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National Ice Centre

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Supported by £22.5 million English Sports Council Lottery funding, the 25,000m2 National Ice Centre in Nottingham provides two Olympic-size rinks with a 7500-seat main arena, which can be reconfigured to 10,000- seats for concerts. Other functions and exhibitions can also be accommodated. This £36 million project, including a new public square, has been promoted as 'a significant example of urban regeneration'.

Its innovations include the joint involvement of the client and contractors in the design development and extensive consultation with the local community. Because of constraints imposed by the tight, inner-city site, the scheme prioritised the manufacture - and just in time delivery - of prefabricated components.

The two-stage tender process based on jct 80 (for Guaranteed Maximum Price) Without Quantities, was chosen to develop a sound working basis with the contractor. The first stage costs were based on prelims with an addition for project management, and included the contractor's proposal for employment and training.

Once the successful contractor was chosen, the detailed work began in close conjunction with the client. More than 40 works packages, jointly tendered between contractor and client were let and works began in August 1998. The £28 million first phase was completed in March on time and budget and is already bringing in revenue. The second phase, which started last month, is scheduled for completion in June 2001.

'Value-engineering is always a important aspect of the council's procurement process. That is to say; time, cost and quality, need to be critically appraised from a very early stage,' sys Robin Birch, of Nottingham's Design & Property Services.

'One thing we have learned from this process,' he continues, 'is the need for a non-confrontational working relationship among the team.' However, he admits that because the client needed financial certainties, the architect's original fee guestimates, which had been set early on in the procurement process, 'gave the architect some headaches, which they just had to resolve, or live with'. 'We hope,' says Birch, 'to extend the non-confrontational, non-bureaucratic resolution of Phase One onto the rest of the scheme.'



Nottingham City Council


Gleeds Project Management


Nottingham City Council


Ove Arup


John Laing


FaulknerBrowns, Fes Water Technology, srl Acoustic, Fisec, Sports England

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