Is it CIPHER or CIPER? This has been the major debate in the past two weeks in construction lobbying circles after the launch of the Whitehall–industry forum last month. I can reveal that after much gnashing of teeth at the first meeting last week, the group decided on CIPER. "We've dropped the H. There was a lot of confusion," one member admits. Perhaps one dictionary definition of CIPHER ("a thing of little value, a nonentity") put them off. Thank God it wasn't CYPHER, also the name of a film that depicts a future where employees are brainwashed by big businesses. Or CYPHRE, the name of the devil in Angel Heart …
More quiet on the home front
The stream of construction television series just never stops: this month sees ITV's Building the Dream, in which 12 couples trade their normal lives for 13 weeks on a building site. Here's another idea: could producers and schedulers spend 13 weeks not coming up with increasingly desperate ideas for DIY or property shows? Pretty please?
BAA's Terminal 5 is now complete … well, almost. Last week a couple of my august colleagues were given a guided tour by Tony Douglas, the megaproject's managing director. As part of the tour, the intrepid duo were taken to a vast plateau of featureless concrete that will become hard standing for aircraft.
"In a few weeks' time these will be handed over to the airport operator," said the ebullient Douglas. The significance of this, he said, was that part of the project has been completed.
No doubt it would be ungracious to point out that this still leaves another £2bn of work to go.
A Sunday Times exclusive
Brad Pitt has emerged as a closet architect, according to The Sunday Times last week. The star of Fight Club, 12 Monkeys and the upcoming Troy is collaborating with Frank Gehry to work on plans to redevelop the Grand Avenue area in Los Angeles. An early April fool, surely? No, apparently. Brad's friends say he is eager to learn skills at the knee of his pal Gehry. Not content to stop there, The Sunday Times continued, he now wants to design a whole town. The only problem with the story is that it isn't true. Keith Mendenhall, Gehry's PR, emails me to say that the great man has no plans to tutor anyone.
On the Inca trail
Fancy a trip to Peru? Work will start in June on 10 "ecolodges" in the heart of the Andes, near the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. The scheme is by charity Twin, which helps produce the Fairtrade coffee brand Cafédirect, and the Department for International Development.
They are looking for design and construction firms to help out.
For details call Charlotte Jarman on 020-7422 0755.