NAPA is no model for design-build

15.14. Questions were raised as to the extent to which technology and skills transfers were achieved by the Project. We were told that out of the work-force, which peaked at around 1800, 75 percent to 80 percent were loca1.

There were also training programmes: the Commissioners were provided with evidence of the training of tower crane operators. We were told that Genivar maintains a significant proportion of local staff. However, we were not told that any of the key management staff were locals and it is questionable whether any relevant skill transfer occured in relation to the management and performance of a high profile design-build project such as the Waterfront development.

Initial Conclusions

15.15. Both the International Waterfront project and the Performing Arts Academies have demonstrated that design-build can be made to work for specific high-profile projects in Trinidad. The questions to be addressed are, how far this is dependent on the particular circumstances of these projects, what role did Udecott play and what lessons are to be learned.

15.16. For both the International Waterfront project and the Academies, the appointed contractor/designer was a renowned international company, able to call on substantial resources of finance, skill and experience. There is, as yet, no comparable project procured by design-build in which the contractor/designer was a local company or consortium. These projects are, therefore, one-off projects which demonstrate that international contractors can operate successfully in Trinidad, with the benefit of reforms introduced as a result of the Ballah Report.

The projects do not yet provide convincing proof of the general merits of the design-build system in Trinidad and Tobago. The key factor in the success of these projects may equally lie in the competence and experience of the particular parties involved.

15.17. It is to be noted that Genivar have played a significant, possibly crucial, role in each project in terms of management of the project at significant stages. Their expertise is undoubted as well as their understanding of the role required. The corollary is that Udecott have played a minor role in the management of both projects, being concerned primari1y with the financing of the projects. That role is not to be understated, but these projects are not to be seen as demonstrating Udecott’s project management skills.

15.18. It is also to be noted that Udecott’s tender rules, if properly applied, do not permit one firm such as Genivar to dominate the market for project management in the way seen in these two major projects. Thus, while their contributions to both projects have been creditable and possibly crucial, their regular employment by Udecott raises issues of fair competition and openness as well as the obvious need for effective competition.

15.19. What neither the National Academies nor the International Waterfront provides is a model for the adoption of Design-Build by local contractors and consultants in Trinidad and Tobago. This will require a more gradual approach, involving initially more modest projects and taking into account the contributions, opinions and conclusions set forth in section seven above.

16. Brian Lara Cricket Academy

16.1. The Brian Lara Stadium and its associated facilities were commissioned in 2004 by the Govemment of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) in order to provide a high class sporting facility and with the shorter term aim of being available as a venue for the ICC Cricket World Cup Tournament in 2007. For this latter purpose the stadium had to be completed by February 19, 2007 and in a “game day ready condition” by March 4, 2007. Turner Construction International LLC (Turner) of New York had been approached in the early months of 2004 when a meeting took place in Trinidad at chairman level, between Udecott, Turner and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs with the Prime Minister also in attendance. Tumer was subsequently engaged as project managers through a local company, Turner Alpha Ltd. For simplicity they are refened to herein as TAL

16.2. Udecott’s commission to carry out the project on behalf of GORTT was formalised by a Standard Form of Contract dated December 19, 2005. By this date, however, a number of significant events had already occurred in relation to the project, notably:

(i) In November 2004, it was decided to move the stadium from Marabella to Tarouba which involved further detailed decisions as to the precise location which had a major impact on the earthworks then required.

(ii) Negotiations between Udecott and TAL, which continued during the latter part of 2004, were formalised in a letter of intent dated October 27, 2005 appointing TAL to carry out design and project management services.

(iii) For the design work HOK Architects (based in Los Angeles) were appointed as architects and Buro Happold (based in New York) as engineers, both as sub-consultants to TAL.

(iv) The project was divided into five (and subsequently more) packages which were to be the subject of separate tendering and contracts. The packages are referred to as PKI etc.

16.3. The planning of the project was based on a “fast track” approach. However, as it transpired, the evolution of the design coupled with attempts to keep the project within budget, proved to be anything but fast track and major problems persisted throughout most of 2006 to the extent that by September, when Udecott had finally put together a full package for the project, the ICC announced that the World Cup would not take place at the Tarouba Stadium. In addition, major problems of design and construction were progressively to appear, resulting in massive further delay.

16.4. The evolution of the project during 2005 and 2006 can be summarised as follows:

(i) In February 2005 TAL submitted an estimate of cost for the stadium in the sum of $272million plus $54million for fees. The construction costs included $38million for earthworks. The costs were later to escalate dramatically, such that Udecott contended that, had an accurate indication of cost been given at this stage, the project would have been cancelled or radically altered.

(ii) PK2 (Earthworks) was offered for tender to five local contractors dming April and May 2005. The Package was awarded on July 5, 2005 to Seereeram Brothers (SBL) in the sum of $57,817,517.255.

The final sum due to SBL is currently estimated as $154,767,863 which Udecott attribute to defects in TAL’s design by reason of the omission of important elements and failure to include any technical specification. PIG was let three months late and completed seven months late.

(iii) In May 2005 bids were invited for PK2 (Piling). Due to lack of response it was decided to re-tender with a revised packaging strategy combining piling with the structure (formerly PK3). However, Udecott in November 2005 decided to re-tender piling as revised PK2A. This Package was awarded to GWL in December 2005 in the sum of $23,132,418. PK2A started seven months late and finished 12 months late at a cost of over $28m.

(iv) In November 2005 Invitations to Tender were issued for PK5 (Pitch and Field) which subsequently became PK4. A Contract was awarded in December 2005 to Terra Forma Ltd in the Contract Sum of $8,278,663.

(v) In January 2006 tender documents were issued to local and foreign contractors for re-designated PK2 (Building Structure). The Package was to include the canopy roof, but this was subsequently omitted. The Package was awarded to Hafeez Karamath Ltd (HKL) in March 2006 in the Contract Sum of $166,359,327, although no contract document was signed until September 2006. By March 2006, concern was being expressed as to the ability of HKL to meet the tight schedule required for completion of the stadium by March 2007. PK2 was to start ten months late and finish 24 months late at a cost of over $206m.

(vi) In March 2006, TAL gave a revised estimate of construction costs of $417m, explaining that the earlier estimate of $272m had been based on schematic designs and typical costings.

(vii) In April 2006, Bid Packages were sent out in respect of PK3 (FF and E Works) and PK3A (MEP and Lighting). Only HKL collected the Tender Documents and it was later decided to re-allocate all the remaining Packages with revised numbers. Thus, in May 2006 tenders were invited for all the remaining Packages, namely 3 and 5-8 (including roof canopy) from four firms, Sunway, Carillion, HKL and NHI. None of these firms submitted tenders. HKL, however, submitted a proposal dated May 13, 2006 to carry out the works (including Package 2 already awarded to HKL) for the “guaranteed maximum price” of $397,750,000 and with a Practical Handover date of December 31, 2006.

(viii) TAL initially recommended acceptance of HKL’s proposal. In June 2006, however, TAL recommended a different approach by which TAL would itself undertake the balance of the project as construction managers with a budget cost for the project of $542m. TAL says the withdrawal of their earlier recommendation was due to non-performance by HKL on PK2.

(ix) Between June and September 2006 Udecott and TAL considered a number of alternatives including inviting further quotations from Times Construction, Sunway and Johnston. Only Johnston submitted a bid which was considered inferior to that of HKL, with whom Udecott decided to negotiate further.

(x) On August 17, 2006 a revised proposal for PK3 and 5-8 was received from HKL in the sum of $379,750,000, offering partial handover on February 19 and useable completion on March 2, 2007, in accordance with the ICC requirements. This tender was resubmitted on September 14, 2006 including terms as to accelerated payment. Whilst negotiations continued, however, the ICC announced on September 21, as a result of continuing delays, that the World Cup event would not take place at the Taruba Stadium. Udecott finally issued a letter of intent to HKL dated October 2, 2006. Udecott stated that the Agreement “bought off’ the risk of a claim arising from changes to the design of the columns, which had become a potential issue.


"NAPA is no model for design-build"

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