This paper introduces thoughts about the Scots Parliament Building sing the thought behind it, its design, the procedure, the public presentation, undertaking direction, strategic direction, the jobs caused during undertaking phases ( i.e. clip hold, excess cost ) . Obviously it is excessively hard to cover all of these the jobs and defects caused at the early phases or during the undertaking procedure. However, this paper will seek to place and analyse these jobs and happen a relationship between them, in add-on to proposing better solutions or actions that could hold been taken in order to present the undertaking more successfully.

At the terminal, this paper attempts to infer the lessons that have been learnt, and associate them to the current state of affairs in the building industry.


It would be utile to get down this paper with brief debut to the undertaking. Lord Sewel, a junior Scottish Office curate, one time said: “ We are shiping on a new venture and we must let for the fact that those taking the venture – that is, the elective members of the parliament – will desire to act upon the result ” ( Auditor General of Scotland, 2004 ) .

The functionaries in Scotland wanted to win in this challenge but they were under considerable clip force per unit area. They needed the edifice every bit shortly as possible because they were in impermanent adjustment and expected to be at that place for at least the first two old ages of the new parliament. Initial support for the undertaking was provided by the Scots Office. It has since received support from the Scottish Executive and a figure of academic support organic structures.

After much treatment and argument, Scots functionaries decided that the location for the new parliament edifice should be in Holyrood. This proposal was a late entry into the site choice procedure. However, duologue with Scots and Newcastle, the so proprietors of the site, continued and they offered it in December 1997. In January 1998, Donald Dewar, the former first curate, identified the choice of Holyrood as: A purpose-made parliament, offered to do a statement about Scotland ‘s hereafter ; its metropolis Centre location ; and its historical links. ( cited in www.scottish.parliament.uk ) .

The pick of design and designer besides took clip through phases of competition. Seventy squads were originally chosen to go on in the competition and five squads reached the concluding phase. These concluding five squads were asked to bring forth declarative design thoughts for the Parliament edifice at Holyrood.

There was unfavorable judgment at that clip that these five short listed design squads were ‘not Scottish sufficiency ‘ . In other words, they may non hold a full adequate construct of Scots history and, moreover, that their aspiration to be involved in such a undertaking might deviate it from its chief construct. Nevertheless, the concluding determination was taken and the competition has been won, on sixth of July 1998 by Enric Mirallesy Moya of Barcelona in partnership with RMJM ( Scotland ) Ltd of Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, the undertaking started and completed with failure – in that both costs and clocking were highly underestimated. The concluding consequence was a hold of 3.5 old ages and an over spend of & A ; lb ; 300m.

Fortunately, the undertaking was delivered with high success in footings of the quality mark. Furthermore, it is now a existent instance survey for research workers and similar undertakings.

Late Delivery in the Undertaking:

The undertaking to construct a new parliament for Scotland was well delinquent. In May 2003, this hold was 3.5 old ages.

The study produced by the Auditor General Report in 2004 came to the following chief decision: The chief cause of the 20 months hold to the undertaking, since September 2000, was the production of elaborate design fluctuations and the late supply of information during the building procedure.

First, it would be utile to get down our analysis by sing the procurance path chosen for the undertaking. The determination to follow building direction as the procurance vehicle for the building of the Holyrood edifice was found to be “ one of the most important, if non the most important ” determinations taken during the class of the undertaking. separate building direction offers gave the advantage of velocity but a disadvantage that the monetary value was unsure until the last contract had been leased ( one of the over-budget grounds for the undertaking ) .

From other point of position, in respects to the procurance method adopted, there was an unequal degree of rating or apprehension of the building direction path ; later curates were non informed of all the hazards involved ; and one of the chief grounds for hold is that the client was non experienced plenty to cover with a complex undertaking like that of the Scottish parliament edifice. In add-on, in the building procurance path, for the client to prevail over this deficit in experience he should hold entered into a contract with a more qualified undertaking director. Furthermore, the client should hold hired legion specialist contractors instead than merely the one chief contractor. This in fact gives the client closer engagement with the undertaking throughout its whole life-time. This is could be considered one of the grounds for the hold in the undertaking, as the client was non certain plenty about his demands and neither did he hold a clear construct of the undertaking as a whole, apart from the fact that it should reflect something about the nature of Scots history.

Brief Design


As a consequence, alternatively of cut downing the continuance for presenting the undertaking, we found that this pick was a chief ground for its hold since the hazards and challenges were non to the full appreciated by the client and undertaking direction beforehand. Furthermore, synchronising the design procedure with the building, combined with the clip force per unit area and the emphasis by quality issue, made patterned advance of the design procedure more hard to command and update. As a consequence, the elaborate design was made tardily at every phase.

I would propose that possibly utilizing another procurance path technique, that gave a considerable spread between design and building, Management undertaking for illustration, could do a difference and given the design squad a opportunity to work under less force per unit area, at the same clip as giving the benefits from this path ; by holding the design and building both come oning. Despite holding the same disadvantages as with the building direction procurance path at that place would hold been less certainty of the monetary value at the beginning.

Brief Design


Contractual nexus

Communication nexus

Repeated Procedures:

Egan, in subdivision 31 of his study, stated: “ We have repeatedly heard the claim that building is different from fabrication because every merchandise is alone. We do non hold. Not merely are many edifices, such as houses, basically repetition merchandises which can be continually improved but, more significantly, the procedure of building is itself repeated in its necessities from undertaking to project. Indeed, research suggests that up to 80 % of inputs into edifices are repeated. Much fix and care work besides uses a repetition procedure. The analogue is non with edifice autos on the production line ; it is with planing and be aftering the production of a new auto theoretical account ” . In malice of this, the Scots Parliament edifice is alone. While most of the activities in building undertakings are insistent procedures, as stated in the Egan study, it could be argue that there was a misinterpretation of the nature of the undertaking and the troubles associated with it. This misinterpretation was caused because of the fact that the undertaking was alone, so the specialised experience and expertness required were rare. Furthermore, the necessity to present a landmark edifice is one of the factors that hampered the undertaking. In other words, the hold caused during the life-time of the undertaking would be less if it was a insistent undertaking, alternatively of insistent activities, as it was really complex in nature, with large challenges to present and a high quality edifice to bring forth on a dumbly developed site, against really tight deadlines.

Another ground that caused the hold on the undertaking was that there were some design elements provided by trade contractors which required prior blessing by the design squad. This scenario raises the considerable inquiry that, if the design squad was professional, so what were the grounds for apportioning this duty among the contractors?

Design Failure:

Obviously, there was some uncertainness about the plan throughout the whole undertaking, which is considered to be one of the chief factors that caused the hold. In other words, unattainable marks were chosen and set in topographic point within an unequal timetable. This slippage and uncertainness came approximately because:

* There was a immense failure in the production of design information by the design squad or by the trade contractors. Unfortunately, Miralles – the design squad leader – died merely a few months after building started in 2000. This meant the loss of one of the chief connections between the client and the remainder of the design squad ( cited in www.scottish.parliament.uk ) .

* The advancement between clients as respects the blessing of each action point in the undertaking and its mark. Unfortunately, there were a considerable hold during this phase.

Construction Director:

The building director is responsible for the programmed direction during the undertaking, including exerting all the proper accomplishment, attention and diligence that are to be expected in the work. He must use sensible enterprises to guarantee that the undertaking is executed and completed on clip and within budget, although he is non responsible for accomplishing the plan. On other manus, the designer ‘s duty is to supply all production information ( except where in agreement otherwise ) and to use his best enterprise to accomplishing the undertaking to timetable. Against a background of continued design and procurance slippage, undertaking direction and the Progress Group challenged both these parties strictly but no decisive betterment was achieved. Programs were issued on the footing that they were marks capable to critical issues being achieved or resolved. When they did non accomplish these marks, new 1s were sought and approved, but the cardinal jobs of non-performance were non overcome.

Is the undertakings ‘ direction responsible for the hold?

To some extent, YES. Delay and Over budget. Audit Scotland stated in their study that “ Throughout the undertaking there was tenseness between the aims of clip, quality and cost ” , to do it more clear, this tabular array illustrates the terminal consequence of the undertaking, by utilizing building direction as the procurance path for the Holyrood undertaking.

Table ( 1 ) : Accomplishment of precedences for the Holyrood undertaking. ( Auditor General of Scotland, 2004 )





First precedence

Failed – important slippage


Fixed budget

Failed – important addition


High quality required


They besides stated that the acknowledgment that was given to the importance of hazard direction was non sufficient. Furthermore, sing building direction as the lone method for securing the undertaking was non right ; due to the many standards and factors that form the method. It is clear that the advantage of this method is that it delivers undertakings with a high degree of quality within deadlines, particularly when applied with its sequence. On the other manus, unluckily it was non a method that is noted for supplying a fixed budget at the beginning. Nevertheless, the client considered that there was a fixed budget for the undertaking from the start but did non stated clearly plenty what the budget really was. Here a considerable inquiry introduces itself: i.e. what were the base factors used by the client to province there was a fixed budget for the undertaking? ! At that phase at that place was neither a completed design nor a completed construct of the concluding position of the undertaking. It might be argued here that one of the chief negative influences on the undertaking was the utilizing of insufficient undertaking direction to present a undertaking with similar sensitiveness. Furthermore, this procurement path demands experienced clients to cover with it, and can non be used when cost certainty is one of the client precedences. In add-on, it gives the client an active function in the undertaking, which had a negative consequence – as I can see – on the undertaking. From different point of position, since there was nil fixed or unchangeable it would hold been more good to utilize another method or to modify the path that was chosen for the undertaking, in order to suit with the client demands more clearly.

Brief about cost appraisal:

Having a general thought about what happened in the cost appraisal for the undertaking, and how it changed during the planning procedure, will give a clear apprehension of the jobs that the undertaking faced. At the early phase, i.e. the first appraisal of the cost of the Scottish Parliament edifice, in July 1997, the Government referred to a scope of between & A ; lb ; 10m to & A ; lb ; 40m without clearly saying what these costs were intended to cover.

Next, a study produced after an independent cost adviser for the building of a edifice at either Holyrood, Leith or Haymarket, estimated that the basic building costs would be around & A ; lb ; 50m ( excepting VAT and fees ) . However, farther consideration of edifice design allowed the adviser to increase his estimations for the cost of building. In decision, the cost appraisal at this clip was & A ; lb ; 62m. This addition in the costs referred to three chief factors:

1. The addition in the edifice country from 16,000m2 to 23,000m2 histories around & A ; lb ; 4m of the addition. This addition in the entire country came approximately because of the unsimilarity between the original programs for the figure of staff ( 200 staff ) and the figure that the Parliament presently employs ( 321 staff ) .

2. The Miralles ‘ design required a greater grade of circulation infinite than envisaged in the original edifice user brief ( 35 % compared with 17 % ) . This accounts for about & A ; lb ; 6m of the addition.

3. The design squad has identified a demand for a ‘formal ‘ entryway to the Parliament edifices to run into both aesthetic and operational considerations. This adds about & A ; lb ; 2m. ( the Scottish parliament information centre, 1999 )

The grounds for increased costs:

For the grounds of increased costs, it would be more good to get down by presenting the grounds for the increased costs that affected the undertaking budget. After that, I have analysing these grounds and tried to propose better solutions that may hold helped to cut down and command this addition.

In their study, Audit Scotland said that there were many grounds for these additions. They were chiefly because of:

– A 47 % of addition in the size of the edifice, mostly due to client petition.

– The extra complexness of the sanctioned design of the edifice compared to the original ; ensuing in a 48 % addition in building costs compared to the initial estimation.

Furthermore, there were other grounds for the excess cost. These were caused by:

– Increased building costs and the associated unrecoverable VAT.

– Increased fees to advisors and site administration costs.

– Smaller additions in the staying tantrum out: landscape gardening, site acquisition and programme eventuality costs.

As we can see, there was a immense addition in the undertaking costs and the concluding measure was a monolithic & A ; lb ; 431m. The grounds identified above are linked to each other. In other words, we can non place any of the grounds separately. The jobs in this undertaking started with an “ inexperient client ” commanding the planning phases. In similar events, it is a normal effect of client behaviour to alter his head about some inside informations during the early phases, or during the undertaking running, which means ill-defined or unstable thoughts and holds in the undertaking – peculiarly when utilizing the procurance path, as in this instance.

In similar state of affairss, it would be economic and good for the undertaking if the client goes to alter his technique in the planning procedure and introduces another manner to secure his undertaking. Supplying a Management Contractor as a nexus between the client organic structure and undertaking contractors would be more suited. In similar state of affairss, the client will derive many advantages from following this place. First, the client will supply an experient nexus by infixing a direction contractor, which will intend clear and ordered thoughts and specified petitions. In add-on, he will reassign the undertaking hazard to this contractor ( one of the advantages of the direction undertaking procurement path ) , alternatively of administering the client communicating among immense figure of contractors ; which would intend excess cost and clip and dealingss will be with one specified portion.

Is there any correlativity among the grounds identified above?

Obviously, we can non divide between the grounds identified above that have caused either the hold or the excess costs in the undertaking because they are related to each other. Delay in any undertaking means clip and excess cost at the same clip.

To clear up the connexion between these grounds they can be classified as follows:

& A ; Oslash ; Firstly, the inexperient client, which caused…

& A ; Oslash ; An unsuitable pick for the procurance path, which caused…

& A ; Oslash ; A deficiency in the coordination between the design procedure and building during the undertaking procedure, which caused… .

& A ; Oslash ; A immense figure of corrections and alterations to the sanctioned design, which is besides connected to the rawness of the client. This caused… ..

& A ; Oslash ; Extra fees for the design squad and site organisation, which correlates with… .

& A ; Oslash ; Changes in the eventualities and VAT during the life-time for the undertaking.

Clearly, the resulting holds and excess costs were caused a concatenation of related grounds.

Actions could hold been taken against clip and cost:

To get down with the early phases, it would hold been helpful if the functions in the undertaking duties had been distributed right and clearly. There are besides some points of action that could be taken during the undertaking life-time:

– First, the client portion should hold introduced a clear leading for the undertaking that should hold had a thorough apprehension and grasp of the EU procurance regulations, because working with this state of affairs, as in any undertaking, will take to incompatibilities between the involved parties.

– Supplying a individual point of authorization between the client and the undertaking direction, as this measure will assist to systematize the orders and the reactions and give them more control. Furthermore, naming a individual authoritative to teach the undertaking director and the design squad for the same old intent.

– It is the undertaking direction function to work as a nexus between the client and contractors, particularly during the undertaking patterned advance and the design updates requested by the client.

– Supply hebdomadal / monthly advancement studies, which should include a regular undertaking cost reappraisal, and inside informations of the cost agenda for building and non-construction fees, such as building director fees, VAT, advisers fees etc. This measure might be helpful for commanding the cost addition and give the client a close position of the undertaking advancement and his outgos.

– Where an international designer is recruited, a full and strict rating should be undertaken to corroborate the compatibility of working civilizations and patterns.

– Where an designer, adviser or other contractor is comparably employed, full contracts, warrants and bonds should be secured at the beginning, to forestall hazards to the public bag.

– There are extra actions that could hold been taken. These are mentioned throughout this study and might hold helped to present better public presentation in this undertaking or, so, in similar undertakings in the hereafter.


The fact is, one of the chief aims of this undertaking was that was intended to be a landmark edifice. In this respect, it has been extremely successful.

Despite the slippage and excess costs that affected the undertaking, a really big sum was achieved. The edifice is now in usage and, the author position, is likely to fulfill the demand for a high quality, landmark edifice that reflects the aspirations of Scotland as a state. Furthermore, it is now can be considered as a instance survey for both research workers and future undertakings. In other words, the accomplishments of the undertaking can be modified as shown in the precedences table below:

Table ( 2 ) : Accomplishments and benefits of precedences for the Holyrood undertaking.




Benefits for future


First precedence

Failed – important slippage



Fixed budget

Failed – important addition



High quality required



In add-on, some lessons could be learned from the undertaking:

& A ; Oslash ; The catching house must be chosen with attention, with a full apprehension of the undertaking proprietor ‘s demands and the hazard allotments.

& A ; Oslash ; The building direction procurance path is unsuitable for undertakings of this nature ( i.e. public sector undertakings ) .

& A ; Oslash ; There should be a individual point of leading and control among the all parties and members involved in the undertaking.

& A ; Oslash ; Performance should be adequately measured and care taken to guarantee betterments from phase to present.

& A ; Oslash ; There should be equal clip for planning and pulling up of a complete position of the demands before get downing the undertaking ( i.e. direction undertaking procurement path may supply – from the author position – this would be an advantage ) .


– Hearer General of Scotland, ( 2004 ) , Management of the Holyrood Project June 2004.

– Egan, J. ( 1998 ) . Rethinking Construction, the Report of the Construction Task Force. ( Egan Report ) , Detr, Rotherham.

– Information Stated in www.scottish.parliament.uk

– Office of Government Commerce ( 2007 ) . Achieving Excellence in Construction Procurement Guide 06: Procurement and Contract Strategies. London: Office of Government Commerce.

– The Holyrood Building Project, ( 15 June 1999 ) , The Scottish Parliament Information Center.