6 iconic builds by Laing O’Rourke
With recent news that Laing O’Rourke has successfully obtained the tender to upgrade one of Australia’s top iconic builds and tourist features, the Sydney Opera House in a five-year project, we take a look at six iconic builds the company has been behind, showcasing unique designs and engineering expertise. Their hard work and commitment has resulted in the completion of unique structures which have brought communities together and provided increased benefits to the regions in which they are situated.
Atlantis Hotel, The Palm, Dubai
Constructed over a three-year period, the Atlantis hotel, situated on the man-made island is one of the most popular builds in the world, with over 23 stories, alongside a large water park.
Responsible for the construction and design of the hotel, the company utilised over 10,000 workers, allowing the build to be completed on budget and earlier than expected timescales.
A partnership with NORR has allowed this five-star hotel to be one of the most popular places to visit within the UAE.
Olympic and Paralympic Games, London
The company had to deliver a high quality construction and finish within such an iconic build for all the world to see in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Laing O’Rourke’s hard work enabled the win of the RoSPA Diamond Jubilee Award.
Responsible for the programme management of the 670-acre site, incorporating complex logistics, construction and operational expertise, Laing O’Rourke’s high-class leadership and collaborative approach allowed for a high quality finish, which will be iconic for years to come.
Perth Stadium Station, Australia
Set for completion in 2018, the Perth Stadium Station is set to strengthen Perth’s infrastructure, allowing an increased number of citizens to access and utilise the region’s rail services. The construction of six new platforms will cater for the increased demand.
Commencing in 2015, the project is now over 60 percent completed. The collaboration with AECOM will ensure the project will be delivered on time and meet key objectives.
Hong Kong Metro Rail Expansion Express Rail Link
The Hong Kong Metro Rail Expansion Express Rail Link took five years to build, officially completing in 2015.
The 26km project, incorporating two separate contracts, incorporates the construction of the north and south divisions of the tunnel. The works now officially link with the high speed rail to central China, creating stronger infrastructure and transport links.
Woronora Bridge, Sydney, Australia
Completed back in 2001, the Woronora Bridge has enabled the economic growth of nearby communities and strengthened Sydney’s infrastructure.
The 521-metre-long bridge is comprised of four lanes, reducing congestion and travel time in the region. The project was completed three months ahead of planned timescales, highlighting Laing O’Rourke’s dedication and commitment within the construction.
Centre Hospitalier De L’Université de Montréal, Canada
Completed within four years, the Centre Hospitalier De L’Université de Montréal (CHUM) in Canada comprises 22 storeys and comprises a spacious, light, airy and innovative design.
Building on existing university hospitals within Montréal, the hospital will become the focal point for teaching and research, incorporating a vital research centre. The hospital’s aim to provide first-class will see it enable to accommodate for over 30 medical disciplines.
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
The construction industry: Facing a mental health crisis
Data collected by the Office for National Statistics has shown that more than 2,000 construction workers took their own lives in 2017. Other findings from a study conducted by the Glasgow Caledonian University show that the problem is getting worse. From 2017 to 2019, the number of suicides per 100,000 rose from 26 to 29, with people in the construction industry three times more likely to take their own lives in 2019 compared to other industries.
Why is the construction industry experiencing a rise in mental health conditions?
Bill Hill, Chief Executive of the mental health charity Lighthouse Club, says that one reason for the rise in mental health conditions is due to financial pressure. He said that it is a “huge factor” in construction, “causing stress, depression, and anxiety”. He added that several self-employed workers are “brilliant tradespeople but don’t have the education”, which may be helpful in running their business.
“They win a project, someone pays them a big invoice but they don’t put money aside for VAT [and then] the taxman asks for payment so they get finance. It tumbles from there. Sole trader-style business management should be taught at apprenticeship level”, Hill said.
According to Lighthouse Club, the industry is “hugely fragmented” and “difficult to reach over half of the 2.8mn self-employed construction workers. “Some larger companies have done a fantastic job on mental health”, Hill says. “But only apply their programmes and workshops to their own staff. Until you get to the huge mass of very capable tradespeople who are getting no input, one of the biggest problems is awareness”.
How can awareness of mental health be improved in the construction industry?
Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Council, Graham Watts, says that the industry has made positive steps forward on mental wellbeing but that “it is still not doing nearly enough” to support staff in this area.
Looking at how awareness of mental health can be improved in the industry today, Watts said: “Today, I would hope it is easier to be more open about mental health. I’m impressed by the leadership that is being shown by some companies – for example, Tideway, where Chief Executive Andy Mitchell has ‘mental health first aider’ immediately after his email sign-off – but it is still only being exhibited by the best of the best”.
Lighthouse club has also launched a campaign for construction workers to raise more awareness of mental health in the industry. Named “Help Inside the Hard Hat”, the campaign makes all workers aware of the services that Lighthouse Club offers, “regardless of employment status”, the charity says. Lighthouse Club is taking particular care to encourage contractors to put up posters on sites and ensure that they reach all workers, including the self-employed.
The charity also has a free app that allows workers to access mental health information and resources. Lighthouse Club is also improving the availability of information by working with partners such as the Safer Highways charity and Glasgow Caledonian University. But the charity is working on improving the understanding and destigmatisation of mental health in the industry one step at a time. Hill said: “The first thing is suicides,” says Hill. “That is the number one benchmark of all the work we are doing – are we reducing suicides in the industry?”.
If you are a construction worker - or someone you know is and you need support, you can call the Lighthouse Club helpline on 0345 605 1956.