Mace used Powerproject Enterprise for construction of The Shard

The Shard, an iconic tower on the London skyline, is a “vertical city” with 590,000 square feet of world-class office space, a hotel, restaurants, luxury residences and public viewing galleries. At 310m, the building is now the tallest in Western Europe.

Mace, as main contractor, saw the complex programme through from conception to completion. To help meet the challenge, Mace required a programme and project management tool that could handle significant technical challenges and that would be flexible yet robust enough to take on such a huge construction project. As well as Mace’s expertise from large-scale global projects they chose Powerproject to help them drive the innovative solutions required.

Using Powerproject not only made the job of scheduling a much easier process but also meant we could consult more easily with the local council and communicate our plans to all stakeholders.

Mace uses Powerproject to deliver superb sequencing and logistics

12-14 New Fetter Lane, a 15-storey office building on the western edge of the City of London, was certainly a challenging first project for James Williams, a new recruit at Mace at the time. Superb planning, sequencing and logistics were an absolute essential. The team had an ambitious programme to deliver, which required extremely careful planning to meet tight budget and timing requirements alike.

Mace utilised Powerproject, its standard planning and project management tool, for the purpose. Senior Planning Manager, Barry Hancock, told us: “This project required a lot of testing to try out different ideas. We use Powerproject first to set up contract and delivery programmes, and structure them so that we can easily put things in and take them out, in order to explore different scenarios.” Using the software helped the team to explore and plan ideas that would enable smoother progress and even accelerate certain critical milestones.

As an experienced Powerproject user for 25 years, Barry was able to use the software easily to resolve issues. He said:

The way we work is for the Project Manager, myself and the other team members to sit down regularly, sometimes with sub-contractors if necessary, and explore each issue. We try out different scenarios in Powerproject, to see ‘what if’ something happens and what would help the programme. We can use it to show clients what we had originally versus their changes, so that we can apply for an extension of time if we need it.

Managing progress on this complex site in a hugely busy part of the City of London was a challenge, and Barry has since moved on to deploy Site Progress Mobile, the mobile site progress companion to Powerproject software, at a subsequent City development. In explaining why it would be useful, Barry outlined that: “It will be exceedingly useful to help us try to keep everything under constant control, and should improve things a lot. Planners go around sites all the time, checking all updates we have received, and verifying what we have been told. We really need a way to speed that up! If I can punch progress updates into the app and then upload it to the programme, it’s going to be a lot better.”

The team’s efforts certainly paid off in the end. Not only was the delivery of this project hailed as a triumph, James Williams received a Construction Manager of the Year Award as a result, and praised the whole-team effort that had led to the project’s success. The client was delighted too – and was even able to sell on the building before the construction phase had completed.

About Mace

Mace is an international consultancy and construction company, offering highly integrated services across the full property and infrastructure lifecycle.

Related links