Date: 15th September 2018 at 11:58am
Written by:

A guest blog from Norskire 

Naivety In The Extreme

I’m surprised that people who are apparently interested in construction, or even those whose interest derived solely from following this particular build, are so easily conned into buying into conspiracy theories (that don’t even have the benefit of being based on the slightest understanding of the actual issues as reported by the builder and club), or have apparently become obsessed with what they imagine they can deduce from the rate at which the cosmetic work around the site is currently being tackled.

The speculation linked to on Twitter yesterday, which came from someone who apparently had some experience of electrical subcontract work, was what I would term a naive – if earnest – guess at what had gone wrong with the original schedule and how it would now be remediated, and though it was almost laughably linear in its assumptions (someone who really doesn’t appreciate just how many people are being thrown at the resolution of the issues in this case) it’s still one of the better guesses I’ve seen so far.

Other notions – such as the cement not being dry in time, or the lack of photos of a dressing room “proving” catastrophic overrun – are beyond naive and hardly worth addressing.

Someone who might fall for either scenario as belonging to the real world is hardly going to appreciate being corrected by factual or experiential information from anyone else.

Love Sport And The THST Wally

And as for the LoveSport “reportage” yesterday (which I also listened to as it had been flagged up as “real news” – more fool me), in which it was actually stated as fact that the sprinklers were yet to be installed and so we’re talking about being delayed “definitely” until March at the earliest … well, suffice to say that neither the reporter, the anchorman, nor indeed the wally from the Supporters Trust they interviewed, would probably hazard a guess as to where their sprinklers might actually fit into an integrated safety system and why, even in the unlikely event that Mace somehow forgot to install them, the remedial action required to rectify the omission is a piece of cake compared to the actual challenge the builder is facing here.

Had they had such an inkling of how complex this thing really is they would probably have revised their guess to sometime in the next century, let alone next summer.

Here’s a list I’ve copied from Honeywell of what a stadium’s integrated safety system is actually composed of (note that fire safety comes right at the end and is only one of several other systems – all of which have to have a high level of integration with every other):

Access control
Perimeter protection
People and asset location management
Closed circuit television (CCTV) and digital surveillance
Master aerial television
Service and maintenance
IP convergence
Voice and data communications
Stadium control room systems integration
System validation
Business systems
Energy management
HVAC
Lighting
Public address
Fire detection and alarm

Prior to or during the small test event earlier it was obviously decided to phase in these systems in a controlled manner, not only to verify their individual integrity and performance but to establish their interdependency so that by the next test event they could be operated as the completely integrated system that will be used for real once the stadium is open for business.

Within this matrix it is obvious that not all elements have the same requirement for full integration – some are absolutely vital and some can afford to “drop out” without compromising public safety completely.

It is usual therefore to start the verification process with the most important features – which also tend to incorporate absolute override capabilities over the others. The fire alarm system would be a logical place to start, and one feature of this system, its zonal distribution, would be the key feature which, if it fails, stops everything else stone dead as regards testing further.

I may have been particularly unlucky in my experience with construction projects, but I can honestly say that I have never ever EVER seen a newly installed zonal fire security system pass its first scheduled test, let alone one that plays a key role in administering the functionality of a slew of associated systems integrated into the whole.

My impression with this build was that a huge effort was made to “get it right first time” and that the club opted to conduct its business on the basis that it was a given that this would come to pass.

It didn’t.

Egg on face for the club, and for Mace if they ignored their own considerable experience in this field and encouraged the club to believe it too.

And yes, it is a serious glitch that is almost impossible to remediate within any specific projected time, which as we can see has now started to have a serious impact on the club’s business – but I would suggest mainly in that it simply engenders the kind of moronic speculation and doom-mongering that is now doing the rounds (fanned by the club itself having given the morons a false and overly optimistic timeline anyway) and not because anything so much out of the ordinary has actually occurred at all regarding completion of a complex build.

However if it’s easier to imagine that some idiot “cut through the cables”, or some phantom West Ham or Arsenal supporter “sabotaged” the project, or someone “forgot” to install or test sprinklers, or that the absence of a photo of the dressing room amounts to confirmation that the whole thing is doomed, then by all means carry on.

In a way I am envious that I for one can never inhabit such a naive fantasy world and am unfortunately condemned to live in the real one, in which so far nothing surprising has emerged from this build except that it has been a logistical marvel up to this point.

HH COMMENT

An excellent rebuttal of the embarrassing ‘it was a Goner wot cut the wires’ guano that has been doing the rounds for some time now.

However, if you want real naivety then read the above from a clearly intelligent person, yet one who adamantly refuses to acknowledge that the wretched thing didn’t open on time and looks unlikely to open in the forthcoming weeks.

Remember the yardstick folks, once the grass is down, then we’re talking 10 days plus.

This is (unwittingly of course) a typically Tottenhamite excuse-athon which neatly evades the bottom line; this project was yet another Levy punt that didn’t quite come off.

Apologists will undoubtedly wheel out the old ‘all good things come to those that wait’ line, whereas a sentient diagnosis of the building site (5 games into the season) could only be in a worse state if ENIC had run out of money because they didn’t believe a contingency was necessary, and we were all being directed to a Go Find Me page.

The fact that Levy & Co., have experienced ‘hard cheese’ does not vaguely detract from the facts of the matter, which are everyone knew when the season began and every knew the consequences if we weren’t ready.

It is not complex to suggest that the stadium chaos impacted on our non existent transfer window activities.

THFC Property Rovers Inc or whoever we are currently trading as better hope the football team has a good season.

Selling amongst the most expensive seats in the country – the second time around – whilst the trophy cabinet that nobody has bothered too assemble remains in a loading bay will be a tough gig.

The goodwill of supporters has taken a big dent here.

 
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