The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has not been given the opportunity to read the document submitted by Hsin Chong Construction Company Limited (HCC) to the Legislative Council Joint Subcommittee to Monitor the Implementation of the West Kowloon Cultural District Project (Joint Subcommittee) and is not able to comment on it. It is very disappointing that HCC has submitted a confidential document to the Joint Subcommittee and selected parts of the confidential letter were used by Members during the Special Joint Subcommittee Meeting. It is clear that those aspects of the letter that have been revealed contain claims that are completely unsubstantiated, WKCDA feels obliged to respond as follows.
With reference to the claim from HCC regarding 180,000 alleged design clashes, this statement is grossly inaccurate. For a highly complex project such as the M+ Project, design coordination is of critical importance and WKCDA requires the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) system to identify clashes between design disciplines throughout the design process. BIM is a tool that is particularly helpful in the detailed design stage to ensure a full and accurate assessment can be made of all electrical, mechanical and building services installations so that pipes, ducts and other necessary installations do not conflict with each other. This helps minimise problems when it comes to the construction, avoids expensive remedial works on site for physical mistakes, and enhances the safety of the project and the workers. BIM modelling software processes clashes based on realistic construction tolerances and our leading international architectural design team, Herzog & de Meuron with TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners HK, has diligently produced an Employer’s design with few clashes. Nevertheless, under the contract the Main Contractor also has a responsibility to coordinate the final building services design prior to construction. If any clashes are to be found during the construction period, then the contract also requires the appointed Main Contractor to submit such substantiated evidence for the independent Contract Administrator (CA) to consider whether this has caused delays to the progress of the works. Up until the point of termination, CA has not received any credible submission from our previous Main Contractor, to substantiate a claim for significant design clashes causing any assessable delay to the works. This aspect of the document is misleading and indeed absurd.
Regarding the allegation of hacking of the M+ project office site computer system, WKCDA would like to point out that all the equipment, office supplies and project documentation on the site, including computers, belongs to WKCDA (the Employer of the M+ Project) as strictly stated in the Contract. WKCDA has merely exercised its right under the terms of the Contract to secure (or back up) such information held on the network servers at the M+ project office site. All the individual desktop computers that were previously at the M+ project office site have since been returned to HCC last Friday, without any data (personal or otherwise) being copied or removed.
WKCDA is moving quickly to overcome the problems caused by the insolvency of the Main Contractor to move the M+ Project forward. The appointment of the management contractor, Gammon Construction Limited (Gammon) on 7 September 2018 through its wholly owned subsidiary, Blue Poles Limited (BPL), is an important step towards completion of the Project. BPL is also in discussion with the existing subcontractors and has completed the novation process for the majority of the subcontractors. With Gammon on board and the subcontractors novated, work on the M+ project will soon return to normal with the ultimate goal of delivering the M+ building by end of next year, leading to the opening of the museum in 2020.