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In Pictures: Open Doors Weekend round-up

Construction sites across the country gave tours and talks to visitors of all ages during Open Doors Weekend on 27-28 September.

Here are some of the sites that were open, with pictures in the gallery above:

Centre for Creative Industries, Porth Teigr

Contractor Vinci Construction UK

The 40,000 sq ft £6m Centre for Creative Industries is being developed by Igloo and built by Vinci Construction UK for the Welsh Government. It will be thee first commercial office space at Cardiff’s Porth Teigr development and will be available for occupation in Spring 2014.

MP for Cardiff South and Penarth Stephen Doughty visited the site. He said: “It was good to see the many and varied roles a career in construction can offer, and I hope that some of the young people who take part in the Open Doors Weekend project will be encouraged and inspired to look at the industry when they make their career choices.

“Seeing around the site, which thanks to the Welsh Government and regeneration firm igloo will provide a base for small to medium sized enterprises in the creative sector, was fascinating.”

The “world’s fastest skip”, from waste management contractor GD Environmental, was also on show for visitors to try out.

Riverside East Office Scheme, Glasgow

Contractor Morgan Sindall

Open on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September, two days earlier than the rest of the sites, Morgan Sindall welcomed students from local schools and colleges to visit its Riverside East site.

The £24m development in the heart of the Clyde Gateway area will feature 120,000 sq ft of office space once completed, housing up to 900 staff. Work began in June and is expected to last for 16 months.

Morgan Sindall business development director Scott Wilson said: “The Riverside East project is one of the largest we are currently undertaking in Scotland, and as such it’s an ideal site for people considering construction as a career to come and take a look at.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the Open Doors programme, which is unique in the way people can see the range of career paths available in construction and its supporting industries.”

Hillington Square, King’s Lynn

Contractor Lovell

A total of 83 visitors toured this major estate regeneration programme at Hillington Square, King’s Lynn, including students from the College of West Anglia.

Local housing regeneration specialist Lovell is undertaking the project for Freebridge Community Housing, and opened up the site for tours, hands-on activities and workshops, and careers and training advice.

Work on the extensive improvement scheme has just begun and will include kitchen and bathroom replacements for the estate’s 320 flats, as well as window and door renewals, insulation work and other improvements such as external cladding, rebuilding of balconies and walkways, construction of new staircases, installation of secure entrances and new lifts and remodelling of garages.

Lovell regional director Tony Tann said: “Involving the community is a key focus for us as we work on this scheme so we were delighted to be able to invite local people on to site through the Open Doors.”

Essex Business School, University of Essex

Contractor Morgan Sindall

MP for Colchester Bob Russell visited the £21m Essex Business School as part of Open Doors Weekend. Morgan Sindall is undertaking the work for the University of Essex, and the building is being designed by architects BDP to be carbon neutral.

The team is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating, and the building will feature a range of sustainable elements including a ‘green’ sedum roof, solar panels, ground source heat pumpsand sustainably sourced materials.

The curved timber-framed and timber-clad building is shaped so that it benefits from natural day lighting and ventilation. The building will also feature an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) biome panelled roof, similar to that used in the Eden Project, which is made from a fluorine-based plastic and which is resilient, self-cleaning and recyclable.

It is due to be completed for the start of the 2014 academic year and will include a 250-seat lecture theatre, a number of smaller seminar rooms, teaching areas, common rooms and student social spaces.

Morgan Sindall contracts manager Derek Foster said: “We were really pleased with the interest the initiative has received from the future users of the building, the local community and, especially, young people interested in a future career in construction.”

Madeira Road student accommodation, Bournemouth

Contractor Morgan Sindall

This £18m student accommodation development for Bournemouth Development Company, a public-private partnership between Bournemouth Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd, is part of a £300m Town Centre Vision regeneration scheme.

Morgan Sindall is delivering £27m worth of key works as part of the wider scheme, including the £18m contract to build three blocks of student accommodation at Madeira Road. 

The blocks will rise from four to seven storeys and will house 378 students for the Art University Bournemouth. A 382-space multi-storey car park will also be constructed at the site.

Morgan Sindall area director, Paul Gale, said: “We were delighted to take part in the Open Doors Weekend initiative and really pleased with the interest the event has received from the local community, especially young people interested in a future career in construction.

“This is a high-profile project in Bournemouth and most of the project team come from the local area, so it’s great that people were able to come and meet the team and take a look around the site, to learn more about the work we’re doing.”

Multiple projects, Balfour Beatty

Over 300 people visited Balfour Beatty’s 12 sites during Open Doors Weekends. Sites open to the public included the new Accident Emergency Department at Northwick Park Hospital, student accommodation for the University of Edinburgh, the M25 Managed Motorway scheme and Exeter Library in Devon.

Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK chief executive officer Nick Pollard said: “Open Doors was a great opportunity for us to engage with our neighbours and to demonstrate the vital role construction plays in helping to make communities better places to live and work.

“It’s also a chance to attract young people into our industry and I’m delighted that so many have visited us this year so that we have been able to show them the fantastic opportunities available to them.”

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