SILVER: New Build & Refurbishment between £40 - 100 Million
Name: Malcolm Emmerson
Employer: Geoffrey Osborne
Project: West Thames College, Isleworth
Right down at the granular level, having fun matters. Faced with a 40-month scheme to build two big new teaching blocks and refurbish others, Malcolm Emmerson made sure that an open and friendly site environment was near the top of his list of priorities.
He got the enjoyable site experience and strong team ethic he was looking for by blending experience and youth in an open plan office to create a vibrant atmosphere. Believing that a successful project needs a happy and motivated team, he ensured the supply chain too was part of the culture, treating his subcontractors fairly, paying them promptly and inviting them to all the project socials.
Yet his project focus was anything but exclusively internal. Sitting in on a Hair & Beauty class taught him that the electrical circuit would have to be able to cope with 30 hairdryers being turned on simultaneously. And appreciating that the college faced a formidable job in managing the decants and migrations, he volunteered his team’s assistance, and ultimately brought in a logistics company to take the pressure off the users.
Likewise, to mitigate the client’s funding uncertainties, he redesigned one of the new builds into three blocks that could be constructed and operated independently. His replacement of external blockwork for the building with offsite-manufactured SIPs with preformed openings also relieved the timescale pressures, giving weathertightness eight weeks earlier than blockwork could.
Keenly appreciative of the happy factor though he was, he refused to accept second best. In setting himself the highest of standards, he expected the same of his team. He earned the respect of the workforce by leading from the front, clearly communicating his requirements and inspiring a sense of purpose. He had a credibility that was only boosted by whatever setback emerged – poor ground conditions, users trying to change specifications, building management systems not functioning as they should – because he never shirked the challenge and always found solutions.
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