BBMV, a joint venture comprising Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and VINCI Construction, is responsible for the construction of the Crossrail C512 Whitechapel Main Station Works contract.
Work on the £110m contract began in December 2011 and is due to be completed in August 2018. The C512 section of the project is divided into three primary work sites which are located in the Whitechapel area, East London. The contract involves the refurbishment of the existing Whitechapel Station, the construction of a new station bridge concourse above the East London Line cutting and a new ticket hall. It includes the construction of new shafts and platforms for the Crossrail tunnels, related architecture and incorporates mechanical and electrical infrastructure.
The contract requires working closely with the local community, both in providing employment opportunities to the area while also maintaining a high standard of communication with local residents and businesses that will be impacted by the works over the six year construction period.
BBMV values its association with the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) and there is a high level of commitment towards the Scheme's requirements. CCS is supported at board level meetings, discussed at teams meetings and emphasised to all working on site. All those affected by our construction programme, including office based teams, are reminded of the importance of adhering to CCS requirements, which are reinforced at inductions, toolbox talks and employee briefings. We try to embody the CCS principles in all activities and have found the revised 2013 Checklist a particularly useful benchmark to evaluate the standards we seek to achieve on site. The project team aims to satisfy all the code requirements and where possible exceed the criteria. Following the new CCS Code has served as a useful prompt in helping solidify and quantify many of the examples of good practices taking place on site.
CCS signage is incorporated on all our sites in the Whitechapel area. C512 is currently using two tower cranes on site with the installation of the third in the pipeline. We have registered with the CCS Safe Cranes Campaign and our tower cranes display the appropriate signage. Construction is taking place in close proximity to local residents' houses and local businesses and we have found that prominently displaying CCS signage gives our stakeholders' reassurance that our practices are being monitored and evaluated by a neutral third party with a strong reputation in the construction industry. BBMV has developed customised posters advertising our adherence to the CCS Code; these are on display in our reception areas and are visible to all – including local residents who regularly attend meetings at our site office.
Part of our site area is situated adjacent to and above the operational London Overground and Underground railway. With the exception of weekend and night time possession when the track is not live, the railway is set to remain operational throughout the construction process. In addition to this, Whitechapel is a high density urban environment with residential blocks bordering on site, as well as local businesses and market traders in the vicinity. A neighbouring school is located adjacent to a site boundary. As a result, we have had to maintain a careful balance ensuring as little intrusion on the local community as possible, while at the same time working towards achieving key milestones.
The overall impact of construction in Whitechapel has been increased by the fact that other Crossrail projects have carried out their programme of construction activity in Whitechapel simultaneously. The interface with these project teams is carefully managed by means of community liaison, logistics and team interface meetings to ensure that wherever possible, disruption is minimised.
The environmental impacts of site activity are constantly monitored to minimise their impact. The construction of two access shafts has led to intense programmes of excavation activity and the removal of large volumes of soil. Measures have been implemented to ensure that the dust associated with the excavation process has been reduced. A site lorry loading area in the form of a purpose built concrete hard standing has been developed; this allows for easy access, easy cleaning and eliminates the potential for dust nuisance. Due to this arrangement the need for wheel washes has been removed, thereby saving water. Where conditions have been wet due to rainfall we have utilised a jet-wash on specific vehicles as needed. The water used in this process is derived from the rain water harvesting tank.
Maintaining good relations with those living and working in close proximity to our works is essential. Along with the client Crossrail, BBMV carries out a regular programme of activity to ensure residents are updated on the work programme and developments that might impact on them. The team hold approximately 25 meetings with local residents annually. The majority of meetings are held at the C512 site office and the entrance to this has been especially customised to ensure accessible access to all wishing to attend. Crossrail operates a 24 hour helpline across the scheme and BBMV ensures that a company representative is available to attend to resident queries 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This has improved our response time to queries and the overall relationship with the local community.
The project has adopted the robust Crossrail logistics procedure to manage the volume of vehicles arriving and leaving site. In addition to the high presence of traffic marshals in the area, vehicles are sent to a special lorry holding area and called in to site at managed intervals. Any vehicle arriving at site must ensure that they arrive via an approved vehicle route to site. These routes are communicated to suppliers and hauliers upon acceptance of their bookings. The Whitechapel logistics process has been further developed to match local requirements and the project has worked to ensure that school pupils are not affected by deliveries and vehicles visiting site. We operate a "no go" logistics policy at specific times during the day and vehicles are barred from attending site at school opening and closure times.
A significant amount of noise, dust and vibration monitoring is regularly undertaken. All results have to be analysed and reports produced to confirm both the project's performance against trigger levels associated noise, dust and vibration plus a review of cumulative noise from other projects. An online 'real-time' monitoring solution has been adopted in order to monitor and manage noise, vibration and dust data, ensuring that trigger levels are not breached by the construction team. The site engineers have real-time access to environmental data and can review results to ascertain the effect that work methods are having on noise and dust results. This has a positive impact by reducing nuisance from the construction works on the local neighbourhood. The system creates an active management of noise and dust rather than re-active management which utilises text messaging of noise levels and provides the site engineers and foreman with an opportunity to review noise data and trigger levels and make any needed adjustments.
BBMV has developed a programme to install hybrid LED tower lights in the site compounds in Whitechapel. The hybrid LED lights have been carefully designed to provide maximum luminosity to site and they can be angled in such a way as to shield nearby residents from the glare. The hybrid lights boast several unique features, which includes a 94% fuel efficiency rating and a reduction in carbon emissions when compared with conventional lighting - saving the project £126 per week in fuel. They are powered by highly efficient and durable SMD LED lights and are activated by means of an auto start-up and shut down feature, which provides continuous visibility to the site team. The battery powered hybrid features have super-silent generators built into them. Their batteries are charged during the daylight hours enabling the generators to switch-off late afternoon, so in some areas the site team can work throughout the night without having to recharge the equipment.
The C512 project implements a Crossrail community investment programme, which is coordinated centrally by the client Crossrail. A special programme has been designed to ensure a lasting legacy for the local communities living in proximity to Crossrail. C512 has supported several local projects and has worked to assist in sending a local football club Senrab FC to the Youth Football World cup in Gothenberg, Sweden. The project is also sponsoring training courses in conjunction with the local Whitechapel Idea Store (local community library hub).
The project has provided on-going sustained support for the Whitechapel Mission, a local charity which is dedicated to providing assistance to those caught in the cycles of poverty and dependencies. The project has carried out a programme of support, which includes fundraising and pro bono support.
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