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Discussion in depth about North Greenwich station (2 of 2)

David Bennett is an engineer and writer

rb Tender is only stage three of our services where we have to provide a service to the JLE to vet contractor proposals and method statements, alternative designs, falsework and temporary-work solutions. Stage four was a tricky situation as we did not carry out site-supervision duties because that was done by the jle, but we had to provide answers to contractor queries and requests for more information.

It was an odd arrangement but the jle was attempting to separate the money response from the technical response to the contractor. The situation became very complicated with the large number of variations that were brought in post-tender by the jle. We had a lot more work to do and it went on for years, much longer than we expected.

db I think that many consultants without your background of working for civil-engineering contractors on design-and-build submissions, may not have the edge to bring in the ideas you had to save money.

rb The whole of our culture is to find ways to save money for the client and to design structures that are buildable. That is what we are all trained to do, but perhaps as we strive harder to find ingenious solutions for our contractor clients to give them the winning hand, this gives us an advantage.

db What about Sir Robert McAlpine - was there any overlap with work on site?

rb Not at all, there was no real collaboration allowed in the terms of our contract which is a pity as there are all sorts of problems on site when working for owner/clients which could have been dealt with better, working together.

Although North Greenwich as built has a roof, many of the ideas from the 'roofless station' have been incorporated


CLIENT Jubilee Line Extension Project,

London Underground Ltd


Benaim Works jv*


Alsop & Stormer


McAlpine -Wayss Freytag - Bachy JV


Richard Davies Associates


Contract 110 including running tunnels: £ 70 million

*Benaim Works JV is a joint venture between Robert Benaim & Associates and Opus International Consultants (formerly Works International Consultancy Services Ltd)

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