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UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, COVENTRY

Date: August - December 2020

Client: University of Warwick

Value: £540,000 approx.

Form of contract: JCT Minor Works 2016 with CDP

Brief Description of Works

The scheme involved the construction of two separate sections of a new driveway system for use by autonomous electric vehicles. These two sections were known as Route 1 and Route 3 respectively and were designed into the existing infrastructure of the main campus of the university.

The contract consisted of two main works packages: Civils and Electrical. The aim was to establish two routes on which electric vehicles could drive whilst being controlled remotely utilising CCTV cameras and tele communications . Hence the construction of the driveways critically included the installation of ducting for power, telecommunications and CCTV.

The Electrical package included the installation of all relevant cabling along the route within ducting laid as part of the civil’s package. It also included the installation of cabling inside certain university buildings creating a fully integrated system on the campus.

Contract Relationships

The complex nature of coordinating all activities including civil engineering, electrical installation and overlap with the university’s separately appointed CCTV and Data communications specialists required close cooperation and exchange of information at all times between all of these parties together with University as the main stakeholder.

As Principal Contractor, McVeigh Construction, successfully managed the various activities throughout the four month contract period by appointing full time staff dedicated to their specialist roles. This ensured information was discussed and exchanged on a day to day basis either face to face or via electronic messaging.

The appointment of a specialist electrical contractor, Claddagh Electrical Ltd, who was already an approved specialist contractor to the University proved valuable because of their instant familiarity with the campus, buildings and onsite staff. This relationship saved time and enhanced the efficiency of the overall installation much to the client’s satisfaction.

Constraints and Challenges

The main constraints in carrying out the works were as follows:

  • Working on ‘live’ university campus in such a way as to minimise disruption.

This involved designing, installing and maintaining safe walk ways alongside ‘live’ work sites throughout the construction period. All materials had to be double handled between the nearest highway, to the numerous work sites using the appropriate plant and transport. Similarly all excavated material was removed from site utilising temporary trackway to protect existing surfaces.

  • Working on two routes simultaneously

  • Meeting various deadlines set by the project management team over the term of the construction period.

  • Maintaining a flexible works programme so that late changes and amendments could be successfully accommodated. Numerous late changes and design amendments included establishing suitable duct routes which avoided the existing below ground infrastructure. Consequently late changes to materials requirements were continually made and daily close control was crucial in delivering the scheme to the agreed programme.

  • Taking on additional works as the programme rolled out without adversely affecting the overall targets for the scheme.

  • Assisting with the design of ducting crossing an existing bridge by installing a multi duct system to contain power supplies, data communication cables and CCTV cabling. McVeigh Construction sourced and installed a suitable system as the work proceeded and without delaying the installation of critical cables which were key to the success of the scheme.

  • Carrying out all of the works during the period of a national pandemic (COVID 19) which included further constraints such as social distancing and enhanced hygiene.


Client Satisfaction

The project management team led by Graham Steer were praise worthy of McVeigh Construction and Claddagh Electrical Ltd as recorded by the following testimonial:


“This was a critical project in challenging times on our campus. McVeighs managed to deliver the project in a very safe manner under challenging timescales. The completed works have given the university a great opportunity to move forward our transport strategy. This has been well supported by the professionalism and quality of the works delivered by McVeighs.”


Graham Steer Project Manager   


In a similar way McVeigh Construction were pleased to have successfully delivered this prestige project working alongside the project management team with whom it was a pleasure to have worked.

The Electrical package included the installation of all relevant cabling along the route within ducting laid as part of the civil’s package. It also included the installation of cabling inside certain university buildings creating a fully integrated system on the campus.

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