KPMG takes over High-Point Rendel

KPMG has acquired the assets of the strategic management and commercial consultancy arms of High-Point Rendel.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

High-Point Rendel provides construction consultancy services to clients in the energy, transportation, and oil and gas sectors.

Some 35 staff from High-Point Rendel will mostly join KPMG’s Major Projects Advisory team, which itself has advised on large scale infrastructure projects across the UK and worldwide, including …

Engineers explore feasibility of road tunnel under the Pennines

Plans for the construction of a road tunnel under the Pennines to link Sheffield and Manchester are moving forward.

Highways England has awarded a £1.3m contract to a Mouchel/Hyder joint venture to explore the viability of a Trans-Pennine Tunnel as identified in the Roads Investment Strategy.

The study will investigate the strategic and economic case for a new high-standard highway route between Manchester and Sheffield, including assessing the potential opportunities …

Construction industry clamps down on vaping

Construction companies are increasingly having to decide where they stand on e-cigarettes and vaping. Margo Cole reports.

Contractors Willmott Dixon and Skanska, plant hire group Hewden and machinery manufacturer JCB are among construction industry companies that have adopted policies that consider e-cigarettes to be no different from tobacco rolled in paper.

Is this the right approach? Where does your company stand?

In April the Welsh government published a health white …

Thames footbridge designs shortlisted

Shortlisted proposals for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames in London between Pimlico and Nine Elms have been unveiled as part of a design competition run by Wandsworth Council.

A £26m contribution for construction of the bridge is already identified from the development of Nine Elms and the new winning design would be used to lever-in further funding.

Londoners are being invited to comment on the four …

Barratt prepares to start £250m Croydon development

Barratt Homes will start construction on a £250m housing development in Croydon in September.

An abandoned 205-acre site, previously home to Cane Hill psychiatric hospital, is set to be transformed into nearly 700 new homes.

The former hospital opened in 1882 and treated many patients including Charlie Chaplin’s mother. Occupancy peaked at more than 2,400 patients during the First World War – many of whom were soldiers, suffering from syphilis …

Skanska appoints director of environment

Skanska UK has promoted Adam Crossley to director of environment from 1st August.

Adam Crossley joined Skanska in 2007 after four years in the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. For the past two years has been business transformation director in its utilities business.

Crossley takes over from Jennifer Clark in Skanska’s senior management team following her promotion in April this year to senior vice president, sustainability, for Skanska’s world-wide …

McAlpine fined £200k after worker death

Sir Robert McAlpine has been fined £200,000 after admitting safety offences that led to a worker falling to his death from a store front in Exeter.

Philip Evans was working for glazing specialist London Fenestration Trades Ltd, which was contracted by principal contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to undertake remedial repair works to a glass façade above a department store entrance in Princess Hay, Exeter on 9th November 2011.

While a …

CIRIA responds to industry’s basement construction woes

Wealthy homeowners are increasingly keen on extending downwards into basements, but the construction insustry has proven itself really not very good at carrying out these projects. The Construction Industry Research & Information Association (CIRIA) recognises that it is time to get involved.

CIRIA is seeking industry support and funding to produce new guidance on the construction of domestic basements.

Planning applications in one London Borough alone have increased 10 fold …

Breedon aims higher as profits double

Breedon Aggregates has reported a 28% rise in half-year revenue and a near doubling of pre-tax profits.

Breedon Aggregates, which produces aggregates, asphalt and concrete for the construction industry, made a pre-tax profit of £17.5m in the six months to 30th June 2015 (2014 H1: £9.1m) on revenue of £160.5m (2014 H1: £125.2m).

The results are boosted by the acquisitions of Huntsman’s Quarries, which was acquired in June 2014 …

Solar subsidies get the chop

Government subsidies for solar energy projects are set to be cut under proposals published by the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

The proposals cover both the Renewables Obligation (RO) for bigger projects, and changes to rules on the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for smaller projects.

The Renewables Obligation, which currently supports rooftop and solar farm projects between 50KW and 5MW, is to be closed from 1st April 2016, as …