Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2020: Public and infrastructure

4 January 2021
  • Gold winner: Kristian Cartwright MCIOB
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Project: The Box, Plymouth
  • Scope: Refurbishment of heritage buildings and construction of extension, completed in 131 weeks
  • Client: Plymouth City Council
  • Contract: JCT traditional
  • Value: £28m

This high-profile museum project marked the 400th-anniversary celebrations of the Mayflower setting sail from Plymouth for the New World, combining heritage with new build. 

Kristian Cartwright’s foresight and local knowledge were vital, for example, he picked out a cladding system suited to the marine environment which didn’t bust the budget.

He developed the structural steel solution that allowed 14 ships’ figureheads (weighing up to 2.5 tonnes apiece) to be suspended from a fire-rated slab. 

Other technical challenges Cartwright overcame included squeezing a tower crane in between bomb-damaged ground, a 17th-century culvert and the site access road, designing the formwork for an 8m concrete cantilever 11m off the ground, and building gallery walls 20m long and 5m high without day joints to ensure the best finish. 

His conservation experience and carpentry background ensured joinery-grade tolerances and finishes for humble materials and junctions not usually subject to such scrutiny, resulting in a high-quality delivery throughout.

  • Silver winner: Russ Parks MCIOB
  • Willmott Dixon 
  • Project: The Futurist, Demolition and Stabilisation, Scarborough
  • Scope: Demolition of theatre and cliff stabilisation works, completed in 76 weeks
  • Client: Scarborough Borough Council
  • Contract: NEC 3, Scape 3 framework
  • Value: £3.9m

A former infantry commander, Russ Parks took charge of this technically tricky demolition of a seafront theatre building combined with stabilisation works for the 40m-high cliff behind.

The location was surrounded by residential and business properties, and Parks engaged with the local community face to face, while keeping the site secure with round-the-clock CCTV, perimeter sensors and guard patrols. 

He used geotechnical modelling to plan the removal of 6,000 tonnes of ground-weight from the upper cliff slope, which was stabilised with soil anchors. When the theatre was demolished, following an extensive demolition strip, work to remove the main retaining wall began, only for the ground sensors to reveal movement in the cliff slope. After a 12-week delay while various engineering solutions were considered, 34 pairs of 17m-long sheet piles were driven in to secure the slop and complete the job.

Other finalists:

Kevin Alden MCIOB
Sir Robert McAlpine, Newcastle Civic Centre

Paul Clarke MCIOB
Willmott Dixon, Liverpool Echo Arena Car Park

Brian Hanlon MCIOB: Highly Commended  
Willmott Dixon, Merseyside Police Patrol Hub, Liverpool

John Stedman MCIOB
Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure, West Suffolk Operational Hub, Bury St Edmunds

Simon Whittingham MCIOB
Willmott Dixon, Exeter Police Station

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