In brief

Construction news in brief


New marketplace
Launched January 2017, a new website has been created to bridge the gap between construction employers and experienced tradespeople looking for work. www. esubbie.com brings together construction workers and the companies who need them; allowing for direct communication between the two without using an agency.

Garages or flats?
Councils are sitting on more than 22,000 empty garages in London, with total local authority stock equivalent to at least 16,000 homes if converted into the average one-bed flat, according to new research by Property Partner.

One example is Southwark Council, which has 29 per cent standing empty. If all its lock-ups were turned into single-storey one-bed flats, the total square footage would potentially equate to at least 1989 new homes (if it was feasible for them to be built).

Antarctic project
Sweco has partnered with BAM, which has been appointed to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Construction Partner framework, to provide design and construction services for the modernisation of research facilities in the Antarctic. The £100 million programme, commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), will take place over the next ten years and will enable British scientists to continue vital research into major issues facing the planet.

£700m scheme go-ahead
National design practice WCEC Architects is welcoming the go-ahead for the second phase of the £700m Middlewood Locks urban regeneration project in Salford. The practice is working with client Scarborough Group International to transform a major gateway site into Manchester city centre with a mix of around 2500 homes alongside offices, shops, restaurants and a hotel.

Middlewood Locks is a joint venture – called FairBriar International – between Scarborough, Hualing Group, and Metro Holdings, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group. Construction is by Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. Enabling work on the first phase started in April with a view to the first residents moving in from late 2018.

Technical project
ISG has been awarded a £21.7 million scheme to modernise and extend a 1930s office building close to London’s Fenchurch Street Station. The transformation and upgrade of Walsingham House sees ISG carefully demolish the interior structure of the building, whilst cleaning and restoring the attractive Portland stone façade. New piled foundations will enable the construction of a steel frame structure, adding two additional floors to the existing eight-storey building. Other upgrades include glazing with high performance units sympathetic to the original art deco window designs.