PRESIDENT’S COLUMN RIBA Stirling prize shortlist
The redevelopment of London Bridge Station and the
Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, both which
made extensive use of structural steelwork, have made
the shortlist for this year’s RIBA Stirling prize.
RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, will
announce the winner of highest accolade in October.
London Bridge (above left) is one of the UK’s busiest
railway stations and reopened last year following a £1
billion redevelopment programme.
The Stirling Prize jury said its voluminous spaces
and impressive new concourse had significantly
improved the experience of those who use it daily.
Two major steelwork packages were undertaken on
the project, one for the new bridge decks, which was
awarded to Cleveland Bridge and another for platform
canopies and associated areas, which was completed by
The £140M redevelopment of the Macallan Distillery
in Speyside, Scotland (above right) has created a new
facility with an undulating grass-covered roof.
The Stirling Prize jury said the distillery is futuristic,
but also blends into the rolling hillside environment.
Working on behalf of main contractor Robertson
Construction, S H Structures fabricated, supplied
and erected the steelwork for the Macallan Distillery
Latest Canary Wharf towers taking shape
Steelwork is nearing completion on the two latest high-rise towers
in London Docklands.
Provisionally known as D1/D2, the largest of the structures
is a 14-storey commercial block which has required 2,300t of
B3 is a hybrid building as its design incorporates 10-storeys
of concrete-framed structure, accommodating hotel and leisure
space, with four-levels of steel-framed offices on top. A total of
880t of steel is being erected for this scheme.
Working on behalf of Canary Wharf Contractors, Elland Steel
Structures is fabricating, supplying and erecting the steelwork for
The buildings form part of the Wood Wharf development
which aims to create a new neighbourhood for the capital. It is
set to bring 20,000 jobs to the region and boast one of the largest
clusters of tech and creative businesses in the UK.
From small acorns grow mighty oaks. This wellknown
proverb applies perfectly to the UK’s structural
BCSA has many substantial member companies
who only a generation or two ago were just starting
out and are now contributing significant amounts to
the UK’s economic growth, productivity improvements
and employment. And BCSA’s small and medium
sized member companies are individually and
collectively contributing to UK PLC. While some of
these companies will continue to remain SMEs, others
will grow and become large individual contributors to
the economy in their own right.
Or will they? Not if the government persists in
bringing in new regulations and taxes that affect SMEs
and construction sub-contractors disproportionately.
Construction sector sub-contractors have already
had to deal with raw material price increases coupled
with sluggish tender prices. They are managing
skills shortages and the consequential labour cost
inflation, and they have put in their own training and
apprenticeship programmes to manage this. But as
they grow in size and employ more staff, they are hit
with the apprenticeship levy.
As we roll into the second half of the year, the
government’s reverse charge VAT for construction subcontractors
due to come into force on 1 October will
lead to a loss of productivity, reduced cashflow and in
the worst cases, tip some companies over the edge.
SMEs will be least able to cope, as they already
spend on average 44 hours per year, which is the
equivalent to six working days, on VAT compliance.
BCSA has joined 15 UK construction bodies in
calling for a six month delay to the implementation of
reverse VAT. BCSA has also written to the Chancellor
asking the government to use this time to review its
decision to impose reverse VAT altogether.
BCSA has calculated that for an average
subcontractor turning over £15 million, reverse VAT
will mean increasing negative cash flows, peaking at
£262,500 in month three of the change.
BCSA believes that the government does not fully
understand the implications of yet another financial
blow to subcontractors and has not communicated
the changes sufficiently to industry. This is borne out
by data collected by the Federation of Master Builders
that shows that over two-thirds of construction SMEs
(69%) have not even heard of reverse charge VAT.
Let’s hope that the government sees sense and
reconsiders yet another burden on construction subcontractors
and SMEs, allowing more of those acorns
BCSA President and Jamestown Manufacturing
• At the time of going to print, HMRC announced a
one-year delay to the implementation of reverse
charge VAT until 1 October 2020.
highlights steel’s flexibility
US-based Gulfstream Aerospace has awarded
VolkerFitzpatrick a £34M contract to construct a new
maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) aircraft
hangar at Farnborough Airport.
The design and build project will see
VolkerFitzpatrick build a purpose-built 20,400m2
hangar to house up to 16 of Gulfstream’s private jets
as well as maintenance facilities. The building will
also include three floors of office space, customer
experience areas and a café.
The structure will be composed of a steel frame,
on top of concrete pad foundations, with a series
of 67m-long trusses over the hangar doors. The
building’s envelope will consist of composite clad
walls and a standing seam roof.
Specialist services will be installed, as well as
hangar doors, cranes and a deluge foam sprinkler
system. External works will include a new car park,
which will connect to the airport’s perimeter road.
In addition, the project includes demolition and
reconstruction of an external apron, which ties
into the taxiway, along with associated lighting and
Stuart Deverill, Managing Director of
VolkerFitzpatrick’s Building division, said: “We
are delighted to have been awarded this exciting
project to deliver Gulfstream’s first purpose-built
MRO hangar facility in the UK. This is a fantastic
opportunity and I look forward to our collaboration
over the coming months.”
The new hangar is due to be completed in summer
2020, ready for the Farnborough Airshow.
in new hangar