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Randall McMullan

Contracting in New Zealand

Project Management, Civil Engineering, Professionals

Randall McMullan Education adviser and Writer Randall has written many books on technology, computing, education and training. Most recently Environmental Science in Building, which covers the science, technology and services that relate to our human comfort and the environmental performance of buildings. Recently I have been doing involuntary professional development as I supervise Block Courses…


UK Winter Electricity Blackouts

Civil Engineering

Britain may have to rely on costly emergency measures to keep the lights on during winter after spare capacity in the power market is surplus to demand. Power stations operating under normal market conditions will produce barely enough electricity to meet peak demand following a series of coal plant closures, National Grid analysis shows. The “spare margin” between peak electricity…


Would you live in a house clinging to a cliff?

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

A design for a home anchored to a sheer cliff face offers a striking vista. But what would it take to live in such a place, asks Jon Kelly. For sale: distinctive seaside property with spectacular coastal views. Would suit high-value buyer untroubled by vertigo. So far it only exists as a concept, but the…

Josh Trimmer

Becoming a CIOB Member

Student Experiences, Building Surveying, Professionals, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

Josh Trimmer Site Manager at Morgan Sindall (Construction & Infrastructure) For students, graduates and young professionals there are some really great opportunities available within the construction industry and in the early stages of your career the most important thing is to broaden your horizons, soak up as much information as you can and gain as…


How to Stop Contaminated Plastics Entering Your Manufacturing Process


Up until now there hasn’t been a cost effective way to stop incorrect materials entering your production facility…NOW there is and it’s called the identiPolQA2 If you are unfamiliar with the identiPolQA2 please let me explain how it can help you to avoid incorrect / contaminated plastics entering your manufacturing process which in return could…

Planning and Permitted Development

Professionals, Building Surveying

Industry experts, here to aid yourself with Planning and Building Regulations advice to help you find to the best solution. Whilst the purpose of town planning is about regulating, there are some types of development that are automatically permitted. Known as Permitted Development Rights, this allows the householder to make some “minor” changes to their…

julian owen

Are Architects Needed?

Professionals, Architecture

Article by Julian Owen There are two crucial choices that you will have to make when you embark on a building project. The selection of the builder is probably the most important, but running a close second is finding the person who will create the design and prepare the detailed drawings for the builder to…


Securing a Full Time Construction Job after University

Student Experiences, Professionals, Quantity Surveying

I graduated from the University of Reading in July 2011 in Construction Management and Surveying (CM & QS pathway). I was fortunate to secure a full time job with Civil Engineering Contractor, BAM Nuttall who I am currently working for as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor and studying for my charter with the RICS. I am…

What is the difference between Dry and Wet Rot?

Student Experiences, Building Surveying, Professionals

Rot is one of the major causes of timber decay in old and even modern buildings. The two most common types of wood rot include wet rot and dry rot, which are caused by fungal decay in building timbers. Dry Rot Is only caused by serpula lacrymans (see page two for more details) and is the most serious…


Women in Construction – Can we do more?

While the last five years has seen some progress, there is still a paucity of women working in construction. The image and public perception of the industry as male-dominated still plays a part and there is work to be done to ensure we’re attracting the best candidates from both genders. But let’s start on a…


Bricklaying Robot Designed to Improve Safety and Efficiency

Professionals, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering

Inspired by the lack of new technology in the construction business, a student at the University of Toronto designed a bricklaying robot that could help automatize masonry. This technology could easily reduce costs, improve quality, and reduce the need for skilled labor. Bricklaying is highly repetitive and physically exhaustive, therefore, it is logical to consider…

Civil Engineering (Spaghetti) Bridge Testing

How to Build a Spaghetti Bridge

Student Experiences, Civil Engineering

Fancy a challenge? Dry spaghetti is very brittle and breaks easily, but by gluing the strands together to create different shapes, you can make a model bridge that can hold a surprising amount of weight. Students of all ages compete in spaghetti bridge-building contests every year. Part of the fun of building a spaghetti bridge…


What is the O&M Manual ?

Project Management, Academics, Professionals

The operation and maintenance manual (O&M Manual) defines the requirements and procedures for the effective operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of the building. The operating and maintenance manual includes details of the building’s construction, history and maintenance, instructions for its operation and maintenance, and guarantees and warranties. When any significant building work is undertaken, either…


Deaf Teen Nails Dream Job As Apprentice

Student Experiences, Building Surveying, Project Management

Being profoundly deaf hasn’t stopped a teenager from Linlithgow, West Lothian, securing his dream job in construction. Fraser Gunn, 19, who has a cochlear implant, is working as an apprentice joiner with national housing developer and regeneration specialist Lovell. His traineeship is proving so successful that the teenager is encouraging other deaf young people to…


Grandma discovers untouched retro games arcade in her new building


Purchasing real estate can often score some surprise abandoned stuff left by the previous owner and one arcade fan has just hit jackpot as the grandmother of his girlfriend discovered an untouched 1980′s retro games arcade in her new building. She bought an abandoned building in the Chiba prefecture in Japan (just outisde of Tokyo)….


This British startup is building a super solar material

Professionals, Architecture

Perovskite — have you heard of it? It’s a material that is getting a lot of buzz in the world of solar research. Now a U.K. solar startup plans to bring what it believes is a game-changing technology to make perovskite solar cells to the market. Two years ago, British researcher and entrepreneur Henry Snaith,…


Top 10 Tips to Working in the Middle East?

Student Experiences, Academics, Professionals, Quantity Surveying

Dr.Tahir Hanif PhD MSc MCIOB MAPM MACostE MIC CMC MRICS In 2010, I took a plane from London Heathrow and traded my daily commute of 4 hours a day to take up a job in the sunny desert State of Qatar. Prior to taking up this position, I had been working in London for the…


Brazil’s empty world cup stadiums to become affordable-housing

Professionals, Civil Engineering

The World Cup in Brazil has come to end and now that the final whistle has been blown, Brazil are going to be left with a total of 12 stadiums that have been built or modified especially for the World Cup itself. So what is going to happen to the stadiums? Well two architects have come up…


China Rotated a 17,000-ton Bridge

Professionals, Civil Engineering

Incredible engineering: China rotated a 17,000-ton bridge into place after its construction China have astonished the world with another engineering masterpiece. They built a section of a gigantic overpass and slowly otated it into place once it was completed. This is the first time this technique was used in Asia and the second worldwide. The…


World’s Largest Bamboo Structure – 5,000 arms

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

Artists Mike and Doug Starn just built the largest bamboo structure ever out of 10,000 bamboo poles and 80,000 meters of climbing rope. Over the course of seven weeks, 25 rock climbers built the 17-meter-high installation without using a single architectural sketch. 5,000 Arms to Hold You was built at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and visitors are welcome to navigate…


Having a Wales of a Time – Bouncing beneath Blaenau

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

It’s already home to the world’s longest zip-wire, now Blaenau Ffestiniog boasts what is believed to be the world’s largest underground trampoline in the abandoned Llechwedd slate quarry. Bouncing beneath Blaenau.  Blaenau Ffestiniog is a historic mining town in Gwynedd, Wales. Visitors will be taken deep inside the mountain via train to discover a set of three enormous trampolines, suspended like…


Green Roof Art School in Singapore

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

If art school was in our future we might opt to study under, or on top of, the amazing green roof at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This 5 story facility sweeps a wooded corner of the campus with an organic, vegetated form that blends landscape and structure,…


Top 10 Heaviest Concrete Structures in the World

Professionals, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering

By Matt Shaw How Much Does Your Concrete Structure Weigh? Bill Gates can now add to the list of his many accomplishments the title of architecture critic, having recently written a piece for the online publisher Quartz. Called “Have you hugged a concrete pillar today?” the review is based upon “Making the Modern World: Materials…


The cola-bow installation by Penda at Student Beijing Design Exhibition

Student Experiences, Architecture, Professionals

The cola-bow is a public art installation made out of more than 17.000 recycled plastic bottles, which were braided to create a shape inspired by the swings of the Coca-Cola logo.  The cola-bow is a public art installation made out of more than 17.000 recycled plastic bottles, which were braided to create a shape inspired…


My first Year Studying Architectural Technology

Student Experiences, Architecture

The reason I choose the Architectural Technology course over architecture was because it goes beyond just designing, you look at each element of construction. Before university, I was in 6th form doing my A-Levels; Art, Physics, Maths and Chemistry. For as long as I remember I wanted to do Architecture at University, therefore I spent a…


Any Surface Could Become A Touchscreen (VIDEO)

Professionals, Academics

We have seen surfaces become transformed into large touchscreens on movies, but now it seems that this tech may not be too far into the future in real life thanks to Metaio, an augmented reality company. They have revealed plans of work they are doing on what they have called Thermal Touch. This would mean…


The Most Spectacular Infinity Pool Ever

Project Management, Architecture

This incredible infinity pool belongs to the Mirage house, which will be built on the Greek island of Tinos. Exactly the place I want to be right now! This 2,131-square-foot cavernous house designed by Kois Associated Architects is conceived as an invisible oasis, most of the building is buried in the landscape, so the residents can enjoy panoramic views over…


Child’s Play Produces 3D-Print Lego, K’Nex and More

Civil Engineering, Architecture

Free Universal Construction Kit Makes Lego Inter-Operable, Geeks Happy Patented in 1958, it is widely believed that Lego is on its last legs. Predictions are that 3D printers will make Lego obsolete. And Lego is just one of many toy construction sets that provide an outlet for young and old alike. The company has been…

shaun 3

Student Designed ‘Pop up’ Urban Kitchen

Student Experiences, Architecture

The Nottingham Trent University first years students BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology worked on a live project to design a ‘pop-up’ cafe within Nottingham for a small successful business. The ‘pop-up’ kitchen was a brief given for their Design Studio Project 6 module, which collates to a third of their total year marks. The brief was to work…


Interview A – Z Guide

Student Experiences, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

Interviews are opportunities for employers to see you in person and check whether you match up to your application. They want to know if you are capable to do the job and if you will fit in with other employees. The better prepared you are, the better impression you make. Eye-contact, Know your interviewers names,…


Building With Engineered Timber

Civil Engineering

Building With Engineered Timber: The Graphite Apartments, a nine-story residential tower in London, is one of the tallest timber buildings in the world. It is constructed of factory-made solid-wood wall and floor panels called cross-laminated timber, or CLT. LONDON — Among the many apartment buildings in the London borough of Hackney, the nine-story structure on…


How Did Craig Enter The Construction Market? – Bexcopter

Student Experiences, Architecture, Project Management

Craig Hellen Operations Director at Bexcopter University of Portsmouth. BEXCOPTER IS AN UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS PRODUCTION COMPANY OFFERING FANTASTIC AERIAL VIDEO SOLUTIONS www.bexcopter.co.uk   /   Find me on LinkedIn   I studied Product Design and Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, graduated in 2007. Did you always want to be in Construction? If not what made you change… So we came…


The 3D printing pen creates solid drawings in the air.

Professionals, Academics, Architecture

A team of London-based designers claim to have created the world’s smallest 3D-printing pen – an anodised aluminium device called Lix that allows users to “doodle in the air”. Described by its creators as “a 3D printing pen or manual micro 3D printer”, the 16.4-centimetre-long Lix looks similar to an ordinary pen with a slim aluminium body and fine…


Solar Roadways Installs Energy Harvesting Car Parks

Professionals, Academics, Civil Engineering

About 8 years ago, an electrical engineer and his counselor wife started throwing around an idea to replace asphalt on highways and byways throughout the US with electricity-producing solar panels that were tough enough to be driven upon. The idea blossomed into a project, where the panels featured built-in LEDs that could “paint the road”…


Why Is This 100 Year Old Church Floating In The Air?

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Project Management

Ancient Church Floating 12m above ground. It weights almost 3500 Tons – That’s 25 Adult Blue Whales! Art installation? Trick photography? Nope, just a little restoration project going on at Utah’s Provo Temple, which was badly damaged in a fire in 2010. Thankfully, the Church of the Latter Day Saints is salvaging the 112-year-old building…


Ray O’Rourke gives rare TV interview


Ray O’Rourke has given a rare public insight into his rise from a “pony boy” working on London’s Victoria Line underground tunnel to heading the UK’s leading contractor. He also reveals that he found taking on Laing in 2001 a daunting task at first. The Laing O’Rourke chairman speaks of his admiration for fellow contractors from…


70% of BIM users say it gives them the edge in the Industry!

Quantity Surveying, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

National BIM Survey (NMS) reveals almost three quarters of industry professionals think BIM gives them a competitive advantage. Almost three quarters of firms using building information modelling (BIM) say it gives them a competitive advantage, according to new survey data unveiled by construction specification service NBS at BIM Show Live in Manchester. What is BIM?…


Caterpillar Jenga – Robot Wars Style

Professionals, Civil Engineering

Five Caterpillar Machines Play Jenga With 600-Pound Wooden Blocks. #BuiltForIt When you choose Cat®, you get  — durable and reliable equipment, and long-lasting relationships. Discover what we’re built for. Caterpillar Jenga, mixes up product demo with fun in a new “Built for It” trial, part of an ongoing campaign via Ogilvy that shows off how strong…


The Worlds First Airborne Wind Turbine


Altaeros Energie’s floating wind turbines tap into strong high altitude winds that brings power to remote areas Altaeros Energies, an alternative energy supply company, announces their BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) system that uses lightweight materials to harness the power of wind. In an effort to harness strong high-altitude winds, the company Altaeros Energies has developed a floating wind…


10 Things Not To Do In Your Interview

Student Experiences

It’s a potential life-changing event—yet so many people get it wrong. I’m talking about going for an interview for a position you really want; one that could have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life. So, why is it that so many prospective employees don’t seem to grasp the essentials of getting the…


A Gap On Your CV – James Caan

It’s everybody’s worst nightmare when they are asked the question: Why is there a gap on your CV? I have spoken to many people who are going for interviews and absolutely dread being asked about periods of time when they weren’t in work. However people may have a gap on their CV for a variety…


Honeycomb inspired lightweight material – Microarchitecture


Novel material with lower density than water found to be “stronger than high-performance steel or aluminium”. (Nanowerk News) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology researchers have developed microstructured lightweight construction materials of highest stability. Although their density is below that of water, their stability relative to their weight exceeds that of massive materials, such as high-performance steel…


Environmental Assessment

Student Experiences, Civil Engineering

By Lesley Thomson (Civil Engineering) – University of Manchester Development of a large [1.0-1.5 GW] thermal power station on a new green-field site to replace the generating capacity of several older and smaller electricity generating plants. Located near to or within a major urban area and are to be decommissioned within the next five years. Thermal…


Construction of the World’s Tallest Tower – Saudi Arabia

Professionals, Civil Engineering

by Kristine Lofgren After a few false starts and a lengthy delay, the world’s tallest tower has finally been given a start date to begin construction. When it is completed, the Kingdom Tower will eventually stretch 3,280 feet into the Saudi Arabian sky, but up until now it hasn’t even gotten off the desert floor. In 2012, crews sunk a…

Oaks Construction Management Ltd

Spring Grove House Restoration – BCU Students

Student Experiences, Project Management

The Bid Strategy module challenged 3rd year members on the construction course at Birmingham City University. They formed groups, created a construction company and bid for a project. The project brief was to restore a Georgian / Victorian building called Spring Grove House in West Midlands Safari Park, Worcestershire. The building was destroyed by a fire…


Ebbsfleet, Kent – 15,000 homes Garden City

Help to Buy Scheme – A garden city with an initial 15,000 homes will be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent, George Osborne has announced. Britain’s first new garden city in 100 years is to be built in Ebbsfleet in Kent, George Osborne has announced. The Chancellor announced plans to “build for Britain” by creating the…


My Architecture Work Experience

Student Experiences, Architecture

By Mitchell Searjeant (year 10) Throughout the work experience week, I have had the opportunity to work on multiple things and tasks throughout the office. Before I got there I did a survey of my house to measure everything out and be able to use it in the time that I would be there. This allowed me…


Construction Management Athletes – NTU

Student Experiences, Project Management

BSc (Hons) Construction Management second year Iain Weir and first year Tony Kirschstein-Smith have both benefited from the alumni fund. Iain Weir, a canoe sprinter says he “can’t wait for the year ahead” after receiving an Alumni Award for Sport. The funding will enable him to combine his sport with his studies. Keeping it in the…


Lego in your everyday life

Student Experiences, Civil Engineering

Have you seen the new Lego movie? Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects.Most people typically think of Lego as toys, however these multi-coloured building blocks are…

AFM Brochure images. Picture: Chris George Photography - Coast Media -

What is Facilities Management?

Project Management, Building Surveying, Professionals

Facilities management emphasises that every aspect and person involved in buildings and construction is of equal importance; there are no hierarchical inequalities. Therefore, unlike building maintenance, which is primarily concerned with preserving and restoring items; facilities management is holistic in nature. Facilities Management aims to provide an organisation, including its space, infrastructure and people, with…


Dispute Resolution in Construction

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

‘The construction industry is often regarded as claims oriented and a fertile ground for conflict and dispute’ (RICS, 2012). Considering the cost and distraction to a business in the event of a dispute and also the probable breakdown of business relationships; avoiding a dispute should be fundamental. However, Sir Michael Latham, a former Member of…

julian owen

How to Get Planning Permission for a Controversial Project

Professionals, Architecture

Article By Julian Owen. It is a fact that innovative or challenging private schemes often get disproportionate scrutiny from planners and the local community when compared to larger projects – making planning permission more difficult to achieve. The main reason for this is that these projects tend to be in nice areas in villages and suburbs…


Swiss scientists invent new solar power

Professionals, Academics, Civil Engineering

Researchers say newly invented technology has unprecedented efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity. Researchers in Switzerland say they they have found a far more efficient way of using solar power than ever achieved before. Imagine a power system that could harness the energy of 2,000 suns and provide fresh water and air conditioning in remote locations. Not…


Kalu Yala – Entrepreneurial Internships

Student Experiences

By Mia Sherman I graduated in July and went on to do a 3 month internship in Panama that I thought you’d be interested in. It’s an internship company that runs along side a property development company aiming to build a 100% sustainable town in a remote valley in Panama. The internship consists of working…


Termite robot builders

Professionals, Civil Engineering

Researchers at Harvard University have taken inspiration from the swarm construction method used by termites to create TERMES. These robots are intended as the first step in a project with the ultimate goal of creating a fully automated robotic workforce that can create complex structures without the need for centralised control. The robots are designed…


Concrete Canvas – Innovative & Flexible Concrete Infrastructure.

Student Experiences, Academics, Civil Engineering, Professionals

In 2004, whilst studying for postgraduate degrees in Industrial Design Engineering in London, Will Crawford and Peter Brewin developed an idea for a rapidly deployable emergency shelters made of a concrete-impregnated fabric. Nine years later, the concept has matured into an innovative, award-winning material technology that has dozens of applications in civil construction and remediation…


Tent to concrete shelter in 24 hours

Professionals, Civil Engineering

The past 12 months have seen a remarkable number of humanitarian crises with earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and deadly tornadoes in the southern US being among the most recent. Among new innovations which could help relief efforts is a fabric shelter that, when sprayed with water, turns to concrete within 24 hours. Invented…

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Construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

The Colorado River Bridge, part of the Hoover Dam bypass project, now diverts the majority of traffic off the dam. This engineering project, required the creation of a 1060-ft twin rib tubular concrete arch springing simultaneously from the Arizona and Nevada sides of the Black Canyon towards their eventual rendezvous approximately 850 feet over the Colorado…


How Do You Build a Tunnel Underwater?

Civil Engineering

Constructing underwater creates new challenges for Engineers. There are several ways to build tunnels underwater. One way is to build sections of tubes in advance, float them into position using tugboats, sink them, have divers go down and seal the sections together, and then pump the water out.  A more traditional way is to dig a tunnel far…


Construction of the Bay Bridge, San Francisco

Project Management, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is a complex steel and concrete bridge spanning  a total of 7.18 km (excluding approaches) over San Francisco Bay of the U.S. state of California.   Includes 10 lanes (5 in each direction), pedestrians and bicycle paths. It originally carried auto mobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and trains on the lower, but after the closure of the Key System transit lines,…

sam brickie

Sam’s Australian Journey

Student Experiences

Hello Construction Chatters! It has been a few months since I last introduced myself to you the CC readers and I have been asked to provide an update the going’s on in the life of The Apprentice-Ship. Of course I am more than happy to do so, its a pleasure. I received some heart warming…


Incredible Ice Architecture

Project Management, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals

The Icy winter weather is well on its way, but while most of us are turning up the thermostat, several creative designers are turning that below zero chill into incredible examples of ice architecture. We’ve scoured the world’s coldest corners to bring you a MC flurry of Buildings. TRON ICE HOTEL SUITE | Sweden With the…


Tenders & Build Costs

Quantity Surveying, Academics, Building Surveying, Professionals, Project Management

Article By Julian Owen. The biggest challenge presented by any building project is the risk of going over budget. It is all too common for unexpected costs to be revealed when quotes are received, or even after work has started. This article looks at what can be done to balance cost control with good quality, and…


10 Out of this World Office Ideas

Student Experiences, Academics, Architecture, Professionals, Project Management

Companies, particularly in the creative or tech industries, are ploughing money and energy into designing offices that look more like adult playgrounds than a place of work, in the hope that it will make their employees more creative. It’s a trend that installing basketball hoops, play parks and sweaty machines can increase an offices productivity…


Do Green Roofs Do more Harm than Good?

Professionals, Academics, Architecture, Building Surveying

By Marc Howe. Green roofs have long been extolled as one of the most handy and convenient of sustainable building measures, making use of exposed surfaces which would otherwise sit idle and having them capture airborne pollutants in vegetation and soil while also providing much needed patches of natural scenery to urban environments. A new study…


Finding the Profit in Property

Quantity Surveying, Academics, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

Article By Julian Owen. Thanks to the many TV programmes popularising the idea, there is an increasing number of amateur developers hoping to profit from doing up houses in the UK. However, some apparently successful projects owe more to rapidly increasing house prices than to the skilful management of the development process. Knowing how to get…


Trouble in Pink Paradise

Student Experiences, Architecture, Professionals, Project Management

The ‘pink paradise’ guest house in Essex complete with unicorn sculpture and fairy lights in every window. A mansion guest house which boasts an exterior painted entirely pink and an explosion of flowers and fairy lights inside has recently popped up in Tiptree. Eaton House’s fun and frivolous garden features a unicorn sculpture perched on a bed of…


Flying Construction Drones

Student Experiences, Academics, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

No one knows for sure what the job site will look in 10 years. How will technology progress and what role will it play in construction? Let’s look at some trends that might impact how construction will be done in the future. Athletic flying machines? Say hello to quadcopters! Robots that think like athletes, solving physical…


Transparent Cabin in California

Student Experiences, Architecture, Professionals

American artist Phillip K Smith III has added mirrors to the walls of a desert shack in California to create the illusion that you can see right through the building. Entitled Lucid Stead, the installation was created by Phillip K Smith III on a 70-year-old wooden residence within the California High Desert. The mirrored panels alternate with weather-beaten timber siding panels to…

Sam Martin's designs for SkyCycle, a bike network above the capital's streets.

SkyCycle the Elevated London Bike Network

Project Management, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals

Wheels in the sky – An Artist’s impression gives stunning vision of Boris planned elevated London bike network First phase of SkyCycle would link Stratford with City of London by 2015 Commuters expected to pay £1 per journey Scheme could cost ‘tens of millions of pounds Mr Johnson considers an architect’s proposals for a network of…


Replaces Front Lawn with Vegetable Garden

Student Experiences, Academics, Professionals

Instead of a common boring lawn of grass, one man decided “Screw the lawn”, so created something more useful and attractive. The first day I’m sure they all thought to themselves “Oh no, what is he doing??”, but it wasn’t long before they were all in awe over the beautiful garden that transformed his front…


World’s Tallest Building in China in 90 Days?

Quantity Surveying, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

A Chinese company plans to build the world’s tallest skyscraper in just seven months using pre-fabricated components slotted together like a Meccano toy. The 90-day challenge is supposed to start January 2014, the 220-storey tower will sprout module-by-module from a piece of farmland in the south-eastern Chinese city of Changsha. The main contractor, Broad Group…


Giant Monopoly FloorBoard Surprise

Student Experiences, Academics, Building Surveying, Professionals

Bagsy the silver boot! While renovating homes, most people pray that they will find a lovely varnished hardwood floor under their old carpet. But finding a full-sized Monopoly board in your lounge has to be the Jackpot !!! Home-owners were left speechless, when they took up the old carpet to discover a giant Monopoly board painted…


Golden Rules for an Eco Home

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

Article by Julian Owen. Most self builders want their new home to be energy efficient and environment friendly, but a true eco home takes these ideas to a higher level. Apart from being super energy efficient, it also involves the use of sustainable, recyclable building materials, management of the construction process and the planning and…

Sam 1

Sams Journey on the Apprentice-Ship

Student Experiences, Building Surveying, Professionals, Project Management

Samuel-James Wilson – About Me Firstly I would like to thank Construction Chat for giving me the chance to share my story, I will never get over the fact that people find my writing and my story interesting enough to spend their time reading, so a big thank you to them and also a High5…


Construction Project Manager Roles & Responsibilities

Student Experiences, Professionals, Project Management

A Project Manager (PM) will have overall responsibility for the successful planning, execution, monitoring, control and closure of a project.They must have a combination of skills including an ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions and resolve conflicts, as well as more general management skills. The Role A Project Manager is a key figure…


What is the taking off process?

Student Experiences, Professionals, Quantity Surveying

The quantity surveying profession has been on-going for many years: The earliest quantity surveying practice on record is a Reading firm, (Henry Cooper and Sons), which was operating in 1785 (Seeley & Winfield, 1999). Predominantly, quantity surveyors deal with the costs and contracts of a construction project. There are around 75,000 professional quantity surveyors working…


Technology giants new HQs

Project Management, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals

It comes as no surprise that Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are building huge corporate headquarters – they’re making the kind of profits that go hand in hand with altering a city skyline. Yet besides needing more space for a growing workforce, the buildings they have planned tell us something significant about the mood of each of…


2026 Sagrada Família | Barcelona

Student Experiences, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

A recent video published on the Sagrada Familia Foundation’sYoutube channel  has impressed many watchers with around 3 millions views. The video shows the construction stages left and how the basilica will look when completed in 2026. Footage was from a camera mounted on a helicopter whilst circulating around the current building. The computer-animated renders shows the spires, a central cupola…

Amazing Lighting Solutions Feature

Innovative Light Solutions without Power

Student Experiences, Academics, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals

We all love to see innovative ideas that better peoples lives. I’m personally, really interested in seeing products that can power lighting sources or generate electricity using natural process or nature. We have uploaded a few amazing lighting solutions which have been designed and implemented to provide a simply process of lighting a room, easy and that requires no fuel or batteries. 1….


Young Engineer Record Breaking Tower

Student Experiences, Civil Engineering, Professionals

Tom Holmes, a graduate structural engineer at Arup, used 2,688 dominos to create a tower that reached 5.275 metres at its peak – almost 20cm taller than the previous record. The record-breaking effort took seven and a half hours to complete, but months to design. Mr Holmes worked with Roland Trim, leader of the Advanced…


Mountain Penthouse on Residential Building | Beijing

Professionals, Academics, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering

Illegal  rooftop villa built by an eccentric Beijing resident on top of a 26-storey residential building puts Beijing back in the news. Beijing’s chengguan, or urban management, officials on Monday issued an ultimatum to a former government advisor, demanding he tear down the sprawling structure that he had built over the last six years on…

Adam Great Wall

Tsinghua Construction School 2013

Student Experiences, Academics, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

By Adam Rossington Tsinghua University is located in Beijing and was founded in 1911, with 55 departments, 3,100 faculty members and over 25,900 students it is considered to be one of China’s most renowned Universities.  The International Summer School for Construction is now in its 6th year and is a 9-day intensive programme. It is open…


Futuristic Skyscraper planned for Venice

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

By Nick Squires Venice is sharply divided over plans by Pierre Cardin, the 90 year old Designer, to build a futuristic, Dubai-style skyscraper which critics say will impinge on the city’s historic skyline of cupolas, bell towers and church spires. The 90-year-old designer, who emigrated to France from the Veneto region as a young man, wants…


Future Buildings – What is required?

Professionals, Architecture

Most of the materials, techniques and crafts used to build single or small groups of houses in the UK have remained essentially the same for centuries. Masonry construction, the tried and tested method of creating a good, solid wall has been around since the Romans. Even cavity wall construction, still considered a relatively recent innovation…


New 02 Arena VIP Complex


Balfour Beatty has secured a £121m contract to build an 18-storey hotel, leisure and apartment complex next to London’s O2 Arena on North Greenwich Peninsula. The £121m job for Grove Developments will see Balfour Beatty both design and build the 452-room hotel and 100 serviced apartments within the two-building complex. The contract will also involve hard…


1st Solar-Powered Family Car

Student Experiences

The world’s first ever fully solar- powered family car, races across Australia and was built by students at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands. The vehicle has been developed to take part in the new Cruiser Class category of the World Solar Challenge. This is a yearly race consisting of 3,000km through the Australian outback from Darwin to Adelaide. The Solar Team…


Tree House | By Baumraum

Professionals, Architecture, Civil Engineering

The German brand Baumraum allows their customers to customize any tree house designed to fit their lifestyle needs. The King Of Frogs seen here is just an example of what is possible with the company. This particular tree house is elevated on stilts overlooking  a reflecting pond in a small private garden located in Münster, Germany. Spanning…

dangers on site

8 Construction Sites Dangers

Project Management, Civil Engineering, Info-Graphics, Professionals

Construction sites can be very busy and confusing places. Sometimes they can be often considered as dangerous places as accidents occur while working at construction sites. There have been significant reductions in the number and rate of injury over the last 20 years or more. Nevertheless, construction remains a high risk industry. Although it accounts…

Said Al-Zadjali

Opportunities in Oman

Student Experiences, Building Surveying, Professionals, Project Management, Quantity Surveying

By Saeed M Hilal AL-zadjali. Studies Quantity Surveying at University of Reading. Oman is located in the South-Eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula covering a total land area of 309,500 km2, the area of Oman consists of 82% valleys and desert, 15% mountains and 3% coastal plain. Oman is surrounded by the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, and…


Swansea Bay – Tidal Power

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

The proposed tidal lagoon for Swansea Bay in Wales will cost £650 million and will be capable of generating over 400,000MWh/year… enough to supply over 100,000 homes, or Swansea’s entire domestic electricity use. Swansea Bay will save over 200,000 tonnes CO2 every year… that’s equivalent to taking 40-50,000 cars off UK roads each year. The plans have been drawn…

Green House

The Green Deal

Professionals, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering

You can make energy-saving improvements to your home or business without having to pay all the costs up front through the Green Deal. Energy-saving improvements include: Insulation – (loft or cavity wall insulation) Heating Draught-proofing Double glazing Renewable energy technologies – (solar panels or wind turbines) Steps to Take Get an assessment of your property…


BIM – What is it?

Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Building Surveying, Civil Engineering, Project Management

Building Information Modelling (BIM) covers geometry, spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components, project management and post-construction facilities management. BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire building life-cycle, from cradle to cradle, from inception and design to demolition and materials reuse; quantities and properties of materials, which can…


Better, Faster, Stronger: Benefits of BIM

Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering, Professionals, Project Management

This article aims to temper your concern and help you understand why BIM makes sense for businesses. Now it’s time to see a dinosaur riding a meteorite! And no, that’s not a non sequitur. It’s the latest info graphic created on Line//Shape//Space.com, which shows how BIM can revolutionize the way you design and manage projects. Not…


Floating School in Nigeria slum

Student Experiences, Academics, Civil Engineering, Professionals

A Three-storey floating school will soon be used in Makoko, a poverty stricken community on the flooded coastline of Nigeria’s former capital Lagos. Lagos is the second fastest growing city in Africa and the seventh fastest in the world. The new primary school is built on a foundation of 256 plastic drums and is powered by solar panels…

smart highway eco

Netherlands glow-in-the-dark Smart Highway

Professionals, Civil Engineering

By Jeffrey N. Ross. Most automotive safety advancements these days are made either through the automakers or government standards, but the Netherlands is coming up with innovative ways of making the roads safer. Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure have teamed up to introduce the Smart Highway, which was named the Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design…

Hire Me

Student CV Hints and Tips

Student Experiences, Academics, Professionals

Tracey Buchan Graduate Programme Manager at Kier Group PLC.   I think most employers are well aware that there are limited relevant work experience opportunities currently and so this element is less of a focus. Individuals need to think about selling transferable skills they have acquired from other areas such as part-time work, voluntary work, clubs etc….

julian owen

Pros & Cons of Timber Frame Buildings

Project Management, Architecture, Professionals

Anyone who considers using a structural timber frame will probably want to compare it to the alternatives, principally brick and block construction in Ireland. Generally speaking, no one system of construction is inherently better than another because it depends upon the requirements of a project and the preferences of the self builder, as well many…


Energy Use in Our Homes

Professionals, Academics

It takes from 800–1400 Watts to use your toaster in the morning! If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you’d like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption. This article should hopefully open our eyes to show how much energy we consume in our…

julian owen

Can our Homes be for Life?

Project Management, Academics, Architecture, Professionals

Article by Julian Owen How we use the space in our homes changes as our lifestyle develops and evolves over time. Assuming that you will live in your newly renovated or self built home for many years to come, you are in a good position to allow for future changes before construction work starts. It…


Quantity Surveying Placement

Student Experiences, Quantity Surveying

Adam Passfield Graduate Cost Manager at AECOM I am currently in my 3rd year of studying a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying at the University of Reading. I was lucky enough to secure a place at Davis Langdon’s Oxford office for the entirety of the summer. I managed to obtain the placement by emailing the director…


Work Placement In Kenya

Student Experiences, Quantity Surveying

Article by Kaushal Patel I am currently a third year student studying for a bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying at the University of Reading. Over the summer of 2012 I had a placement in Nairobi, Kenya which was very exciting and turned out to be fruitful. The working environment was excellent and promoted healthy learning as…

alan barrell

Making A Difference to Tomorrow’s World

Professionals, Academics

Alan Barrell Entrepreneur in Residence Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge www.alanbarrell.com   Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in China’s Construction Industry! The World is NOT in recession ! In the West, things may be tough, but the World economy has grown 20% as measured by overall GDP in the past few…