The National House Building Council (NHBC) reports a positive start to 2019 for the new homebuilding industry, with over 37,500 new homes registered by the UK’s housebuilders and developers in the first three months – a 3% increase on the same period in 2018. Housebuilder and Developer Online.

Construction company Wates have been awarded the contract for the proposed £60 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre – a feature of Birmingham’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Inside the Games.

A £5m contract to resurface the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Northamptonshire has been won by Tarmac. Essential track maintenance work will take place over 20 days between 10th and 30th June, with the work completed in time for the 2019 Formula One British Grand Prix in July. Construction Index.

Infrastructure builders Morgan Sindall have posted an 8% increase in its order book in just the first three months of this year, with the strong start expected to improve on its construction margins which stood at 2% last year. Building.

With total advance sales some 2.4% up on the same period last year, Barrett Developments says that it has enjoyed “strong performance” in the first four months of 2019. That is against a background of a stable market, attention to its own cost profiles, and an enhanced range of houses built. Housebuilder.

Community-based initiatives to provide cut-price homes for younger home-seekers and those in need of housing are in line to receive grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 from a newly-established £8.5 million fund. Gov.UK.

A study by engineers at Ramboll has found that commoditised design is widespread in the UK construction industry to cut design costs, with, they say, buildings routinely being over-designed with 50% more electrical and 30% more heating and cooling capacity than they will ever need. Construction Index.

Two housing associations specifically oriented towards women tenants have announced a possible merger. The Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPH) and Housing for Women associations – which are both based in London – claims the merger would do more to help them provide “high-quality” homes and offer “wider housing solutions and choices” for women. Inside Housing.

In terms of construction costs, London is one of the most expensive places in the world to build. Although costs in the capital rank in 6th place globally, they are still behind places such as New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong – which take the top three spots. Arcadis.

The government-backed Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) calls for greater use of modern methods of construction (MMC) to help mitigate demands for the bigger workforce otherwise required to deliver the targeted 300,000 new homes a year. With MMC, the requirement for 195,000 more workers could be reduced to 158,000 by 2025. Housebuilder.

Europe’s biggest housing jamboree, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) takes place at the Manchester Central exhibition complex from the 25th to the 27th of June. More than 1,400 exhibitors are expected to attend, including representatives of 98% of all the country’s leading housing associations. Chartered Institute of Housing.

Seven out of ten people surveyed by the National Housing Federation think that the government is not doing enough to resolve the current housing crisis. Three out of four complain about the lack of affordable housing – either in their own area of elsewhere – and two in three believe that young people will find it even harder to find affordable accommodation in five years’ time. Inside Housing.

Housing association Hyde – already the owner of 50,000 properties – has joined forces with housebuilders Westerhill Homes to build 400 homes on the Old Thanet Way site in Whitstable and to improve the nature reserve on nearby Duncan Downs. The development is also supported by Homes England. Hyde.

The government has stepped in to remove external cladding – similar to that used on the ill-fated Grenfell Tower block – on 170 privately-owned high rise residential buildings, at a cost to the public purse of some £200 million. Evening Standard.