Good project planning played off for Elecosoft’s customer Sir Robert McAlpine on the award-winning construction project at the former Plaza Centre at 120 Oxford Street in London. The excellent programme and client management paid dividends. Joseph McNeil not only won Gold in his category at the Construction Manager of the Year awards, but walked away with the overall title too. He is now a prestigious award-winning construction project manager and has been appointed as the team leader for a new group working with the same client.
The project delighted first the client and next its incoming tenant. After the 82-week £10m project concluded, it had generated £3m in further revenues for variations and additions, finishing at the practical completion date after these changes.
Although it had originally not won the tender, Sir Robert McAlpine was called back in for the project to reconfigure and refurbish a large section of the former shopping centre after the original contractor went into administration.
The company was glad to get the chance, although by then all the tender programming was out of date. The start date had shifted and every timeline was different, so everything had to be recalculated. There were surprises in store too. Yet, the team led by a young ambitious project manager managed to turn this into an award-winning construction project. The re-planning was done with the help of Elecosoft’s Powerproject software.
Surprises and opportunities throughout
Just when the team thought they were back on track, the inevitable happened and they encountered issues that would impact the timeline. They uncovered the steel frame, only to find that it would require twice the volume of welding and connection preparation than originally foreseen.
This was just the start, with estimated 200 additional instructions and changes during the 14-month build, that required constant re-analysis and reprogramming. With these ongoing changes to the schedule, the software was in constant use. Simulations of variations to the target and contract programme provided reliable impact assessments and helped to communication clearly with the client.
Joseph McNeil, the award-winning construction project lead, recalls the impact: “There was really no way that the original contract programme could be followed. With each instruction the sequence drifted away from the original intentions.”
Another hurdle arose when the client secured a tenant. The major fashion retailer made many specific requests regarding lift shafts, escalator pits, staircases and many other fit-out details. Client confidence was high enough to deliver all this extra work to Sir Robert McAlpine while they were on site, adding over 30% to the overall project value.
You can read the full story of the behind-the-scenes programming challenge and how Powerproject was used to help keep this high-profile central London construction project success story on track by clicking here.