Skanska/Costain JV deploys optioneering on HS2

Artist's impression of the Mandeville Road headhouse and ventilation shaft - optioneering HS2
Artist’s impression of the Mandeville Road headhouse and ventilation shaft (image: HS2)

The Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture (SCS JV) is using ALICE Technologies’ optioneering software on its HS2 contract.

SCS JV is constructing 13 miles of twin-bore tunnels on the HS2 route to its southern terminus at Euston. The company has divided the tunnelling work into three areas: west, central, and east. It is now using the ALICE platform in the western area to optimise the construction schedule for the Mandeville Road ventilation shaft and headhouse.

ALICE Technologies’ construction optioneering platform helps contractors and asset owners to leverage the power of generative AI to plan, bid and build their capital projects more efficiently.

The Mandeville Road ventilation shaft is the vertical opening that connects the HS2 tunnels to the surface and open air. It regulates air quality and temperature in the tunnel and allows smoke to be extracted in the event of fire. The headhouse is the building on top of the ventilation shaft. It contains fire control systems and the ventilation systems for the railway tunnels below.

The Mandeville Road shaft is one of four to be constructed in a 13.5km section of the Northolt Tunnel between Old Oak Common station and the West Ruislip portal.

‘What if‘’ analysis

The work on the Mandeville shaft builds upon the SCS team’s successful use of the ALICE platform to explore faster sequencing options for the construction of the Euston sprayed concrete lining (SCL) shaft, which provides critical access to the main tunnels that lead to Euston station. Through ‘what-if’ analysis with ALICE, the SCS JV team was able to identify a way to trim the build time for the Euston shaft by 86 working days, representing a significant saving in associated overhead expenses.

“Construction optioneering with ALICE enables us to quickly and efficiently explore alternative ways to build,” said Andy Irwin, construction manager at SCS JV. “The savings of both time and money that we identified with our initial work on the Euston SCL shaft were significant. We’re now looking forward to expanding our use of ALICE to other portions of the project.”

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