Name: Duncan Mitchell
Employer: Sir Robert McAlpine
Project: Horizon House, Bristol
Duncan Mitchell has set a daunting standard in a smooth delivery of a complex project that demanded top-notch diligence, planning, engineering know-how and team management.
With the site in a conservation area next to a grade I listed building, in front of the city planning office and close to the cathedral, his fruitful engagement with the local community was outstanding. He worked fast to build relationships that proved invaluable and he worked hard to keep them in good order.
The most telling moment occurred when, as work started on piling for one of the office blocks, the structural design was changed from concrete to steel. With the complete loss of programme commitments looming, Duncan rallied his team. His clear understanding of how the design could be modified with least impact on operations already under way was a guiding star in maintaining site progress. Indeed, he took advantage of the early availability of the steel to step up the programme pace and complete significantly earlier than expected.
And in the context of onerous financial penalties for not achieving exceptionally high sustainability scores, he had the confidence to extract the programme, buildability and cost advantages of a curtain window system in one office block. He then offset the sustainability loss by using a lightweight roof construction and bigger raised floors in lieu of concrete make-up. The result was a staggeringly good sustainability score.