Arup and Mott MacDonald deliver Hong Kong Airport expansion

07 April 2016 Consultancy.uk

A joint venture between Arup and Mott MacDonald has successfully supported the Hong Kong International Airport develop its Midfield Concourse development, by providing multidisciplinary design and construction support to the project. The Midfield Concourse is now fully operational.

Hong Kong International Airport began its commercial operations in 1998. In 2015, the airport served more than 68.4 million passengers, which pass through the airport's two main terminals. In 2011, the airport announced an expansion plan – the Midfield Concourse – which aimed to cater for an additional 10 million passengers annually as well as support the arrival of A380s. The expansion, located west of Terminal 1 and between the two existing runways, was designed to have a floor space of 105,000m2. In addition, it will support 20 aircraft parking stands. Passengers will be shuttled from the new concourse to Terminal 1 through an underground automated people mover.

Arup and Mott MacDonald deliver Hong Kong Airport expansion

The expansion, after five years of development, was recently brought into full operation. As part of the development, the joint venture of Mott MacDonald and Arup provided full multidisciplinary design and construction support to the project. The support included MEP, airport systems, façade, sustainability, APM, fire, baggage handling system, acoustics, logistics and project management, among others. One of the aims of the initial project was to create a range of sustainability features for the expansion. At completion, the building has 35 green features, including low-energy lighting systems, high performance glazing panels, solar shading, and north-facing skylights - to maximise natural lighting while reducing solar heat gain and saving on air-conditioning. In addition, the building leverages 1,200m² of solar panels on its roof to offset energy costs and provide additional sustainability.

Ian Taylor, Arup Director for Aviation in East Asia remarks that the firm is “proud” of its delivery of the midfield expansion. He adds that the expansion, thereby, helps “our client achieve an important milestone as part of their visionary development plan, to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a leading regional and international aviation hub.”

David Mepham, Mott MacDonald Director for Buildings and Aviation, says that: “The Midfield Concourse’s timely opening is the result of a collaborative effort of client, contractor, lead design consultants and their sub-consultants, and demonstrates our technical expertise in delivering a large capital works programme.”

Mott MacDonald and Arup have worked together on similar projects before, including the international passenger terminal at Hong Kong International Airport which was completed in 1998, and Terminal 5 at Heathrow International Airport which was completed in 2008.

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.