Sustainable Construction and its Role in Making a Better Modern World

| March 12, 2020

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Green and sustainable – these have become the main objectives of most construction projects being made today. And why not when they offer a lot of benefits not just to the environment but to the building owner and occupants too. When we hear of sustainability, the first context that comes to mind is that of the environment. But since the EIA U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that almost 50% of CO2 is emitted by buildings, it’s about time sustainability is spoken widely also in the context of architecture.

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Celebrating Women in Construction – Engineering Equality

Article | March 3, 2020

For over a century, International Women’s Day has been celebrated every year on 8th March. The first IWD gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people and it has grown year on year, applauding the social, economic and political achievements of women and marking a continuing call to action for accelerating gender equality. This year’s theme is Each for Equal, highlighting the message that an equal world is an enabled world. One area of focus within this theme is creating inclusive workplaces where women can thrive. Nowhere is this drive more important than within the construction industry.

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Top Five Considerations for Construction Projects During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Article | March 3, 2020

The United States is facing unprecedented change and upheaval as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson Hine is analyzing all the relevant issues to keep you ahead of the curve. Here are the top five issues that might have an impact on construction projects. Delays caused by force majeure can lead to extensions of time and additional compensation under a construction contract. Look at your contract’s definition of force majeure.

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ENGINEERING TECH

10 simple ways to ensure a successful infrastructure project

Article | March 3, 2020

In amongst the chatter about how we can 'do' infrastructure better, there's now a growing consensus that we need to improve the way we design our interventions - 'design' in the broader sense of the word, rather than the narrow sense we tend to use as engineers. My front-end principles for better infrastructure Over the course of my career, the following front-end principles have served well to ensure we think through, before we rush in where angels fear to tread. Be clear about the purpose and the expected outcomes, and engage communities in decision-making through an effective communication strategy. Prioritise the user, aiming to offer services that are modern, effective and affordable. Seek to improve people's quality of life and support the transition to a more sustainable future, while also facilitating the functioning of the economy, enhancing productivity and accommodating growth (to the extent possible, given other competing objectives). Extract greatest value from existing infrastructure through timely maintenance, repurposing, renewal and upgrading. Seek to remove constraints and bottlenecks. Aim to make best use of data, automation, innovation and technology (including for future asset management), recognising the complexity and risks this may introduce. Recognise, analyse, mitigate and manage technical, environmental and climate risks, and complete any surveys necessary to support this. Improve governance, with robust, timely and transparent decision-making, supported by strong evidence-based planning, clear prioritisation, and best practice technical design and delivery. Seek an appropriate funding balance between 'user pays' and general taxation which incentivises behaviours in the best long-term social, economic and environmental interests. Complete well-evidenced business cases and risk assessments of proposed initiatives before embarking on projects, including financing proposals. Aim to allocate the risks identified to those best able to carry them. Facilitate collaboration between the government and business to promote delivery of the broader social, economic and environmental benefits. Clearly, there are many other issues to consider as a project develops, and the above principles may seem obvious to some, and a counsel of perfection to others, but it's surprising how many are overlooked in the rush to build.

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CONSTRUCTION

How investing in infrastructure can build a better quality of life

Article | March 3, 2020

Every five years, in the approach to the Welsh Parliament /Senedd Cymru elections, I put together a Manifesto for ICE Wales Cymru outlining our recommendations for the future with the aim of influencing the new ‘order’ and achieving what we consider to be important goals. This year our report is making three main recommendations in the areas of Resilience, Skills and an Infrastructure Pipeline.

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