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HS2 calls for industry innovation as it seeks 20% project savings

Project leader urges consultants and contractors to help deliver 20% efficiencies

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Hill (left): Seeking industry help for High Speed 2 delivery efficiencies

High Speed 2 promoter HS2 Ltd has told contractors and suppliers that they must come up with innovative ideas to help it meet its target of 20% efficiency savings on the £32bn project.

Speaking exclusively at an NCE Boosting Infrastructure Efficiency round table, HS2 Ltd delivery director Roy Hill urged contractors and suppliers to come forward with innovative time and cost saving ideas.

“What I need, we need, is for the supply chain to come up with ideas,” he said.

“We are fully signed up to Infrastructure UK’s efficiency challenge,” he added, referring to the Treasury body’s aim to cut 20% from the cost of publicly funded capital projects.

“So we will need consultants, contractors and suppliers to come up with ideas to ensure we can deliver these savings,” he said.

“If there’s a barrier to that, we need to know about it now.”

Hill accepted that major clients can be reluctant to engage contractors and suppliers at an early stage, but stressed that HS2 was different.

Tier one contractors are already involved even though detailed design has only just begun.

Costain managing director for infrastructure Darren James said his company is supporting Arup which is producing preliminary designs for a redeveloped Euston station.

“HS2 Ltd asked contractors to go out and form teams to provide solutions,” said James.

“We made a conscious decision to support the primary consultants on phase one and now we have up to 22 people involved fulltime to ensure that Euston has all the learning from our work on other major London stations such as Farringdon, Bond Street and London Bridge,” he said.

“When has a contractor been involved at 2% design complete stage?” asked Hill. “We have done that and that’s never happened before.”

“We really have a different approach here,” he said. “We have everybody involved in our efficiency challenge; it’s an open door; it’s our culture.”

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