Construction from 2010 to 2022

As we continue to celebrate our 50th year, Natta reflects on construction through the decades focusing finally on 2010 to 2022.

Construction Machinery

JCB launched the world’s first fully electric mini excavator, the JCB 19C-IE in 2018. It was developed in response to JCB customers’ demands for a zero-emissions machine which could work indoors, underground and in urban areas.

The electric mini excavator is charged by plugging it into a standard 230-volt domestic electricity supply. Once it’s fully charged the mini excavator can dig at the same amount of speed and power as its diesel counterpart. Being electric the excavator is the quietest in the JCB range, making it perfect for working in urban streets, around hospitals and close to schools without disturbing people.

In 2020, The Royal Academy of Engineering announced JCB as the winner of the MacRobert Award. JCB’s fully electric digger was recognised as a vital step in the transition to a low-carbon future as the UK gears up for the construction-led economic recovery. To date, JCB continues to produce more fully electric construction machinery.

Natta Blog Construction through the mid 2000's - JCB electric digger & CAT new Dozer

From left to right: JCB fully electric Mini Excavator and Catapillar Electric Dozer, the Cat D6 XE

In 2018, Caterpillar premiered the first high-drive electric dozer, the Cat D6 XE. The dozer delivers new levels of efficiency and performance by allowing workers to choose between the electric drive and the fully automatic 4-speed power train.

The newly designed structure of the Cat D6 XE was not only stronger but lighter, making it more efficient on the 4-speed power train, allowing the dozer to go faster. Caterpillar designed the dozer to have constant power to the ground, continuous push and greater movability for faster cycle times, achieving higher levels of productivity and 35% better fuel efficiency. The simplified design and serviceability also help reduce service and maintenance costs.

Market Players

In 2014 Redrow celebrated its 40th anniversary with two of the top national housebuilder awards, Building and What House. Redrow’s London division celebrated its first significant contribution with the completion of its first major developments at Kingston Riverside and One Commercial Street. Then in 2015, Redrow for the first time reached a record £1bn turnover. Their operating margin and profits also achieved high results too.

Wates Group celebrated their 125th year in trading, and one of its most notable projects was the completion of an underground gallery and a new main entrance to the V&A Museum, in 2017. This project was unique but also very architecturally challenging. Wates had to plan the unplannable. Restricted spacing made excavating the site difficult. Wates had to consider ways to prevent damage to the surrounding historic buildings, keeping the public safe and preventing disruption to one of the busiest roads in London. After three years of facing new challenges, Wates finally completed the project.

In the last decade, Skanska acquired Kvaerner Construction and Skanska UK was born. In 2012, they celebrated their 125-year anniversary. They were awarded the first Crossrail project at Royal Oak Portal, after previously working on Crossrail projects including Paddington and Bond Street stations. Continuing with this success, their work on the new HS2 railway project commenced, developing a faster route between London and Birmingham. Skanska also completed the redevelopment of St Bartholomew’s hospital in central London; part of a 10-year construction project which also included The Royal London Hospital.

Difficulties faced and how they affected the construction industry

In 2019 the world came to a halt due to the unexpected, COVID-19. This deadly virus spread rapidly across the globe, impacting everyone. The world went into lockdown, and people were told to stay at home and not to travel to and from work. The press put a lot of pressure on the construction industry, mainly for not social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid. Despite this, some construction works continued especially projects in the healthcare sector. Natta thankfully was able to continue working on some projects notably our healthcare projects, Avery Park Care Home and St Luke’s Hospice.

As well as the pandemic made it difficult for businesses to trade so did Brexit. In 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union and trading to and from the UK was impacted. Restrictions on the EU side of the border became tighter and more expensive causing delays and cancellations. Due to supply chain issues, businesses experienced a drop in profitability. Over the upcoming months, things started to pick up and construction work started rolling again.

In February 2022, Russia went to war with Ukraine. This has continued to severely disrupt the international trade system. Industries around the world have been affected due to increased costs, cancellations, disruption in transportation and the rise of inflation.

Natta’s Group continues to grow

Following on from the success of CISTC, Natta noticed that within the Surrey and West Sussex area, construction companies needed to improve their staff training and development. Natta partnered with CITB in 2017 and the Surrey Training Group was formed.

In our Group’s desire to offer a one-stop solution, we set up a Natta Utilities Division. We can provide full package construction for the one and off-site installation of gas, electricity and water. Our accreditations enable us to install utilities in conjunction with the main infrastructure, which can be a problematic interface.

In 2019, the Natta Group acquired Steel Management and rebranded to Natta Steel. Natta Steel gives the Natta Group another specialism for the industry, as they specialise in the design, fabrication and installation of steel, for commercial, industrial and residential projects.

Natta Steel, Natta Utilities and Surrey Training Group 1

Summary – 50 years in Construction

To conclude our series of blogs on ‘construction through the decades’ we have shown how the construction industry has grown and developed. It is still constantly evolving. Modular buildings are now making an impact, demonstrating how the design and construction of buildings are being developed; the manufacturing process of creating more efficient housing and modern construction methods, as well as, the use of more environmentally friendly machinery. Also how health and safety, introduced into the workplace, has had a monumental benefit to construction workers and how we are finding new ways to keep our workforces safe at all times.

The construction industry is continuously changing for a better, more sustainable greener future.