Climate crisis Ellis Fox Blog

How will construction respond to the climate crisis?

The British government recently announced tough new legislation is on the cards to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. This has been welcomed in principle because most people recognise that things need to change. We shouldn’t be as dependent on fossil fuels, for example, when there are opportunities to use cleaner energy sources. We…

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Infrastructure community benfit

What’s in it for us? – Are Main Contractors missing the point?

It’s quite logical that in most major infrastructure projects there’s a clear benefit to the community. Upgraded roads and rail lines facilitate smoother commuting. Utility upgrades result in fewer outages and better service delivery – in theory. Expanded rail networks ease congestion and delays. Yet it seems getting to that point where the community actually…

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Technology Old School EF Blog

Technology – Construction just doesn’t get IT

In the last 30 years the world has undergone a massive transformation thanks to technology. Whereas in the 80’s computers were deemed a rare luxury that few people owned, now everyone uses not just computers but mobile phones to communicate on email, instant messenger and manage projects around the globe. Most people cannot imagine life…

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Infrastructure output flagged as a concern following Crossrail delays

The announcement of a 9 month delay to the opening of the much anticipated new Crossrail project in London, not only made headlines in July 2018. It also highlighted a major concern in the infrastructure industry: Governments inability to deliver on major flagship infrastructure projects. With cost over runs in excess of £600m, it’s certainly…

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A High Speed dream that’s fast becoming an ugly reality

Back in 2009, when the idea of a high speed railway linking the north and south of Britain was introduced, it sounded like a fine idea. It would cut travel time between major commercial centres and provide much needed infrastructure and investment all along the route. However, 10 years down the line the project has…

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Be prepared to pay more

If contractors thought their margins were tight before, they’re about to get worse. As the Brexit deadline looms and the governments are no closer to a deal, companies are being warned that they should prepare for the worst. But what does this “worst” look like and what will be the direct impacts on profits? Supply…

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Mind the Gap – the Underground’s about to get connected

London is soon to follow in the footsteps of several other major cities. TfL has announced its plan to provide commuters with WiFi connectivity on the London Underground from 2019. It’s great news for commuters but making the business case work for contractors is going to be a little harder. Various attempts have been made…

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Austerity road – the cracks are showing

For the past few years may local councils have found themselves under pressure to the point where budget cuts and other austerity measures have been implemented to try reduce budget deficits. While financially this may seem to be the most prudent course of action, it is not without implications. The demand for infrastructure and related…

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What will solve the UK’s infrastructure output headache?

Despite a recent increase in investment and awarding of tenders, infrastructure output in general is still not at the level that it could or should be according to industry experts. The Essential Infrastructure Report by Scape identified that in the 20 year period between 1997 and 2017 construction output on UK infrastructure and public construction…

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How will the NIC budget proposals impact recruitment?

The recent National Infrastructure Commission report highlighted several issues in the industry. Amongst other things that productivity in terms of the development of infrastructure is below the national average in almost every major city in the UK. To address this the NIC’s recommendation was to implement 5 year budget cycles covering smart technology implementation, routine…

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Where are the work opportunities?

It was reported in June that construction output and new orders were finally on the up with new projects being awarded hitting a high for 2018. The question was asked, is the construction industry finally climbing out of its slump? 2018 has been a tough year in construction. Aside from the Carillion collapse many main…

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Is this the end of Boom & Bust in the rail sector?

Since the privatization of the railways, the main contractors involved in constructing rail infrastructure have been consistently plagued by boom and bust cycles due to funding inconsistencies. Projects typically start out with great momentum but as funding dries up contractors find themselves looking at smaller margins to get the project completed, on top of often…

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