Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2019 – Schools
GOLD: Andy Pritchard MCIOB, construction manager, Willmott Dixon Construction
Woodmansterne School, London
Project: Woodmansterne School, London
Scope: Construction of four-storey block
Programme: 68 weeks
Client: Lambeth Borough Council
Contract: JCT 2011 D&B
Andy Pritchard delivered this new- build block eight weeks early, 10% faster than the contractor’s benchmark, defect-free and with a very young team.
With some pupils in temporary accommodation, he split the programme into seven sectional completions to allow the school a phased move into the new building. Every sectional completion was achieved on time or early, and all were defect-free.
Pritchard’s temporary waterproofing strategy allowed the internal works to start early, with the drylining complete and the M&E installed on the ground floor by the time the concrete was being poured for the fourth floor roof.
More time was gained by his redesign of the concrete frame to introduce precast columns, twin wall and staircase. Use of roll-out reinforcement mesh for the slab reduced the number of steel fixers needed from 10 to two and further shrank the programme.
At 33, Pritchard was the eldest of his team, who toured other Willmott Dixon sites to borrow best practice ideas. These included the “plot production method”, common in hotels and housing: tracking work items by trade, room by room, so that any errors are flushed out before they spread through the project.
SILVER: Kevin Knight MCIOB, senior project manager, Kier Construction
Maria Fidelis School FCJ
Project: Maria Fidelis School FCJ, London
Scope: Construction of 1,000-pupil replacement school
Programme: 132 weeks
Client: Education Funding Agency
Contract: Contractor framework D&B
Kevin Knight employed great technical ingenuity on this merger of split-site upper and lower schools into a replacement building on an expanded upper school site.
Besides the logistics challenge of the site’s tight boundaries, there were also restrictions below ground, with concrete piles ruled out to leave enough clearance for the Crossrail station and tunnels under construction below the site.
Rhodri Bowen MCIOB, Willmott Dixon Construction, Ysgol Caer Elen, Haverfordwest
Jerome Curran MCIOB, Farrans Construction, Chichester Free School
Atholl McKay MCIOB, Balfour Beatty, Lochside Academy, Aberdeen
Mike O’Dell MCIOB, Mid Group, Robert Clack School, Dagenham
Dwayne Rice MCIOB, Farrans Construction, Marjory Kinnon School, Bedfont
Knight’s solution, which minimised disruption to the existing made ground, was to build the school on a concrete raft on top of 1,500 crushed stone pillars. The strategy integrated shallower pad foundations into the thickness of the raft slab and reduced the amount of material that had to be excavated.
Another of his initiatives speeded up the frame installation by using precast concrete columns and walls. It reduced programme and concrete deliveries.
Knight’s stakeholder engagement strategy involved robust noise, dust and vibration monitoring stations, with noisy works reduced or suspended at agreed times. When the school was unhappy with the decant, due to a lack of outside space while the existing upper school was demolished, Knight resequenced the works.
Category presented by Neil Lock MCIOB, Construction Manager of the Year 2018