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Last updateThu, 16 Jun 2022 8am

Less fuss and less new build as the Scots get on with their Games

Construction National blog logoMy last blog on this site suggested an answer to a question which it didn't explicitly provide, although anyone carrying out a little research (and I mean a little) would have been able to infer the reason the Scottish Affairs Committee is investigating the so-called blacklist held by the defunct Consulting Association. It is because the citizens of that proud nation don't want the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to be tainted with the whiff of any similar scandal.

OK, the Commonwealth Games aren't on the same scale or have the same impact as the Olympics, but anyone who was in Manchester in 2002 knows the feeling of optimism and pride the event can generate.

While London 2012 was constructed and prepared for in a blaze of publicity and construction news stories, Glasgow has been beavering quietly away preparing for its big day; so I thought I'd have a look at how things are going. One of the most important structures to be unveiled seems at first site a little uninspiring, but is possible the most innovative piece of engineering on the whole site. It is the energy plant for the Athletes' Village and the two adjoining indoor sports venues, the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

The plant comprises a large CHP engine, three boilers and a thermal store. After the Games it will power the homes that will take the place of the Athletes' Village as well as the 120-bed care home on the site.

Together with the two aforesaid venues, in terms of building from scratch that is about all there is for Glasgow 2014. As the organisers state, it is a "surprising fact" that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will take place in venues that already exist. Not only does that reduce costs in this age of austerity, it also reduces the carbon footprint and means everything is pretty much ready eight months before the event!

Plus, because the athletics stadium is already a football stadium – they are using Hampden Park – there is no chance of it being purloined for that purpose and consigned to history in its original format: there is again no major athletics stadium in the North West of England.

All that remains for Glasgow is to ensure they fly the right flags.

• Back on the subject of the blacklist, the Scottish Affairs Select Committee will be hearing further evidence on 5 March, while the legal challenges trundle on.

On 26 Feb an Employment Appeals Tribunal presided over by a specialist human rights judge ordered that the case brought by "blacklist campaigner and electrician" Dave Smith against construction giant Carillion be heard in the High Court as it involves issues that could go "well beyond this case or even blacklisting", viz two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A report in Building magazine quoted a spokesperson for Carillion as saying: "Carillion does not engage in or condone blacklisting and has been totally open about its past use of referencing services through a subsidiary Crown House, which ended years before blacklisting was made illegal."

Chris Stokes