Rantaväylä Tunnel – a successful alliance project
Alliances are usually established to carry out an extensive or technologically challenging construction project in a manner that ensures optimal quality, technical implementation and cost level for the client. The client determines the scope and quality targets of the project and seeks to find the best project partners.
The parties of the alliance aim to identify high-quality solutions in line with the project budget. This is important, as alliance projects are usually implemented by public-sector developers, the state, towns or municipalities, and the cost is a decisive factor.
The alliance for the Rantaväylä tunnel project in Tampere had been established before Are joined the project. As our previous experiences of alliances had been very positive, we were enthusiastic about this major project and convinced that its end result would be excellent.
An alliance of team players
Project parties often focus only on their own work – so much so that they are unable to see that another contractor needs to complete their work before the next phase can be carried out. The strengths of an alliance include sharing information effectively and identifying new solutions. All of the parties of an alliance are playing for the same team.
They provide the client with their best expertise and are also compensated for their innovative solutions if their cost performance is better than budgeted. The way in which changes were made to the sprinkler system of the Rantaväylä tunnel is a good example of successful alliance operations. In cooperation with the other parties, we identified the benefits of a new sprinkler nozzle model and adjusted the plans accordingly. Through high-quality teamwork, we were able to reduce the number of nozzles and pipes to a third of the original. The cost savings were divided between the client and Are, meaning that both parties benefited financially from the innovation work.
A rapid flow of information at a joint office
Our project manager was assigned to work at the alliance office, and our representative participated in making all of the decisions concerning technical building systems related to the Rantaväylä tunnel. Together with the other parties of the alliance, we held meetings related to schedules, procurement and planning practically on a daily basis.
An effective, timely flow of information was ensured through close cooperation. This enabled the teams responsible for installations, purchases and planning to work seamlessly together. In addition, the alliance helped us determine which assignments should be given priority at different stages of the project. The strengths of an alliance also include flexibility. If a certain work phase cannot be implemented on schedule, the parties will find ways to make progress on other aspects of the construction site.
Excellent results through team spirit
Clients and developers should better recognise the benefits of positive cooperation. When the common good is not considered or seen clearly, minor issues may develop into insurmountable obstacles. When all of the parties are committed to a common goal, materials can be approved flexibly, resources can be used efficiently and financial benefits can be generated for the client and the implementing parties alike.
The successful implementation of the Rantaväylä tunnel taught us that major projects can be carried out with a good spirit and without disputes. We are all responsible for ensuring high-quality cooperation. A good team spirit produces top results, as evidenced by the fact that the Rantaväylä tunnel in Tampere will be inaugurated six months ahead of schedule.
The writer is Area Manager for Building Services Contracting at Are. He is looking forward to being able to monitor the functionality of the Rantaväylä tunnel in Tampere – on his motorcycle.