Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2020: Residential over 10 storeys

4 January 2021
  • Gold winner: Patrick Phillips MCIOB
  • Durkan
  • Project: Atkins House/Benjamin House/Concert House/Orchestra House, Ilford
  • Scope: Construction of 354 homes in four blocks including a 24-storey tower, completed in 133 weeks
  • Clients: Durkan Estates, Southern Housing Group, M&G
  • Contract: D&B
  • Value: £67m

This former music building redevelopment was a tough logistical challenge for Patrick Phillips, being located on a large brownfield site in a densely populated area, bordered by the North Circular road and with only one access route.

During groundworks, two wells were discovered under the building footprint, but Phillips redesigned the piling works, creating a larger pile cap to safely bridge the well gaps. 

For the superstructure, he analysed different methodology options, before switching from traditional crane-assisted construction for the core walls to slipform concrete. This resulted in substantial cost and time savings by slashing the crane presence on site, with the 23 storeys of the tower’s core built in just 30 days.

Another machinery innovation was the use of mast climbing work platforms instead of scaffolding. Easier to erect and dismantle, they brought significant gains in productivity, speed and efficiency. On an overhang on the 23rd floor, where the mast climbers couldn’t reach, Phillips hung the scaffold for the cladding installation off that top storey.

To simplify facade maintenance as well as construction, he rationalised the balcony design, eliminating unnecessary variations to exploit offsite manufacturing, and fitting the balcony cladding at ground level.

Phillips completed the 354-home scheme on time and on budget. He even handed over two of the four blocks months ahead of schedule.

  • Silver winner: Alistair MacPartlin MCIOB
  • JJ Rhatigan Building Contractors
  • Project: No.26, Dingwall Road, Croydon
  • Scope: Redevelopment of 16-storey office block as 183-unit residential tower with six-storey extension, completed in 122 weeks
  • Client: HSBC Pension Trust
  • Contract: JCT D&B 2011
  • Value: £36m

Alistair MacPartlin ensured issues did not turn into major problems on this scheme to remodel an office block as a residential tower by adding six storeys of new steel to an existing concrete frame. He fostered honest and transparent dialogue, and provided solutions to client problems, taking a positive approach even in the direst of situations. Following completion of this scheme, the client has asked him to lead another project.

Image credit: Gary Britton

Other finalists: 

Brendan Conway MCIOB
McAleer and Rushe, Horizon Heights, Liverpool

Caroline Heraghty MCIOB
Ardmore Construction, Bowery Building/ Smyth Building, London SW15

Terry Kirby MCIOB
Berkeley Homes, Birch House, London SE3

Anthony Mitchell MCIOB
ISG Construction, LIV Student, Sheffield

Gerald Ward MCIOB
Bennett Construction, Mansbridge House (Block A), Battersea Exchange, London SW8

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