Shard Place flats three years late and £91m over budget

A luxury housing scheme in the shadow of the Shard is running three years late and £91m over budget, Construction News can reveal.

A litany of problems have beset the final phase of central London’s Shard Quarter development, which also includes the Shard and the News Building, documents seen by Construction News show. These include a faulty generator and a water leak.

Construction manager Mace oversaw completion of the superstructure and cladding of the 27-storey Shard Place in 2019, with the scheme scheduled to achieve practical completion in 2020.

But construction is still ongoing at the 176-home project, which is now expected to be complete in November or December, three years after its initial due date, CN understands.

Delays to the scheme have cost at least an additional £91m, according to newly published company accounts filed by developer St Thomas Street Development (STSD). STSD is controlled by the Qatar Central Bank, which is owned by the state of Qatar.

STSD estimates that £25m of the £91m was required to replace a standby generator, as the one originally installed was too small to provide power to the fire-safety systems if the building’s main power supply failed.

The developer said “significant” lead times on the replacement had been caused by global supply chain issues.

A component also failed within one of the apartment’s water softeners, damaging 24 apartments, a riser and the gym. Rectification work is still underway and expected to cost £7m, which the developer is looking to recover through insurance.

At the beginning of 2023, building-system testing, fire certification, retention settlements and snagging works all still needed to be completed.

STSD expects to be involved in building works for up to a year after practical completion, according to its most recent accounts.

Last year, an adjudicator awarded STSD £1,934,732.11 in damages from Halsion, the mechanical and electrical specialist that installed the initial generator. Halsion is seeking to recover the payment through a High Court appeal.

Halsion’s contract was terminated in February 2022 on the grounds that it was required to pay for and install a replacement generator, an obligation which Halsion disputes.

Shard Place, a development of 176 luxury apartments with a roof garden and outdoor pool on the top floor, will constitute the third and final phase of the Shard Quarter, a multi-decade development project.

Halsion, STSD and Mace declined to comment.

Article taken from Construction News 13/9/23

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