase their most innovative and sustainable technologies in a new eco-city in China whose developer it is working in partnership.
Suppliers from the UK and elsewhere in the world could have their technologies featured in the Sustainable Building Exhibition Centre in the £6bn Meixi Lake Eco-City, a new community being built by Franshion, one of China’s biggest state-owned developers.
The exhibition centre itself is designed to be an exemplar of sustainability and low carbon construction, built to both BREEAM and China’s 3 Star green building standard. Called the Living Lattice, the £20m flagship building is designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with local detailed design by the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science (SRIBS).
The building is intended to show best practice to a wide audience and to communicate the vision for the eco-city, which comprises nearly 15m sq m of development, and will eventually have a population of more than 300,000.
BRE director Jaya Skandamoorthy said: “This is a significant opportunity for businesses to promote their innovation and expertise to a massive and highly influential developer and wider audience in China. BRE wants to hear about the most exciting technologies out there for what promises to be an extremely high profile project. ”
The worker, who does not want to be named, had been employed for just two weeks by Solar Fit PV Ltd and had no experience in solar panel installation. He was crawling on all fours, cutting rails for the panels, when he suddenly heard a crack as the roof gave way.
Luckily he landed, still on hands and knees, on a layer pig sh*t, which cushioned his fall against the concrete below and prevented severe injury.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigating the incident at Rotsea Carr Farm in Cranswick, East Yorkshire, on 23 July 2012 and subsequently prosecuted Solar Fit PV Ltd.
York Magistrates’ Court heard that Solar Fit had, three days earlier, taken measurements and started the installation of 100 solar panels on the roofs of two large pig sheds. On the morning of 23 July, the farm owner spoke to the firm’s director on site because he was unhappy with the way they had been working on the shed roof. He warned that the two roofs were fragile and no work should take place without using crawl boards, which he made available.
HSE found Solar Fit took no action as a result of this advice and both the director and the inexperienced employee carried on working unsafely on the roof. The director then left the site and instructed the man to level the rail already on the roof and chop further rails for the panels.
The worker was continuing with the task, unsupervised, when the roof collapsed beneath him. He suffered a radial fracture to his left elbow and bruising to his legs. He has since recovered and found work elsewhere.
HSE found no precautions had been taken to prevent falls through the fragile roof and there was no edge protection along the ridge or to the left of the roof. A hand rail to the right of the roof only extended partway.
Solar Fit PV Ltd, of Fox Oak Park, Common Road, Dunnington, York, was yesterday fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,585 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Andy Denison said: “This worker was extremely fortunate not to have suffered more severe injuries in a fall of four metres. It could even have proved fatal. Solar Fit PV Ltd failed to assess the risks before this job started and therefore failed to plan it properly and ensure it was carried out safely. They then chose to ignore the farmer’s warnings and use the crawlboards he had left for their use.
“The company left an inexperienced worker alone to work on the roof without suitable safety measures in place, having told him to walk on the purlins – which is extremely dangerous.
“Falls through fragile roofs and rooflights account for some 22% of falls from height in the construction industry – or seven deaths and around 300 major injuries a year.”
Construction output volume in the UK is now estimated to be at its lowest level in over 14 years, as figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter declines.
At the same time, the latest Construction Trade Survey from the Construction Products Association has also suggested that activity in the majority of the UK construction industry fell during the first quarter of this year, with the effect of falling demand exacerbated by the adverse impact of poor weather.
The UK government’s ONS has found that at 2005-based prices, the seasonally adjusted estimated total volume of construction output in the first quarter of 2013 was 2.4% lower than the fourth quarter of 2012.
The ONS said the volume of construction output was now estimated to be at its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 1998.
The private-commercial other new work segment, which accounts for approximately 22% of total construction output, is now 38% below its peak in 2008, and at its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 1997. Other new work excludes the housing and infrastructure sectors but includes construction of factories, warehouses, schools, offices, etc.
The quarter-on-quarter fall into the first quarter of 2013 was dominated by a decline in all new work, which fell 3.2%. The ONS said there were falls in almost all sectors, with the exception of private housing repair and maintenance, which showed a modest increase of 0.4%.
Comparing the first quarter of 2013 to the same period a year earlier, the estimated volume of construction output decreased by 6.5%. New work was lower by 7.8%, with large falls in public other new work (down 19.2%) and private-commercial other new work (down 7.8%). There was also a 4.1% decrease in repair and maintenance, mainly thanks to a 6.9% fall in the repair and maintenance of housing.
Andrew Duncan, managing director of property at management consultancy Turner & Townsend, said, “After a brief burst of growth at the end of last year, the construction industry started 2013 with high hopes.
“In the event it leapt out of the blocks and sprinted backwards. The numbers are now truly dire.”
However, he said there had been some signs of improving activity at the very front end of the industry in April.
“But the pipeline is long, and it will take a long time for this to translate into significant growth,” he added.
David Crosthwaite, an economist with property and construction consultancy AECOM, said, “While there may be some encouraging signs in the wider economy, if slightly muted, then the latest statistical release for the construction industry makes pretty grim reading.
“However, on a brighter note, it appears that the levels of year-on-year declines may be slowing from double digit to single digit falls. So perhaps we are nearing the bottom of the slump?”
In the latest Construction Trade Survey from the UK’s Construction Products Association, it found that 10% of building contractors reported that, on balance, output in private commercial work continued to fall, yet all building output flatlined.
It reported that private housing, and non-housing repair and maintenance were the worst hit sectors for building contractors, with 29% and 12% respectively reporting falls in output, on balance.
In the first quarter, 39% of heavy and 38% of light side manufacturers reported an annual contraction in sales, on balance, while civil engineering workloads were broadly flat in the first quarter for a second consecutive period, with a balance of 1% recorded.
A quarter of contractors reported that, on balance, orders fell in the first quarter, while 11% of large and medium-sized building contractors, on balance, suggested that tender prices reduced in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 43% in in the previous quarter.
Then, 43% of building contractors, on balance, reported rises in costs – an increase from 30% in the fourth quarter of 2013, and 27% of contractors, on balance, reported falls in profit margins, down from 46%.
Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said, “The weather in January and March undoubtedly had a negative effect on activity in construction and, as a result, we would expect to see a degree of catch-up in the second quarter.
“However, prospects for this year are still poor, with a subdued private sector and continuing austerity affecting most sectors of the industry. Overall, construction output is expected to fall 2% this year but private housing and infrastructure are potentially looking more positive and could be drivers of growth for the industry next year.”
He added that product manufacturers were looking forward with some optimism and were expecting exports to boost sales.
South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy in Wolverhampton, West Midlands has been shortlisted for the 2013 Structural Steel Design Awards.
Located in an economically deprived area to the south of Wolverhampton, the £25 million ($38.92 million) 1200 place new-build South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy is a part of the Wolverhampton’s Building Schools for the Future programme.
The design has created four learning zones with a floor level to each of the zones. On each level, class-bases wrap around a more open central area, with a series of voids opening up double height and triple height top-lit spaces interspersed with centralised accommodation: lecture theatre, hall and café spaces.
Working with the slope of the site, the main entrance is located at first floor level, which provides views from the entrance foyer down into the double height engineering hall.
It features platforms at different levels, which provide views between differing floor levels, whilst wide internal staircases work as links between floors. It provides both additional informal lecture areas and intuitive wayfinding.
The objective of the Structural Steel Design Awards is to celebrate the excellence of the UK in the field of steel construction, particularly demonstrating its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics, sustainability and innovation.
The winners of the award will be announced on 9 July 2013.
What was he thinking?
Photos of a man riding a man basket on a tower crane at Bauma,but not in the usual way.
He was spotted by a few people riding the roof/top of the man basket on the hook of a Wolffkran tower crane at the show.
According to the photographer, when the man basket touched down on the roof of the booth, the man fell off his perch onto the roof. We assume that if so he was unhurt.
Why people do this at all is mystifying, but at a major trade show is even harder to fathom.
NBN Co has unveiled the names of the communities that are next in line to receive high-speed fibre optic broadband.
More than 1.35 million premises have been added to the rollout in the updated three-year plan. The plan adds almost 190 new towns and groups of suburbs, as well as more homes and businesses in areas covered by the previous plan.
View our interactive NBN map
This brings to 4.85 million the number of premises that will have construction commenced or where services can be ordered by June 2016.
For more detailed information about the rollout footprint visit When do I get it?”.
NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, said, in a statement: “We’re getting on with the job of rolling out the NBN in every state and territory. Our plan is to deliver better broadband to every Australian over the remaining 8 years of this 10-year build.”
In areas where the fibre network has been up and running for more than 12 months, about one-third of eligible families have already purchased an NBN package.
“Furthermore, a third of people with an NBN fibre connection have subscribed to the fastest speeds available,”Quigley said. And households in the NBN fibre footprint are downloading around 50 per cent more data than the average Australian broadband user every month. According to a recent study of the first release site in Brunswick, Melbourne, nearly half of existing NBN users polled said household Internet costs were roughly the same since switching to the NBN, and 14 per cent were paying less by using an internet phone service instead of a separate land line.
Generally, those paying more were willing to do so to get higher speeds or larger download allowances.
The new locations were announced at an event in Blacktown, NSW, to mark the connection of the first area of metropolitan Sydney to the NBN.
A derelict house has been brought back to life by dedicated construction students.
The dwelling in Maltby, Rotherham, was transformed into two flats by apprentices from the Rotherham College of Arts and Technology – who will now live in the home they helped to create.
The flats, located on Alexandra Street, were unveiled in a special ceremony last week.
And the project, part of the HOPE strategy created by the college, Rotherham Council and charity Action Housing and Support is also set to continue helping people in the future.
The house was the first-ever to be transformed as part of the strategy.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion, who presented the apprentices with certificates after the homes were unveiled, told them: “I am hugely proud to be here today.
“I think that this is typical in Rotherham.
“All of you, I know you have had challenges you have had to overcome. You are role models to all of us.
“I am really proud to be part of this.”
Rotherham Council donated two houses in Maltby to Action Housing and Support, which works with vulnerable individuals to provide them with support, accommodation, advice and related services.
Another house in the area will also be transformed by students for ex-offenders to live in following their release from prison.
The project gives apprentices the chance to experience on-the-job training rather than only that of college courses and workshops.
Gwilym Griffith, chairman of the board of trustees at Action Housing and Support, officially opened the new home.
It was followed by a networking lunch at the college’s Wharncliffe training restaurant in Rotherham town centre where Ms Champion then presented the certificates.
The Jubilee Line will shut for 30 days over the next two years while £40m of repair work is carried out to the tunnel walls.
Transport for London said the cast iron tunnel linings are being eroded by acidic water.
Services will be halted between Finchley Road and Waterloo in central London during a series of staged shutdowns to carry-out the repairs.
The first shutdown will be Sunday June 16.
The acidic water comes from naturally occurring ground water seeping in from surrounding soil.
TfL engineers are concerned about the state of more than 90 yards of the southbound tunnel between Baker Street and Bond Street.
The Standard reported that a notice issued to staff by Tube Lines, the LU subsidiary company responsible for the Jubilee line, confirms the tunnel has been “affected by acid ingress”.
Sections of tunnel linings will now have to be replaced.
Stuart Harvey, LU programme director for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, said: “All railways require maintenance and we will soon be carrying out work on the tunnel lining on a section of the Jubilee line.
“I apologise to customers for the disruption. We’ll be keeping the impact to a minimum by spreading the work out.”
More than 70 construction workers were involved in the building of AGC Chemicals’ new Fenix Fluor Ltd plant at Thornton.
The facility will produce raw materials for AGC’s Fluon branded fluoropolymer products, which employs 190 at the site and is a joint venture with international chemicals group Mexichem Fluor.
The Fluoropolymer chemicals are used in wire coating in cars, aeroplanes and space vehicles as well as in buildings such as the O2 Arena and the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Hiroyuki Okuno, President of AGC Chemicals Europe, said: “We are pleased to have secured local production and supply of the key raw material for the production of Fluon PTFE and ETFE.
“This is a strategic move to strengthen the supply chain that delivers top quality fluoropolymers to our European customer base from the plant in Thornton.”
Mr Fallon said: “The UK’s globally competitive chemicals sector is worth over £40bn a year and remains a key driver for growth.
“New projects such as Fenix Fluor demonstrate the confidence that global companies like Mexichem Fluor have in the UK as a place to do business and expand their operations, while creating valuable jobs.”
The All-Energy 2013 conference will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 22-23 May.
All-Energy exhibition director Jonathan Heastie commented: “We are well aware that the Scottish Government has set an ambitious target to reduce total final energy consumption in Scotland over the period to 2020 by 12 per cent, and set out a wide-ranging programme of activity on behaviour change.
“All-Energy will highlight some of the products and services that will help organisations of all sizes change their behaviour; and in seminar and conference sessions we will be helping those responsible in organisations by sessions on policy, on products and services there to help, and with case histories too.”
All-Energy 2012 attracted 8,322 people from 49 countries of which 24 per cent expressed an interest in energy efficiency and 20 per cent opted for energy management.
Construction is the second noisiest occupation in the UK, just behind airport ground work, new research has revealed.
The use of hammer drills can expose construction workers to noise levels up to 120 decibels (dB), only slightly less than airport ground staff directing jets in landing and take-off, who are subjected to noise levels up to 140 dB – more than 1000 times the sound energy at the noisiest of music events.
Construction workers fare only just better than farm hands who feed pigs; the noise from the animals squealing can reach 105 dB, while there is a significant risk to health at noise exposure levels above 85 dB.
The research, carried out in advance of International Noise Awareness Day (24 April) by noise-management solutions company Echo Barrier, shows that construction workers face potential serious health problems if they are not protected from the noise that they are exposed to on a daily basis on building sites.
Peter Wilson, technical director at Echo Barrier, said he hoped the research would help raise awareness among the general public of the issue of noise and the risks it poses.
He said: “Working for years in a noisy job significantly increases the risk of serious hearing difficulties. Workers can lessen the risk by protecting ears with earplugs or other hearing-protection devices at all times, but employers need to be aware of how damaging noise pollution can be – and not just for their employees.”
He added that people who come into contact with a noisy place of work, such as a building site, can also suffer negative health effects. “Noise can cause headaches, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, depression and insomnia,” he explained.
According to the HSE, noise-induced hearing loss is one of the biggest occupational health problems facing the UK, with 19,000 cases caused, or made worse by work between 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Safety product supplier Arco has developed an Expert Guide to provide guidance on managing and preventing hearing loss in the workplace. Sally Clayton, hearing product manager at Arco said: “While noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and irreversible, it is also preventable. It is a gradual process that can take between 10 and 20 years to surface and, sadly, by that time, it is often too late to reverse.
“While ensuring employees are adequately protected, there are also several things businesses can do to limit the number of people exposed to high levels of noise, including adopting working hours to restrict noisy activities to certain periods of the day and reducing the need for noisy assembly practices by fabricating off-site where possible. After these preventative measures have been taken, protective equipment will help to protect from the residual risks.”
The NCC Koggen 2 project in Sweden has been achieved BREEAM Excellent – reportedly the highest level received by an office building in the Nordic region.
Koggen 2 in Malmö features a carefully selected structural system and climate shell. Using geothermal heating, it has an energy consumption of 34 kWh per sq m, nearly half of the requirements in Boverket´s Building Regulations.
The building also has a green roof, with a special selection of plants to increase biological diversity.
The Koggen 2 property, comprising 8,100 sq m of space distributed on six storeys, was sold to Vasakronan in 2012. The premises are included in the Future Office by NCC offering, a Nordic concept aimed at creating attractive and sustainable workplaces for customers.
NCC senior vice-president corporate sustainability Christina Lindbäck said: “The certification is the result of NCC’s proactive ambition to become the leading company in the environmental area.
“All our commercial buildings have to achieve at least the BREEAM Very Good level. Earlier this year, NCC achieved the highest BREEAM certification for an industrial building in Sweden and the Nordic region.
“Being first to achieve Excellent for an office property is without doubt an “excellent” continuation of our environmental journey.”
For those wanting the accuracy of a resistive screen stylus when working on small areas of the tablet/touch screen device or for when drawing, surveying and many other tasks, the standard capacitive screen stylii have not been the ideal tool. However, now Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd have sourced a brand new DAGI Stylus that works on most capacitive screen/touch screen devices, but gives the accuracy of a resistive screen stylus. So the best of both worlds.
Three models are now available in the UK
DAGI P504 (Apple Asus HTC …plus many others compatible stylus)
DAGI P602 (Apple Asus HTC …plus many others compatible stylus)
DAGI P603 (Universal stylus with ball pen)
Seven years ago, in December 2006, the Government made a commitment to ensure all new build homes would reach a ‘zero carbon’ target by 2016. They introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is a national standard for sustainable design that aims to reduce carbon emissions and promote energy saving solutions. The code defines nine measures of sustainable design, including energy/CO2, water, materials, waste and pollution, against which all new homes would be rated.
Since this announcement there have been huge steps taken towards achieving the target in both the design and construction industries.
In 2011, the coalition government redefined the term zero carbon to exclude non-regulated energy use, such as energy used in cooking, and last year, the government consulted on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations for 2013, which included proposals to reduce carbon emissions in new domestic builds.
After the 2016 deadline, the next big aim for the low carbon strategy is to reduce UK housing emissions by as much as 80% by the year 2050. So what steps can home builders take to reduce the emissions from their new build properties to achieve the 2016 target and stay on track with the continuing low carbon strategy?
The Chartered Institute of Building believes that taking advantage of renewable energy, such as natural lighting and ventilation, as well as passive cooling, can help to deliver on the Government’s promise, whilst others believe more innovative and extensive steps must be taken.
There are 3 different types of approach to reducing carbon emissions in new build properties, Extreme (Low Carbon) Technologies, Extreme Fabric and Balanced. The Balanced approach is widely applicable and fully conforms to the 2016 objectives. It includes low to zero carbon energy technologies, such as:
In this year’s budget the government again reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that all new builds reach an acceptable zero carbon standard by 2016. That’s why it is essential that the way developers construct new builds is carefully considered, ensuring that they comply not only with the goal for 2016, but also with the design plans to help them reduce energy expenditure.
One of the biggest concerns at the minute is that there seems to be a gap between the emissions targets much newer sustainable housing is designed to meet, and the way they are actually built.
That’s why Communities Minister, Don Foster, recently pledged to improve energy efficiency levels in new homes by closing this gap, resulting in up to a £100 per year reduction in energy bills for homeowners. Speaking at the ‘Eco-build’ Green Building Conference on the 6th March 2013, he introduced a plan for the government to work with the manufacturing and construction industries to find out where and why some new build properties are failing to reach the energy targets, whether it be the materials used or the actual construction methods.
New build homes in the UK are amongst the best in Europe, and already conform to extremely high energy and quality standards – but as we edge closer toward the 2016 deadline and with Foster’s plan to ensure materials, products and building performance meet the design standards, we can expect a huge step up in relation to energy savings and efficiency.
Tata Steel has released a new CPD module for construction professionals, available from the Colorcoat® technical support team and created to help design teams understand and apply the most suitable renewable energy technologies for integration with the Building Envelope. The module, accredited by the Royal Institution of British Architects (RIBA), explains how project teams can integrate renewable energy technology into the envelope of their buildings. Ian Clarke, part of the Colorcoat® technical support team commented: “Renewable energy generation is now a vital part of the UK’s push to construct zero carbon buildings. Government targets, as well as client demand, driven by rising energy prices and concern over the energy gap, mean that project teams must now have the knowledge and capabilities to incorporate this technology from the earliest stage of design.” Changes to the Government’s Building Regulations Part L are also expected to make building-integrated renewable energy generation technologies an increasingly important tool in meeting the requirements. Ian Clarke continues: “The scope to further improve energy savings through air tightness and insulation from the envelope is diminishing. In the most part, any efficiencies possible through these methods have already been found and utilised. It’s important that design teams can now look to renewable energy generation solutions such as active solar air heating systems and photovoltaics to bring further energy savings.” The new CPD module developed by Tata Steel is aimed at architects and design teams and looks at the importance of incorporating renewable energy generating technology into the building envelope. It provides an overview of Transpired Solar Collector and Photovoltaic technologies, which are the two most appropriate renewable energy systems for integration with pre-finished steel cladding, as well as giving typical payback in terms of expenditure and CO2 emissions. To register for a CPD seminar visit www.colorcoat-online.com/cpdseminars
Two of Knightstone’s developments in Bristol have been nominated for Considerate Constructors Awards. The developments are West Street, the first train and build scheme for ex-service personnel, and J3, our iconic development in Easton. Knightstone worked with contractors Leadbitter, part of the Bouygues Construction Group, on both sites.
The Considerate Constructors Scheme is the national initiative set up by the construction industry to improve its image. The Scheme’s annual National Site Awards recognise sites’ exceptional standards of consideration towards local neighbourhoods and the general public, the workforce and the environment.
Mike Day, Director of Development and Homeownership, said: “We’re really pleased that these schemes have been put forward for the National Site Awards. We’re exceptionally proud of both schemes and the contributions that they make to the local area.
“West Street is the first train and build scheme of its kind, to accommodate homeless ex-servicemen. We’re delighted to have helped 10 individuals build their own homes, learn new skills and gain qualifications to help them back into the community and into work.
“J3 is a major development of 59 new affordable homes, a library and learning resource centre and seven commercial units. It brings something new and exciting to a previously deprived area and Bristol. We’ve worked hard with Leadbitter, Bristol City Council and the local communities to ensure that the development becomes a real asset in the area.”
The award ceremony will take place in London on 24 April 2013.
THE weather-hit construction industry’s grim start to the year was highlighted in figures for February showing a 7% slide in output on a year ago.
While the sector grew by 5.5% when compared with the result in snow-bound January, the performance of firms is still down 16% on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the Office for National Statistics said.
Construction accounts for just under 7% of GDP and has contracted by 16.5% when comparing the last quarter of 2012 with the first quarter of 2008.
The February result has renewed fears that construction will be a serious drag on hopes of avoiding a return to recession.
Figures due on April 25 are expected to show growth of just 0.1% after the decline of 0.3% in the final quarter of 2012.
A man fell to his death on Friday after a beam falling from a bridge struck the boom lift that he was working from on an Interstate overpass, near Hebron, Ohio.
The man, Micah Montgomery, 34, was apparently not hit by the beam, but died from blunt force injuries arising from his fall.
Construction workers who helped rebuild Brazil’s Maracana stadium will play in the first match to be staged there later this month, Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of State for Sport Andre Lazaroni said on Thursday.
The rebuilding of one of the world’s iconic stadiums, which will host the World Cup final next year as well as matches in the 2016 Olympics, has been beset by problems but is now expected to be finished by April 24.
The first match there is a test game on April 27 when a team representing two of Brazil’s greats – Ronaldo and Bebeto – will feature and some of the construction workers will be included alongside the old-time players.
“It is our way of saying thank you to the workers,” Lazaroni told delegates at the Soccerex European business forum.
Last month world soccer’s ruling body FIFA confirmed the Maracana, due to stage matches in June’s Confederations Cup, would finally be ready after months of delays and setbacks.
“The stadium will be a Temple of Football,” Lazaroni added. “The first event is a closed event on April 27 just for the workers and their families.”
The world record for any match was established at the old Maracana for the final of the 1950 World Cup when Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1, with an attendance listed as between 199,000 and 205,000.
The new stadium boasts 80,000 seats and the first major game there will be a friendly between Brazil and England on June 2.