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Construction Manager of the Year 2018: Refurbishment/Fit-out

25 October 2018

Gold winner: The Sherwood, Westminster, London

GOLD: Eugene McCormick ACIOB - Sir Robert McAlpine

Project: The Sherwood, Westminster, London. Conversion of an eight-storey 1930s building from a backpackers’ hostel into 48 high-value residential units. Faience facades up to the sixth floor were repaired, and the top two storeys reclad. Completed in 174 weeks.

Contract: Construction management

Value: Tender £32m, final contract £65m 

Eugene McCormick joined the project team midway through this complex conversion which was facing budget and programme concerns.

He identified scope gaps in the professional team and brought in additional resources, agreed a revised project plan and reset the budget. The programme was rejigged but would still meet the client’s immovable completion date.

Access was tricky, as the building was surrounded by busy streets and businesses, with a live gym occupying the bottom three levels. McCormick brought forward the installation of atrium bridges inside the building to improve logistics and to release the interior fit  out earlier in the programme.

However, after having to replace more of the beams around the perimeter of the atrium than originally intended, he was faced with a rapidly approaching embargo on road closures for the crane needed to install the bridges, risking a four-month delay. The answer was to simplify the bridge connection design so that more work could be done off site and resequencing the beam replacement works.

With McCormick driving a collaborative and innovative culture, the project hit all its budget, programme and quality objectives.

SILVER Richard Purcell - Willmott Dixon Interiors

Silver winner: 39 Victoria Street, Westminster, London

Project: 39 Victoria Street, Westminster, London. Full-scale fit-out of 11-storey 1980s office block. Completed in 44 weeks.

Contract: NEC 3 option A

Value: Tender £11m, final contract £12m

Vacant for two years before Richard Purcell project-managed a full-scale refit, this 11-storey Department of Health block had to be converted into 8,900 sq m of flexible office space to suit agile working and hotdesking.

With a tricky refurbishment ahead in which services would be key to creating a modern working environment, Level 2 BIM was central to Purcell’s strategy. Yet his plans might have been held back by the almost total absence of BIM skills across the client team and the supply chain.

Other finalists

Colin Betts ICIOB, Motte & Bailey - The Old Dairy, Guildford
Mark Lazenby MCIOB, Laing O'Rourke - Meadowhall remodelling, Sheffield
Mike Perera MCIOB, Kier - 25 Wilton Road, London
Adrian Roach ICIOB, WRW - IG Doors production facility, Pen-Y-Fan

With the client lacking any asset information on the building’s operations and maintenance, Purcell organised a point cloud survey, laser-surveying the spaces in the existing building to create a digital cloud of geometric data.

As well as using the BIM model to verify dimensions, coordinate the design and detect potential service clashes, Purcell generated visualisations, animations and virtual reality presentations to help the client understand the project.

This allowed the modification of some material finishes and helped supply chain partners to get up to speed on the project before work began.

The fast-track fit out was handed over with the distinction of no defects at all at practical completion.

Category presented by Philip Rowley MVO FCIOB, Construction Manager of the Year, 1998

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