"Now in its second year, the Network Construction Alliance is working towards being an example of best practice; combining skills, knowledge and experience from both Alliance partner organisations"
Colin Merrick, Network Construction Alliance General Manager, United Utilities
The water and waste water network in the region requires significant investment to meet future demands for improved usage, quality and security, and to mitigate against the possible future impact of climate change.
Formed in 2010, the Network Construction Alliance is a strategic partnership between United Utilities and Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions created to deliver complex clean water and waste water network improvements such as large diameter trunk main cleaning and flood alleviation schemes including large flood detention tanks. The wide range of projects are diverse in both technical complexity and value, and range from delivering improvements in river water quality as part of the Unsatisfactory Intermittent Discharges (UID’s) sub programme area, to supplying potable water to outlying rural communities through our concessionary supplies programme.
Work conducted by the Network Construction Alliance is part of a £2.4b investment by United Utilities into the water and wastewater infrastructure in the North West. This substantial investment comes with a major efficiency challenge of 10% for the alliance. Meeting this challenge is a key objective for the integrated alliance team which works closely to drive improvements in processes and the supply chain.
Delivering approximately £350m of the projected £500m turnover for AMP 5, the supply chain has been recognised as being key to overcoming this challenge. A series of Dragon’s Den style events have been used to generate novel ideas, which have to date included a prefabrication process for the installation of booster pump buildings, cutting time on site from 55 days to 21. This has helped in minimising environmental and community impact and reducing overall project costs by up to 10%.
Throughout the project, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions has also leveraged the capabilities of its sister companies, including Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering. Together, these companies hold a wealth of knowledge and best practise experience from across the infrastructure lifecycle, much of which has been vital in helping to innovate and reduce costs.
The ever-changing climate means that the work carried out by Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions as part of the Network Construction Alliance will be a major factor in removing the risk of flooding from thousands of homes and businesses in the North West over the years to come.
Key facts and figures
Investment by United Utilities into water infrastructure
Efficiency challenge faced by the team
People supplied by United Utilities for water and wastewater services
Case studies in this sector