Marcel Winter, Managing Director, Pöyry Switzerland, delivered an inspiring keynote talk on the lessons learned from complex underground projects at this year’s Tunnel Design & Construction Summit on 2nd March in Berlin.
In his keynote, ‘Critical Success Factors for Complex Underground Schemes’, Marcel focused on stakeholders and how to overcome their conflicting needs. He emphasised how ‘alliance’ contracts and partnerships can help overcome complexity to deliver long-lasting results.
He opened up the main challenges faced in complex tunneling projects, including challenging ground conditions, sensitive environments, political exposure and public awareness along with multi-layered interfaces. And coming from Pöyry, one of world’s leading tunneling and underground construction engineering companies, Marcel was able to draw upon lessons learned from iconic projects, such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel – at 57km, the longest rail tunnel in the world.
‘Factors such as quality management, time management, financing and cost management, along with risk management and information management are all important success factors,’ Marcel asserted. According to Marcel, ‘in the Gotthard Base Tunnel, solid risk management was the basis for all other key success areas.’
Marcel went on to outline how alliance project models, where an owner and service providers (e.g. designers and contractors) work together as part of an integrated team to deliver specific projects under a contractual framework. ‘Alliance model contracts offer a different way forward for complex tunneling and underground schemes, he explained. ‘This is because the commercial interests of all parties are aligned to the actual project outcomes. In a project alliance the parties assume collective responsibility and take collective ownership of all the risks – effectively sharing both the gain and the pain’, Marcel asserted.
In addition, Marcel spotlighted the multi-million euro Tampere Tram Project in Finland, in which Pöyry is having a major contribution as part of an alliance contract for which the implementation agreement was signed in November 2016. ‘Essential features include strong cooperation and a ‘no blame’ culture, fully open book transactions and an alliance board with unanimous decisions required, he said. All parties need to adopt the right attitude and promote open communications, which also enable timely and good decisions to be made.’