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Working on water

Engineers from across the water sector will explore how innovation is improving water company performance at NCE's seminar at IWEX this month

Partnering and communication needs to be taken much further in the water industry if the efficiency savings demanded in the regulator's latest spending round are to be found, engineers will be told next month at the International Water Exhibition in Birmingham.

Changes in contract practice, and collaboration in the last Asset Management Programme, allowed substantial savings through better working, partnering and more flexible approaches to design and construction solutions, says Richard Green, contracts manager at contractor MJ Gleeson, working with Thames Water.

He is one of five speakers at an NCE seminar on engineering innovation and performance to be chaired by editor Antony Oliver.

For the new spending round which began in April, Green says collaboration should go further and the supply chain of subcontractors and materials providers should be included from the early meetings.

'Seeing a site early on, for example, allows designers, client and contractor to get their own perspectives and raise their own issues as design gets going, such as the need for plant and site access' he says.

'The others in the chain could benefit too.' Being clearer about exactly what the client needs will also help achieve savings, and allows greater flexibility in solutions, allowing perhaps much greater use of precast or other radical thinking, he says.

Mark Enzer from Mott MacDonald, now special projects framework manager in the combined alliance team for Anglian Water, reinforces the this emphasis, citing asset creation as a process involving the whole chain from client to supplier.

Refining this process for large projects, as already achieved for smaller schemes, is crucial, he says.

He adds that new software tools like Primavera P3E allow interactive integration of work schedules, scoping and time booking - which can monitor earned value.

Containing risk is crucial and Enzer will explain how tools such as Predict allow detailed analysis to identify possible problems.

Jane Cambell from MWH will develop the software theme.

Steve Kaye, head of research and innovation at Anglian Water and Patrick Smith, waste water design manager for Thames Water, will provide input from the water companies in a seminar presenting experience across the board from client to contractor.

The NCE seminar takes place at 2.30pm on Wednesday 19 October at the NEC, Birmingham.

If you would like to attend please email clare. cowdroy @construct. emap. com

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