The Break Fast Show #438

In today’s show: DSM sets aside £1.6 million for its CMA fine, taking the total to almost £29 million and counting. We have a sneak preview of our conversation with Ben the Operator; and a Spanish demolition firm is looking to do something that Europe’s best football clubs have generally failed to accomplish – Complete a demolition at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium;

PLUS we take a look at demolition from an unusual angle.

Join us LIVE for the Break Fast Show – the only daily live news show for the demolition and construction industry; and stick around for the after-show chat: The Craic.

CMA fines – £29 million and rising

DSM has become the latest demolition company to declare the amount of money it has earmarked to settle fines that are expected to be levied by the Competition and Markets Authority following an investigation into alleged bid rigging in the UK demolition sector.

The Midlands-based company has set aside £1.6 million, taking the total so far to just under £29 million.

You can learn more about the CMA investigation in our dedicated podcast series here. And you can watch the video below for more details.

The Break Fast Show #437

In today’s show: A perfect storm is approaching the UK construction industry. Should we batten down the hatches now or is it already too late? We’re off to the US in the company of those fine folks at Doosan; we’re celebrating fifty years of Gallaghers; and we’re looking ahead to an electrifying ConExpo with Volvo Construction Equipment.

But, far more importantly, we will be joined by Neil Edwards, head of The Builders’ Conference as we look back at the end of last year and ahead towards 2023.

Old Years’ Resolutions

I did not bother with New Year’s Resolutions this year: partly because I know from past experience that my commitment is as fleeting as a politician’s promise; but also because there are too many industry resolutions that are now far too long overdue.

It is time that the demolition and construction industry truly got to grips with the mental health pandemic that is leading upwards of 500 predominantly young men to take their own lives each year.

The suicide rate within the construction industry is now fast and shamefully approaching a figure that is four times the national average. The fact that we are aware of that fact and have so far chosen only to apply sticking plaster awareness solutions surely suggests that the industry is not as caring, warm and cuddly as it would have others believe.

It is time that the demolition and construction industry finally got to grips with the skills shortage that has plagued the sector for generations. It is also time to question how industry training providers continue to grow ever wealthier even as we fail to attract the much-needed influx of young talent the industry so desperately craves.

The fact that we have cards and courses for everything, that we have swapped real competence and skill for pieces of plastic surely suggests that something within the system is broken.

The fact that we continually fail to attract young people to an industry that reshapes the very landscape of the nation suggests that we’re not as hip, groovy and “down with the kids” as we would like to believe.

It is time that we finally accepted that – for all the campaigns, initiatives and social media activity – demolition and construction still falls a long way short in its engagement with women, racial minorities and anyone that is not straight, white and fiercely heterosexual.

The fact that attitudes on many sites still hark back to the bad old Benny Hill days of old suggests that we’re not the progressive and all-embracing industry we would like others to believe.

It is high time that we saw some resolution in the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into collusion within the UK demolition industry.

The fact that it has taken almost four years to trawl through the bid-rigging scandal surely suggests that the industry is not as transparent and squeaky-clean as some would have you believe.

And it is surely time that the investigation into the boiler house collapse at the Didcot A Power Station in 2016 was finally concluded.

In just a few weeks’ time, seven years will have elapsed since that fateful day that claimed the lives of four demolition workers. During that time, we have had two monarchs and five prime ministers. But we have had no explanation on why those four men died; and why their families have been kept waiting in such a cruel and heartless manner.

The fact that the seventh anniversary of that accident could still pass without any form of resolution or justice surely suggests that working men and women are still seen as expendable.

On that note, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year. I pray that these ghosts of New Years’ past are finally and belatedly exorcised; and that they no longer haunt the sector when 2024 rolls around.

Tech 4 Sites #2 – JCB’s hydrogen dreams

The demolition and construction industry is facing its biggest change since mechanisation – The switch from traditional diesel fuel to a new and largely unproven future fuel.

Quite what that fuel might be is still open to discussion. But, having experimented with electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology, construction equipment giant JCB looks set to pioneer and pursue a hydrogen combustion path.

Demolition’s Greatest Threat – Episode #1

It has been described as the single biggest threat to the demolition industry; an amalgamation of academics, environmentalists, politicians, architects and the national media attempting to slow, block and even ban demolition to protect the so-called embodied carbon locked within the world’s building stock.

It is a campaign that is gathering traction and gaining momentum.

Yet, even as the demolition sector finds itself in the crosshairs, the industry is failing to respond. It is failing to address the rising tide of anti-demolition feeling; failing to fully explain the key role that demolition plays in the development of infrastructure, housing and the built environment; failing to highlight demolition’s role at the very heart of the Circular Economy; and failing to explain that the demolition industry recycles, reuses and repurposes what many perceive as a waste to provide the construction industry with vital materials, recycling at a rate that puts other industries to shame.

As all this unfolds, we will monitor and chart the current and future impact of the embodied carbon lobby upon the demolition sector.

Welcome to Episode #1 of Demolition’s Greatest Threat.

UK construction facing perfect storm

Financial experts are predicting that the UK construction sector could experience as many as 6,000 insolvencies during 2023.

Epic start to 2023

The New Year is less than 24 hours old and DemolitionNews is already celebrating another significant milestone; passing the 30,000 subscriber mark on YouTube.

C&D Renamed and Reframed

C&D Demolition Consultants, one of the world’s best-known and most respected industry consultancies, is to change its name to better reflect its broader and more comprehensive service offering.

Commencing 1 January 2023, the company will be known as C&D Engineering Consultants.

Fresh back from the beginning of the company’s most prestigious overseas contract to date, Managing Director Mike Kehoe say that this is more of a reframing than a renaming.

“Over the past two decades or more, C&D has established itself as a major force in the field of demolition consultancy. We have a number of loyal and long-term clients in the demolition sphere. We are proud of our accomplishments within the demolition industry and it remains an integral and important part of our business,” he explains. “But we are more than just a demolition consultancy these days. Our growth and diversification has taken us into entirely new areas of business, from mainstream construction to the nuclear sector where we currently have four live projects underway.”

That growth and diversification is reflected not just in the name of the business but in its very make-up.

“We now have a larger, dedicated consultancy team to assist our clients across all sectors.,” Kehoe continues. And we have directly employed our own construction professionals to further enhance our service offering to those clients.”

Mike Kehoe believes that the reframing and renaming of C&D is in keeping with changes within the wider sector.

“We have seen many of our demolition clients diversify into areas of construction and nuclear decommissioning and we have accompanied them on that journey. We have also seen construction clients taking a greater interest in demolition and its ability to set the sustainability standard for an entire project from the very outset,” he explains. “We are, of course, keen to retain the C&D name started by previous owner John Woodward and the reputation that now goes along with that name. But C&D Engineering Consultants better reflects our business and the business of our growing client base today.”

The Break Fast Show #436

It is the final show of the year so expect Christmas jumpers, snow, and a Komatsu baseball cap giveaway together with the news that JCB has passed a significant electric milestone.

Turn on, tune in and take part before we take a well-earned break.