FLO JV use Aphex to improve project collaboration on Thames Tideway

“Aphex is the go-to for understanding what needs to be done instead of only relying on word-of-mouth.”
Alex Wellington Project Planner
Project type
Alex Wellington
Planner at Laing O'Rourke

London’s sewer system was constructed over 150 years ago for a population less than half its current size. As a result, millions of tonnes of untreated sewage spills into the River Thames each year. Thames Tideway are constructing a £4.2bn ‘super sewer’, a 25km tunnel under London that will intercept, store and transfer sewage waste.

Upon completion, this will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of sewage pollution overflowing into the River Thames every year.The Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke consortium is delivering the £746 million Central section of the tunnel, the largest of the three sections measuring 12.7 kilometres in length. Spanning from Fulham to Bermondsey in West London to Southwark in East London the central section of the tunnel passes closely to many of the capital’s key landmarks such as Tower Bridge, Victoria Embankment and Battersea Power Station.

Albert Embankment Foreshore

Located by Vauxhall Bridge in Vauxhall the project involves intercepting sewage outflows from Clapham and Brixton and diverting them into the main tunnel by constructing three cofferdams and a connecting culvert tunnel. On the surface, the project will result in new public space, providing a new area of public space for Londoners along the Thames path reclaimed from the river.

Alex’s Story

As a Planner on the Albert Embankment project, Alex has the responsibility of overseeing the progress, sequencing working and managing the Master Programme. With multiple complex structures on the project, Alex needs to be ready to resequence works as soon as an issue arises to keep the project on track.With works across 3 cofferdams there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. Its critical for the success of the project that the planning team can develop the most efficient plans across the project and have engineering teams help build and execute short term plans that deliver each of the sections on time.

Like on many projects Alex and the team were previously planning their lookahead on spreadsheets, each engineer maintaining their section of the plan before handing-over responsibility to Alex to consolidate the project’s lookahead. With Aphex, Alex and the team immediately began saving hours every week interacting with their lookahead, “it’s [Aphex is] more intuitive and easier to use and there’s no need to manually produce baselines or separately record delay data.”

Previously, as work progressed on site sections of the plan would be updated in silo before being consolidated, any conflicts in sequence requiring additional rounds of back-and-forth editing. Now, as the team update their lookahead on Aphex, the impact of changes are seen in real-time across the entire plan that everyone has visibility of.

“Aphex has really improved communication and collaboration on-site. Ownership of sections is clearly defined and when there are dependencies across sections live updates prompt communication a lot earlier.”

Being cloud-based and with a user-centric interface, Aphex gives the engineers access to a centralised plan that they can easily maintain. This allows collaborative short-term plans to be developed by the whole team.

“Aphex is the go-to for understanding what needs to be done instead of only relying on word-of-mouth.”

When updating the programme, Aphex prompts teams to record reasons delay, aggregating the delay data on a project dashboard. On Albert, the team uses this information to identify recent trends and make data-driven interventions.