Construction Manager of the Year 2018: Leisure

25 October 2018

Gold winner: Hub by Premier Inn, Tothill Street, Westminster, London

GOLD: Karl Jordan MCIOB - Gilbert-Ash

Project: Hub by Premier Inn, Tothill Street, Westminster, London. Conversion of a seven-storey office block to a 339-bedroom hotel. Works included extensive basement, roof and internal structural alterations. Completed in 69 weeks.

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build

Value: Tender £20m, final contract £21m

This conversion of a seven-storey office block to a hotel provided a test of Karl Jordan’s leadership, technical and collaborative skills.

During the client’s site strip, he undertook a full building survey to aid the design team and supply chain. The BIM model generated helped him realise that the planned 316-bedroom hotel had enough head space for 21 extra bedrooms, by fitting a double mezzanine in the basement. The client was delighted with the extra income stream for little extra capital outlay.

Jordan then concluded that instead of completely removing the existing plant room, external walls and roof, he could leave the structure and most of the carcass in place and overclad it. This created space for two extra bedrooms – a further bonus.

During the final fit-out stages, when an oversailing agreement could not be secured, Jordan had to manage the tricky task of installing the new curtain wall 150mm back from its original position without damaging the internal finishes. He also met the client’s request for handover six weeks earlier to cover the unforeseen expense of the facade changes.

The busy central London location, the use of modules for bedrooms and tricky party wall negotiations meant Jordan also had to demonstrate his logistics abilities to deliver the project successfully.

SILVER: Matthew Kemp MCIOB - Willmott Dixon

Silver winner: Village Hotel Portsmouth

Project: Village Hotel Portsmouth. Construction of five-storey 153-bedroom hotel. Works included a swimming pool and a first-floor gym. Completed in 63 weeks.

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build

Value: Tender £17m, final contract £17m

With just 12 weeks to go before practical completion on Matthew Kemp’s new-build hotel project, disaster struck. The wet wall panelling in an ensuite showed bubbles between the surface layer and the core material, caused by a manufacturing defect.

A survey confirmed the worst: every one of the 153 bedrooms was affected – more than 600 panels – threatening to blow out the whole programme.

Other finalists

Phillip Brooks, Willmott Dixon - Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames
Simon Cook ICIOB, Willmott Dixon - Romford Leisure Centre
Martin Haigh MCIOB, WRW - Zip World Adventure Terminal, Gwynedd
Aidan McCarron MCIOB, McAleer & Rushe - Hub by Premier Inn, King’s Cross
Brian Oatley MCIOB, Berkeley - Royal Arsenal  Hotel, Woolwich
Paul Purser, Kier - Finlake Water Park & Fitness, Chudleigh
David Rowell MCIOB, Willmott Dixon - Exhibition Building, Milton Keynes Museum
Jonathan Watkins MCIOB, Henry Boot - Rudding Park Spa, Harrogate

Kemp kept his cool. Rather than halt all subsequent works until the panels had been replaced, he sent the follow-on trades in to do their work as planned, then insisted each room was signed off as defect-free before the remedial panel works were undertaken. He also accelerated the bedroom fit-out to run concurrently with the remedial works, placing both packages with the same contractor.

This wasn’t Kemp’s only contribution. He championed a hybrid hot-rolled and lightweight steel frame to deliver the large span open-plan spaces in the lower two floors and the cellular construction on the upper bedroom floors.

With ensuite bathrooms on the outside walls reducing daylight ingress into the bedrooms, Kemp suggested using an electronically controlled transparent wall, allowing guests to turn a glass pane into an opaque wall at the flick of a switch.

Across the project, he also processed £500,000 worth of contract variations – 20 of the 111 instructions were issued after completion – demonstrating his flexibility and client focus.

Category presented by Lee Hutchinson MCIOB, Construction Manager of the Year, 2014

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