Robin Nicholson, director at Edward Cullinan Architects is bullish about M4I. As a chairman of the Construction Industry Council, which actively promotes the M4I process, he sees that the opening up of the construction process to scrutiny has been a long time coming.
'The M4I process is not nearly bureaucratic enough,' he says. 'Targets are essential and the key indicators play an absolutely vital role in monitoring where we are and what progress we are making. The M4I system at the moment is a little bit too anarchic and understaffed.'
The University of East London Campus and Technology Centre, situated in the Docklands opposite the London City Airport, comprises three, four- storey academic buildings, 10 residential accommodation buildings, library, lecture theatre, and business start-up units. It is designed to provide facilities for 3000 students and combined with additional professional development courses.
The scheme, nominated by Carillion aimed to provide zero defects on completion, innovative supply chain management procedures, and delivery of the job within budget. It achieved all of these, producing a £32.5 million scheme in 18 months. The scheme was value engineered to assess the original project costs, and the project programme was re-programmed to compensate for the period of the value engineering exercise. Partnering with the client was essential to ensure common goals and an interactive relationship among the team. Other innovations included waste reduction measures and site remediation, involving recycling 2500 lorry loads of contaminated soil.
Robin Nicholson says that the main benefit of M4I rigor was the appointment of a site director with a wealth of experience of fast track construction techniques and complexities. Admitting that this would have been an important appointment regardless of the procurement process of a scheme of this nature, Nicholson considers that it is important to make public these 'obvious' issues, to ensure that all architects are made aware.
Part of the process of M4I is to learn from mistakes. Nicholson recognises that coming into the M4I process when the scheme works were already half completed didn't help matters. 'If we were to do it all again', he admits, 'we could probably get better value all round. We couldn't impose the zero-defect requirement after we had gone so far down the line, although the contractor performed very well because of the relationship that developed throughout the remainder of the scheme.'
University of East London
Edward Cullinan Architects
Turner & Townsend
Whitby & Bird
Livingston Eyre Associates
DESIGN ACOUSTIC CONSULTANT
CONCEPT ACOUSTIC CONSULTANT
Ove Arup & Partners
M&E CONTRACTORS/ DESIGNERS
Crown House Engineering/
Mitchell & Hewitt