Powerproject delivers best-in-class results for Kier Construction
Kier Project Manager Ed Dwight has been named CIOB Construction Manager of the Year 2022 in the Secondary Schools category for his work on Addington Valley Academy, a programme he delivered using Powerproject planning and project management software.
Ed and his team used Powerproject to identify project efficiencies that helped support Kier’s Building a Sustainable World Framework.
Powerproject enabled Kier Construction to:
- Accurately plan project requirements and share programme data with contractors/subcontractors
- Create and present multiple pathways to overcome project setbacks
- Incorporate contingency time for dynamic use during construction
- Work efficiently to deliver the project on a tight schedule
- Create programmes that can be used for future projects to support sustainable working procedures
Delivering developments for local communities
Kier is a leading UK infrastructure services, construction and property group. Their purpose is to sustainably deliver infrastructure vital to the UK, and they are committed to leaving lasting legacies through their work.
The company recently completed the award-winning project for the Department for Education, Addington Valley Academy, a new two-storey special needs secondary school in the London Borough of Croydon.
The Addington Valley Academy programme was led by Project Manager Ed Dwight, who joined Kier when he graduated from university in 2003.
“I currently use Powerproject as my main project management software. It’s a useful, intuitive tool.”
Ed Dwight, Project Manager, Kier Construction
Planning around an immovable deadline
Addington Valley Academy was a complicated and time-sensitive programme as the build had a fixed completion date of September 2022: the start of the new school year.
Kier’s scope of work included demolishing an existing building on-site, remediation of the land, constructing the new school and re-landscaping the site. The school was designed with a steel frame structure, concrete floors and a flat roof with solar panels.
Ed and his team used Powerproject to programme contractor requirements and estimate the provisions needed on-site. They also built contingencies into the timeline to ensure potential setbacks would not compromise their delivery date. Data was extracted from Powerproject and sent to each contractor to plan their resourcing.
“Using Powerproject, we split our contract programming into subcontractor programmes and coded everything so we could filter it and supply relevant information to those subcontractors.”
Providing multiple options to mitigate delays
The fast-moving project was made more complex because Addington Valley Academy was built on the site of an old community centre, and the new community centre was being constructed at the same time on an adjacent piece of land.
Even before work began, issues with the new community centre affected Kier’s access to the school site, compromising timelines. So Ed and his team used Powerproject to model three viable alternative programmes, each altering the build time and cost.
“We revised and updated the logistics with the help of Powerproject to show the client new configurations based on different start and finish dates. This was a relatively simple programming exercise.”
To reduce the risk of completing late, the client chose the critical pathway with a small cost increase and a slightly delayed start, which allowed Kier to retain the original finish date.
Identifying potential problems early on
Throughout the construction of Addington Valley Academy, Ed and his team used Powerproject to produce regular progress reports and short-term planning programmes, which identified slippage points. They then used this data to decide how to recoup lost time to deliver the new school building on schedule.
For example, the building’s steel frame was originally supposed to be erected during the summer months but ended up being constructed over the winter. The frame needed to be sprayed with fire protection paint to meet health and safety standards, but this intumescent paint could not be applied when conditions dropped below a certain temperature and relative humidity.
Through Powerproject, Ed identified early that programme delays had created an issue with applying the intumescent paint. To mitigate the issue, the Kier team erected temporary sheeting around sections of the frame to make suitable conditions using space heaters. The programme meanwhile utilised the contingency time built in at the start of the project to offset the delays.
“By pulling progress reports from Powerproject we could see what we needed to achieve over the winter and which tasks were going to be an issue. We were then able to make contingency plans to resolve these issues. Powerproject allowed us to work efficiently.”
A best-in-class result, completed on time
Using Powerproject helped Ed and his team to work closely with contractors and subcontractors. As a result, they completed the £14 million Addington Valley Academy programme on time in just 61 weeks, ready for the start of the new school year.
Their work was so impressive that Ed was awarded a gold prize at the CIOB Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2022 in the Secondary Schools category.
Creating a resilient environment for future projects
With the Addington Valley Academy programme complete, Ed is now interested in investigating Powerproject functionalities that his team aren’t yet using.
One area he is keen to explore is Powerproject’s Site Progress Mobile application. Currently, Ed acts as a middle person between his planners and site teams, but he wants to automate some of his administrative requirements and enable project teams to collaborate closely.
“Building an integrated programme is important, as every update needs to be communicated to the whole project team for us to work effectively. I’m currently marking progress and doing programme updates with our planners, so I know there’s a gap in our Powerproject knowledge. Site Progress Mobile would allow us to have one version of the software that everyone can update live, which would be ideal.”
Ed also hopes that Powerproject will help support Kier’s sustainability framework, which the company launched in 2020. The company is focused on environmental and social sustainability performance to create a resilient environment, resilient community, and resilient balance sheet for The Kier Group.
“Planning our resourcing through Powerproject will help us meet our sustainability KPIs around power usage and fuel usage. The software is part of our overall goal to operate as efficiently as possible. Using Powerproject and our other business systems to create a better plan, we can improve communications and use materials more efficiently to develop the most sustainable solutions.”
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