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8 Storey’s Gate work to restart two months after Killby collapse

The Institution of Civil Engineers was this week “working hard to minimise” potential cost overruns on its £5.17M project to refurbish 8 Storey’s Gate as it prepared to restart work on site after a two month suspension.

Gardiner & Theobald Construction Management (GTCM) has been contracted to manage completion of the ICE’s new administrative headquarters in Westminster after main contractor Killby & Gayford collapsed in April.

ICE director general Nick Baveystock said it was “inevitable” that there would be extra costs to bear on the project but said the ICE was making every effort to ensure that the project’s contingency was not exceeded.

“Inevitably when a company ceases trading, projects are delayed and 8 Storey’s Gate is no different,” said Baveystock. “But fast work between the ICE, GTCM and Council has ensured that we can restart work within eight weeks of Killby & Gayford’s demise.”

He added: “There are inevitably additional costs under these circumstances, but we are working hard to minimise them. At this stage the details of those costs are commercially sensitive, although they have been seen and approved by ICE Council.”

Original programme

The Storey’s Gate office refurbishment started last August and was expected to be complete by this February, with staff moving in well ahead of the Olympic Games shut-down period in Westminster during July and August.

However, in November this was pushed back to May after first a mechanical and electrical subcontractor went bust then major voids were discovered under the floor slab (NCE 3 November 2011).

The additional grouting used £200,000 of the project’s original £432,000 contingency fund, with another £105,000 for additional temporary staff accommodation at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) drawn from operating expenditure.

Once Killby & Gayford went into administration on 18 April it was clear the move could no longer be achieved ahead of the Olympic shutdown and the May project completion date was abandoned.

The job will now be managed by GTCM, the construction management arm of Gardiner & Theobald which has been project managing the refurbishment for the last year. Having assessed the site it made recommendations for taking the project forward and the appointment of GTCM was approved by ICE Council.

A restart on site was expected this week, although the Olympic shutdown starts in mid July until early September. The construction phase is now likely to end in November and the ICE anticipates that staff will move into the new building before the end of 2012.

Staff who were due to move into the building this month will either remain at offices leased by the ICE at Marsh Wall and at the IMechE, or will be found temporary space at 1 Great George Street.

“Every effort will be made to deliver the project nearer to the original budget,” said Baveystock. “Concurrently, ICE’s efficient management of other capital projects means that our 2012 forecast of outturn can still be met.”

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