The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in China has successfully used NEC to procure land decontamination and advance engineering works to support development of Lok Ma Chau Loop, one of the ten major infrastructure projects in Hong Kong.
The 87 ha Loop is situated at a strategic location at the northern boundary of Hong Kong and across the Shenzhen River to Shenzhen. It will be developed into the Hong Kong−Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, which will be Hong Kong’s largest-ever innovation and technology platform with a maximum 1.2 million m2 gross floor area.
The government’s Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) engaged Sang Hing−Kuly Joint Venture under a HK$ 313 million (£33 million) NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) Option D (target contract with bill of quantities) in June 2018 to undertake land decontamination and advance engineering works at the Loop. The project was successfully completed on time and within budget in December 2021.
The project paves the way for subsequent construction works for the Loop’s development and enables provision of the first batch of land parcels for buildings and associated facilities for phase 1. The works included construction of a temporary access bridge, land decontamination treatment in five localised areas, ground treatment to the first batch of land parcels, and creation of a 12.8 ha ecological area along the southwest side of the Loop. The ecological area is a biodiverse wetland of reeds and freshwater marshes, and provides 182,000 m3 flood retention capacity for stormwater drainage.
The Chief Engineer of the West Development Office of CEDD, Johnson Lee, says the project team fully embraced the NEC obligation to act in, ‘a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation’. ‘We shared the same goals and proactively collaborated to deliver the project to the required time, cost, safety, quality and sustainability in line with the spirit of NEC.’
CEDD organised various NEC workshops throughout the project for continuously enhancing the team’s knowledge and application of the contract. A joint site office was set up soon after the contract started, which enabled swift discussion to resolve site issues and fostered development of mutual trust.
Lee says the team effectively utilised the NEC mechanisms of early warnings and risk reduction meetings to identify potential risks at the earliest stage, and to turn risks into opportunities through a collaborative partnering approach.
‘For example, the construction of embankments and excavation of the ecological area were subject to an extremely tight programme to meet the bird migratory season. The team therefore divided embankment construction into various work fronts and allocated resources to each work front to optimise productivity and efficiency of the works. A special working group was also formed to continuously review progress and adjust resources as necessary.
With the team’s collaborative effort, the ecological area earthworks were satisfactorily completed under a tight construction programme and successfully handed over to the maintenance department, demonstrating the high level of mutual trust that was developed among the project team.
He says NEC-inspired collaboration also extended to all stakeholders. ‘The project team liaised with local rural committees and village representatives throughout the construction process to understand and relieve their concerns. These proactive actions enabled the project to progress smoothly and successfully due to gaining appreciation and support from the public and local communities.’
The project team also proactively engaged with academic institutions and environmental groups to gauge their views. In addition, regular coordination meetings with statutory authorities and maintenance departments were conducted to address their concerns from the earliest stages of construction.
Lee says the valuable opinions and advice collected from stakeholders enabled the project team to optimise construction methods and strive for excellence. ‘For example, site trials were set up to test various reed planting methods. An academic suggestion to use seeds rather than plants was also tried and found to be effective, substantially enhancing the coverage of reeds and accelerating habitat maturity in a cost-effective and time-saving way. This is another example of the benefits of a partnering approach with stakeholders.’
BENEFITS OF USING NEC
- NEC obligation to act in, ‘a spirit of mutual trust and collaboration,’ ensured the team collaborated fully throughout the contract to achieve a successful outcome.
- NEC early warnings and risk reduction meetings enabled potential risks to be identified and mitigated at the earliest stage, helping to keep the project on time and budget.
- NEC-inspired collaboration extended to local communities, academic institutions and environmental groups, whose input and support helped to optimise and facilitate delivery.