Amsterdam Metro - North South Line

Overall value - €1.5 billion. This innovative and ground breaking project comprises 3.2km of two parallel 7m diameter single track tunnels beneath the centre of Amsterdam together with associated metro infrastructure, 3km of sub surface metro infrastructure, 3km of at grade metro infrastructure, 3 stations and 4 deep stations (over 15m deep).

Faithful+Gould was commissioned by the Municipal Council of Amsterdam to instigate a review of: The project’s management structure, the contractual relationships between the Municipal Council and the design team and the various work package contractors, the pre and post contract cost management of the project, the project’s risk management strategy and the insurance strategy adopted for the project.

A locally-based British full time review manager was appointed by Faithful+Gould who managed a team of fifteen specialists, both from the United Kingdom and from The Netherlands in the execution of the audit. Historical and current information was selectively translated into English and examined, and a series of meetings and interviews were convened with representatives from the client’s project management team and design team to provide Faithful+Gould with a comprehensive understanding of the project and its related issues. This process was completed in a two month period. Thereafter, drafts of the report, excluding recommendations and conclusions, were discussed and agreed with the reviewees to ensure that any cultural and language ambiguities or misunderstandings were removed and that the report was factually correct. The final report, which contained over 100 recommendations, the vast majority of which were subsequently adopted, was published by the client in early June 2005 to much critical acclaim.

Whilst verbal language was not a significant challenge, the identification and selection of written documents from Dutch to English and vice versa was the greatest challenge to the success of the review. This issue was overcome through the employment of a full time team of three translators. The other main challenge was the review team gaining sufficient knowledge of the project to instigate a meaningful and constructive review of the areas being examined, particularly in such a short space of time. This was overcome by sub-contracting the initial investigation phase to a local consultant who was able to provide technical briefing papers to aid the understanding of the British team. A detailed report in both Dutch and English was produced to much critical acclaim. The vast majority of the recommendations were adopted by the client to the benefit of the project.

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