SILVER: New Build & Refurbishment between £13 - 17 Million
Name: Bill Lowe
Employer: Sir Robert McAlpine
Project: Grandstand, Royal Military Tattoo, Edinburgh
Bill Lowe masterminded the construction, erection and subsequent dismantling of a large temporary grandstand in the grounds of Scotland’s most visited tourist attraction. In doing so, he blazed an easy-to-follow trail that will see the same structure annually put up and then taken down and stored for the next 30-odd years.
The client wanted a temporary stands complex for the Military Tattoo, centrepiece of the Edinburgh Festival, that allocated 35% more space to each seat and offered speedy assembly and disassembly. Master of the detail yet able to take account of the wider factors, Bill maintained extraordinary situational awareness and drew the stakeholders into the challenges and the solutions.
Calm, careful and with a gimlet eye for detail, he managed competing priorities adroitly, without fuss or drama. When 40 tonnes of the bespoke steelwork was stolen, he turned the setback into a positive team achievement by negotiating speedy refabrication, reprogramming decisively and agreeing acceptable compromises with the stakeholders.
He used full-scale offsite mock-ups to test, value-engineer and practise handling the innovative steelwork designs for the 800 tonnes of complicated superstructure. He ensured that the key lessons learnt and deductions made at each stage were captured so they could be applied over the grandstand’s 35-year expected lifetime. And at the moments of greatest risk and pressure he was always to be found at the fore, designing sensible workrounds and establishing clear priorities. He delivered a construction fit for purpose in every respect to a delighted community.
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