Name: Ross Taylor ICIOB
Employer: Inspace Partnerships
Project: Blue Court, 6 Sherbourne St, Islington
Contract: NEC 2 option C
As if hitting the programme, cost and quality plans was not enough, Ross Taylor set himself the task of bettering all three on this, the first scheme he had managed from start to finish. And he did it. He delivered the project five weeks early, £150k under budget, and to a benchmark finish that the client wants its other site teams to emulate.
As with all construction projects, it was the team that notched up the successes. But, as with all successful schemes, it was the construction manager who built the team, set the pattern, established the good working relations and provided leadership when it mattered.
Ross’s open, collaborative and undaunted managerial style, allied to his construction nous, triumphantly overcame the serious setback of a 17-week delay caused by the discovery of an uncharted gas main. His persistence in chasing the gas supplier for an early date for diversionary works eventually paid off.
He then brainstormed the programme. It resulted in a decision to change the reinforced concrete columns to more cost-effective lightweight steel, saving three weeks. The other simple but equally effective idea was to make everyone onsite – and that meant everyone, right down to the site labourer – aware of the project objectives and timescales. He did it through weekly meetings with the trade foremen and admits he was himself amazed at its effectiveness; he reckons it improved productivity by two weeks.
Ross’s other value-engineering moves included changing the ground-floor concrete frame infill from blockwork to lightweight steel panels that could be craned into position. It allowed the 130m-long ground floor to be erected in four days, a fortnight faster than originally planned. He also substituted GRP for stainless steel in the canopies, and ash for oak for the entrance doors to the apartments.
And Ross delivered the outstanding quality by determining the exact client spec – right down to the last tile – very early in the programme. It set a fit-for-purpose baseline, a table of must-haves and a list of nice-to-haves. It proved an excellent tool for negotiating and for reining back expectation inflation.