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Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2019 - Public & Infrastructure

20 September 2019

GOLD: Martin Middleton MCIOB, Construction manager, Willmott Dixon Construction

Lancashire Constabulary West Division HQ (Image: Christian Smith)

Project: Lancashire Constabulary West Division HQ, Blackpool
Scope: Construction of police HQ with 42-cell custody suite
Programme: 80 weeks
Client: Lancashire Constabulary Estates
Contract: NEC, option A
Value: £25m

Martin Middleton delivered an impressive £400,000 budget reduction on this two-block police HQ thanks mainly to a clever materials management plan.

He decided to build the 42-cell block off site in precast reinforced concrete to give greater certainty on costs and time, then ditched the original plan to excavate and construct a new car park from scratch, instead building it up from the existing surface, crushing and reusing all underground obstructions. This avoided the hefty cost of trucking 25,000 tonnes of waste off site and bringing in new aggregate.

Further saving came from jettisoning the architect’s use of natural ventilation, an expensive feature. After consulting with the client, Middleton specified opening windows instead.

He also changed specification to deliver the complex facade, with angular forms originally intended to be precast concrete. Pointing out that concrete was extremely heavy, Middleton suggested kitchen worktop mainstay Corian: it could be formed into complex shapes, was hard-wearing but easy to repair, and could be installed as thin rainscreen.

SILVER: Jason Bowen MCIOB, senior site manager, Kier Construction 

Project: Trago Mills, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales
Scope: Construction of warehouse and retail store
Programme: 80 weeks
Client: Trago Mills
Contract: JCT 2011 D&B
Value: £40m

On this project to construct the largest single retail unit in Wales, with a linked warehouse, Jason Bowen’s project management skills were given a stern test.

His value engineering of a project £2m over budget at concept design stage achieved the client’s financial goals without compromising the scheme. Changes to the air handling units and associated pipework took £1m out of the services cost, while the masonry construction of the three showpiece towers was replaced with a steel frame clad in 20m-tall fibreglass panels fabricated off site.

But his biggest call was calling a halt to the flooring works, five weeks before completion, because of fumes and vapour coming from the installation operations of the resin flooring specialist.

In the ensuing five-day stoppage, Jason Bowen identified that the health and safety data provided for the resin was incorrect, reviewed the rapidly supplied correct data, and addressed the safety concerns by installing temporary ventilation in the areas being laid and by monitoring toxic gas levels.

Having resequenced other areas during the downtime, he was then able to have the resin floor completed on time as well as safely.

Other finalists

Brian Amos MCIOB, ISG Construction, Public Realm, Central Square, Cardiff
Simon Burkitt MCIOB, Galliford Try, Aircraft/Amphibious Vehicle Escape & Survival (AAVUEST) Training Facility, Yeovilton
Kenny Hale MCIOB, Beard Construction,  The Science Oxford Centre & Wood Centre for Innovation
Astrit Hoxha MCIOB, Telford Homes, Bow Garden Square, London
Jason Hunt MCIOB, Galliford Try, AWIC, Bristol
Nigel Johnston MCIOB, Fabrite Engineering, 104 Paper Storage Building, Imperial War Museum, Duxford
Dermot Parkinson MCIOB, BAM Construct UK, UK Hydrographic Office, Taunton
Tony Richards MCIOB, BAM Construct UK, AB Dynamics, Bradford on Avon
Colin Tilley, Willmott Dixon Construction, Birchin Way Custody Facility, Grimsby
Louis Whittington, Morgan Sindall Construction, Ramsgate Fire Station

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