Comment: Why off-site is the place to be for construction


DELTA BLOC UK's MD Tony Walker tells Highways about how his leading road barrier company is part of a new era of modular off-site construction and supply chain innovation helping major clients like Highways England meet their objectives.

The introduction of standardised, modularised, and prefabricated components through off-site construction is expected to grow, which has certainly proven to be the case with DELTA BLOC UK a manufacturer, supplier and installer of precast concrete road safety barrier systems.

Following a tough start to UK business in 2010, we have seen a significant increase in both sales and general interest in our precast concrete barrier systems over the last three years as the market has slowly adjusted to new concepts and ideas

Our recent involvement with installations on a number of projects in the Highways England Smart Motorway programme was a key milestone for us because it demonstrates very clearly that the market place now sees precast concrete as a very credible alternative to the more commonly used slipform methods of construction.

DELTA BLOC products are manufactured off-site and the modular lean construction process means a quick and efficient on-site operation, where the quality of the product can be guaranteed first time. These are both key factors, which could help achieve Highways England’s goal of reduced delivery and installation times.

There are no issues to overcome with supply of ready mixed concrete and inclement weather, both of which can be very problematic when carrying out slipform operations and it is for these reasons that many of Highways England’s delivery partners are now looking more favourably at precast barrier solutions for the central reserve.

For many contractors, to meet their construction programme, certainty of delivery all year round is a key driver. The modular, off-site construction approach also means less waste is generated in production providing a more sustainable, environmentally friendly product.

Delivery truck movements are also halved when installing the DELTA BLOC systems compared to the number of concrete truck mixers attending site for the same length of slipform barrier. This reduces traffic entering and exiting the works zone, improving safety, reducing CO² emissions, and keeps the network flowing, further demonstrating the positive benefits of the precast installation process.

The use of DELTA BLOC products on Highways England Smart Motorway projects shows that clients now have the confidence not only in the product, but also in the company to deliver schemes of this magnitude. CE marked products produced in a factory environment are delivered and installed on-site by competent and trained installers, providing maximum protection for road users, while minimising disruption.

Additionally, it also shows that DELTA BLOC UK can provide the full range of services from technical assistance up-front through to completion.

Increased productivity of precast concrete barrier systems over slipform barrier solutions;

  • Up to five times faster installation than in-situ barrier systems = reduced programme
  • Ability to change work fronts with minimal impact if critical path issues are identified at structures or there are breakdowns = more flexibility
  • No weather dependence allowing installation in cold or wet conditions = reduced risk
  • Freestanding systems can be connected to form any emergency crossing points required in the barrier chain = full compatibility
  • Easily connected to adjacent steel barrier systems through DELTA BLOC transition units
  • Useable as a temporary barrier in traffic management before incorporation into permanent works = reduced costs and minimised disruption in maintenance
  • Should a vehicle impact result in a need for replacement of barrier, pre-cast sections can be replaced in one shift as opposed to multiple shifts needed for in-situ repair = reduced costs, quicker, safer, less disruption
  • Pre-cast units can be easily lifted out to create a temporary maintenance crossover
  • Public safety – Improving travelling public safety and minimising disruption through fewer movements into and out of site
  • Site safety – 50% reduction in barrier installation personnel exposed to traffic risk
  • Better quality – Certainty of quality for materials, finishes and fit prefabricated in factory controlled conditions = right first time
  • Sustainability: No flushing / cleaning or waste concrete = reduced site waste

Precast concrete vehicle restraint systems can provide measurable benefits to all stakeholders and DELTA BLOC UK hope that their recent successes will provide further evidence to Highways England and their delivery partners that precast solutions can be advantageous when delivering Strategic Road Network projects.

Highways jobs

Definitive Map Assistant

£20,422 to £21,552 per annum
The Council is highly committed to investing in the talent and wellbeing of our staff and can offer a generous annual leave allowance, access to... York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Principal Housing and Health Practitioner

£35,900 - £48,500 per annum
This is an opportunity to join a thriving and agile Private Sector Housing Team, within a well-established Environmental Health department. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Senior CIL and S106 Officer

£33,543 - £46,962
We are looking for an exceptional candidate to fill a Senior role within the Information and Planning Obligations Team. London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Vehicle Technician x2

£24,982 - £29,577 per annum
These positions are fixed term contracts for 12 months with the prospect of a permanent roles once the Class C Driving Licence has been obtained.  Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highway Development Control Manager (Highways and Engineering)

£35,662 - £41-811 per annum
We are looking for an exceptional candidate who can work with internal and external clients to assess the transport and highways elements of... Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Strategic Transport Planner

£39,880 – £41,881 per annum
The post holder will be tasked with delivering actions outlined in the key coporate strategies... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: Harrogate Borough Council

Chartered Structural Engineer

We are looking to recruit an experienced Chartered Civil or Structural Engineer within the Infrastructure Asset Management Section of... Rhondda Cynon Taf
Recruiter: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

Street Works Inspector

£24,982 - £27,041 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Sustainable Travel Delivery Specialist

£32,234 - £34,728 per annum
Are you passionate about Active Travel and Sustainable Transport? Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Projects Officer

£43,719 - £47,743 per annum
We are now looking for a Senior Projects Officer to join our busy Transport and Infrastructure team and support the delivery of a range of... Watford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Watford Borough Council

Chief Executive

Competitive Salary
In this unique role, leading the UK’s first sub-national transport body, you’ll draw on your understanding of... Manchester/Leeds (flexible)
Recruiter: Transport for the North

Head of Enforcement & Safety

£67,164 - £75,695
You will have responsibility for operational delivery of key services across the Borough, including... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Head of Outbreak Control (12-month FTC)

£67,164 - £75,695
You will need to demonstrate specific experience in working with the general public, including customer care initiatives such as London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Head of Highways, Traffic and Parking

£67,164 - £75,695
As Head of Highways, Traffic and Parking, reporting into the Assistant Director for Highways and Environment, you will have responsibility for... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Assistant Director of Public Realm

£92,700 to £101,423
As Assistant Director of Public Realm you will provide the strategic direction for, and management of a range of services designed to ensure... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Havering London Borough Council

Senior Infrastructure Server Engineer (Senior Data Centre Engineer)

£41,952 - £48,663 per annum
The successful candidate will have a BSc in relevant discipline, or equivalent industry experience. Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Programme Officer (Transport)

£32,910 - £36,922
As a Senior Programme Officer for strategic transport, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of transport policy for... Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Transport Planner

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Sustainable Transport Lead

£39,000- £45,000 per annum
Do you have experience in climate action and community led projects? Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Publica

Conservation Officer

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Do you have passion and enthusiasm for the historic built environment?  London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Highways Heroes Special

View the latest issue

Latest Video