Case Studies

Joiners Square junction improvement works

Employer: Stoke City Council
Principal Contractor: GallifordTry
Contract: NEC 3 Option B Subcontract
Project Value: £1.8M Duration: 8 months

Project development

Kilkern were asked to advise on the design and development of a scheme to improve the traffic flow around the roundabout at Joiners Square. The project involved the relocation of Statutory undertakers’ equipment to suit a new roundabout layout followed by the complete redevelopment of the area to include new roads, footpaths, and hard and soft landscaping public areas.

The works were to be carried out in a live environment and had to be designed and planned to maintain traffic and pedestrian flow to the area as well as maintain access for the local businesses and residents.

 

 

The Kilkern team were engaged by GallifordTry to assist in the early development of the Joiners Square project in order to advise on improving programme efficiency and construction methodology. Our experienced team worked collaboratively with the Client and the GallifordTry team to model various programme options in order to reduce costs on the scheme by delivering the project in a shorter overall programme duration.

Our team led an initiative to reduce the clients original plan on phasing the works and developed a solution with a reduced total number of simplified phases which included larger working areas. This significantly reduced the programme duration and delivered time and cost saving benefits for the project.

Throughout the development of the project, our team used their extensive experience of similar works to change the original design to a solution which remained compliant but was more cost effective. Our team sourced and promoted the use of alternative compliant materials which were more competitively priced and quicker and safer to install on site. Our team worked with the design team to replace large diameter, heavy concrete drainage pipes with compliant lighter plastic alternatives. This delivered various benefits to the project as the new material

was more cost effective, quicker to install and safer, the very congested site had challenging access constraints and our team identified that by making the material easier to handle, the construction plant needed to carry out the installation could be smaller in size reducing the construction risks during the method of installation.

Project Challenges

The Project was over budget and the programme needed to be accelerated to comply with local authority funding timescale requirements. In its original format the project would not have received local authority approval to proceed.

The original design solution was suitable but difficult to install in the existing congested urban environment. This was affecting the material, plant and labour costs required to deliver the project as well as the complexity of the method of installation. The Kilkern team held team workshops with the objective of understanding the projects end objectives, and to use the experience within our team to identify areas of the design which could be changed to make the project more efficient and quicker to build, and ultimately more cost effective.

The project originally involved 7 consecutive phases of work and did not meet with the client’s expectation of practical completion by the end of the financial year. Although the original phasing plan was possible, our team modelled various traffic management and phasing options with the objective of shortening the project programme by reducing the total number of phases required.

Where Kilkern added value

The Kilkern team advised on improving programme efficiency and construction methodology. Our experienced team worked collaboratively with the Client and the GallifordTry team to model various programme options in order to reduce costs on the scheme whilst delivering the project to an improved programme duration. This involved modelling the programme and cost benefits of changing the installation methodology based on various delivery options such as;

Throughout the development of the project our team used their extensive experience of similar works to change the original design to a solution which remained compliant but was more cost effective. Our team sourced and promoted the use of alternative compliant materials which were more competitively priced and quicker and safer to install on site.

Our team worked with the design team to replace large diameter, heavy concrete drainage pipes with compliant lighter plastic alternatives. This delivered various benefits to the project as the new material was more cost effective, quicker to install and reduced the risk profile of the project. The very congested site had challenging access constraints and our team identified that by making the material easier to handle, the construction plant needed to carry out the installation could be smaller in size reducing the construction risks during the method of installation and reducing the negative impact on the local residents of larger construction plant. This smaller and more efficient plant also delivered environmental benefits to the project given the reduced fuel consumption and emissions and the associated reduced carbon footprint for this element of works.

Our estimating team worked collaboratively with the GallifordTry team to develop budgets for each site delivery option. After applying bespoke methodology and shift patterns to individual construction operations based on complexity, quality, and safety metrics, the team identified a solution which provided a good balance between the cost and time challenges.

This solution was then priced and agreed with the end client which ultimately led to the project being approved for construction.

Project Success

The project was successful in several different ways; the revised project received construction approval from the local authority and was started in November 2021. This meant that the local authority did not need to spend more time de- scoping the project in order to get it re- designed to suit a budget that would be approved.

The project has been a very useful example of the benefits of involving an experienced contractor in the early design and development phase. Our experience helped to make the project more efficient and helped to improve the knowledge and experience of the engineers designing the project by promoting best practice from a contractor’s point of view. Our knowledge of the latest construction materials has also helped develop the existing design team’s engineers when specifying compliant materials on future projects which have safe and efficient installation methodology.

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