Laing, Skanska, Bovis Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty and Amec stop work on launch of internet portal as industry interest in e-construction wanes.
The big five contractors' construction portal, Arrideo, has been shelved as the take-up of e-commerce in the industry has stalled.

The partners in the portal – Laing, Skanska, Bovis Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty and Amec – said plans were dropped owing to lack of industry interest.

The move raises question marks over the future of global hub Aecventure, whose members include Skanska, Amec and Bovis Lend Lease.

Aecventure, which also includes German contractor Hochtief and US outfit Turner, was intended to unite regional portals, the first of which was to be Arrideo.

A source close to the project said the decision to drop the portal was triggered by a lack of industry interest and the glut of business-to-business sites launched last year.

The source said: "This was down to industry scepticism. We are a cautious industry by and large." An Arrideo statement said: "The partners believe that the level of interest and take-up across the industry would not justify the costs necessary to build the quality business exchanges they had envisioned." The statement said the five members were now looking at individual e-commerce initiatives.

A Bovis Lend Lease spokesperson confirmed that members were still committed to e-commerce.

The spokesperson said: "We are convinced there is a future in this and we continue to look at ways of making a business exchange work." Launched last summer, Arrideo claimed it would create the most comprehensive business-to-business exchange available to the UK construction industry.

Services promised on the portal included buying building materials online and project collaboration.

Other e-construction launches last year included Mercadium, BuildOnline and

Last month, Building pointed to technical difficulties surrounding the Arrideo launch and to talks taking place between Arrideo and competitors over the potential merging of operations.