Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Photos | The best images of the past month

1 September 2020

Skanska adopts digital tech to connect five Norwegian islands

Skanska has adopted digital technology to help manage one of Norway’s biggest projects, connecting five islands in Ålesund Municipality to the mainland in Møre og Romsdal county, through a network of tunnels and bridges. Skanska won the bid in autumn 2018 after using Topcon’s Magnet software to assess the magnitude of the work in the bidding process, as well as to optimise its entire digital workflow.

Debut for decorator robot

Construction tech start-up Okibo has demonstrated what it claims is the world’s first autonomous plastering and painting robot. The robot is designed to autonomously traverse the potentially rough terrain of a typical construction site with “high precision, while maintaining human and equipment safety”. Using 3D scanning, the robot maps its environment without any prior information, enabling progress monitoring, BIM comparison and “reliable understanding” of the plastering requirements.

O’Rourke and Murphy install modular bridge over M42

A joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and J Murphy & Sons has installed a 65m modular bridge spanning the width of the M42 in just two days. The 2,750 tonne bridge near what will become HS2’s Interchange station near Solihull was carried along the motorway on a 448-wheel self-propelled modular transporter.

Mace to project manage innovative rooftop solar PV scheme

Mace will manage the design, supply, installation and commissioning of solar panels to six rooftop locations across West Berkshire, in an innovative pilot project. The project, for West Berkshire Council, is expected to generate around 600,000kWh of energy and reduce carbon emissions by 270 tonnes a year.

Image: City of Wolverhampton council

Willmott Dixon resumes restoration of historic Civic Halls

Willmott Dixon has restarted work on the restoration of Wolverhampton’s iconic Civic Halls after an enforced break due to the covid-19 pandemic. City of Wolverhampton Council has now officially entered into the main contract with delivery partner Willmott Dixon Interiors, which since October 2019 had been progressing works under a pre-construction service delivery agreement. Following the covid-19 interruption, the newly refurbished 82-year-old Civic Halls are expected to reopen to the public in early 2022.

Giant Thames Tideway TBM arrives by boat

A huge tunnel boring machine (TBM), which will be used to create the final 5.5km stretch of the Thames Tideway super sewer towards Abbey Mills Pumping Station, has arrived in London after being transported 800km over the water from Germany. The TBM, named Selina, was delivered to Chambers Wharf from Kehl on a giant vessel called the Skylift 3000.

Fully electric skid steer loader launched

Plant firm Kovaco Electric has launched what it claims is the world’s first fully electric skid steer loader. The machine is capable of operating for up to eight hours on a single charge. Depending on the size of the battery the machine uses, the Elise 900 has a loading capacity of up to 1,400kg (with a 400Ah battery). Charging takes 3.5 hours for machines with smart batteries or 5.3 hours for machines with standard batteries.


Some good uplifting news and photos of innovation in these times.

Stephen, 10 September 2020

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