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The event was led by the Secretary of State for Education, Nick Boles, who recognised the College’s commitment to innovation and long-term vision for meeting industry’s current skills shortage head on:

“It is a tremendous honour to be officially launching the centre,” said Nick. “This event is a milestone on the way to ensuring we have a skilled and qualified workforce which is always available to local employers, while creating an exceptional learning facility that we can all be proud of.”

Client Dudley College selected the IPI model to procure and deliver the new £12m Centre for Advanced Building Technologies, Advance II, which was approved as a trial project by the Cabinet Office via the Roll Out Management Group.

The IPI model of procurement applies an integrated collaborative working approach to a level that exceeds any other previous procurement routes undertaken by any of the project team members, who form an ‘Alliance Board’, made up of:

• Dudley College (client);
• Speller Metcalfe (principal contractor);
• Metz Architects;
• Pick Everard Structures / Pick Everard Civil;
• Fulcro Engineering Services and,
• Derry Building Services.

This includes the adoption of a project bank account, BIM and a lean design approach, with the overall aim of achieving cost, time and carbon savings in line with Construction 2025.

Under the Alliance Contract IPInitiatives provide independent facilitation and there are two independent assurers; RLB and SECO Group (BLP as local partners) with MDA Consulting as the Alliance Manager.

Following an OJEU selection process, the Alliance Board was appointed at the outset under an Alliance Contract in February 2015, which has been developed to:

• Embrace fully integrated collaborative working that centres on transparency and a non-adversarial approach;
• A no blame culture whereby the team shares all risk and takes mutual responsibility for all decisions;
• Use of an independent facilitator and risk assurers to assess the proposed project solution, as well as needing approval of said facilitator and the client as ‘fit for defined purpose’;
• An open book approach that seeks to drive down cost while maximising profit;
• A success criteria established to measure project performance;
• A shared gain / pain approach linked to both time and cost performance by the Alliance team.

“There is a wealth of knowledge sitting around the Advance II table, but this has been a real learning experience for many of us,” says Tony Shaw, Pre-Construction Director at Speller Metcalfe.

“By embracing the IPI model we are already seeing tangible benefits, both to the project and Speller Metcalfe as a business, and it has been fantastic to work with a client so committed to engaging collaboratively with the whole project team from inception to completion.”

Dudley College is already well-established as a centre specialising in the delivery of construction courses, with the new scheme building on the success of Advance I which opened in 2014, dedicated to providing education and skills training in Advanced Engineering.

The 3500m² Advance II centre will provide for skills increasingly required within modern methods of construction, and will be one of the first in the UK to provide a dedicated BIM programme as part of the Digital Technologies curriculum, alongside three additional areas: Building Technicians, Fabrication and Welding and Environmental Technologies. These will regularly be delivered within ‘The Hangar’, a purpose built, four-storey internal building site within Advance II.

“Dudley College is really at the forefront of developing skills in the region – both by providing a viable solution to the current skills shortage as well as helping to future-proof industry by specialising in the delivery of high level skills and new building techniques,” said Lowell Williams, Principal, Dudley College.

Advance II is due to open in 2017.

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