Once again I have managed to embarrass myself in that this is the first time I have posted in 2015. January and February have vanished already and here we are getting on for a quarter of the way through the year already. Anyway let me bring you up to speed with what has been going on in the technical department over the last couple of months.
Well it seems to be award season at the moment and we have been busy having a go at trying to win one again following our success a couple of years back. We have been shortlisted for two Construction News Specialist Awards and one Ground Engineering award, the latter submitted jointly with Skanska on the temporary works aspects of the construction of the Crossrail Paddington station box. We have recently made our presentations in front of judging panels and are eagerly awaiting the results. The CN ceremony is in a couple of weeks time, we have two shots on goal so to speak so here’s hoping we can bag at least one of them. It will be a good excuse to dust off the DJ at least.
We also recently attended and exhibited at the inaugural “Underground Space” conference at the Instruction of Civil Engineers HQ in Westminster. Despite costing an absolute fortune to park locally, it was a good event and certainly a wonderful place to hold a conference.
It has also been a busy period attending various industry committee meetings. We have been asked to participate on the steering committees of two temporary works related PAS (Publically available specification) documents. A PAS is essentially a fast track, mini British standard. Both of these are being sponsored jointly by the temporary works forum (TWf) and HS2. PAS 8111 relates to Client specifications for procuring temporary works and PAS 8112 relates to the old chestnut of Eurocode design of temporary works.
The latter topic is particularly interesting and of course an opportunity to finally to produce some authoritative UK guidance on this thorny subject. The initial meeting provoked some interesting debate as you would expect. My personal view at least for below ground T/wks is that we should look to classify this into complexity categories and design accordingly. For example, simple designs involving “standard” equipment such as trench boxes and small frames could be designed by traditional working load / global factor of safety methodology whereas more complex design work, where better quality geotechnical information is more readily available, should be carried out to Eurocodes. More on this subject after the next meeting in the spring.
To finish off for now, I am pleased to announce that we have at last completed our first fully animated training video. The plan is to produce a series of these to replace our perhaps rather dated now toolbox talk videos. The latter have served their purpose very well over the years but we need to embrace the current industry desire for digital presentation. Take a look for yourself:-
Feel free to share, like, and comment.
Until next time.
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