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United Kingdom-Manchester: Residential homes construction work
Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
Section II: Object
Fallowfield Student Residences — Contractor Procurement
The University’s original contractor, Carillion Construction Limited (“CCL”), went into compulsory liquidation on 15.1.2018 and construction work ceased. The Special Managers, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, appointed by the Official Receiver, disclaimed the University’s Fallowfield redevelopment contract on 2.2.2018 with immediate effect meaning the contract has terminated. The original contract was awarded on 23.8.2017 following a restricted procedure. The University proposes to award the replacement contract to Vinci Construction Ltd on the basis set out in sections IV.1.1 and VI.3. The contract is for the preparation of the site and the design and construction of 1 122 student accommodation units and associated service areas, landscaping and related facilities for occupation substantially by 9.9.2019 — the start of the academic year (Phase 1).
The University of Manchester.
The University of Manchester wishes to appoint a contractor to deliver the Fallowfield Student Residences project.
The University aims to significantly enhance the student experience through a replanning of the Fallowfield Campus, diversifying the range of services and facilities — creating a vibrant student village with hub facilities that support residents on site and the student population within the wider Fallowfield area.
The Campus currently comprises;
— 3 251 student Bedrooms,
— the Central Catering Unit for the whole of the university and local site maintenance, (The Limes),
— 1 of the University's main sports facilities, the Armitage Centre,
— a conference centre and hotel, Chancellors; and,
— the Firs Experimental Gardens.
Much of the residential accommodation on the Fallowfield site dates from the 1960's and does not now meet the expectations of students or their parents. The site is underutilised and is capable of accommodating additional student numbers which in turn would support the provision of new, essential support facilities, for example new student hub facilities, which would also serve the needs of the wider student population in the Fallowfield area.
The University's goal is to enhance the strengths of the Campus by replacing much of the existing accommodation with modern and well-designed residences that meet the needs of students today and in the future, complemented with the right support services and amenities.
Section IV: Procedure
The site was handed back to the University on 5.2.2018. Following a health and safety risk assessment, required as part of the University’s duties under the CDM Regulations 2015, the site was rated as high risk. As the site is located next to a high school and on the University’s student residences campus the risk of injury is significantly increased. These risks will continue to increase the longer the site remains with no construction works taking place.
The original contract with CCL had completion dates from 17.5.2019 to 8.7.2019 in order to allow the University to prepare the accommodation for 9.9.2019. Whilst the original completion dates can no longer be met, Vinci are able to substantially complete phase 1 for occupation on 9.9.2019. The University requires a minimum 2 week fit out period prior to 9.9.2019 which means that the units must be substantially complete by 26.8.2019. Following cessation of works on 15.1.2018, there remains at best a 7 week float window (26.8.2019 minus 8.7.2019) to recommence construction activity. This recommencement date is 5.5.2018 (7 weeks from 15.1.2018) at the latest to achieve substantial completion by 26.8.2019.
The University has taken independent advice to review all options regarding conducting a new procurement including the use of frameworks. The original procurement process was a restricted procedure; however the project is now more complex given the partly built status. The original procedure’s tender return period was 52 days but a longer period is now needed due to the added complexity. There is accordingly insufficient time to conduct a procurement process using any procedure (including accelerated timescales) or undertake a framework competition to meet the 9.9.2019 deadline.
This is an exceptional situation where extreme urgency has been brought about by events unforeseeable and not attributable by the University, making it impossible for the University to conduct a regulated procedure within prescribed time limits due to the critical nature of the works both in terms of health and safety and required delivery date of accommodation. The proposed award to Vinci Construction Limited is strictly necessary to deliver the student accommodation for 9.9.2019.
Section V: Award of contract/concession
Section VI: Complementary information
The following information supports the explanation given at section IV.1.1.
The high risk rating of the site referred to in section IV.1.1 includes the fact that the construction site currently contains open and unguarded excavations and large earth mounds and poses a danger to trespassers including children and students. Whilst the site has been appropriately secured there is always a chance of unauthorised access. The location of the site increases these risks as explained in section IV.1.1.
Before reaching the conclusions set out in section IV.1.1 the University also gave consideration as to whether the contract could now be split into lots/separate packages. This is not feasible due to interface, programme dependency and critical path issues between the groundworks, frame and the modular nature of the installation of the bathroom pods and internal structure. Splitting into lots/separate packages would also create significant design and construction liability issues. It would also further delay action to address the high risk health and safety rating.
Following independent advice, and given the short period of time since the award of the original contract, the University asked all the bidders shortlisted in the original procurement who were therefore familiar with the project to submit proposals for the completion of the project. Two of the three contractors submitted bids, which were assessed using pre-disclosed award and selection criteria. Following the evaluation of the bids the University proposes to enter into a contract with Vinci Construction UK Limited for the completion of the Fallowfield Student Residences Phase 1.
The masterplan for the Fallowfield redevelopment assumes that following completion of Phase 1, the University’s existing Oak House would be closed and demolished in 2019-20. The land vacated will then be used to build the construction of Phase 2 of the Masterplan, providing around a further 1,000 student accommodation units and subsequently Phase 3 of around a further 896 such units. The proposed replacement contract with Vinci Construction Limited will be for Phase 1 only and the University envisages engaging with the market in accordance with strategies to be developed for Phases 2 and 3.
If the Phase 1 development is not substantially available for 9 September 2019, then the closure of the existing Oak House accommodation, with resultant ongoing maintenance and operational expenditure of Oak House and the delay in the opening of the replacement Phases 2 and 3 accommodation will mean a significant adverse impact on the University.
The provision of new high quality accommodation is a significant part of the University’s student recruitment offering. A year’s delay on Phase 1 and further delay on Phases 2 and 3 impacts on the University’s recruitment of new students which has significant adverse effect on the University’s income and reputation.
The Authority will incorporate a minimum 10 calendar day standstill period at the point information on the award of the contract is communicated to tenderers. Applicants who are unsuccessful shall be informed by the Authority as soon as possible after the decision has been made as to the reasons why the Applicant was unsuccessful. If an appeal regarding the award of the contract has not been successfully resolved, The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 102) provide for aggrieved parties who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by breach of the rules to take action in the High Court (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland). Any such action must generally be brought within three months. If a declaration of ineffectiveness is sought, any such action must be brought within 30 days where the Authority has communicated the award of the contract and a summary of reasons to tenderers, or otherwise within 6 months of the contract being entered into. Where a contract has not been entered into, the Court may order the setting aside of the award decision or order the authority to amend any document and may award damages. If the contract has been entered into the Court may, depending on the circumstances, award damages, make a declaration of ineffectiveness, order the Authority to pay a fine, and/or order that the duration of the contract be shortened. The purpose of the standstill period referred to above is to allow the parties to apply to the Courts to set aside the award decision before the contract is entered into.