Plasterboard prices set for major New Year hike




The Enquirer understands that major manufacturers have been informing the industry of price rises of more than 15% in the New Year.

That is on top of a near 100% rise during 2022.

One concerned contractor said: “The excuse for the price rises this year has been soaring demand and raw material price rises.

“But that’s not the case any more.

“We were expecting prices to actually come down but have now been hit with this.”

Another construction director added: “You only have to look at raw materials prices to see that virtually everything bar gas is coming down in price while container shipping rates are at all time lows as supply chain pressures ease as demand slows across the economy.

“This has left me angry and bemused so now I’m looking at sourcing board from abroad.

“The big players dominate the UK market and this

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Balfour Beatty backs US mini nuclear reactors for UK

The US firm is presently working with Hyundai Engineering and Construction to advance projects using its SMR-160 pressurised water reactors in the UK, which generate 160MW.

Under the new agreement, Balfour Beatty will act as the main UK construction partner and collaborate with HDEC on the civil construction and installation of the mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and cooling systems.

The design is a smaller rival to Rolls Royce’s small pressurized water reactors. The British engineering giant is also aiming to build SMR power stations and has teamed up with a consortium including BAM Nuttall and Laing O’Rourke.

It aims to complete its first 490MW unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 by 2035.

Now Holtec International is planning to start its UK regulatory acceptance process of its SMR-160 reactors in 2023. When granted, this could enable the start of the construction of the first UK unit

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Top Ten best read stories of 2022

The website will be updated with any major breaking stories during the holiday season with the full daily news service returning on January 3.

It has been another eventful 12 months and a busy news year for construction as the Enquirer keeps the industry up to date with what is really going on.

These were the best read stories during the year:

Our most popular stories in 2022

(Number of times they were read)

Demolition starts on half-built £48m Taylor Wimpey flats – (78,069 page views)

Barefoot builders found on Manchester housing site – (74,111 page views)

Cash-strapped Roadbridge stops work on HS2 – (63,225 page views)

Faults found on giant HS2 green tunnel segments – (49,280 page views)

Workers told to leave NRS Group sites – (45,852 page views)

University in £14m legal battle over brickwork with Laing O’Rourke – (45,603 page views)

Average site labour rates approach £1,000

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Mace seals its biggest London office refit for a decade

The £120m green refit of Goldman Sachs’ former European HQ on Fleet Street is getting underway for a mid-2024 finish.

Mace Interiors will remodel the 11-storey Peterborough Court building to create nearly 300,000 sq ft of Grade A workspace and ground floor retail.

The design strategy for the refurbishment of the iconic building has been driven by focusing on retention of fabric and structural elements, maximising lettable area and improving the energy efficiency of building operations to create a market leading offer for tenants.

It will feature transformed Fleet Street and Shoe Lane building entrances, a long gallery entrance with new glazing, and redesigned interiors aligned to the highest sustainability standards, health and wellness and dual-feed, 100% ‘All-Electric’ technology.

The focus on wellbeing will see the creation of outdoor spaces for office staff. (Picture courtesy of property agent JLL)

Stewart Ward, managing director of Mace Interiors, said the building would

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Developer and builder sentenced after wall collapse kills labourer

Jakub Fischer, a self-employed labourer, was hired as a subcontractor by North West Facilities Limited to work on a house refurbishment project for Thorndyke Developments Limited on Mansell Road, Liverpool.

The 41-year-old, who was originally from the Czech Republic, was tasked with demolishing a rear yard wall dividing the property from the neighbouring house on 5 June 2019.

That day, other workers on the job left the site at 3.30pm but when a neighbour returned home from work at around 5.40pm they saw Fischer trapped between an outer kitchen wall and a collapsed section of the yard wall. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.

An HSE investigation found the demolition work was not planned nor accounted for in the construction phase plan. No risk assessment or method statement was provided and Fischer was not trained to carry out safe demolition.

There was also a lack of

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