Invesis, global infrastructure investor developer, is delighted to be exhibiting at the P3 Higher Education Summit on the 3rd and 4th October in Washington.
We’re excited to be able to showcase our vast operational knowledge in P3 education projects to the 600+ higher education and industry leaders who will be attending and representing a wealth of US universities and colleges.
The summit recognises that it is a challenging time for higher education institutions to find ways to upgrade existing facilities and deliver major new expansions to facilitate growth, and that one compelling solution is the P3 model. It offers an alternative delivery method for new-builds and extensions from student and faculty housing to classrooms, stadiums, and utility projects.
P3 though, has not yet seen uptake in the US to match the maturity of the European market where experience has driven expertise and advancements in procurement, design, financing, and facilities management that international P3 specialists like Invesis can bring to local partners and their project proposals. Invesis has played a crucial role in numerous successful bids, from the initial planning stages, through construction and ongoing facilities management and, in some cases, all the way through the 25-year project life cycle.
One example is our involvement in the Irish Schools Programme which was launched by the Irish government’s Department of Education and Skills. Invesis was involved in bundles three and four, starting in 2013 and 2014. With a combined value of €170 million and aimed at developing and replacing 12 existing schools with high class, state of the art teaching and learning environments, the programme also sought to generate new opportunities for lifelong learning and to deliver an economic boost by creating work for local businesses.
In partnership with local subsidiaries of leading European construction company, Royal BAM Group, Invesis brought its technical capabilities as well as those of its engineering and architectural collaborators, to the mix. In bundle three, Declan Gallagher, Invesis SPV General Manager in Ireland, describes the company being given a ‘blank page’ by the government to design, finance, construct and run eight schools.
The eight, individual, bespoke, cutting-edge and award-winning designs were very well-received, from the acoustic environments, movement routes, use of colour and texture to security, safety measures for pupils and staff, sustainability, maintenance and durability. Despite the scale and complexities, the bright, spacious, state-of-the-art school buildings were delivered on time and on budget.
Bundle three includes the only secondary school in Tramore where the local authority asked for a variation of the original plan to accommodate space for additional students after opening. This was possible because Invesis routinely allows extra space in its plans to allow for expansion but required building works within a ‘live’ school environment. Meticulous, detailed planning and continuous consultation with the school management were essential to ensure that all phases were carried out safely, without impacting on school activities, including exams.
So, Invesis has already overcome the challenges of extending an existing and operating educational facility and even where buildings are on the national register of historic places, it has been able to conceive ground-breaking solutions, sometimes literally: In a project to expand a 200-year-old regional court, the only option was to use the space underneath and above the protected building.
For bundle four of the Irish Schools Programme, the government provided a template, within which Invesis worked, with minor, value-add refinements to accomplish the plan. This was the first public tender PPP competition held in the Irish state with a BIM (Building Information Modeling) requirement and at the time, this was not a common proficiency in the Irish market. But it was one that Invesis, as a long-standing pioneer of best practice, already possessed.
Invesis took the role of 100% equity provider and the provision of operational services over a 25-year period, but its input in the projects has gone far beyond that for the greater good of the end product. The resultant projects have been running well for eight and five years respectively thanks in large part to our conscientious and skillful oversight. Lessons learned from constant, real-time monitoring are applied to embrace new ideas and innovation, understand what does and doesn’t work for each unique learning environment and take into account ageing buildings, changes in technology and the development of teaching practices.
We have found that ongoing engagement with the stakeholders, and the continuity it offers, is a priceless element of safeguarding the long-term success of the programmes we work on. The commitment of Invesis to the entire life cycle of PPP projects, aligns its interests with those of the procuring authority, so even when acting as investor only, we will always offer the benefits of our substantial knowledge, experience and attention to detail to drive early intervention as a means to help mitigate risk, resolve problems and stay on time and on budget.
With Invesis, knowledge, experience, transparency, communication, proactivity and contacts all come in one package, no matter which role we are taking on in the PPP.
You can find out more about the relevant projects and experience of Invesis at the P3 Higher Education Summit