Articles

Ebbsfleet International

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As part of registration with the Scheme, all sites are due a scheduled visit by one of the Scheme's experienced Monitors to assess their compliance against the Site Code of Considerate Practice. A monitor visit to the Ebbsfleet International Station Terrazzo Project, being carried out by Morgan Sindall plc, resulted in this site receiving a high score of 36.5.

We asked Project Manager, Antonio Ingram, what it is that his site is doing to achieve this high score.

 1. Please can you describe the project you are working on?

Ebbsfleet International Station Terrazzo Project is a refurbishment project within a live International station.

 2. Since the beginning of the project, what challenges have you faced?

  • Station integration.

  • Methodology to ensure that the station, passengers and local community were not affected by our presence.

  • Communication.

  • Pedestrian flow.

 3. How have you been able to overcome these?

  • The Station Integration Project, early liaison meetings and presentations to stakeholders.

  • Early EHO engagement, noise monitoring, methodology tailored to the station and identifying local residents’ needs.

  • Monthly update posters and updated letter drops to the local community.

  • Dry runs and surveys of the passenger flow prior to works commencing.

 4. Could you detail a few examples of good practice you have put in place on site?

  • Dust suppression methods by using breaker extract systems.

  • Restricting noisy works at night.

  • Noise monitoring.

  • White noise siren on forklift.

  • Rainwater harvesting used to water the allotment and clean the site cabins.

  • Recycling of materials, including constructing cycle stands from sleepers (cycling encouraged on site) and a vehicle impact barrier that looks like a flower container made from recycled timber bites.

  • Access ramps.

  • Food waste into garden composter.

  • Waste segregation.

  • Eco cabin set-up that is energy rated.

  • Shower facilities.

  • Local school paintings displayed on the site hoardings.

  • Central e-mail displayed on site hoarding for passengers to relay any comments regarding the site and our works.

  • Charity golf day.

Other comments you’d like to make about the project?

The works include breaking out of terrazzo flooring and then replacement with new, new mat-well areas, M&E/data future proofing of the station, ticket gate lines repositioned to the Eurostar check-in area, facilitating the relocation of the ‘International currency exchange unit’ and changing the security glass walling adjacent to the south eastern ticket gates. We knew from early on that military precision planning would be required so as to ensure that the station would remain able to operate safely and effectively at all times whilst we were undertaking the works.

We had already rolled out many presentations regarding methodology and planning, and had risk assessed the effect of our works and how this may impact on the station. However, we still understood that there was a need to bring all of the parties together in order break down any communication barriers that may hinder the smooth operation of the project.

My initial observations were that it was clearly evident that all of the stakeholders were extremely focused on their own business requirements and there was very little opportunity for them to interface as individuals with the other stakeholders whilst working within the same station. Therefore my first task was to ensure that we all worked as one unit and, to do this, early barriers had to be broken down.

Through ad-hoc discussions and early liaison meetings, I managed to find a common denominator that was enjoyed by all of the station staff…

Gardening!

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I had already decided that on this particular project, we were going to be very eco driven with respect to the site set up, rainwater harvesting and recycling techniques, and therefore had ‘gardening’ in mind. I created an allotment that was constructed out of recycled railway sleepers (now known as the Station Interface Project) and challenged the stakeholders to a vegetable competition with the intention to grow and harvest the vegetables as a creative method of team building.

The interest rapidly grew, which led to us having to build 7 allotments, which included an allotment for each stakeholder and one that has ramped access for Ifield School in Gravesend. The pupils planted their own vegetables and visit each week to tend to the plants whilst learning about nature and the results that can be achieved by working together. Recently the station staff, British Transport Police and the client joined us in a welcoming day for the pupils of Ifield School, where we took the opportunity to discuss with the children what we do within the construction industry and how we protect ourselves whilst working with PPE. The children enjoyed dressing up in hi-visibility vests, hard hats, gloves, masks and LEP. The day was closed with a charity meal held within the site courtyard area (all food scraps went into the garden composter) with proceeds from the meal being donated to the Northfleet and Ebbsfleet Lions Club.

The Station Interface Project was just what we needed to build a good relationship very quickly between the third party stakeholders, train operating companies and ourselves - whilst being privileged to interact with the local community.

Most days you will find police officers, station staff and us tending to the allotments whilst on lunch breaks. People within the station now talk to each other and work as a unit to ensure that the project is successful.

We now have a station community that converse regularly, understand what we are doing on site, and enjoy being part of a team whilst finding time to engage in community spirit.

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We also wanted to ask Scheme Director, John Sayers, his thoughts on the project and, in his view, what made this project perform beyond compliance.

Please can you tell us about your background in the construction industry?

Trained as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, thence to the contracting side of the industry, eventually as owner/MD of an established main contractor, R R Richardson plc, before selling the business in 2005 to concentrate on other activities after 33 years.

I have been working as a Monitor since 2006 and as a new Director of the Scheme from 1 July 2011.

What was it about this site that you found particularly interesting?

There are a significant number of stakeholders in an operational international railway station from Network Rail, British Transport Police, train operating companies, station staff and the travelling public, many of whom have long established and differing procedures. In order to work closer as a team, it was discovered that a general common interest lay in allotments/gardening. Morgan Sindall seized the opportunity to create these allotments in a car park and allowing community integration with local schools and charities at the same time. Using donated and second hand materials, this has developed into an excellent team building event generating some real added value to the contract’s execution.

How well had the site incorporated the Scheme into the project?

The integration of the contract team and the support of charitable causes is a key activity of the Scheme’s Code of Practice and highlights a successful company policy of support and corporate social responsibility.

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