The Break Fast Show #115

In today’s show: Contractors pay on time shocker; what does grapheme reinforced concrete mean for the future of demolition attachments; Dean Equipment and Robustrack join forces; and Thompsons of Prudhoe acquire some new firepower.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #114

In today’s show: The unstoppable rise of the high-rise; workload rises are being hampered by materials shortages; Teesworks demolition hits an important milestone; and there’s an opportunity for a demolition contractor to go to Cambridge.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.

You can grab a copy of The Rise of the Super Towers here:

You can read the BBC Oxford article on the ongoing Didcot investigation here:

The Break Fast Show #113

In today’s show: Another blot is partially removed from the UK landscape as DSM fells four cooling towers at Eggborough Power Station; construction sector investment still suffering from post-COVID symptoms; why I may have misjudged the popularity of framework agreements; and there’s a tidy little demolition project up for grabs in Godalming.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Comment – You’ve been framed…

A new national demolition framework – valued at £1.56 billion – was announced this past week.

Now as someone that would happily sell his own grandmother for £20 (in my defence, she’s been dead for 20+ years and is long past her best) £1.56 billion is a lot of money. And I feel certain that bid teams across the land will be rubbing their hands together in fevered anticipation at the prospect of securing just a slice of that action.

Personally, I have a bit of an issue with frameworks. As far as I can see, frameworks merely serve to add yet more bureaucracy to a process that already has to contend with more red tape than the dedicated Red Division of the Acme Tape Manufacturing Company.

With that bureaucracy surely comes additional cost. I feel certain that Pagabo – the company administering this new national framework – are not doing so for purely altruistic reasons. Given that a lot of the work contained within the framework is publicly funded, is this not just placing further strain upon coffers already lined with stretch marks?

It is also worth remembering that even those companies that overcome the countless obstacles and hurdles that traditionally accompany these frameworks have no guarantee of work. They may have invested tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds to make it onto the list, only to see all the work handed out to rivals and competitors.

My biggest concern with frameworks of this nature is their potential to skew the demolition sector in favour of those bigger companies that already boast large and dedicated tender teams that deal with these things on a regular basis.

According to the statement that accompanied the announcement of this new demolition framework, some of the work will include the demolition of buildings of less than five storeys. Of the 600-odd demolition companies competing for work here in the UK, it’s safe to say that more than half of them would be capable of tackling work of that nature; a lot of them would have done so previously and would have the requisite experience required to do so again.

However, now that the bidding for this work now requires jumping through bureaucratic hoops, there is a distinct possibility that those smaller companies might not have the required bidding skills. In short, they may be capable of doing the work just as well as anyone else, but they can’t get on the list because they lack a dedicated tender team.

To make this matter worse, it is possible or even highly likely that bigger companies winning work will sub-contract it out to a smaller company anyway. While that does mean that some smaller demolition firms may benefit indirectly, this is yet another unnecessary cost.

Of course, £1.56 billion is most certainly not to be sneezed at. I have never knowingly looked a gift horse (or any other type of horse) in the mouth. And given all that the industry has endured these past 18 months or so, who am I to deny them a slice of this well-earned windfall.

But I am left with the feeling that both the public coffers and most demolition companies stand to lose out while the company administering the whole thing are sitting on a guaranteed winner.

(Just as an aside, I ran a poll on the subject of framework agreements on our Instagram feed this weekend and it appears that – not for the first time – I find myself at odds with popular opinions. Of the almost 3,600 people that took part on our poll, 71 percent said they believed framework agreements were a good thing)

Crews scramble at Eggborough…

First four cooling towers felled in explosive demolition event.

Four huge cooling towers have been demolished today at the former Eggborough power station in North Yorkshire.

The 90 metre tall structures were brought down just after 8 am on Sunday.

The coal-fired power station was decommissioned in 2018 and four of its eight towers – each containing around 11,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete – were demolished as part of a plan to redevelop the site.

The Weekend Wrap #17

There’s a big bang in Avonmouth; a new £1.56 billion national demolition framework is up for grabs; and a legal logjam is impacting upon demolition workers and their families.

All that and much, much more, on The Weekend Wrap.

German digger driver runs amok…

German media outlets are reporting that an excavator operator has inflicted more than €500,000 of damage on a newly-constructed building in a dispute over non-payment.

The incident occurred in Blumberg (Baden-Württemberg). Police say that a 47-year-old building contractor from the vicinity of Bad Kreuznach (Rhineland-Palatinate) was responsible.

According to local media reports, the man used a borrowed excavator to vent his anger upon a newly-built apartment block before turning his attention to some neighbouring garages.

More details here.

The Break Fast Show #112

In today’s show: The Environment Agency issues a warning over plastic demolition and construction waste; CASE dealers widen their horizons; XCMG mining trucks on parade; and Builders’ Conference CEO Neil Edwards looks back over another positive month for construction contract awards.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #111

In today’s show: Rye Group is spearheading the rejuvenation of Aldershot town centre; Doosan draws back the curtain on its latest wheeled excavators; Oakwood Demolition couples up with Miller; and there’s a car showroom in Bristol requiring the attention of a demolition contractor.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #110

In today’s show: A new national demolition framework has been unveiled (link to the scheduled webinar can be found here); launched; shear delight as Italmek presses the IP18 attachment into action; construction equipment sales are riding high; and we have the official film of last week’s Avonmouth blast.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.