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Contractors shying away from building Olympic stadium

Lack of interest in building the new athletics stadium for the 2012 Olympics could drive up costs, industry experts claimed this week.
They also fear that building the structure could be damaging to the reputation of the future stadium contractor, who will be subject to the same scrutiny experienced by contractor Multiplex on Wembley Stadium.NCE understands that contractors Bovis and Multiplex are not interested in building the stadium.A senior Multiplex source told NCE that it would not be bidding because of the adverse publicity it had suffered on Wembley. 'I'm happy to advise the ODA, but one stadium is quite enough,' said the source. 'You've got to ask yourself how advanced the stadium design is. Before you know it, it'll be 2007 and the thing has to be ready for 2011'. Design was not complete when the Wembley project was let under a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contract. This uncertainty then led to cost overruns which contractor Multiplex had to bear. The source said that lessons could be learned from the relative success experienced by Sir Robert McAlpine on the Emirates stadium. 'McAlpine was on a two stage design and build contract on Emirates [allowing it to assess that the design had been fully developed, before it embarked on the main contract]. Clearly there is a premium to pay for a detailed brief and the government has to reconcile this with the London tax payer'.Industry body the Major Contractors Group said that many contractors also feared that best practice would be compromised in favour of the lowest price to meet the needs of the public purse. This would be coupled with a tight construction programme to meet the opening ceremony deadline.The Olympic Stadium contract will be based on the NEC3 form of contract which favours early design team collaboration, which is not a characteristic of the JCT.NEC Group chairman Rudy Klein said that the failings of the JCT could be ironed out if an unammended NEC contract was adopted. But an Olympic Delivery Authority spokeswomen said that the NEC would be amended to suit each project 'it's not a one size fits all' situation, she said.Ruby KitchingRelated links:Today's top stories

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