Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2020: Primary education

4 January 2021
  • Gold winner: Massimiliano Crea MCIOB
  • Mid Group
  • Project: Stonebridge Primary School, London NW10
  • Scope: Construction of new teaching block and hall, and refurbishment of Grade II-listed building, completed in 67 weeks
  • Client: London Borough of Brent
  • Contract: JCT D&B
  • Value: £7.5m

Massi Crea’s design input at the start of the Stonebridge Primary School project was responsible for significant cost savings. 

He changed the building layout, placing classrooms on the perimeter of the existing building, to equalise the air conditioning requirement, then equipped each one with its own standalone natural ventilation and heat recovery unit, reducing the amount of expensive duct work required.

The steel frame of the new build, which required lengthy lead-in times, was replaced with timber structural insulated panels, which could be installed from smaller mobile cranes, and speeded up the programme. Crea also removed the new block’s projected second storey, relocating the classroom spaces to the existing building’s old hall as part of the refurbishment programme.

These changes slashed the budget by £1.2m and despite the redesign work enforcing a late start on site, Crea still handed over five months early.

  • Silver winner: Thomas Prince MCIOB
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Project: Water Orton Primary School, Birmingham
  • Scope: Construction of single-storey school with two-form entry, completed in 46 weeks
  • Client: Warwickshire County Council
  • Contract: NEC 3 option A
  • Value: £5.8m

The major challenge on this predesigned Sunesis-type single-storey school centred on the groundworks.

With 600mm of topsoil compromising the foundation design, Thomas Prince brought in a remediation specialist who kept 9,000 cubic m of excavated material on site by cement-stabilisation and cut-and-fill works.

The bearing substrate sat deep below the finished floor level, so the original plan was for costly continuous flight auger piles. However, having used steel tube piles on past projects, Prince decided to put the steel in direct and eliminated concrete by driving in recycled gas-line pipework, making substantial cost and time savings.

The potential for ground heave prevented installation of an in-situ concrete floor, so Prince went for a beam and block construction with screed topping, resequencing the roofing to avoid losing time on the overall programme.

Other finalists:

Laura Allison MCIOB
Morgan Sindall Construction, Hilltop Primary School, Airdrie

Mike Castle FCIOB
Knights Brown, Church Crookham Junior School

Mark McElwee MCIOB
Morgan Sindall Construction, Abbey View Primary Academy, High Wycombe

Michael Pyatt MCIOB
Morgan Sindall Construction, Abertillery Learning Community – Six Bells Campus

Stephen Sear MCIOB
Morgan Sindall Construction, Hailsham Primary Academy, Brighton

Leave a Reply