International roundup

Over 30 professional bodies from around the world, including RICS, met last week at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. to launch a major initiative which seeks to create international standards in construction measurement. The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) Coalition was established by non-profit organisations representing professionals in more than 140 countries. Collectively, the group aims to create overarching international standards that will harmonise cost, classification and measurement definitions in order to enhance comparability, consistency and benchmarking of capital projects.

Engineering and consulting firms setec and Royal HaskoningDHV have been selected by VNF – the French navigable waterways authority – to jointly provide programme management assistance over 12 years for a canal link extending from France to Belgium. The vast new Canal Seine-Nord Europe will connect the basin of the Seine near Paris, to the Scheldt, near Lille, giving access to Belgian and Dutch inland waterways networks. The canal will be 107km long, 54m wide, 4.5m deep and include six locks, three channel bridges, new infrastructure and 55 million cubic metres of dry earth works. Work is scheduled to begin in June 2015 for an opening in 2025.