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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 5 July 2020

Build, but don't forget the tools you'll need to do so, the UK government was warned this week, while London's construction workers face a change to their regular commute. Also, the world's first floating nuclear power plant.

Builders, builders, builders - not build, build, build

After a week in which UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the construction industry to lead the UK's economic recovery post-Covid19, many onlookers have asked the simple question: how?

Among them was the Daily Telegraph's Economic Editor, Russell Lynch, who questioned quite how an industry that has posted dreadful productivity figures for decades and relies on an ageing and diverse workforce, would achieve this feat. We can't say we agree with absolutely everything Mr Lynch writes but the facts are ugly and make for uncomfortable reading for governments and industry leaders who have resisted change in the past.

The harsh truth about the construction industry – as any politician hoping for a 0-60mph acceleration may soon discover – is that it has been blighted for decades by an adversarial attitude, outdated working practices, a chronic lack of investment and an ageing workforce.

Read the full piece here.

Walk or cycle to site, says Transport for London

Staying in the UK, Transport for London (TfL) has this week laid out measures aimed at "enabling and encouraging" construction workers to avoid using trains to get to work. With the objective of reducing the number of people using public transport at the same time, TfL recommends that commuters find alternative means of getting to work.

PBC Today reports that new bicycle racks and new welfare areas with additional lockers and showers have been installed at some TfL sites in order to encourage changes to worker habits.

And, the world's first floating nuclear power plant is up and running

In the often bitterly cold Russian port of Pevek, Asia's northernmost town, heat was previously supplied to its residents by a coal-burning power station. However, as the port has seen a rise in importance as a trade route between China and Europe (largely due to retreating Artic ice), traffic through the town is expected to increase. With this in mind, authorities recently introduced the world's first floating nuclear power plant.

Global Construction Review reports that the plant - aboard Akademic Lomonosov - is purposed with supplying hot water and central heating to the town’s apartment blocks, taking over from the coal-powered Chaun Thermal Power Plant, which was built in 1944.

How much of this will we see in other locations in the future?


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