May 16, 2020

Tallest skyscrapers in London and Dubai get the green light

Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Vallis
Dubai’s smart city vision
The Spire London
Chinese developer Greenland Group
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Dubai Creek
London and Dubai are home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, showcasing unique architecture and buildings which help boost local economi...

London and Dubai are home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, showcasing unique architecture and buildings which help boost local economies. The increased number of mixed-use skyscrapers set to be built within London are predicted to double within the next ten years, reflecting the growing population and increased need for stronger infrastructures, work and housing.  Dubai, however, has always been at the forefront of architectural and structural innovation, at which they are developing their metro lines and building stronger infrastructures in the build up to Expo 2020, in addition to accomodating a smart city vision.

London’s new skyscraper, The Spire, is set to be built by Chinese developer Greenland Group in 2017 at the end of West India Quay, becoming London’s tallest residential building. The skyscraper will become one of the most sought after living areas in the city.

Set to be completed in 2020, the resi-skyscraper will house 861 apartments over 67 stories, ranging from one, two and three bed apartments, to luxurious penthouse suites, providing complete panoramic views. The council has stated around 96 of built apartments should be affordable, with apartments starting at £595,000.

Also in the pipeline is the development of social amenities which all residents will be able to access, such as an infinity pool and spa on the 35th floor, alongside a cinema, games room, bar and club lounge. Ideal for corporate functions, the build includes several meeting rooms for businesses, play areas for children and peaceful spaces for adults to enjoy, with landscaped gardens.

However, not to be outshone, Dubai is also set to build their tallest skyscraper to date at Dubai Creek Harbour, overtaking their previous record-holder, the Burj Khalifa at 2,722ft, which is also set to complete in 2020.

Designed by Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Vallis, the Tower is set to be developed at $1 billion under a joint venture with Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding and will be based close to Dubai International Airport, providing essential links for locals and tourists within the area.

The Tower will effectively link with Dubai’s smart city vision, with embedded sophisticated technologies and sustainable elements, offering full views of the city skyline, with observation garden decks which will house flora and fauna within the space.

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Jun 11, 2021

Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Construction Skills Network says UK industry must fill 216,800 posts by 2025

The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.

Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.

But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.

Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.

"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.

"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."

Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.

According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).

Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.

The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.

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