European Federation of Foundation Contractors

Grand Palais

Progress against our priorities: Autumn 2023

At the recent AGM of the EFFC, Serge Borel gave an update on the progress against the priorities agreed in 2021 for the EFFC and its members:

  1. Health & Safety – Communication on our key risks has progressed well with the creation of webinars by the Working Group. The EFFC European Safety Awards also provides a new way to share good and innovative approaches in this area.
  2. Sustainability – the production of the Carbon Reduction and Circular Economy Guides has been excellent in providing contractor specific, practical ways that sustainability can be adopted within the business. This shall become even more critical with the introduction of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive in 2024. The EFFC/DFI Carbon Calculator is also starting the process of redeveloping it for the emerging needs of contractors – e.g. integration with software, third party validation etc. If you have thoughts on this please get in touch – effc@effc.org.
  3. Digitalisation – Currently we are working to understand what this means for our Members and for geotechnical contractors. A survey is being circulated to gather information on what is being done currently within the national federations of the EFFC. It is hoped that we can bring together knowledgeable volunteers to help shape a common understanding, position and ultimately a work programme.
  4. Covid Recovery – Covid has receded as the key issue. The war in Ukraine and resulting inflation are the new crises that are causing problems in the industry. These are not problems we can directly influence. However by following topics at FIEC such as the move from the EU to make the Late Payment Directive into an EU Regulation – we may be able to improve areas of the industry where these pressures create difficult conditions in the market. Regarding Covid we have published a document in our Members’ area on the lessons learned from a contractual perspective – e.g. force majeure for public health emergencies such as a viral outbreaks no longer applies.
  5. Quality – Our work on Support Fluids is nearing its conclusion with the ultimate goal of developing some acceptance criteria and understanding of the best testing methods to use for bentonite and polymers. Similarly the EFFC/DFI Tremie Guide is due for an update based on the research that has been carried out over the past two years.. A series of workshops is being planned for each Federation to use to help contractors to adopt the practices and limit the possibility of defects in the concrete supplied for use in Tremie operations. Members are asked to identify appropriate champions in their country that could lead training on the methods in the Guide.
  6. Working Platforms – we have an active group with a lot research being carried out on this topic. The EFFC/DFI Guide to Working Platforms is due to be updated in a second edition at the end of next year (2024). The ultimate aim is to define a regime for the design, construction, testing and maintenance of the working platform. This is intended to be a framework everyone can use while still incorporating the national preferences and legal requirements around design, division of responsibilities etc. An emerging issue is the use of 6F5 recycled aggregate having too much sand or fines content. This can cause soft spots on working platforms and subsequent failures that we need to watch out for.
  7. Rig Operator Licence – work is slow and ongoing here. We are in the process of identifying national co-ordinators of our work and speaking with the Secretaries in those countries interested in participating as they are the best placed to understand who need to get support from in each country to move this forward.
  8. Early Careers Group (ECGs) – We are increasing the number of younger people that are participating in our meetings via presentations and are learning about how each country approaches bringing people into the industry.
  9. Communication – We are more active now in our formal communications but also have good opportunities via the ISSMGE and our own DFI/EFFC conference in Bruges 2025 to reach larger audiences of people connected to our industry.
  10. Development of Associate Member Relationships – Help is needed in this area from Executive Committee members to ensure that AMs are encouraged to participate in our meetings and Working Groups. The AMs provide us with excellent insights and expertise and help us to ensure our solutions work throughout the supply-chain.

Subscribe View past newsletters