Hong Kong Academy is an independent, non-profit, co-educational day school for over 560 children aged from 3 to 18 years. In August 2013 the school moved to a new purpose-built campus at Sai Kung in the New Territories, marking successful delivery of Asia's first private-sector NEC project.
The new 20,000m2, five-storey campus features classrooms, learning support facilities, an international standard gymnasium and a multi-use performance space containing a 350-seat auditorium. The project has been designed and built to achieve the highest platinum rating under the Hong Kong building environment assessment method BEAM Plus, with a wide range of innovative and efficient cooling, lighting and water systems.
Following a period of early contractor involvement, main contractor Leighton Asia delivered the main construction works under an NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) option C (target cost with activity schedule) with a target contract value of HK$365 million. Specialist contractors were engaged using the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Short Contract (ECSC) and all contracts were managed by Evans & Peck, which has extensive experience of using the NEC suite on Hong Kong government projects.
Early contractor involvement and NEC
Evans & Peck was originally engaged by the client in 2010 to advise on procurement. According to Project Manager Steve Porter, "The challenge was to provide the client with an early start to construction while design was still progressing, to provide certainty of delivery on time, and to provide some ability to accommodate design development during construction while managing within a fixed budget."
The solution recommended by the firm was for early contractor involvement followed by use of ECC option C for the main works and ECSC for specialist elements. Evans & Peck was subsequently appointed as project manager for the fast-track procurement, design and construction stages, with responsibility for finalising the design and developing the project budget, programme and commercial arrangements.
After construction started in June 2011, the firm administered the main contract and a number of specialist contracts with a full-time site presence, working closely with the client's and contractor's project teams. The firm also provided collaborative working services to assist the teams to work as one in meeting the project's objectives.
Accommodating design changes
"The ECC target cost option allowed the contract to be signed and work to get under way on site while the design was still being completed," says Porter. "The collaborative and target cost elements of the contract also allowed a range of design changes to be accommodated as the client’s requirements evolved during the duration of the project."
"Transparency of the contractor’s costs and implications of changes allowed the client to evaluate in real time if design changes could be afforded or needed to be adjusted. This flexibility was important in the many adjustments required to achieve a provisional BEAM Plus platinum rating."
Evans & Peck used 4Projects NEC3 Manager, one of two NEC licenced content providers, to help administer project files, contractors’ submissions, compensation events, early warnings and project manager's instructions.
- Enabled delivery on time and on budget of one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly schools in the region.
- Target cost option allowed work to start on site while the design was still being completed.
- Collaborative nature of the contracts allowed a range of design changes to be accommodated as client's requirements evolved.
- Inherent transparency of costs and implications of change allowed the client to evaluate quickly if design changes could be afforded or needed modifying.
- Contract flexibility permitted the many adjustments required to achieve a top environmental rating.