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CN Briefing: 2015; 2016; Simon Kirby; Parliament restoration; Renzo Piano; HS2

The end of the year is always a time for reflection – and for planning ahead.

It’s been a tricky 12 months for many main contractors, who have continued to struggle with loss-making legacy contracts bid during the recession.

The long lead times and lengthy supply chains inherent in construction have meant that, despite the recession being long over, recovery has yet to fully take hold.

Now, though, after the transitional year of 2015, the hope is that a burgeoning pipeline of work will ensure that attention turns to how to deliver all of these projects effectively and efficiently, rather than worrying about the past.

No-one is predicting a return to the heady pre-recession heights of 2008, but given what came after, perhaps few would want to.

But the market continues to grow, providing opportunities for those able to take advantage of them.

There are of course some other new challenges waiting for established players in 2016.

Chinese firms have already got a firm footing in UK construction; global consulting giant Aecom has revealed its intention to take on the contracting market; while the perennial warnings over a shortage of skilled labour are growing louder than ever.

More twists and turns will come next year, and over the next two weeks Construction News gazes into its crystal ball and previews 2016 to see what might be in store.

Today, we take a look at what the industry will look like in 2016. Tomorrow and next week we cast an eye over some of the most complex and noteworthy projects to watch and the individuals who will shape the industry over the next 12 months.

We’ll also have Q&As with seven of construction’s leading lights, from the biggest contractors and clients, to a member of the National Infrastructure Commission – kicking off today with High Speed 2 chief executive Simon Kirby.

It’s shaping up to be a good year – stay with CN as we help you prepare for it.

House of cards

Nine shortlisted for programme delivery and design roles as the multi-billion Houses of Parliament restoration job edges forward.

Paddington can’t bear it

Campaigners criticise Renzo Piano’s plans for West London tower.

High Speed who?

Seven consortia have made it to the shortlist of High Speed 2’s £900m enabling work contracts.


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