AWE – Project Hydrus

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We improved project team performance on this £120 hydrodynamics facility to control the building design, planning application and early engagement with the contractor.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment is responsible for delivering the Trident Missile programme on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, with Project Hydrus, a £120m hydrodynamics facility, critical to the delivery of the programme. The building was to eventually accommodate 3no test machines being designed and manufactured in America and a toxic waste encapsulation plant resulting from carrying out the experiments.

The project had been in development for some 10 years and the challenge now was to complete the building design, prepare the planning application and engage a contractor to plan the construction works.

We restructured the project team so as to achieve an integrated design team between the client and specialist external consultants, determined their ‘service level agreements’ and established programme, cost and risk management controls. We directed the preparation of the planning submission and managed the appointment of the principal contractor and guided their early mobilisation and temporary works programme.

Whilst the project was eventually impacted by a strategic defence review carried out by the incoming coalition government, the design was successfully completed to enable planning permission to be granted by West Berkshire Council prior to the government’s decision; and the main contractor was in a position to commence works immediately after the planning permission.


Posted on

1st January 2012