Client: United Utilities
Architect: Walker Simpson
Contractor: DH Welton
The substation was of a specialist nature, with a bespoke design to fit with the surrounding land use. The building was cladded with a COR-TEN® steel envelope, the nature of which was relatively complex. The build was also adjacent to rail track viaduct which provided additional constraints to the project.
Construction consisted of the following:
- New Transformer Plinths
- New Switch house (Block, Brick, Stone walling)
- Site Roads
- External Works
- Feature steel & Cladding Envelope
- Low voltage Heating and Lighting and Feature Lighting
- High voltage installation work
Whilst delivering the Central Manchester Primary Substation for United Utilities the team faced several challenges along the way:
The need was to provide a Primary Substation which comprised a 33kV switch house in a brick enclosure and 2 primary transformers. This type of building in this area was not in-line with Manchester City Council’s unitary development plan so several options of cladding & screenings for the development were explored via feasibility studies and value engineering which explored different types of cladding.
The scheme was a relatively high profile connections project in conjunction with Network Rail. As such a team was set up comprising of the IQS Managing Surveyor and two senior quantity surveyors. High level meetings were attended regularly between IQS, Network Rail and Manchester City Council. IQS then conducted their own internal meeting that reflected the requirements of the clients meeting to ensure all actions were fresh in mind.
The cladding was eventually decided to be COR-TEN® and a subsequent tender (Bill of Quantities) was issued to the contractors. IQS selected the tender list. KPIs were written into the documentation with monthly monitoring and meetings being a prerequisite. A scheme email address was set up with all key members included in circulation of email ensuring all changes of information were relayed to the team.
IQS liaised daily with an on-site clerk of works ensuring quality and instant cost advice when issues arose on site. Hold points were set up to check key aspects of the build.
Weekly progress reports were issued to the team highlighting issues site instructions etc on their information formed part of the monthly valuations. Valuation dates were agreed to suit the client reducing accruals and improving their cash flow where possible. Our RICs standard monthly valuations with an associated financial report with the anticipated final account were issued on the first of each month. During the whole process from inception to completion we had a live “risk and issues” document that highlighted potential problems and a monetary and programme consequence was allocated to that risk. These ranged from potential ground contamination to logistical issues in delivering large steel sections to site. Monthly risk meetings were held and the problems were designed out where possible via liaising with all the key members and utilising their experience. IQS stress that all staff members have a key role to play, with trainees and administrative staff serving a purpose in checking arithmetic formatting and helping with the production of the tender package.
The Central Manchester Primary project was a successful collaborative effort between IQS, United Utilities design, United Utilities construction, DH Welton and Manchester City Council and Network Rail. Monthly meetings ensured all parties understood the requirement and need of the scheme that ultimately resulted in a primary substation that won national architectural awards whilst serving Manchester city centre with an upgraded electricity supply required to serve Piccadilly and the surrounding development.