Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building
  • 11 May 2017

Me and my project: Benjamin Findlay MCIOB

The director at Quanstruct Consulting on Crossrail, studying for a Masters, CIOB activity and building for Google.

Ben Findlay

One of the projects that Quanstruct Consulting is currently involved in is the Crossrail South East Section in Abbey Wood, London (in conjunction with Balfour Beatty). I commercially manage the MEPH (mechanical, electrical, public health) and SISS (station information & surveillance systems) packages as well as acting as interim commercial manager.

During the past 15 months, I have had to overcome many complex procurement issues due to the multiple phased programme of works.

However, I’m used to managing tight deadlines: outside of my day job I am studying part time for a master’s degree in Construction Law & Dispute Resolution at King’s College London, am an active committee member of the CIOB Maidstone Hub and also a committee member of the CIArb South East Branch.

Due to the fast-paced environment and heavy procurement and subcontract burden the South East Section project brings, the commercial team is very busy managing contractors under the ICE NR12 contract conditions. Time is of the essence for cost reporting to the JV steering board.

I have managed to streamline the cost reporting process by creating a “one stop shop” spreadsheet that can be used at project and at client level, which captures all important cost associated items. This has been implemented by the JV members, and has helped saved a lot of time and clarified costs.

Findlay drew from his experience on the Google Data Centre in Finland (above) for his Crossrail project (top)

In meeting these challenging opportunities I’ve drawn on my experience  in Finland working as commercial manager on a logistically challenging appointment installing complex electrical infrastructure within Google Data Centres.

I had to set up a local business for them to trade and abide by local tax legislation, appoint a local accountant, open a Finnish bank account, procure local contractors and suppliers under Finnish contract conditions, procure UK-based contractors, suppliers and labour which included agreeing flight and accommodation costs for the project duration.

The cost reporting was undertaken in the UK head offices and in dual currency. I was on a plane over 60 times that year, flying to Helsinki followed by a two-hour drive, but to see the successful outcome of the project made it all worthwhile.

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