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    Railway Station Renovation


    The case study project is in an historic railway terminus, which also connects to the metronetwork. The project involved:

    remodelling the retail accommodation,

    incorporating a new rail line linking the station to a major airport,

    improving access to the metro network, and

    upgrading the station roof.

    The rail operator appointed a consultant architect for the design of the project, even thoughthere was an in-house capability. The structural and building services design for the stationand other additional specialist consultancy were procured through sub-contracts by thearchitect. The construction was undertaken as a management contract. The architect andthe consulting engineers were novated to the management contractor once the contractorwas appointed.

    The project was not complex in terms of design as it was mostly adjustment within theexisting fabric but carrying out the renovations within a working station was complicatedas:

    1. the station had to be open for trains and pedestrians at all times, and.

    2. the connection to the metro network had to be maintained.

    Project Statistics

    Block A Approval August 2006

    Remodelling the retailaccommodation

    Value 12M Start July 2007

    Complete May 2008

    Access to Metro Value 18M Start January 2007

    Complete July 2008

    New rail line Approval August 2006

    Platform works and concourse Value 8.5M Start December 2006

    Complete May 2008Upgrading roof Value 17.5M Start December 2006

    Complete May 2008

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    Design Statistics

    Consultants drawings 1500

    Specialist trade drawings 1870

    Shop drawings 2850

    Variations and change orders 2250

    Overall project delay 16 weeks

    Overall project cost overrun 8%


    The client had formulated a Business Case using their in-house design capability, howeverthe reasoning behind the strategic decisions was restricted to the client for reasons ofconfidentiality. The client had not collaborated on creating a strategic brief.

    The client decided to manage the project with a committee comprising: the group marketingdirector, station manager, regional track manager and the in-house architect. The architectbecame the chair of the committee and effectively the client project manager.

    The client team met infrequently as the project development period was in excess of fiveyears before the final go ahead. During this time the key people on the committee hadchanged several times. The architect/project manager was replaced 2 months before theappointment of the design team.

    The architects fee was set as a lump sum equating to 6% of the project cost with Prime Cost

    sums for the sub-design packages. The client had assumed that by appointing a high profileinternational architectural practice and ensuring that they were responsible for all of thedesign consultancies that this was sufficient to achieve his needs. After all he had giventhem a set of drawings setting out the needs and the way the project was to be phased. Theclient expected the architect to set the design standard albeit within the cost plan.

    In their frustration the structural engineers generated an 'Understanding of the Scope'document in response to the lack of an adequate briefing development process anddiscussion with the client. It was subsequently presented to the client as the consultingengineers' interpretation of the design requirements and whilst it was discussed it was neverformally adopted. The architects attempted to extract the strategic brief from the early clientdrawings and the main cost plan. However, this was not issued to the design sub-


    The M&E consulting engineers were in a similar position and their scope of work was neverfully established nor communicated to the other design consultants.


    3.1 Design Drawings

    During the outline stage sketches were sent out to all involved in the project to illustrate thedesign ideas and the focus that the project could follow. Drawings were then sent out to allinvolved for comment, marked up and returned for amendment. This process continued until

    a pre-set deadline date was reached.

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    Figure1 indicates that in the initial stages of the project the activities were simplifiedcompared with the final stages. In the later stages the majority of the work was in theproduction information for the construction and commissioning.

    3.2 Mid Phase Reviews and Design FreezesThe client project manager, an architect, developed a highly interactive but informalrelationship with the appointed architect. He would visit the office very frequently and makeconstructive suggestions. He would encourage other experts from the client organisation todo the same so that the design would be up to date with the latest thinking. Consequentlythere were no formal reviews to check the progress of the design and no design freezeswere undertaken on the main elements of the project. The deliverables from the designstage were not fixed before starting each stage and there were no milestones for the designprocess before proceeding to next stage. The principal acceptance point of the designsoccurred when the client required their forms for technical approval to be signed off by theconsulting engineers. However, these were a matter of the clients normal procedures, as

    the client required their own standards to be met.No review of the M&E drawings was carried out until well into the specialists' detailed designstage. However it had been recognised on Block A works that an element of design freezewas required due to the complex nature of this element of design and construction.

    3.3 Project Documents Flow

    Figure 2 is the documents flow diagram for the project. It shows how, during the businesscase and concept design phases, the consulting engineers were undertaking the biddocument work in order to win the contract for this project. The management contractorbecame involved at the start of the scheme design stage, three stages after the othercompanies.


    The architect and the sub contracted consultant designers were novated to the managementcontractor who had the responsibility for design management included in their scope of work.The management contractor was led to believe and the team assumed that the design hadprogressed to a far greater detail than its actual status.

    The Scope of Works used to select the management contractor did not identify adequatelythe design requirements. The cost plan issued by the management contractor did notadequately reflect the changes to the project from the Scope of Works.

    An example of this was the lighting design for the station. The initial costing for the lightingdesign was within the M&E consulting engineers budget and fee. However, the architectshad instructed another firm of architects to undertake the lighting design. The consultingengineers subsequently accepted responsibility for the lighting design, but the design provedto be unacceptable as it did not adequately address the client and the metro networksmaintenance and lifecycle costs.

    The consulting engineers were subsequently involved in a redesign and 3D modelling of thelighting. This resulted in design and construction delays and additional expenditure.

    4.1 Concept Design and Feasibility Studies

    The only evidence of a feasibility study or report was one that had been written for one blockbuilding (Block A) on 'Mechanical and Electrical and Public Health Services' however thiscontinually required clarification. No further attempts were made to research or explore the

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    feasibility options and therefore both the architect and the consulting engineer did notcompile any reports.

    The clients project committee members believed that, in general, there was no need forconcept design studies and reports to be carried out on construction projects: the commonpractice was that sketches were used instead to describe the concept design options.

    Therefore, no concept design study and report were carried out on the project and onlysketches showing ideas behind the concept design were provided at this stage.

    4.2 Outline Design

    Outline design options were prepared only in the form of a general arrangement of the wholeproject's work packages and a phasing strategy for the retail unit's move. The consultingengineers informed all team members on their scope of works. No further detailed study orreports for outline design were undertaken and there was no mid phase review or designfreeze.

    4.3 Scheme Design

    As in the scheme design stage, drawings were produced, sent out for comments and thenmarked up and returned. The scope of works was also still in need of clarification. Where thedesign was, in relation to the master programme of the project, was not clear neither was thequality of the information on the drawings checked.

    4.4 Consultants' Detailed Design

    During the consultants' detailed design stage the drawings and specifications wereproduced, sent out to all parties for comments and then marked up and returned. Drawingswere sent forward and backward until a deadline date was reached, irrespective of thequality and quantity required by the end of this stage of the work.

    At the completion of detailed design, information was issued to the client for signing off and

    costing. However the signing off process was notional and was not used to provide any fixityof design.

    Figure 3 shows the consulting engineers design process map.

    4.5 Specialists' Detailed Design, Construction and Commissioning

    From the specialists' detailed design stage through to construction and commissioning,drawings and specifications were produced, sent out to all parties for comments, marked up,returned and so on without a design freeze or mid-phase review (see Figure 3).

    Generally speaking, the trade contractors were able to produce adequate drawings howeverwhere there was a complicated interface, such as lifts or platform and concourse lights, the

    trade contractors were reluctant to design the complicated interface that involved variouspackages. There was no design management authority to expediently resolve suchsituations.

    The early stages of design did not address in detail how the routing of the electrical cablingwas to be arranged within the very restricted depth of the roof structure available thebuildability of the design to meet the different constraints had not been considered. Asdesign developed, and trade contractors were appointed, this omission had to be rectified,especially as construction was proceeding apace.

    The Mechanical Services Trade Contractor was the first trade M&E contractor to beappointed and was responsible for producing the coordinated drawing for the builders work.

    The Electrical Services Trade Contractor was appointed two months later and was expectedto produce a complete electrical detailed design that integrated with the mechanical design.

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    The Mechanical Services Trade Contractor was producing builders' work drawings andsubmitting them to be approved by the designers. However, once they were on site theyfound that the zones dedicated for services were too tight and the coordination problems hadto be tailored on the spot. An example is the installation of the cooling unit in the retail area.This unit had to be removed and installed several times until the assemble team managed tofit it properly. The Mechanical Services Trade Contractor felt that it is unfair to leave thecoordination problem to the trade contractors.

    The Electrical Services Trade Contractor's bid was significantly cheaper than the otherbidders. The electrical detailed design was incomplete and the electrical trade team wasunder-resourced. This situation affected all the other trades that interfaced with the electricalwork, particularly the specialist equipment contractors.


    5.1 Project Execution Plan

    There was no Project Execution Plan (PEP) and the management processes wereestablished and developed in isolation and not updated throughout the project. Thearchitects had produced a Project Quality Plan that had some involvement from theconsulting engineers in the form of a description of their responsibilities. The informationsystems and procedures were not updated as the project developed.

    5.2 Project Team Management

    5.2.1 Working Environment

    The M&E design team was relocated to work space in Block A on site shortly after theappointment of the management contractor because of lack of space in their head office.The management contractors site personnel and members of the client's project team who

    were also resident on site often interrupted the M&E design team in Block A. Physicalworking conditions were not of a standard conducive to effective and efficient workingpractices, resulting in a loss of staff morale.

    Later a bigger office space outside of the station was rented, which enabled the designteams to come together in the same location. This facilitated greater informal communicationbetween the structural, building services and other disciplines as well as improving morale.

    5.2.2 Design Team Selection

    There was little consideration given as to how the design team was selected and the skillsrequired to establish an effective design team were given scant consideration. The team waspulled together from personnel available at the time, without formal interviews, consequentlythe competence of the individuals was variable and the design team took a long time toachieve some form of proficiency.

    5.2.3 Resources

    The managers of the project and design teams were uncertain of the skill base of peopleseconded to the project, as they were not part of the selection process, until they actuallystarted work. This was particularly true for the building services consultants who wereseverely affected by a lack of suitable engineers.

    The understanding of the management resource required was insufficient. Much of theorganisational focus was to achieve the consulting engineers' technical solutions in the early

    stages. A comprehensive level of management was not achieved because there was

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    insufficient emphasis on selecting suitable management personnel and delegating to themfinancial and time resources.

    5.2.4 Dealing with differences in practice

    The M&E engineers normal work practices as embedded in their standard form of

    agreement did not fit into the others way of working. The architects wanted all the consultingengineers to be as involved in the project as they were. However, there was no obligation forthe engineers to do so.

    Each organisation took its own commercial decisions when setting up the project. The M&Econsulting engineers took a distributed view in terms of setting up the project team, in thatresources were generally procured from the division or office where the project was won atbid stage. Drip-feeding of the fee hindered the project set-up due to lack of resources at thestart of the project; this was the period when the greatest resources were required.

    5.3 Co-ordination and Communication

    Internal communication within the structural engineers design team was well managed. The

    design work was split between the package engineers, each with allocated CAD resource.Weekly design team meetings allowed the structural design co-ordinator to assess designprogress, organise the integration between the work packages and those engineersundertaking the design. It also enabled the design co-ordinator to analyse the impact ofchange on programme and integration of design.

    The M&E team had not achieved the same degree of well-managed internal communicationuntil the final stages of the project. There was a lead building services co-ordinatingengineer, who integrated sub-disciplines (see Figure 4), however the integration and co-ordination enjoyed by the structural team were not achieved for building services. All teamsencountered problems in relating design elements to specific sub-job numbers. Often it wasnot clear what sub-job number a designer or CAD operator should book their time to, for any

    given element. This was exacerbated by the level of design change and a lack of anintegrated and effective change management procedure.

    Figure 4 shows the relationships between the main sub-design teams and their projectmanagers. The project management function involves monitoring design change, projectplanning and liaison with other project representatives. These all reported to the architects.The organisational structure of the project teams has given the ability to co-ordinate theteams at different levels. However, this was not always achieved successfully.

    5.4 Change Management

    A change management system was organised by the architect. This system involvedtelephone communication between the project teams, based on whether the consultingengineers considered there to be a design change. The architect would then contact theclient to obtain the relevant authority to undertake the work. This system was eventuallystopped due to too many requests for change that were deemed unnecessary. Themanaging contractor was not part of the arrangements during the initial period (see Figure5). When the consulting engineers and the architect were novated to the managementcontractor the client, the managing contractor rejected the outstanding requests for designchange confirmation. This resulted in a large amount of design costs incurred by thedesigners, not reimbursed, which affected their financial position and subsequentcommercial attitude.

    5.4.1 Change Control System

    A second change control system was developed (see Figure 6). This was considered aneffective system for monitoring change. However, there were problems with this system for

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    the designers, notably the fact that the time delay between a request for a Change ControlInstruction (CCI) and its confirmation or rejection from the client could take up to 3 months.

    Coupled with the problem of delay in the issue of Change Control Instructions, the ChangeControl Instruction numbers that were issued had no direct correlation to the sub-jobnumbers designers were booking to. During the initial phases of the project no sub-numbers

    would be issued until a Change Control Instruction was received from the client. Thisresulted in designers booking to standard project sub-job numbers as opposed to specific,change related sub-job numbers.

    5.4.2 Design Team Situation

    The design team experienced considerable client change following the design freezes,rendering these freezes useful only as a point from which to measure additional duties,rather than providing the ability to reduce the amount of design iteration.

    Considerable pressure was imposed on the design team to progress their designs at aquicker pace than the systems and processes allowed. Changes to the scope of works were

    not identified early enough in the design process due to the inherent need to progress thedesign quickly because of the pressure from the construction programme and clientrequirements. The designers were concerned over the expenditure incurred on having toprovide a quick response to a change and the delay that occurred before receiving a formalinstruction, which in some instances was not forthcoming.

    The initial estimates of the time period required to fully undertake the additional design workresulting from a Change Control Instruction were over optimistic.


    The design team were under considerable pressure because there were:

    i) a very short start up period from approval to the start of construction activities.ii) a redefinition of the construction work packages with the subsequent effects on

    design and production of information.

    6.1 Design and Construction Programmes Interrelationships

    The initial design programme based upon the construction work package programme. Theindividual packages with timescales and critical paths contained little information regardingspecifics of design activity. It was difficult to link the necessary information to the sub-divisions of the design process.

    6.2 Packages Programmes Interrelationships

    The individual packages were formulated independently from one another. Each specialistcontractor specified their needs in isolation. There was little recognition of the cross flow ofinformation and deliverables from one work package to another. However, this improvedlater on in the Block A phase of the project where a combined effort was made to plan therelationships between the disciplines and timescales for design activities.

    6.3 Programmes Updating

    In all the various organisations involved in the project, programmes that had been developedor issued were not updated with new information relating to additional design, changes orprogramme slippage.

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    Initial cost plan was undertaken for submission to the stakeholders; however, much of thecost analysis was undertaken by the managing contractor, with cost plans generated fromthe main scope of works document, although there was no cost estimate or analysis

    undertaken until latter stages of the scheme design stage. The cost plans developed fromthis point were issued to the other consultants for checking before issue. However there wasno programme for issuing cost plans or a correlation between the issue of cost plans andany of the client freezes or transition from one phase to another.


    The Project Quality Plan (PQP) formed part of the main design QA plan and wasadministered by the architect. This included project control systems, e.g. a change controlprocedures, however, the PQP was not fully implemented.

    Project working practices were not established and the relationships and obligationsbetween the various project organisations were not explicit. The PQP did not adequatelyaddress or reflect the requirements and the controls of the client and the informationcontained in the Quality Plan was too brief.


    There was no risk assessment at an early stage of the project. At latter stages of the project,detailed design stage and construction and commissioning, and handover stage, a series ofProject Margin Risk Analyses was undertaken. These sessions were carried out through anecessity to establish what the project margin would be. However, they were not undertakenas part of a consistent management process for the project.


    The project has delivered the required quality of design, albeit not to the original cost or time-scale. When it was seen that the project was getting into difficulties the clientsarchitect/project manager was transferred and a new manager recruited who set aboutintroducing more change to achieve the original objectives. The design team became veryfrustrated with the slow recompense for the level of rework and alternative schemes thatthey had to provide to a committee that had uncertain powers of decision. Their moraledropped and a large number of their personnel left for more rewarding work. A large numberof temps were used to try and keep up production. Each, of course, had to learn about the


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