Uncover the Latest News on a Battle Blaze at Downtown Building Site, UK Construction Deaths Rise, UK Construction Productivity, Cemex Develops Industry-first Tools, and Housebuilding Declines Construction Output

In today’s news, we will look into the Firefighters that have battled the incident at the construction site in the town centre. Meanwhile, the number of people killed in construction accidents in the UK continues to rise. On the other hand, the construction industry in the United Kingdom is experiencing a productivity setback, joining the slowdown in Europe. In addition, Cemex has introduced a tool that is a first for the industry and will assist architects and engineers in selecting solutions that are innovative and more environmentally friendly. Moreover, the decline in residential development has an impact on overall construction production.

Firefighters Battle Blaze at Downtown Building Site

Original Source: Crews fight blaze at town centre construction site

A high-rise building site fire caused a big incident.

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) sent 10 teams to the Garrard Street fire in Reading at 15:42 BST.

It hit the 12th and 13th floors.

Thames Valley Police reported no injuries when town centre shops and businesses were evacuated.

At 18:15, it reported that the disturbance had “stood down” and that the street would reopen soon.

Crews continue to inspect hot spots.

RBFRS reported firefighting from Caversham Road, Wokingham Road, Wokingham, Mortimer, Bracknell, Slough, Whitley Wood, and Theale fire stations.

It added: “An aerial ladder platform, incident command unit, and five officers were also sent to the scene alongside crews from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.”

It stated its firemen arrived “within 90 seconds and rapidly intervened to prevent the spread of a fire in a high-rise construction site and ensured that all persons onsite were safe and accounted for”.

“Using a drone from Thames Valley Police and an external lift at the site, firefighters were able to quickly locate and tackle a fire on the twelfth and thirteenth floors,” it said.

“Breathing-apparatus firefighters extinguished the fire with a jet.”

UK Construction Deaths Rise

Original Source: Fatal injuries in UK construction increase

According to latest government numbers, building fatalities in the UK rose to 45 in 2022/23 from 29 the year before.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s latest report on work-related fatal injuries found that construction had the most fatalities.

The five-year average was 37 deaths, but 45 died.

However, the HSE claimed the increase of 16 fatal injuries between 2021/22 and 2022/23 was “not statistically significant”.

Meanwhile, construction’s fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers was four times greater than the average across all industries.

The HSE reported that the rate of fatal injury in building was “considerably less” than in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, even though construction had the most deaths.

Compared to an annual average of 1.72 per 100,000 from 2018/9 to 2022/23, construction fatalities were 2.1 per 100,000 in 2022/23.

That compared to 0.41 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers across all industries in 2022/23. Waste and recycling had 5.02 and agriculture, forestry, and fishery 7.87.

The most common fatal accidents in all industries were falls from height (40), struck by moving, including flying/falling objects (29), struck by moving vehicles (20), trapped by anything collapsing/overturning (12), and contact with moving machinery (9).

UK Construction Productivity Falls With the European Downturn

Original Source: UK construction industry faces productivity setback, joining European downturn

UK construction productivity is slowing, putting it closer to European levels.

High inflation, which is predicted to continue into 2024, has led to the UK construction industry’s productivity drop. The global economy has suffered from increased interest rates and poor performance. Construction production in Europe is expected to fall 1.1% in 2023.

EUROCONSTRUCT, an impartial construction market forecasting network, predicts that the UK construction industry will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

The UK building industry is likely to decrease.

Barbour ABI, a construction data analyst, found that in 20233, the UK construction industry outperformed Europe with a 5.6% gain in output. However, a negative estimate for 2023 aligns the UK with its European neighbours, signalling an industry recession.

As energy prices stabilised and supply limitations relaxed, there was an unexpected bounce last year. Tom Hall, Barbour ABI chief economist, said, “This now appears to have been a transitional period with new pressures in the form of interest rate hikes and inflation beginning to weigh on the European construction sector.”

He continued, “The effects of post-covid recovery are also fading, leading to a slower global economy.”

Europe’s building industry may be suffering from residential sector issues. This is due to rising mortgage rates in various EU countries.

Europe’s construction has been harmed by the economy.

Mortgage rates have doubled in certain nations and tripled in Finland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the UK. High interest rates and rising expenses have made it harder to get finance, worsening the issue.

According to the data, new home development in Europe will drop significantly this year. A 7.1% drop is expected in the UK. Sweden may plummet above 30% in extreme instances.

Long-term initiatives, public financing, and government-led projects have helped the civil engineering business outperform. The UK’s output has increased 21% since the outbreak.

Investment cuts are projected to slow this expansion. The UK is anticipated to expand less in 2023 and 2024 than Europe as a whole.

Construction price inflation is another issue. Construction prices across Europe rose double-digitally last year. The UK is forecast to see an 8.1% price increase in 2023-24, compared to Europe’s 6.5% average.

“The UK is doing well, sitting close to the average and outperforming France and Germany. The UK has escaped some of the more significant construction production swings expected in Sweden, Finland, Italy, and Hungary. Hall concluded, “However, challenges remain and uncertainty remains.”

Cemex Develops Industry-first Tools to Help Architects and Engineers Select Viable Options

Original Source: Cemex launches industry first tool to help architects and engineers choose innovative and more sustainable solutions

Cemex, a global building materials supplier, released a plug-in for BIM REVIT, a construction project design and management software. Cemex’s platform will help architects and engineers find new and sustainable goods and solutions.

Cemex’s BIM software is specially intended for architects, engineers, contractors, and construction professionals working on residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure projects. It lets customers search concrete by qualities, compare concrete goods by fundamental characteristics, and target embodied carbon.

Users can access full material information, including physical and mechanical performance with pertinent data. Vertua® products from Cemex’s sustainable solutions may be recommended.

The UK construction industry’s first software. Over the next few months, Cemex will roll it out globally.

“We know how valuable BIM tools are to those designing construction projects, as they save time and money by providing instant access to information and recommendations on the best products while encouraging a collaborative process,” said Mike Higgins, National Technical Manager.

Thus, we are delighted to offer our free BIM plug-in for REVIT Software, which aids product and solution evaluation, construction project planning, and visualisation. The tool’s initial feedback has been very good, therefore we have coordinated a UK-based specialised BIM team to answer inquiries and support specifiers.

Housebuilding Declines Construction Output

Original Source: Drop in house-building hits construction output

House-building activity has plummeted, lowering UK construction production for the first time in five months.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.9 in June, down from 51.6 the month before and below the 50.0 no-change level for the first time since January.

Since May 2020, residential work (index 39.6) fell the most. Apart from the lockdown-related drop in house development, the rate of contraction was the fastest since April 2009. Rising borrowing prices and a gloomy home market outlook lowered demand, according to survey respondents.

Business activity rose at the second-fastest pace since June 2022 in civil engineering (index 53.1). In June, commercial building increased (index 53.0), but growth slowed to a three-month low.

Positively, construction input delivery times improved the most since July 2009 due to lower demand and fewer supply bottlenecks. For the first time in thirteen-and-a-half years, purchase prices dropped.

In reaction to decreased demand, construction industries blamed reduced fuel, steel, and lumber prices and more competitive market circumstances. Meanwhile, subcontractor charges climbed at the slowest rate in 31 months.

In June, construction firms reported a third consecutive drop in business confidence. Concerns about rising interest rates and a weak property market drove lower workload optimism.

Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, which produces the survey, said, “Weaker housing market conditions in the wake of higher borrowing costs acted as a major constraint on UK construction output in June.”

“Aside from the lockdown-related fall in house building, the rate of decline was the fastest for just over 14 years. In response to increased loan rates, survey respondents reported cuts to new residential building projects and client caution.

“Solid output growth in commercial and civil engineering offset some of the weakness in residential construction.” Resilient commercial construction refurbishment demand and strong infrastructure workloads drove company activity.

Contrary to the significant cost increase of the past three years, construction companies’ purchasing prices fell in June. Anecdotal information revealed that more competitive market conditions and increased materials availability had reduced inflationary pressures.

Delivery times for building inputs improved the most since July 2009 in the latest survey period, indicating supply restrictions eased.

According to the numbers, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said the government must commit to developing more dwellings.

At a time when we need to be creating more homes we are moving in the opposite way and building fewer’, said FMB CEO Brian Berry. A generation of individuals can’t get on the housing ladder, stalling development and investment. The government must recommit to its annual housing target of 300,000 homes, even though it may be politically simple to shelve housing commitments to win votes in some places.

“May 2020 aside, the rate of residential contraction is the fastest since April 2009, and the survey noted respondents citing weaker demand due to rising borrowing costs and a subdued outlook for the housing market,” said PwC’s sector lead for engineering and construction, Paul Sloman. It’s important to consider this update as a potential warning sign for the sector, as homeowners continue to face economic uncertainty with rising mortgage costs and reduced availability, which is disrupting sales and slowing the pace of new projects.

“The PMI noted that this latest improvement in vendor performance was the strongest for around 14 years, which is a testament to the continued resilience and agility we see in the sector – given the overall operating environment continues to pose challenges from both an economic and policy perspective,” Sloman said. Shorter delivery times are good for supply chains. 

“June’s data showed the first outright reduction in average cost burdens since January 2010, with a marginal decline in sector input prices. It’s vital to realise that this may be attributable to reduced demand for resources amidst persistent anxiety and stretched optimism about future projects.”

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed Reading’s Garrard Street that caught fire at 15:42 BST, prompting the deployment of ten crews from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS). Floors 12 and 13 were affected.After the evacuation of businesses in the town centre, the Thames Valley Police stated that nobody was hurt. Meanwhile, the construction industry had the highest number of fatal injuries at work, according to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) most recent data. However, EUROCONSTRUCT, an independent network for projecting the building market, says the UK construction industry won’t be back to pre-pandemic levels until 2025. The construction sector in the UK is predicted to contract. In addition, Cemex, a worldwide provider of construction materials, has launched a plugin for BIM REVIT, a program used to plan, design, and manage building projects. Using Cemex’s platform, designers and builders may discover innovative and eco-friendly products and services. In addition, the decline in housing development has led to a drop in UK construction output for the first time in five months.

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