Balfour Beatty bucks construction industry trend

17 January 2012

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

UK construction giant Balfour Beatty may be in greater need of building standards such as Eurocodes after securing £100 million worth of contracts.

"We have been able to harness technology to create innovative solutions for our customers and look forward to working with them in delivering these first class schemes," declared Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Ian Tyler.

The agreements are all in the commercial sector and include an £18 million pact to deliver a new five-storey mixed use development in Buchanan Street in Glasgow for Land Securities.

In the City of London, the firm will construct a £57 million prime office building for AXA Real Estate called Sixty London and an 11-storey block for Viridis Real Estate Service on behalf of Emmatown Properties.

In a recent trading update, Balfour Beatty said its overall trading is in line with expectations for 2011, with its order book remaining stable despite the overall economic situation.

However, the sector as a whole is experiencing tough conditions at present, with November 2011 seeing a 1.2 per cent decline in output.

This is according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and has led to a declaration by the Federation of Master Builders that "confidence in the building industry has collapsed".

It follows a poll by the organization suggesting just five per cent of small firms in the sector expect to see workloads rise in 2012, causing its Director of External Affairs, Brian Berry, to express concern about the possible impact of the slump on the delivery of the Government's ambitious Green Deal scheme.

He suggested if it is to "succeed in its ambition to retrofit 14 million properties by 2020 then it will need to provide householders with additional financial incentives".

The ONS also reported that new work declined by 1.3 per cent during November last year, while there was a one per cent drop in repair and maintenance work.

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