User and contractor interaction - Thor Heyerdahl college, Larvik, Norway
The Norwegian Thor heyerdahl School of Advanced and Further Education was inaugurated in 2009. It was one of the largest new schools in Norway, including a sports arena for 4,000 spectators. The ambition of the construction project was that the new school would act as a social and educational lighthouse project with the help of innovative architectural solutions.The purpose was to enhance equality in society by mixing students from different social classes, ages and fields of study.
The Norwegian interactive model for construction procurement was applied by Vestfold County Council. In 2002, the County Council created a small internal project team, which was responsible for developing, planning, designing and implementing the project. The size of the internal project team varied between three and five people. The team was led by a former headmaster together with engineers and economists. It was the first time for the Vestfold County Council and the project team to utilise the interaction model.
The interaction model is based on a partnership and it focuses on the skills that the different actors in a construction project possess and how they can be exploited for the benefit of the project. In this model one of the most important characteristics is that the contractor participates in the planning of the building.
The project was realised by a turnkey-contractor, which was in this contract a single-purpose company consisting of the main contractor, other contractors, architects and engineers. The Vestfold County Council evaluated the competitors based on both proposals and by interviewing the proposed turnkey-contractor groups. The purpose of the interviews was to evaluate whether the group was balanced, motivated and prepared for the project. The interaction model applies a principle of “open book” which means that there should be full disclosure, transparency and access to all documents for all parties. The interaction model and the open book principle were integrated into the procurement documents.
The facility managers and end-users were also involved in both the design and construction phases. The employees of the school appointed a representative who worked full time on the project to ensure that their needs were integrated into project planning. A group of facility managers, who participated in the design process, was also established. Vestfold County found the interaction model to be successful in encouraging teamwork and reducing conflicts. The excellent collaboration between the different participants was one of the reasons for the good project results.
The project resulted in a well-functioning student environment, which increases cross-disciplinary activity. The main achievement of the project was the 35% reduction of space, in comparison to other similar school projects at the time. Space was reduced from approximately 20 m2 per student to 14 m2 per student. The initial goal for energy efficiency of 100 kWh/m2 /year had to be updated to 130 kWh/m2 /year during the project in order to deliver the school in time and in budget. however, the latest reports show current consumption below 110 kWh/m 2 /year due to adjustments in technical systems and in the use of the building.
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