Case Studies Jubilee Line Extension Construction Essay

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The Jubilee line originally opened in 1979 and consisted of 2 and a half mile tunnel leading from Baker Street to Charing Cross. However due to the short distance of line compared to others there was a need for an extension to fill the void. At the time the London transportation system did not fully accommodate direct train access to areas such as Westminster, the business sector in docklands and most of South and East London. London underground Ltd decided to extend the 2 and half mile line with an additional 10 miles from Green Park to Stratford.

London Underground Ltd had already planned to undertake a extension of the line along with various other project such as creating new lines. However as with most public sector projects government approval was necessary before work could commence. Initially the project faced being scrapped during parliamentary debates. Fortunately it was saved by its main selling point which was unlike any of the other lines underground the jubilee line would be able to interchange into all existing underground lines. (Kenneth powell). Moreover the proposal for the line accommodated, one of Europe's fastest growing business districts (Canary Wharf), the lack of transport links in south London (London bridge inter change) the regeneration of East London (Stratford) and a addition transport link to Parliament (Westminster). (Kenneth powell) The government eventually approved and designated funding for the project on 29th October 1993 with construction beginning in December (JLE project bob mic Page 48-49). The expected project completion time to be set around spring 1998, lasting a total of 52months and the estimated was approximately £2.1bn in 1994 (BBC).

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At the tendering stage It was decided that more than 30 major contracts and a number of smaller contracts will be awarded; this posed a test on how the project would be managed reason being the difficulties that could arise from multiple contracts. (JLE project bob mic ) The different contracts were awarded for numerous amounts of activities such as tunnelling, signalling and communication, M and E, the construction of the 11 new stations and other various works. (Kenneth powell JBLE).

The WNSL opted for a low risk method of procurement known as design and build which the Australian contractor won the tender bid for the price of £326.5m (guardian). With design and build the contractor (multiplex) is appointed to design and build the project, this generally gives the contractor overall control of the project. However the contractor must follow the client's (WNSL) instructions from the brief. The client will hire a employer's agent is hired to monitor the site and enforce their instructions. (Murdock and Huges)

The Client choose a fixed price contract with the contractors after the bid was signed it was agreed between both parties that the price would increase to £445m. Originally at the proposal stage the scheduled time for completion was set to be late 2003, however this goal was perceived to be impossible due to the nature of the time the bid was won. As a result a realistic date was agreed upon with a stipulation that a penalty payment would incur if the project was over due by 31 Jan 2006. ()

The concept of this project came about from the realisation in the early 1960s there was a lack of facilities and shortage of space in the British museum's dome reading room in Bloomsbury. It was decided that something had to be done to preserve the national library and an act was passed to re-house the increasing collection and build a national library. (the British library, colin st john Wilson) Different design concepts were proposed based on the intentions of retaining the library in Bloomsbury but expanding it a further three floors. However they did not allow much room for design changes one construction commenced. The government approved the design in 1964 to expand the reading room with in the library. However there were strong debates which suggested that the dome reading room expansion should be scrapped since it would not be able to keep up with the storage demand of books in the future. This lead to the government ratifying their original decision and in 1973 the British library act allow the library to be constructed as a separate entity from the museum. (Inside the British Library, by Alan day)

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Even though the project had been approved to be a separate building, the location had still not been decided, there was protests made by the reading room staff for the library to be built in Bloomsbury. The solution was to build in the St Pancras area because of the convenience of the large space and the number of transport links there. ( the british library, colin st john Wilson)

In 1975 the decision was made to move the project from Bloomsbury to St Pancras. The final design offered a library with number of reading room for humanities, science, business and various other subjects, a plaza, offices, laboratories and conferences rooms. The building was proposed to be built in three phases and would have been able to hold all incoming books without storage out houses. The first stage of construction was approved in 1980 with excavation and construction of the site began in 1984 and was meant to be complete in 1993 at a cost of £170m.

The procurement strategy that was chosen for Phase 1A of the project was management contract this was very similar to JCT construction manager. However at the time this was not a JCT standard form of contract, since JCT had not issued this method and it was not commonly used in the UK. (Murdock.J ,Hughes. W) The Management contracts was design to be a method of procurement use for high risk and complex projects, with the purpose of reducing the risk which is usually exposed to the contractor/ managing contractor. The idea behind this modified construction manager contract is the client employs a design team and hires a construction manager to help coordinate the design and construction and to supervise site activity. There is no main contractor and all the work is sub contracted out, construction is divided into individual work packages carried out by different trade contractors.

The use of Management contract had a negative effect on the project because there was literally no risk directed to the managing contractor and therefore no one to blame in the occurrence of cost over-runs and time delays. (Murdock.J, Hughes. W) In Hindsight one of the main causes for failure with project was as a result of the procurement method chosen. It was considered by Day that the four key weaknesses with the management contract were:

The aim of contract choice should always be to distribute risk clearly; the client needs to understand that each procurement route decides the level of risk that can be controlled by the parties involved. With the help of contract consultants the client can be advised on the best procurement option that suits their needs. No one procurement system is better than another, each procurement route is designated for different circumstances.

The majority of these risks can be trace back to procurement route and the success or failure of a project can depend on the choice of procurement; reason being that different contracts have different clauses, and each contract has its own contingency plan which distributes the risk according to the situation and who is responsible for the risk.