Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2019 - Offices

20 September 2019

GOLD: Nicholas Donovan MCIOB, project manager, Kier Construction

33 Foley Street, Fitzrovia, London

Project: 33 Foley Street, Fitzrovia, London
Scope: Remodelling of office, construction of additional floor and two-storey rear extension, plus fit-out of four floors
Programme: 86 weeks
Client: Kier Property
Contract: JCT D&B
Value: £17m

An important early win for Nick Donovan on this office cut-and-carve was negotiating with the council a full pavement closure to accommodate a scaffold gantry during the entire build. This saved weeks in the demolition programme, as well as being the safest option.

The original plan to remove 75% of the internal structure looked like blowing the budget, so Donovan rationalised the structural alterations to reduce the demolition.

He brought the steelwork contractor to site to discuss concerns flagged up after the strip-out works, which showed the design team’s assumptions did not match up with reality. Existing metal decks were at differing heights, requiring new floor-slab connection points to the precast lift shaft. The design was amended to change column locations, deck orientation and the connection details.

Donovan also spotted that manufacturer lift specifications were potentially overgenerous. By identifying a more space-efficient cabin and downsizing the shaft he added 18 sq ft per floor – a 2% increase in lettable space.

SILVER: Graham Mercer MCIOB, project director, Skanska Construction

The Tower, London (Adam Huszka)

Project: The Tower, London
Scope: Remodelling of 14-storey block as 17-storey office building
Programme: 125 weeks
Client: Helical
Contract: JCT 2011 D&B
Value: £75m

Graham Mercer was faced with substantial technical complexities on this major refurbishment on London’s “Silicon Roundabout”. These included extending the floor plate on two sides, building three new storeys, forming two new lift shafts and refurbishing the four existing shafts, and replacing the cladding.

Other finalists

Daniel Anderson MCIOB, Structure Tone, London Fruit & Wool Exchange
Andy Clark MCIOB, Brymor Construction, Guildford Business Park Unit 2
Andrew James MCIOB, McLaren Construction, New Bracken House, London
Nick Moore MCIOB, Mace, 70 St Mary Axe, London
Gareth Williams MCIOB, Willmott Dixon Construction, Aurora Building, Bristol

When time was lost through client variations, Mercer innovated to regain programme. He designed the cladding to allow temporary waterproofing to the perimeter, so fire-stopping and acoustic barriers could be installed before the project was watertight, and constructed bunds over floor service openings so that fit-out could progress without risk of water damage from above.

His replacement of the intended stick-based cladding with a unitised version speeded up the construction programme and laid down a guaranteed date for releasing the toilet fit-out without additional scaffolding.

Mercer also encouraged his team to come up with ideas. These increased the net floor area by extending the perimeter glazing out from the slab edge, changing boarded structure finishes to skim finishes, and making the drylining hug the ductwork.

Category presented by Francis Ho FCIOB, partner construction & infrastructure, Penningtons Manches and Cooper LLP

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