It’s that time of the year again and while the kids might lust after the latest Xbox or Dora the Explorer model for Christmas, you may want something a bit more practical. Jan-Carlos Kucharek asked 10 of this year’s CMYA winners and finalists what kit should be top of your list
Asta Powerproject software
Leadbitter’s Ian Randall might be addicted to plant, waxing garrulous about the 17m high JCB forklift trucks he used on his last job, but he’s also a huge fan of his Asta Powerproject planning and resource management software. This analyses project programmes, performs risk analyses and creates critical paths, allowing the project to be managed more effectively.
It also allows you to quickly get an understanding of the implications of rescheduling to allow the user to make more informed decisions, even when mid-contract.
Ian Randall is a project manager at Leadbitter, and won a Gold Award in the Housing over £6m category
Optimus Green sound meter
Developing urban brownfield sites might be a great idea for creating more sustainable cities, but tell that to the neighbours. Site “noisy” times are increasingly curtailed and can be easy targets for noise nuisance. Mark Chamberlain thinks that some of this can be pre-empted by being more aware of the noise that your site creates so that steps can be taken before the complaints roll in. A sound meter such as the Optimus Green from Cirrus is simple to use and designed to meet the latest standards for noise measurement.
Mark Chamberlain FCIOB is a project director at Willmott Dixon and a Silver Award winner in the £30m-£60m category
Multicom internet anywhere
Downtime on site can have serious implications on the programme, and who knows when your service provider will turn up to install your phone line and broadband. “With no services on site, you can feel very isolated from both your own office and the other consultants on the job,” says Morgan Sindall project manager Paul Galloway.
Fortunately, Morgan Sindall has signed up to installer Tardis’s Multicom 3G bonded broadband, which gives instant remote access to his intranet, as well as high-speed internet capabilities to everyone else on the team.
Paul Galloway, project manager at Morgan Sindall, won Gold in the £7m-£11m category
Haulotte telescopic booms
The refurbishment of a grade II listed Kentish Town leisure centre was no mean feat, especially as a new basement had to be dug while the existing Victorian foundations were underpinned. Wates’ Matt Heshmati says the demolition and excavations could be carried out with more accuracy using machinery that could tiptoe around the works, such as Haulotte Group’s mini telescopic booms, which allowed operatives to sail safely over the excavations and underpinning around the supported, preserved building facades. Hashmati called the temporary works on the project “very brave”.
Matthew Heshmati MCIOB is construction manager at Wates and won Gold in the £17m-£22m section
Nu-Phalt road repair system
Gary Gibson might have a nose for whisky, having just completed the Starlaw distillery in West Lothian, but it seems like he’s a petrol head, judging by his fascination for road surfaces. He’s impressed with the Nu-Phalt road repair system, which turns pothole repair into a quick and easy job. It uses an infrared heater positioned over the defect to remelt the macadam. A thermal bond is created between the repair area and the existing wearing course. With an anionic binder added and a little new macadam, the makers say 40% cost savings are possible with faster repair times and environmental benefits.
Gary Gibson MCIOB, project manager at Colorado Group, was a Gold Award winner in the £4m-£7m category
Astec glass handling crane
When you are installing the glazing on a huge new retail and commercial development within spitting distance of St Paul’s Cathedral, you’re probably going to be sensitive to the kind of plant you use. Philip Clarke swears by the glass handling crane that glazing subcontractor Astec used to move the 3m high panes at the One New Change project. “It was able to safely handle glass panels of this size and ‘drive’ them along the mall holding the glass and then install the panel using a robotic arm —derisking a potentially difficult and dangerous task,” he says.
Philip Clarke of Lend Lease was one of the two CMYA Gold Medal winners in the over £60m category
3D visualisation tools
Michael Poole-Sutherland of Lend Lease has found that for the latest £40m SLAM MoD barracks contracts he has been working on, a picture is worth a thousand words.
“We were using 3D models modelled in Autodesk’s 3ds Max prior to even signing the contract, as they allowed us to visualise the sequencing costing of all the prelims,” he recalls. At client meetings, these models would come together as a set of slides explaining the programming and logistics of how the project would be delivered over time.
Lend Lease’s Michael Poole-Sutherland ICIOB was a Silver Medal winner in the Housing over £6m category
PLS2 setting out tool
Establishing accuracy and ensuring that lines are true has been a priority on building sites since the invention of the plumb line. Now laser technology — such as the PLS2 laser line tool — has superseded lead and gravity.
“It’s important to ensure that things are set out accurately from the start and the PLS2 is small (5cm x 7.5cm) and robust enough to be carried around on site,” says Leadbitter’s Andy Bowns.
He adds: “It’s foolproof and its stops mistakes being made at the outset, things that can really affect the build programme.”
Silver Award winner in the £4m-£7m category, Andy Bowns is a project manager at Leadbitter
Cadman crawler crane
It was a tight site at One Guildhall Square in Southampton for Wes Day — there was only 4-5 metres all around the building for plant and equipment to move. While a tower crane did the big lifting, a Cadman crawler crane did pretty much everything else. “We installed glazing and the Portland stone cladding onto the facades with it and it also delivered internal fit-out materials to the floors’ sliding delivery platforms,” he says. Cadman’s ACC2050/1 has a rotating hydraulic rehandling grab and, for those in the know, a telescopic luffing fly jib.
Wes Day is a project manager at Dawnus Construction and a Silver Medal winner in the £11m-£17m category
Personal Rescue Device
Bam Construction’s Adam Harding thinks that while there’s a lot of mansafe systems out there, none are versatile enough to be used in their entirety from pre-construction tasks to installation on the finished building. “I should invent it myself,” he muses, “it would probably make me a millionaire and I could forget about the day job!”
While we wait, you could do worse than Latchways’ R20 Personal Rescue Device which, if you’re left “hanging around” on site, gives you 20m of rope to lower yourself gently and safely to ground, saving time and manpower.
Project manager Adam Harding ICIOB of Bam was a Gold Medal winner in the £30m-£60m category