This week we’re looking to the future and all its possibilities

This industry is screaming opportunity. Forget talk of pessimistic economic indicators, recession, unemployment and uncertainty, and instead think growth. Not convinced? Growth relies on the ability to change, and in a big week for the built environment it’s clear that construction is embracing innovation and the power players are still driving an exciting agenda. Here’s how. 

1. BIM. Construction adviser Paul Morrell this week said all public projects will have to use BIM within five years. Compliance will come at a cost, but the risk of non-compliance is being left behind.

2. Consultants. Six months on from Aecom’s mega deal with Davis Langdon, Hill International becomes the next foreign predator hunting British consultancies. Also Arup boss Robert Care tells us his global plans.

3. Localism. At the inaugural Alan Cherry lecture this week, organised by Building, John Prescott accused John Gummer and Eric Pickles of stifling growth by dismantling “regionalism”. The government is pressing ahead with housing reform - find out how. 

4. Education. What will become of Partnership for Schools? How will free schools be rolled out? And what will the government take from the James Review? There are more questions than answers right now. Maybe it’s time for a new head to turn things around?.

5. Rail. Network Rail boss David Higgins this week explains his plan to take the network trans-border as well as becoming more commercial and efficient. It comes against a backdrop of Roy McNulty’s review of the rail sector unveiled yesterday.

6. Crossrail. Andrew Wolstenholme is to succeed Rob Holden as chief executive. With BAA, he has overseen some of the largest projects in Europe and is well equipped to lead Crossrail to its completion. But how he interacts with David Higgins will be the key to the project’s success.

7. Nuclear. The government has finally unveiled its report on the nuclear review it commissioned after the disaster in Japan. It’s clear the industry needs to continue to make the case for clean, safe nuclear delivery. What’s the alternative otherwise?

8. BCO. Is your office environment already outdated? Ken Shuttleworth told the British Council of Offices conference in Geneva last week that buildings will need to be “simpler” on the outside with more functional interiors to reflect a more mobile workforce.

9. Hepworth. Our cover building this week divides opinion. Does the building’s design work? See Ike Ijeh’s view.

10. Contractors. In a sign of the times, Lend Lease has appointed a new head of its contracting arm, formerly known as Bovis, from the National Grid.

And finally, a reminder that hard work and engagement are the formula for success in Sir Robert McAlpine president Malcolm McAlpine, who passed away this week. Until recently, the 93-year old put in regular day shifts at the office and oversaw the strategic direction of the business. A class act, he should be remembered as an inspiration to all. 

Tom Broughton is brand director of Building