Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


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

4 January 2021
  • Gold winner: Michael Saunders MCIOB
  • Lovell
  • Project: Orchard Place, King’s Lynn
  • Scope: Construction of 130 homes, completed in 164 weeks
  • Client: Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk
  • Contract: PPC 2000 with a wider developer management agreement
  • Value: £20m

Michael Saunders is in charge of an eight-project partnership with the local council in King’s Lynn that will ultimately deliver 1,000 new homes, and he completed this first scheme with bar-raising success. 

With a costly earthworks operation looming due to the high water table, tidal deposits, and clay and peat content, he ensured project viability through his design solutions. By installing prefabricated plastic manhole chambers for the foul water sewers, he removed the need for piled foundations for the manholes or deep peat removal. 

This also eliminated the risk of subsequent ground settlement disconnecting the drainage system from piled concrete chambers, simplified the sequencing, and was much faster to install than traditional concrete.

Other infrastructure innovations included geogrids to stabilise the ground and precast modular foundations built to meet the exact ground conditions and house types under construction.

On a site with a high flood risk but no budget to raise ground levels substantially, Saunders installed flood-resistant air bricks, doors and drainage valves and ran all the electrics 600mm above finished floor level. 

With the council delighted with his work on the two partnership projects completed in 2019, and the third early in 2020, Saunders is likely to be kept busy with the next five in the pipeline.

  • Silver winner: Dominic Jankowski MCIOB
  • Hill Group
  • Project: Fish Island Village,
    Stratford, London
  • Scope: Construction of 423 apartments in 16 mid-rise blocks, completed in 159 weeks.
  • Client: Peabody/Hill Group
  • Contract: JCT
  • Value: £105m

Dom Jankowski drove this 16-block project for 423 apartments while seeing off potential disruption. His rationalisation of the basement car park and his switch to a more effective piling method for its perimeter support rescued the scheme’s finances. And his solutions to access challenges with the precast facade rescued its programme. 

He finished four weeks early, still on budget and with a high-quality end product. 

Other finalists: 

Tony Gallagher MCIOB
Durkan, Manor Place Depot,  Southwark

Matt Hamilton MCIOB
Seacon, 6 Ilchester Place

Paul Jeal MCIOB
St George West London, Beaufort Park

Tomasz Magiera MCIOB
WRW Construction, Lakeshore – Copper Building, Bristol

Mark Woollen MCIOB
Willmott Dixon, Winwood Heights, Nottingham

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