Link between Lemley and Bechtel exposed! Arsenal party central upset! Halcrow celebrates birth of twins shock! Builders blank sexy girls horror! Well what are you waiting for? Start reading!

Digging a hole

Good to see that preparations for the London Olympics are chugging along nicely. However, it hasn’t escaped my attention that a few issues are emerging with the American contingent on the mighty project. Jack Lemley, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, is part of the panel that will asses Bechtel’s bid for the plum role of Olympic delivery partner. But this is not the first time the two have met. In 2002, Lemley was hired by the state of Massachusetts to assess the Big Dig, a plagued tunnel project in Boston where Bechtel is project manager. As the troubles on the job have worsened in recent months, an investigation has been launched into health and safety. While there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on Bechtel’s part, there could be a few red faces if Lemley is called in as an expert witness.

Man on the ball

Rolv Kristiansen is pondering retirement. The man who led the Millennium Dome and Excel conference centre jobs for Sir Robert McAlpine may hang up his hard hat after the completion of Arsenal’s stadium. What? Even if Sir Robert wins the Olympic stadium? Apparently so. Kristiansen has doubts about doing the same type of project twice. He believes steering a different type of project “focuses the mind”, which is no doubt one of the reasons he was able to drive through the Arsenal job so successfully.

Get a load of the sensitivity on him

Get a load of the sensitivity on him

I hear that HBG project manager Geoff Wright (who is not the recently retired Hammerson director) was delighted by complaints made by the 200 models hired for the Harrogate lingerie and swimwear show in North Yorkshire. The women were hurt that the workers in the town had not been paying them any attention. Those grafting on HBG’s Harrogate Royal Hall project next door to the exhibition hall have, on company orders, kept their shirts on and the admiring whistles to a minimum.

Dos and don’ts

Speaking of Arsenal, the club’s hospitality suite is making the most of the industry’s September party season – and the absence of competition from Wembley. So far, Sir Robert McAlpine, Buro Happold, the British Consultants and Construction Bureau and consultant McBains Cooper have booked it for their festivities. Meanwhile, at Wembley I hear that the only glasses being raised are by relieved Multiplex staff who no longer have to worry about transferring straight from the stadium to the White City development, now that their employer has pulled out of the scheme.

Pandering to sentiment

Congratulations to Halcrow, which has announced that it has given birth to twins. Both boys are doing well but were a little on the small side at 169g and 119g. But that’s not so surprising if you’re a bear. The mother was, in fact, a giant panda, which Halcrow is sponsoring at a Chinese research centre. She’s called He Le, which (I’m implausibly informed) is Mandarin for Halcrow.

Plug in

Katherine Bailey, a member of Building’s graduate editorial advisory panel, is in the midst of organising the Construction Excellence-backed awards for young people in the industry. If you would like to nominate somebody for the award, the deadline is Monday 25 September. The nominator and nominee both must be under the age of 35.

For further details please email either or