'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby highorlow » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:44 pm

I'm new to this site and searched back to see if this topic was already a thread and it doesn't appear to be which surprises me.

At this stage all new Irish Government Public Contracts are underway / 'up and running' under these forms of Contract. There was and still is an obvious learning curve for both Architects and Contractors alike under the new terms of these contracts.

I was just wondering how Architects / 'Employers Representatives' are finding the use of these forms so far? (we are over 18 months or thereabouts into the use of them now).

Is there a noticeable or dramatic change on sites and how Contractors are organizing themselves to cope with the pitfalls and risk buyouts they must take under these forms?

Have tender preparations by both Architects and candidate contractors changed much?


http://constructionconciliation.blogspot.com/
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby garethace » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:08 pm

Highorlow,

I wish I knew more about this. Project managers I used to work with, back in my private practice days are a lot more exposed to it. I need to do a beginner's course myself. But my understanding is that the new contract is a blunt kind of instrument, devised by accountants who were looking to get value for money. While intentions may have been good, it doesn't seem the contract has obtained the kind of value it was looking for.

Having to look at the NAMA legislation and debate over the past couple of months, has taken up a huge amount of my personal time unfortunately. I am sure, a lot of folk are feeling that same way. Thanks for posting the thread and the link. I am also trying to get my head around the energy conservation question, and started making a couple of contributions in the Archiseek Eco-tect section today. Nice to be thinking about something other than property developers and NAMA for a change, I am delighted to say.

The energy conservation thing concerns me, in the way that I am working with the assembly of components in a build. I like to know how that energy slant would inform the process of one's building assembly. It has thrown up some new and exciting questions for me, that I didn't expect at all. Even though it has been hard work, it has enabled me a better view, of the decision making process, with all sorts of buildings - from the client's point of view.

For instance, I calculate that dwellings only represent between 2 - 10% of an Irish person's daily energy consumption. A good energy consumption per year of a dwelling per person would be 3,650kwh/yr per person.

In other words, 10kwh/day per person.

The passive houses can do even better than that.

But David MacKay the professor in Cambridge, reckons the average Irish person consumes about 100kwh/day.

Even if we achieve 'A' rated dwellings right across Ireland, we are only optimising within that 10% band per person. That means, there is a whole other 90% we will have to deal with, which could also be non-domestic building related, transport, food, logistics or whatever. So it kind of puts the energy in dwellings thing in some perspective for me.

The only thing with energy in dwellings, is that it can reduce the nation's dependence on fuels. Which is great. But things like concentrated development, better villages, cycling in cities and better ticket arrangements for transport. All of those things are major important - even though we laugh about it. Improving energy performance in dwellings can only get us so far, before it is drains out as a major option.

Granted there are 1.8 million houses in the country to be upgraded. But still, we blow it's contribution to the national climate change strategy way out of proportion. We seem to think in Ireland that everything to do with houses, is important. That nothing else in the wider economy matters. We need to get out of that attitude. That is what studying NAMA has really thought me. If nothing else.

Does that feed into a 'value for money' conversation in any way?

Brian O' Hanlon
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby missarchi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:44 pm

Are these the ones architects where not to happy about?
because it took away so many things?
All the risk was passed onto the contractor architect with this fixed price?
We don't even have a fixed price banking/property system...
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby highorlow » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:23 am

Are these the ones architects where not to happy about?


Yes, Architects and Engineers weren't happy with them either as I'm led to believe that they are also under a stringent agreement with the Employers.

I have heard (this would have to be confirmed by someone with experience and professional appointment contracts with the Public bodies) that some such terms include Architects and Consultants Engineers bugets pre-tender having to be within 10% of the actual tender and if not they get a deduction off there fee.

So if a budget is worked out at say a MILLION and the lowest bid comes in at 850k they get a deduction on thier fee. Also if the lowest tender comes in at 1.2m same applies. As I said this point would need to be clairifed by Archs already signed into contracts / professional appointments.

My own experience is with the building suite of contracts, the contracts between Employers (gov bodies) and Contractors and I have a good insight into this having read and attended lectures on it.

Mark Varian gives a good synopsis on this;

http://www.odse.ie/includes/downloads/new_construction_contracts.pdf
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby highorlow » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:35 am

I am also trying to get my head around the energy conservation question, and started making a couple of contributions in the Archiseek Eco-tect section today. Nice to be thinking about something other than property developers and NAMA for a change, I am delighted to say.


My interest in energy conservation would be more geared toward the civil engineering aspects such as wind farms, wave farms and hydroelectric dams.

However one thing that is going to get big in Ireland in the next ten years (if we have the right people and will to carry this out) is wave energy.

I hear through the grapevine that a company in Maynooth called Wavebob are making giant strides on this alternative type of energy creation. Wave farms IMO is one of the greatest alternative energy products we have and hopefully companies like Wavebob will help Ireland to be 100% self sustaining on the creation of electricity and that we may even have a surplus to sell abroad.

Granted there are 1.8 million houses in the country to be upgraded. But still, we blow it's contribution to the national climate change strategy way out of proportion. We seem to think in Ireland that everything to do with houses, is important. That nothing else in the wider economy matters. We need to get out of that attitude.


Correct me if I'm wrong but my reading of your post can be summed up in one statement, i.e. "we need to start looking at the bigger picture when it comes to energy conservation"?

If this is what you are saying I fully agree. Needless to say though there are strong wise private individuals who are seeking out this large scale energy conservation product we have so I wouldn't get too downhearted.

On the other hand it is probably no harm that people are encouraged to have energy efficient homes and this also helps the construction jobs market in this particular hard moment in time.

A learned colleague of mine said that Ireland needs a Minister for Construction, I would agree with him to a degree but I would be more inclined to have a Minister for Infrastructure instead, anyhow that's a discussion for another day.







http://constructionconciliation.blogspot.com/
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby keating » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:07 am

highorlow wrote:However one thing that is going to get big in Ireland in the next ten years is wave energy


Not really, The wave energy capture devices cost almost as much as a mid size gas turbine.So 2.5 MW versus 200MW for the same cost. Also the Irish grid cannot take more renewables, Eamon Ryan needs to focus on the grid, but look at Connemara, you can't run a cable anywhere without the Local TD kicking up a fuss. The biggest issue with these devices, is how can they survive 100 ft waves off Erris Head.

As Architects you should be focusing on Passive buildings, design on first principles instead of corporatecture with massive bolted on 'renewable energy' plant. Natural ventilation alone dosent work in this country. Irish Passive house builders and Architects are advising the UK on using Passive as a basis for zero carbon Schools. Ireland can take the lead on Passive, its so easy to achieve here with our mild climate. However to do this, you must unlearn how conventional building methods and learn to build Airtight and Cold bridge free.
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby garethace » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:27 pm

I hear through the grapevine that a company in Maynooth called Wavebob are making giant strides on this alternative type of energy creation. Wave farms IMO is one of the greatest alternative energy products we have and hopefully companies like Wavebob will help Ireland to be 100% self sustaining on the creation of electricity and that we may even have a surplus to sell abroad.


I know the guys at Wavebob, they gave some presentations of their work last year. I hate to harp on about Zoe developments, but I thought Wavebob had a lot in common with the Zoe, Danninger business model. Wavebob were not contented only to design some cool piece of engineering. They thought about it, way down the track, in terms of how it would be economical to maintain and safe to fix problems etc. So not only were Wavebob able to come up with the best 'design' out there to capture wave energy from a specific site. Wavebob were aware of unknown unknowns, that they couldn't see from a point of view of designers.

From the design point of view, on it's own, WaveBob have managed to crack up the major difficulty with regard to wave energy generation. Every site is very specific in terms of wave - even moreso than wind. It takes a huge amount of data processing to understand how to capitalise best on a wind site. With wave, things get even more specific. I agree with Keating's point of course, that Ireland is unable to benefit from any more renewables on its grid at the moment. That point really needs to be expressed. But I don't see how that affects WaveBob as a company so much, as it is working to export a product to a global market. As I pointed out, one of the strengths of the WaveBob company, is their willingness to 'partner' up with their client and customise a solution that fits around their site and their needs.

I cannot tell you how many things I learned working closely with fabricators and construction as I had an opportunity to do at Zoe. You cannot afford to be your own little arrogant designer in that situation. You must ask people down to the line, to pull your design apart, to test it from their point of view, to make sure they are happy going forward. In the case of Wavebob that meant going outside of their own organisation and interfacing with the US Navy for instance, who require some kind of wave energy generation for their remote monitoring stations.

As far as I can remember, the main project manager with Wavebob worked in mining in South Africa for most of his career with huge drill machine. In that 'environment' he noted, how every single component is put under stress and potentially can break. I mean, when you think of the fact that Iarnrod Eireann were actually phoned by the Sea Scouts in Malahide, that serious erosion had taken place, and still trains were allowed to run over the bridge . . . . it goes to show you. We do still need companies such as Danninger, Wavebob and so on in Ireland. We are very good at thinking in our own position, but not as used to thinking about it from other peoples' positions also.

By having the emphasis which you see at the RIAI awards alot, on the most brilliant, intelligent and sublime 'design' talent, you end up paying a price for that. Frank McDonald and architecture awards seem to emphasise the individual and not the 'team'.

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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby garethace » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:32 pm

As Architects you should be focusing on Passive buildings,


I think, Ireland has a great opportunity to export a world beating service and product with WaveBob. Not withstanding, we should be able to get into exporting of kit buildings too, if we organise in the right fashion, and capital is allowed to flow to the right players in the market. McCaughey and Kingspan did Ireland a great service there for sure. I know it might be more low carbon, than passive per se.

I am sure we can export Passive buildings. Isn't that what Gerry McCaughey was about doing? I would love to get a go using that SIP frame product he was developing at Century. Maybe in combination with a concrete sub-structure for high density developments.

After all, Irish and Scottish passive architects import massive timber kit buildings from Austria. Merit Bucholz imports passive ventilation huge timber third skin wall construction for office buildings, from Austria. Why not the other way around? There has to be a good market within the EU for design services and off-site fabrication.

Oh yeah, I forgot, the Irish timber industry is as mean with timber, as Zoe developments were mean with land. In other words, we cannot have fire proof, large timber section buildings in Ireland, because our industry is too mean. They want everything to be made of sticks.

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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby garethace » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:37 pm

Apologises btw, it is a thread about contracts after all.

I should be posting this on the Eco-forum.

B.
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby keating » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:51 pm

garethace wrote:I am sure we can export Passive buildings. Isn't that what Gerry McCaughey was about doing? I would love to get a go using that SIP frame product he was developing at Century. Maybe in combination with a concrete sub-structure for high density developments.



Century fill their closed panels with Polyeurethane, sheath the outside with ply and use polythene as a vapour control. They also have a timber bridging of about 15%, hardly eco- building and dangerously diffusion closed. No wonder Gerry got out while the going was good. His legacy is up there with Liam Carroll and Ray Burke.
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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby garethace » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:30 pm

I am running out of role models fast I can tell you. I don't know. It's not looking too good.

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Re: 'New' GCCC Forms of Contract

Postby missarchi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:16 pm

Didn't Parlon re-negotiate some of this fixed price stuff?

I want a guaranteed budget surplus and employment;)
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