GOLD: New Build & Refurbishment between £40 - 100 Million
Name: John Birch
Project: UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre, London W1
John Birch put transparency at the heart of this formidably difficult cancer centre new build.
He laid the basis for project success through open, honest and two-way communications. He gave each member of his own team clear package responsibilities. Firm and fair, he set targets and objectives, yet was also prepared to listen to stakeholders’ positions and concerns, embracing their ideas wherever the project would benefit.
During the final contract negotiations, he had identified a series of key value engineering opportunities that were gratefully snapped up by the client. Yet he didn’t make VE the be-all and end-all – once the big wins had been gathered in, he drew a line under any more after site start to prevent the process dragging on and impacting a competitive construction programme.
Throughout the programme he implemented innovative construction techniques to offer the client cost certainty and programme advantage. And his construction on an adjacent plot of land of full-scale mock-ups of the complex joints for the reinforced concrete frame ensured that his team and the supply chain knew exactly what was required while establishing to the satisfaction of the client and the architect what would be delivered.
When delivering the fair-faced finish areas set back the frame programme, he recovered the three-week-and-growing delay by intervening decisively to change the pour sequence. And halfway through the programme he took onboard a major £2m variation to install an MR scanner, delivering it, like the rest of the contract, on time, on budget and to a superb standard of workmanship.
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