Name: Alan Kelly
Employer: Killby & Gayford Ltd
Project: Royal College of Pathologists Education Centre, London SW1
Contract: JCT 2005
A lifetime in construction teaches plenty of skills, but one thing that comes naturally to Alan Kelly is initiative.
Take the day he arrived onsite at this project after a storm to find the listed facade’s high-level gutters blocked and the building’s upper floor springing leaks as the heavy rain continued. Without scaffolding or a cherrypicker, there was no way to access the guttering, so, hailing a passing fire engine on a routine training run, Alan persuaded the crew to extend the hydraulic ladder and went up to remove the blockage. His quick thinking prevented damage to the refurbishment work that had already been carried out, and saved the client the cost of repairs.
Passionate, proactive and perfectionist, Alan regularly motivated the site workers with review meetings, brainstorming sessions and toolbox talks. His enthusiasm and busyness were infectious and proved significant in preventing the heavy congestion onsite from dampening the spirits of the team.
Space was at a premium. The client remained in occupation for much of the works, which consisted of a refurb of the upper floors and a complicated remodelling of the basement into a lecture theatre, which included the use of structural props that placed areas out of bounds. Alan’s excellent organisational and communication skills maximised productivity while minimising inconvenience to the client.
As well as forming good working relationships with the client, the users and the subcontractors, Alan made a point of understanding the design concepts, and brought buildability expertise to the project table. He conducted a value-engineering exercise on the building’s mechanical equipment that systematically proved through testing and research that it would be more cost-effective to retain it than replace it.
He proved equal to the project’s testing technical demands, undertaking extensive excavations of the seriously defective but completely uncharted 250-year-old foundations. And he successfully carried through the test-blasting offsite of brick and mortar samples to determine that the brickwork alterations would match the deterioration rate of the existing stocks and mortar.