One of the challenges that adds unnecessary complexities to construction projects is a disjointed pre-construction stage, where clients appoint consultants and/or specialist sub-contractors too late. The result is often a lack of adequate communication required to challenge design and/or to minimise unnecessary complexities; often resulting in budget and programme over-runs.
A classic and common example of this is when a consultant is appointed to conduct some site investigation. Whilst the quality of investigation and reporting is high, with minimal or no engineers and/or specialist subcontractor input, reports often fail to consider the proposed end use of the site in enough detail. This often results in issues such as data gaps; a shortage of enough information required to fully explore value engineering options, otherwise known as costly missed opportunities. Essentially, the parties who will rely on the information produced do not get enough of a say in what information is to be produced.
A recent example was a vacant site in the midlands proposed to be a new education facility. The client commissioned some site investigation works to be carried out for both environmental and geotechnical purposes but failed to engage the engineers or Dunton, who were the specialist earthworks and ground improvement contractor, in that process. Upon receipt and examination of the completed Site Investigation Reports, it was identified that had the Site Investigation scope been increased slightly, by 5% or so, to capture more data, there was a possibility that a proposed piled foundation solution could be omitted totally and replaced by a more simple foundation solution, saving the project hundreds of thousands of pounds. Thankfully, albeit at the eleventh hour, Dunton was able to mobilise to site to carry out the required additional testing and the project ended up benefiting from the simplified foundation solution. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the opportunity re-mobilise to site and conduct further testing at the eleventh hour is not always available
Our advice, where possible, is to engage your engineers and specialist contractors, like Dunton, as early as possible, and to have their input in scoping any site investigation works. Their input, with context of what is to be achieved, can be invaluable to a project.
At Dunton, as well as having the expertise to interpret site investigation reports and develop value engineered solutions, we also have the capacity to carry them out. If you would like to talk to someone about your Site Investigation, please contact us.