Latest Rail News

17.09.13

Industry experts to tackle HS2 design standards and codes

BSI, the British Standards Institution, is working with HS2 Ltd to improve infrastructure design standards and codes.

They are aiming to cut duplication and unnecessary complexity as part of HS2’s Efficiency Challenge Programme.

Organisations involved with phase one of the project include the Health and Safety Executive, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Rail Industry Association.

Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI, said: “We see a major opportunity for a new guidance document setting out how existing design standards for construction should be used by experienced engineers on HS2 in a consistent manner to achieve efficient, cost-effective solutions.”

Bill Grose of the Efficiency Challenge team at HS2 Ltd added: “BSI will identify a number of industry volunteers to undertake the updating of the codes. This method of carrying out the work brings additional benefits to industry; not only does it identify changes to improve efficiency, but it also gives the opportunity to improve skills in the application of design codes industry-wide. So far the response from industry has been unanimously positive.”

The first phase involves a series of industry workshops, with experts from relevant industries working together to update standards and develop project-specific guidance documents to clarify the standards to use and how to apply them.

BSI said in a statement: “When the initial bid documents clearly show the standards and specifications that are necessary at the outset, it will help to reduce over-design and re-design (and associated overspends) and timeline slippages. These factors are of major interest to large scale projects such as HS2, which rely heavily upon strong communication and clarity from the outset. Their success is also dependent on learning from past projects where over-specification and a tendency to apply unnecessary standards have resulted in higher costs. These experiences will help to shape the development of a new guidance document and the publicly available specification (PAS) that will be produced later.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

(Image: HS2 Ltd)

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