Capital Dock shortlisted for major award

23 Aug , 2019  

It was no surprise to see Capital Dock on Dublin’s South Docklands – one of the largest mixed-used developments ever created in Ireland – on the shortlist for the 2019 Irish Construction Excellence Awards which took place in the Mansion House on Friday, March 29 last.

John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd was in the running for yet another accolade for Blocks A & B of the impressive city campus development which was nominated in the ‘Commercial Over €10 million’ category. The entire “Capital Dock” development located on the south docks spans 4.8 acres and features over 30,000sqmts of office space, 190 residential units, 1.5 acres of public park and a double basement. The development is located on a previously partially constructed site which was a victim to the financial crash in 2009.

The story for Sisk began in June 2015 when Kennedy Wilson engaged Sisk to provide a preconstruction services agreement (PCSA), the purpose of the service was to provide the client with advice and guidance on the buildability of this considerably sized project.

Shortlisted for the award were buildings A & B which consists of two separate commercial buildings with a gross floor area of over 22,000 sq mts. Both buildings rise to seven floors and consists of two storeys below ground level. Both buildings are now housed by J P Morgan and Indeed.com.

“We were delighted to be shortlisted for an Irish Construction Excellence award,” senior contracts manager Shane Glynn enthuses. The award was sponsored by Irish Building Magazine.

“Capital Dock was a very complex and challenging development that took three years to construct. Sisk worked alongside project managers Lafferty Project Management, architects O’Mahony Pike & MOLA Architecture, civil and structural engineers Waterman Moylan and mechanical and electrical engineers Axis Engineering, to complete this fine development. Blocks B and A were handed over to the client Kennedy Wilson last August and September respectively, with Block C recently completed.”

A collaborative design and construction approach were adopted by the designer, builders and cost managers working together to determine the best technical solutions which could be delivered in the Irish market. Shane pronounces teambuilding and collaborative working as essential to the delivery of a project of this scale. Regular social events with all of the design and construction team were held to promote team building and relationship management. Former England and current Leinster rugby coach Stuart Lancaster presented ideas and advice on leadership management and achieving the best from a diverse team at a social event arranged by Sisk for the project team.

The project was complex and large, thus man-hours were speedily exhausted managing the various interactive work streams. Over 150 professional staff worked on the project from architects to managers. The most significant challenge encountered was maintaining the programme momentum – endeavouring to keep all parties motivated, both designers and contractors, and ensuring that these disciplines deployed their resources to the Capital Dock project.  Huge amounts of information were produced daily which needed to be processed and implemented. Technical delays were avoided by extensive mock-ups and samples being created well in advance of construction.

As the Irish economy emerged from recession the availability of trained and skilled resources became an apparent issue, Sisk’s solution to this problem was diversity of supply.

“We selected structural steel and hollow core slabs for Blocks A & B, post-tensioned concrete for Block C, precast walls, columns and slabs for Block D and post tensioned concrete floors, with Gypsum quiet wall drylining for the residential Blocks E & F. To maximise programme efficiency all lift and stair cores to buildings A,B,C,E&F were slip-formed.”

Prior to works commencing on the commercial buildings, Sisk had to decouple the existing bank from the previously constructed basement which was due for demolition. Works comprised of mechanical and electrical relocations, new plant rooms, new welfare facilities and two levels of steel flood walls up to 3mts in height. Noise limits of 47dBA for Lags and 57dBA for LAmax were not to be exceeded within the bank. The demolition process involved significant cutting and lifting of concrete to isolate the two structures. This process was then followed by a variety of concrete mulchers and silent hammers to remove the remaining structure.

Four-week look-ahead programmes and storyboards assisted in visualising the upcoming works. Plans and elevations were subdivided into phased areas which were used to explain elements of the construction programme that were completely, partially completed or due for completion.

Progress on the development was captured daily and updated into the construction programme fortnightly. Output data was collated on an ongoing basis to facilitate the gathering of a database of useful programming data for future project programmes. Regular design workshops ensured a consistent flow of design information.

Sisk were at the forefront in utilising technology to assist with construction activity. The adoption of advances in IT allowed a streamlined quality process to develop. A quality control application titled ‘Fieldview’ was used to track and control building defects to ensure speedy resolution for all issues raised. A document collaboration tool titled ‘Viewpoint’ was utilised to share and transfer project information. These drawings could be reviewed on site using an iPad to ensure all changes to design were implemented speedily. A drone was purchased and a staff member was trained up and licensed to fly the aircraft. The drone was launched fortnightly and footage was used to assist contractors in whiteboard meetings together with assisting progress updates. A Go-Pro video device was used in site inductions to identify the site access routes. Crane block cameras were used on the highest tower cranes. The camera allowed the crane driver sitting at ninety two meters a better view of the lifts, thus increasing productivity and safety for all operatives involved in the operation.

Due to the scale of this large project in a city centre location, Health & Safety was always a significant priority. Directors’ walks were held every eight weeks with a view to promoting and continually increasing the standard of safety on site. A Safety Matrix was created, each contractor received a new safety target every eight weeks, contractors were benchmarked continuously measured against their peers. Weekly site safety meetings with site supervisors and fortnightly meetings with the senior supervising team took place to drive safety leadership across the site.

Innovative safety solutions were utilised such as extendable safety fans to the perimeter of the steel framed buildings, a complete steel enclosure extending over three floors to facilitate the R.C frame construction, and installation of GRP flooring to all plant risers. Logistics plans were created weekly, Mini white board meetings took place daily for smaller work crews, behavioural based safety training and safety observation systems implemented. A safety incentive scheme was promoted onsite. Weekly, daily and monthly prizes were issued rewarding good behaviour – breakfast vouchers and One4All vouchers and prizes were issued regularly. Workers’ health screening by the CWHT along with mental health screening were adopted onsite for the benefit of all operatives.

“Overall, the Capital Dock development was a huge success with strong relationships built. Sisk have since commenced another project ‘Ten Hanover Quay’ on an adjoining site for Kennedy Wilson. This is another fantastic project, which involves converting a nineteenth century warehouse building which housed the Raleigh Bicycle company into contemporary office space.”

Shane and the team very proud of their work with Kennedy Wilson.

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, May, Vol 5 No 5