Civil Engineering project Recruitment

Civil Engineering projects in 2020

MSG Sphere

When plans for Madison Square Garden Company’s (MSG) 90 m-high spherical entertainment venue were first submitted in March, the breath taking design drew immediate attention.

Wrapped in triangular LED panels, the Stratford-based sphere would stand out from the surrounding buildings by showcasing a range of images, concerts, and advertisements on its exterior, visible from the surrounding Olympic Park area.

The project has an almost identical, though larger, twin in Las Vegas, which is running ahead of the Stratford project, which MSG will be able to learn from.

The plans for the sphere are currently being considered by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), but progress is slow and MSG announced in November there would be a delay to its completion, with contractors yet to be appointed.

The venue was intended to be completed by 2022, after its Las Vegas double, which is due to open in 2021, but the London project has now been pushed back as planning is set to run into 2020.

With construction originally meant to start in summer, this project, and its Vegas sister, will be one to watch this year.

Salford Media City expansion

In August, Construction News revealed that Peel Land and Property group and Legal & General secured a £292.5m loan facility to double the size of the Media City UK development in Salford.

Up to 10 more buildings are planned for the site, which is home to offices for companies such as the BBC, ITV, Ericsson and over 250 creative media businesses.

The project is in very early stages, with no contractors yet appointed. Detailed planning consent was granted for the expansion in October 2016.

The development will be one to watch in 2020 due to the vast amount of investment in the scheme, with Peel Land and Property group stating that the expansion would be backed by £1bn of private investment.

Plans for the Manchester-based media centre include new offices, retail space and 1,800 private sale and build-to-rent flats, totalling 2.3m sq ft.

Commonwealth Games, Birmingham

the Commonwealth Games-associated developments remain some of the biggest projects to keep an eye on, with more contractors set to be appointed to the schemes in 2020.

The developments include a £70m revamp of the Alexander Stadium (pictured), which Mace was appointed to as project manager, and a new aquatic centre in Smethwick being delivered by Wates as part of Scape’s £2bn national construction framework.

Contractors are set to be appointed to the stadium in early 2020, with work scheduled to start in the spring. There has been large-scale investment in the overall scheme, which has now passed £500m. The aquatics centre has recently run into overspending problems, with co-funder Sandwell Council confirming in November that costs had increased from £60m to £73m due to rising construction prices and groundworks costs.

Lendlease has been appointed to another part of the scheme, on the £350m athletes’ village known as the Perry Barr regeneration development.

Not only are the projects themselves worth a watch their relationship to the planned HS2 line is also of interest.

In October, it was revealed that police are preparing for the impact of having both the HS2 construction work and the Games take place at the same time.

One East side, Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission for what will be the tallest residential building in the Midlands.

Standing 51 storeys, £160m One East side will contain 667 apartments and is located next to the HS2 Curzon Street Station (pictured).

Developer Court Collaboration intends that work will be completed by the end of 2022. The company said that it hopes to announce a contractor in Q1 2020, and that work will begin shortly after.

The tower was designed by architect Glancy Nicholls, who earlier in 2019 submitted plans for 100 Broad Street, which would be Birmingham’s tallest building.

Sisk is currently building the 42-storey Moda Tower in Birmingham

Hinkley Point C, Somerset

Although work has been ongoing for more than two years, you cannot ignore Europe’s largest construction site.

In June 2020, workers from the Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke JV (Bylor) will repeat the feat of pouring 9,000 cu m of concrete to form the base of the second reactor, as they did for the first a year earlier.

EDF announced a cost hike of up to £3bn to £22.5bn at the end of September 2019, as well as an increased risk of a 15-month delay to the project, which is currently due for completion in 2025.

Hinkley’s rising costs could prove instrumental in determining the future of proposed nuclear station Sizewell C in Norfolk, which EDF wants to build for 20 per cent less.

Commonwealth Games, Birmingham

Featured on our projects to watch last year, the Commonwealth Games-associated developments remain some of the biggest projects to keep an eye on, with more contractors set to be appointed to the schemes in 2020.

The developments include a £70m revamp of the Alexander Stadium (pictured), which Mace was appointed to as project manager, and a new aquatic centre in Smethwick being delivered by Wates as part of Scape’s £2bn national construction framework.  Contractors are set to be appointed to the stadium in early 2020, with work scheduled to start in the spring. There has been large-scale investment in the overall scheme, which has now passed £500m.

The aquatics centre has recently run into overspending problems, with co-funder Sandwell Council confirming in November that costs had increased from £60m to £73m due to rising construction prices and groundworks costs.

Lendlease has been appointed to another part of the scheme, on the £350m athletes’ village known as the Perry Barr regeneration development.

Not only are the projects themselves worth a watch their relationship to the planned HS2 line is also of interest.

In October, it was revealed that police are preparing for the impact of having both the HS2 construction work and the Games take place at the same time.

One Eastside, Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission for what will be the tallest residential building in the Midlands.

Standing a 51 storeys, £160m One Eastside will contain 667 apartments and is located next to the HS2 Curzon Street Station (pictured).

Developer Court Collaboration intends that work will be completed by the end of 2022. The company said that it hopes to announce a contractor in Q1 2020, and that work will begin shortly after.

The tower was designed by architect Glancy Nicholls, who earlier in 2019 submitted plans for 100 Broad Street, which would be Birmingham’s tallest building.

Sisk is currently building the 42-storey Moda Tower in Birmingham.

Liverpool Waters

Everton’s new 52,000-seater stadium, plans for which have now been revealed, is just a small part of Peel Group’s £5.5bn, 30-year Merseyside development.

The regeneration of Liverpool’s docklands will create 21.5m sq ft of residential, business and leisure space.

Among the developments will be a new £50m cruise liner terminal, which McLaughlin and Harvey is due to begin building in early 2020. Wates will begin work on a nearby 200-bed hotel in April.

Across Princes Dock, Chinese firm BCEGI will continue work on The Lexington, a 34-storey, £90m build to rent tower block, with construction expected to finish summer 2021.

HS2

In 2019, HS2’s projected costs have risen to £88bn and the start of main civils works for phase one have been paused until the outcome of the Oakervee Review, the independent assessment of the project

Chair Allan Cook also penned a stocktake into the project which concluded that he anticipates the project to take longer than expected and called for changes to the procurement process.

Next year will see the future of the project decided, and if approved, could see the start of the project’s main civils works, which were set to begin in June 2019.

If the Oakervee Review comes out in support of the full completion of the project it will see procurement begin for additional contracts.

As well as the Oakervee Review, former panel deputy chair Lord Berkeley will be producing his own review in 2020, after he came out against a draft version of Douglas Oakervee’s findings.

Lower Thames Crossing

A little over a year since the £6.8bn project saw its funding pulled after the government scrapped the PFI model, the treasury has not yet confirmed how it will be funded.

The Highways England scheme is set to link the A2 in Kent to the M25 in Essex through 23 km of new road and a tunnel underneath the Thames Estuary.

In August Aecom begun ground investigation works for the scheme.

In October Lower Thames Crossing commercial and procurement director Andrew Kidd told Construction News that the project has not been held back by Brexit uncertainty.

The scheme will be one to watch next year as it submits its Development Consent Order to the planning inspectorate – officially launching the scheme’s approval process.

Heathrow Expansion

Heathrow Expansion

In 2019, Heathrow produced its project masterplan and launched a public consultation on it.

May saw the High Court throw out claims for a judicial review into the government’s decision to allow the Heathrow expansion to go ahead.

At the end of the year a consultation from the Civil Aviation Authority also prompted Heathrow to announce that the runway will open up to three years later than planned.

In 2020 there could be further legal battles to the project with critics currently preparing challenges to the High Court ruling. It could also face further criticism from prime minister Boris Johnson who has previously come out against the project and his party’s election manifesto said the airport would need to demonstrate that the scheme can realistically meet air quality and noise obligations.

Palace of Westminster refurbishment

Last year saw plans for the £4bn Palace of Westminster refurbishment unveiled.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered a major fire risk and has suffered 40 incidents from 2008 to 2012, and requires a dedicated fire patrol.

M&E will form a major part of works with Parliament’s official website describing “a potentially catastrophic mix of services, particularly in the basements… Steam systems, gas lines and water pipes are often laid one on top of another, alongside electricity wires, broadcasting cables and other vulnerable equipment.”

The end of the year also included a shake-up of its executive team, with Transport for London commissioner Mike Brown appointed to run the revamp. Meanwhile, former HS2 and Crossrail executive Sarah Johnson was named as chief executive of the Shadow Sponsor Board Restoration and Renewal Programme, which is chaired by Liz Peace.

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