Happy Valley Underground Storage Stormwater Scheme (HVUSSS)

Happy Valley Stormwater Scheme
Value: HKD$1,068m (GBP£89m)
Contracts used: NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract, Option C: target contract with activity schedule
Start/finish: Start date: September 2012; Stage 1 completion date: March 2015; Stage 2 completion date: February 2018


  • Employer - Drainage Services Department, HKSAR Government (DSD).
  • Project Manager - Chief Engineer/Drainage Projects, Drainage Services Department, HKSAR Government (DSD)
  • Contractor - Chun Wo Construction and Engineering Company

The project

HVUSSS is the largest target contract awarded by the Hong Kong government to date and was the first in Hong Kong to trial the NEC3 Engineering & Construction Subcontract. 

Designed to alleviate flood risk to lives and properties of over 600,000 residents, workers and shoppers in Wanchai, the scheme involves construction of a 60000m3 underground stormwater storage tank ,a pump house, a 650m long twin-cell box culvert, and associated sports pitches reinstatement and landscaping works.

HVUSSS shoulders a prime mission to develop HK’s NEC practices tailored-made for over 100 public works contracts to be tendered in 2015. The project has won a number of awards including a Gold Award (Champion) under the Public works – New Works Category of the 2013 Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme (HKSARG & HKCIC) and a Provisional Platinum (highest rating) in BEAM Plus Certification in 2014 (HKGBC).


  • A ‘One Team, One Goal’ approach to the project was adopted from the start, with common goals for time, cost, quality, safety, environment and PR between the employer, project manager and contractor.
  • A project logo and uniform nurtured a sense of ownership. A joint office, office chart and social gathering improved intimacy and communication.
  • Credibility and reliability was gained by a sustainable cost saving design. During the project the Project Manager took the opportunity to develop the largest groundwater recycling system in Hong Kong. The sustainable design cut HK$70m (£5.8m) worth of construction costs, advanced project completion by 6 months and saved 400,000m3/year of fresh water for irrigation and flushing.
  • A daily morning briefing attended by approximately 30 team members to review work progress and upcoming activities, and to address early warning notifications within 24 hours to ensure the quick implementation of risk reduction measures.
  • A successful demonstration of team work and cooperation was the completion of the box culvert under the horse racetrack within 18 weeks during the wet season. This was a significant part of the project as any delay would affect completion and disrupt the horse racing. This part of the works was completed two weeks in advance of the planned completion date despite 20 rainy days and three typhoon events during the construction period.
  • 'Knowing Me, Knowing You’ workshops were arranged to help team members understand their counterparts’ concerns in duties or management. These were triggered in uptrends or downtrends in a Partnering Score that was rated by team members. The Partnering Score bounced back after each workshop which led to increased productivity. 

The project demonstrates how clause 10.1 cultivates trust and transforms disputes into cooperation. NEC marks a new era for engineering contracts and cultural changes in the Hong Kong industry. 

Judges’ comments 

"Using NEC with subcontractors, supported by the ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ workshops really helped with the whole team collaborate and overcome numerous issues, typhoons and other challenges! Measurement and analysis of Partnering Scores amongst team members with corrective action taken to keep collaboration on track is considered best practice." 

Happy Valey

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