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House of Music in Innsbruck: lacking accessibility and increased costs; schedule was largely met

19.06.2020 - The schedule for the construction was largely met

The construction of the House of Music in Innsbruck was not carried out in line with accessibility requirements. This is revealed by the ACA’s auditors in their report presented today on the “House of Music in Innsbruck”. The costs forecast for the House of Music increased from EUR 55.64 million to EUR 61.67 million. This equals an increase in costs of 10.8 per cent. Furthermore, the ACA criticises the lacking investigation of pollutants and impurities prior to the demolition of the former town halls, on the site of which the House of Music was built. On a positive note: the schedule was largely met.

The ACA audited whether the Innsbrucker Immobilien GmbH und CO KG (IIG KG), which was entrusted with the function of the builder-owner and which is owned by the city of Innsbruck, met the requirements. The audit focused, among others, also on the schedule and cost development, the awarding of contracts as well as on fire safety and accessibility. The audited period essentially spanned the years from 2013 through 2018.

Deficiencies as regards accessibility

As regards the accessibility, the House of Music neither complied with the legal requirements nor with the expert opinion that had specially been drawn up prior to its construction. Upon completion of the construction works, which lasted from 2016 to 2018, representative groups of people with disabilities detected deficiencies as regards accessibility. Despite that, the city of Innsbruck granted the concession permit in October 2018 – namely without imposing any requirements regarding accessibility. Already in the corresponding request of the IIG KG, the confirmation of accessible design was lacking. Even during the ACA’s audit activities in 2019, deficiencies could still be detected with regard to handrails, the control system, doors and labels. The ACA therefore recommended to evaluate and swiftly implement the measures required to ensure accessibility. The IIG KG started to implement this recommendation in the course of the audit.

Schedule was met, costs increased 

The ACA positively noted the stable schedule development from autumn 2013 on. The only delay concerned the completion of the construction works from March to October 2018. However, the ACA critically pointed to the increase of the forecast costs from EUR 55.64 million in April 2015 to EUR 61.67 million in May 2019. This corresponds to an increase in costs of EUR 6.03 million or some 10.8 per cent. The additional costs were, among others, incurred due to project amendments in the course of the construction works. The overall costs for the project “House of Music”, including the forecourt design, amounted to EUR 65.53 million.

No clarity as regards hazardous waste 

Based on certain indications (years of construction, photographic documentation etc.) it was to be basically assumed that the building of the town halls contained pollutants and impurities. However, the IIG KG failed to carry out an investigation of pollutants and impurities prior to their demolition. In doing so, the company neglected the relevant Austrian standard ÖNORM as well as waste management regulations. It had no knowledge whether hazardous waste had been generated in the course of the demolition, such as asbestos or tar, and, if yes, how it had been disposed of. 

No quality control of the concrete

The IIG KG failed to request from the contractor significant quality controls with regard to the quality of the concrete. Neither did it assess the equivalence of the insulation boards. No evidence was therefore provided on whether the concrete used in the House of Music complied with the standard specifications. This posed the risk of quality defects. The ACA recommends that the IIG KG requests an inspection of the quality of the concrete used by an accredited testing institute. 

Deficiencies as regards the four-eyes principle

The ACA identified weaknesses in the application of the four-eyes principle: an employee of the IIG KG, for example, had ordered additional costs of just under one million euros without informing his superior.

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Report: House of Music in Innsbruck (in German)

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