Make use of the available programme time to fully understand, challenge and value manage often significant construction programme and cost risk to the successful delivery of your project. Understandably there is often Client reluctance to commit financially to a project until the comfort of an implementable planning permission is gained. However, for relatively little cost, the time can be well spent understanding key constraints, exploring value alternatives and challenging regulatory authorities’ often intransigent lack of imagination in delivering value. The increasing development of urban brownfield sites are seldom without their technical and regulatory challenges if best value is to be achieved.
Building on our Tier 3 Due Diligence report, and its associated site database, we will be aware of many of the high cost risk budget items that would benefit from challenge. Use the opportunity to instruct those outstanding surveys and reports to allow later detailed design, typically including:
- Phase II Geo/Environmental SI’s
- Soakage testing
- 3D readable topographical surveys
- Completion of CCTV drainage surveys and the development of a strategic drainage strategy incorporate/challenge the need for SUDs/ soakage, current regulatory framework
- Services asset location and GPR
- Bat/reptile surveys
- Written schemes of Archaeological investigation
Resulting team workshop opportunities include:
Targeting Zero Waste to Landfill
3D terrain modelling will develop absolute risk free site levels, considering soil stabilisation and re-use of crushed demolition arisings at a significant saving over ‘normal’ dig, dump and import of granular sub-base. The model includes attenuation volumes and foundation and service trench arisings, with the flexibility to manage volumes as they are better known during work on site.
The supplier market needs time and test results to understand the soil chemistry and their availability of resources to suit an emerging programme if best value is to be delivered. We will frequently develop a groundworks solution in conjunction with suitably qualified suppliers.
Stem injection of Japanese Knotweed 12 months out from start on site rather than dig/sift/dump at 10 to 15 times the cost.
Relocate reptiles/bats in the season preceding a start on site.
A Written Scheme of Investigation agreed and programme incorporated well in advance of a start on site.
Completion of Party Wall Surveys and satisfying any boundary issues obligating use of the Party Wall Act 1996.
Network Rail and Transport for London negotiations when working in proximity to a live railway and infrastructure.
Challenge the need for diversion/reinforcement. Obtain, challenge and negotiate supply / connection / disconnection / diversion costs. Plot services routes and trial pit depths to prove the opportunity for building over.
Trial pit existing infrastructure to confirm alignment and depth. Challenge wayleave obligations at pinch points. Promote alternative diversion routes, and/or construction technologies to minimise programme and wayleave hungry solutions.
Sustainability obligations enshrined in the Water Framework Directive, Flood & Water Management Act 2010 and the soon to be released DEFRA ‘National SuDS Standards’ have upped the pressure on developers to incorporate SuDS (addressing water quality, quantity and habitat) and, as a result, will be a pre-commencement condition enforced by the local authority drainage team. Understanding a site’s ‘sustainability potential’ allows the development of strong arguments to gain Local Authority SuDS Approval Body (SAB)and Environment Agency (EA) approval of an ‘ideal’ drainage strategy.
Surface Water Runoff
Surface water runoff is invariably restricted by the local water authority and EA in accordance with legislation requiring prior treatment and disposal of development surface water run-off through the adoption of ‘sustainable’ measures. Early knowledge of site characteristics is essential to provide time to develop the technical argument minimising often land hungry swales and ponds or an aspiration for cost heavy treatment systems such as permeable surfacing and green roofs. If left late in the programme, considerable ‘re-active’ costs can be incurred if delays are not to be incurred.
The message is one of commitment to the early understanding of at and below ground site risks to deliver programme and value engineered cost certainty.