Where has the time gone? It seems only the other day that policy inception was achieved and a formal launch of the Advance II project plans held. Now the new building is out of the ground and floors which incorporate the ability to adjust the temperature of the thermal mass (both heating and cooling) are being installed. Shortly work will commence on the façade and the project is on track for the naturally ventilated teaching block to be watertight before year end.
To remind you, under the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) Model of procurement this is the work of the Alliance of Dudley College with Derry Building Services, Fulcro, Pick Everard, Speller Metcalf and Metz together with their key supply chain partners, specialists and suppliers. An Alliance Board with an appointed Alliance Manager (from MDA) oversees the project and delegates development and execution of design and delivery to an Integrated Project Team empowered to act on its behalf.
To assist in adopting the new processes and procedures and to help maintain an integrated and collaborative culture, the project is facilitated by IPInitiatives. Technical and Financial Independent Risk Assurers also assist the team and provide the necessary third party roles to allow the project to be insured under the new all-embracing policy that gives IPI its name.
The primary feature of IPI is the way it brings all the key players together right from the beginning and I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding it is to see members of this usually fragmented industry sitting side by side collectively working up the solution with parts of the industry that traditionally rarely meet, let alone well before commencement on site when there is still time to take on board others ideas, perspectives and innovations. What’s more this is not just a once only basis; the BIM strategy includes access for all to the same developing information and to the integrated model where proactive clash avoidance is the priority rather than retrospective clash detection after the event.
Furthermore every ‘design team meeting’ is a multi-party review of the developing 3D spatial model. In addition a number of “Build in a Day” or “Plan in a Day” workshops have been held where the extended team review the current 3D and the 4D (time sequenced) models to look for ways to optimise solutions, processes and the timeline. And a ‘trinity’ of design, commercial and
delivery leads take responsibility for allocated work streams, enabling conclusions to be reached that satisfy all 3 criteria at the same time whilst cutting out the 'handoff' documents, drawings and specifications usually required for ‘protection’ purposes.
All projects experience difficulties and since this is the first trial of the IPI Model there have been misunderstandings, new processes to refine and the occasional fall back to traditional behaviours. As a result it has taken longer to get to where we are now than we had hoped, but the learnings to date have already enabled us to improve the process so that the next projects will be much smoother; moving faster with less likelihood of dropping into outdated but established patterns of behaviour.
Now the whole team is operating in a truly seamless fashion on Dudley, the project is progressing really well, plenty of waste and inefficiency has been removed and a focussed determination has emerged to manage out remaining risks and identify new opportunities for further savings. A genuinely collaborative team is in place that actively engages with its end user customers and includes and is informed by all parts of the supply chain.
As for the proof of the pudding, the strategic needs of the College have been accommodated and the project is well on track for Advance II to easily be open for the September 2017 student intake. Not only is the target cost currently being beaten, the attitude and behaviours of the team that are empowered by the IPI model and Alliance Contract, mean that confidence in achieving further improvement is high. And whilst it is unlikely that the full 20% savings target for the IPI Model will be achieved at the first attempt, the gap is closing day by day!