The need to plan for phased handovers offered significant challenges during the design development phase. The building services infrastructure had to be capable of accepting increased loads without disruption to existing retail units.
The quality and capacity of the utility connections had to be upgraded and remodelled, without disruption to the surrounding buildings, in order to provide the resilience required for a modern shopping centre.
In addition, the busy inner city location, site logistics and lifting constraints meant that all deliveries had to be routed through one site entrance via the live project basement. The balancing of trading tenant deliveries with the fit out of the new retail units, as well as the management of project waste, was praised by the client as an exemplar project.
The installation of the project’s ‘signature’ roof covering the original streets running through the centre, and the compliance with the sound clarity required for ‘Life Safety Announcements’ over the public address system was achieved using a state of the art digital sound system.
The commissioning of the operational retail developments presented a particularly demanding phase of the project. Shop unit handovers were loaded to the backend of the programme. The daily handover rate posed significant risks against achievement of the mobilisation dates for the fit-out contractors, and therefore early handovers were essential in order to de-risk the project. The system programme and methodology was successfully completed utilising a web based project collaboration tool, which enabled total visibility of progress and offered the client a virtual insight on the commissioning activities.
Another key challenge on this project was the ability to cope with late ‘change’ during the commissioning process. The management, design and installation within operational areas increased the project risk profile significantly. The late decision to remove the roof and add three floors to the existing operational structure, to create the environment for a new Primark store, was achieved without major disruption to the original design and was completed within the project time constraints.
Early engagement of specialist contractors and client collaboration at every stage of the development was integral to our plan to ensure that the learning from previous projects was incorporated into the design from the outset. The integrated delivery team model focused on the commissioning requirements through the design and construction phases.
The complex design was developed in 3D, combining 'work in progress' models and sharing them for coordination and clash detection. Beyond this, the combined model was used by our project team and the client's retail delivery team to validate the construction sequence, demonstrate safe working practices, and clarify the facility's intricacies.
Due to the restrictive programme and potential for significant liability payments, there had to be true engagement with the retail delivery team. The necessary pace of delivery dictated that the retailer requirements and final connections were achieved on a first time basis.
The speedy pace of handovers put substantial pressure on the client’s new facilities management contractor. To eliminate that risk we were able to provide a Soft Landing cover and FM support through the early stages of retailer occupancy. All issues were channelled through one point of contact to enable fast recognition of any problems and the allocation of the correct resources to ensure a fast resolution.
This facility was supported by the early capture and production of the as installed building information through the various phases of the project. Ensuring that the completion documentation was available and readily accessible at handover.
The engineering behind our delivery
CHt provided innovative lighting control, extensive use of LED feature lighting, solar heat recovery and prefabricated solutions in the form of corridor service modules, plantrooms, vertical riser modules, access gantry systems and pipework spools.
Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) savings:
- Traditional man hours on site to carry out project - 555 man weeks
- Site installation man hours including DfMA - 250 man weeks
- Percentage reduction in time spent in site installations - 55%
- The prefabricated solution allows the pre-commissioning flushing and testing of the associated plant/equipment
In addition to the above CHt maximised factory benchmark testing including hardware and software compatibility testing, as well as general commissioning. This allowed problem solving in a controlled environment with sufficient time to deal with issues and minimise the risks with site commissioning timescales.
The early completion of the data network was essential to the successful completion of an integrated systems commissioning process. The network architecture was designed to cope with the building construction sequence. CHt completed the network backbone, hub rooms and main control room very early in the process to gain confidence on the network communication.