Name: Mike Smith
Employer: Kier Construction
Project: Dogs Trust, Harefield
Contract: JCT 1998 private without quantities, with contractor’s design
Having won this two-stage tender contract for Kier with his professionalism and sheer enthusiasm, Mike Smith nevertheless laid down a partnership approach, pulling in client, designers and suppliers to create a seamless project team that shared a high feel-good factor on completion.
Mike’s early involvement in the project allowed him to make crucial contributions to the design. Calculating the volume of material required to form the berms, he found that varying the configuration would allow him to keep all contaminated soil onsite as well as the excavation spoil – 3,800 cubic metres of material.
This, along with his constant monitoring to balance the size of the berms and to avoid double-handling of a large quantity of earth, generated large savings for the client and eliminated 300 lorry movements from the site and the public highway.
Mike also assessed exactly how large the quantity of water required to wash down the kennels would be, and recommended doubling the planned size of the underground grey water storage tank to 54,000 litres. The resulting in-use benefits have made the extra capital and installation costs well worthwhile.
His construction and programming input was just as valuable as his planning impact. With the main timbered barn in an extreme state of deterioration, there was great concern about how to remove its 5,000 clay tiles safely. Mike devised the method of removing the tiles into the basket of a cherrypicker to lower them, stack them in pallets and forklift them away.
With the barn’s roof load removed, he considered the time-consuming and costly options of erecting a full tented enclosure or a temporary roof before removing the timbered structure. He then came up with the idea of temporarily supporting parts of the barn so the heavily deteriorated middle section could be removed. This allowed extensive underpinning to be undertaken as normal works, saved the client £30,000 and took nine weeks out of the programme.
Substantial though they were, these were not Mike’s only achievements. Japanese knotweed, bats, owls, a medieval moat as well as soil contamination and an involved conservation and planning process all featured. Mike overcame them all, delivering a complex project safely and superbly.