CONSTRUCTION PLANS. Planning major building work starts a process consisting of five different stages, each clearly distinguishable from the other. The construction plans for the Medicinareberget campus are currently at the first stage of the process – conducting a pilot study. The next stages are the program stage, the system stage, detailed project planning, then the construction stage. The stages often overlap each other, but not until the final stage do the excavators and lift cranes actually begin to appear on-site.
Two construction projects are currently top of the agenda at Medicinareberget: one is the building whose construction was instigated by the Faculty of Science, and which may well be the first step towards co-locating life sciences within GU, and the other is Sahlgrenska Life, which is aimed at creating closer ties between the university and Sahlgrenska University Hospital by constructing new buildings on and over Per Dubbsgatan.
When construction projects are only just getting underway, as both of the Medicinareberget projects are at the moment, there are major opportunities available with regard to bringing new ideas to the table for discussion. It is still possible to make changes later on, i.e. after the program stage has finished, but the cost of doing so will be much greater.
The final result will be increasingly clear, the costs increasingly high, and opportunities to influence matters increasingly few, as each stage of the process passes. The answers to the questions that employees may have about the project will also become increasingly clear and more concrete as each stage of the process passes. For example, the university often only signs the final leases after the system stage, before the fourth stage – detailed project planning.
The Five Stages of the Construction Process
In the section below, we will list the stages completed during each construction project. If you have further questions about the construction project and its individual stages, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pilot study provides a rough idea of the conditions that will be faced when implementing an idea for a new building. The organization that spots a need for a new building draws up supporting documentation for the pilot study, in the form of a requirements analysis, building requirements and the connection between fields of activity that will use the building. During the pilot study, several architects’ firms who will potentially be working on the project are often given the opportunity to present their take on the job via so-called “parallel architectural assignments.” The architects submit sketched suggestions that are subsequently evaluated by a group of assessors, who also recommend one of the suggestions to proceed to project planning at the program stage. The sketches put forward during the pilot study are based on roughly formulated requirement specifications and merely give an initial idea of how the final building may look. Architects’ firms are sometimes chosen via a competition, a process that is more long-winded, comprehensive and legally binding. If a competition is held, a panel of judges will choose the suggestion on which the project planning will be based, i.e. crowning a “winner.”
- The Faculty of Science construction project has just completed this phase.
- For Sahlgrenska Life, meanwhile, this phase is ongoing.
If the pilot study shows that the areas of activities need the planned building and that the project is viable, the next stage, the program stage, will commence. The program stage builds on the investigations and analyses done during the pilot study, clarifying the organization’s needs and requirements in program documents for the project, with (for example) key decisions made about the size of the building, its technical standard, and its design in general. The program documents are a compilation of the project’s requirements and constitute the overall basis for a program calculation and decision on project planning going forward.
The program stage also sees the organization’s own work on the project stepped up, with a large number of Sahlgrenska Academy employees needed for the various sub-projects and work committees. Impact assessments are also conducted during the program stage, as is planning for any relocation of activities that are going to be affected during the construction phase.
- The Faculty of Science construction project is expected to begin this phase in June 2017,
- and the Sahlgrenska Life project in November 2017.
This stage investigates, among other things, which technical systems and materials will be best for the project. The system documents cover, among other things, room functions, concrete layouts, technical system choices, equipment, interiors and quantities to be procured. These documents provide an idea of the building being planned, its constructive design and its technical installation systems, and provide a basis on which cost estimates for the upcoming work can be created. This stage also sees the project’s environmental and sustainability work outlined.
Since the work on system documents is more complicated for research buildings that will house laboratories or other special premises, we at the university get heavily involved in the efforts at this stage.
- The Faculty of Science construction project is expected to begin this phase in November 2017
- The Sahlgrenska Life project is expected to begin this phase in April 2018.
The system documents are used as the basis on which to draw up construction documents, which are the design instructions that the contractors use to draw up the offer price. The next step is to choose contractors, resulting in agreements in which the budget, timetable, financial monitoring and other practical information are given.
This stage is also called the ‘construction document’ stage sometimes.
- The Faculty of Science construction project is expected to begin this phase in May 2018.
- The Sahlgrenska Life project is expected to begin this phase in April 2019.
5. CONSTRUCTION STAGE (PRODUCTION)
The construction stage usually begins with excavation work, with foundations then laid, before the frame goes up. This stage causes disruption and has an impact on neighboring buildings and activities. The building is then “sealed” i.e. made “weather-proof” gradually. The next stage is the extensive interior work, which is when the new educational and research environment actually takes shape.
- The Faculty of Science construction project is expected to begin this phase in October 2019. Based on current estimates, the building will be ready to move into in early 2022.
- The Sahlgrenska Life project is expected to begin this phase in January 2020.
If the work remains on schedule, the building will be ready to move into during the first quarter of 2024, following roughly four years of building work.
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM CLAESSEN