Executive Director for Construction
London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)
Colin Naish's working relationship with Mace began with the redevelopment of Brunel University's Uxbridge Campus, followed by the ODA's creation of the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Games. He is now working with Mace again - this time transforming the Park after 2012 into a vibrant new community for east London. Colin believes partnership working has been key to the success of the three projects.
Since the Games, Mace has been working with the LLDC to create a dynamic new heart for east London – an inclusive community, a thriving business zone and a must see destination where people will choose to live, work and play. More than 10,000 new homes have been built, the Games' sporting venues converted into community and elite sporting facilities and the parkland doubled in size.
- What is the project seeking to achieve?
- We needed to transform and reopen the Olympic Park after the London 2012 Games as quickly and safely as possible. More recently we’ve been transforming the Olympic Stadium, first for its interim opening of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and then into a new home for West Ham United in time for the new 2016 football season and its future as a multi-purpose stadium.
- How is Mace fulfilling your needs as a client?
Delivering on time as well as opportunities for local people were important to us. But above all, just as it was on the Olympics, safety was our number one priority. It's quite clear that Mace is committed to fulfilling our objectives around safety, and are closely aligned with us on how safety needs to be implemented on site: controls on site and integration of behavioural safety – making sure people think it’s OK to put up your hand and say something isn’t right.
The Mace staff on the project have been 100% committed. On the Olympic Stadium transformation we’ve had an outstanding safety record with 2.4m hours worked without a reportable accident - despite the amount of work that had to be done at height, over winter and through the night.
- Why Mace?
We wanted to work in partnership with a project management organisation and have a close, collaborative working relationship to deliver our desired outcomes.
Mace had demonstrated its ability to deliver as one of the partners within [the ODA’s joint venture delivery partner] CLM, made up of CH2M Hill, Laing O'Rourke and Mace. We wanted to continue that approach and embed project managers in our team at the LLDC. But we’ve moved partnership working on even further from the ODA. Now, although there are two organisations within the team, you’d find it hard to see the difference.
“It’s quite clear that Mace is committed to fulfilling our objectives around safety.”
- How are you finding your working relationship with Mace?
The Mace project team members’ commitment to the project has gone beyond what the contract requires of them. They’ve been dedicated and on many occasions given up their personal time to ensure successful delivery. In a pressurised environment, when presented with challenges that needed to be overcome, Mace has stepped up and delivered.
In 2015, in the middle of the programme to transform the stadium we wanted to host five games for the Rugby World Cup and a Diamond League athletics event. It meant we had to re-sequence our planned activities so we could pause construction work for four months with the stadium in an operable condition, to hold these very high profile events. We then had to restart our transformation works and be complete in time for West Ham United at the start of the 2016 football season.
Mace said: "You’re nuts, but we fully understand why you want to do it, and here’s how we can do it."
It’s been a great example of partnership – scheduling the work around our needs through collaborative working and a flexible approach.
- What value is Mace adding to your project?
Drive, determination and its 'Safety first. Second nature' ethos. Mace helped to keep all the good things from the processes and procedures that we had during the Olympic Games, but scaled them down to make them appropriate to the task at hand.
But overall it’s the people. Procedures and processes don’t build projects, people do. The client has to create the right environment, then it’s down to the project manager to deliver.
I can’t emphasise strongly enough the benefit we’ve had of the commitment of Mace people when up against time challenges. Part of the benefit of partnership working is you get more buy in. No one wanted to see a failure and no one was going to let it fail. It bound us all together.