Employer: Sir Robert McAlpine

Project: OneSubsea, Prime Four Business Park, Aberdeen

In his first project management role, Alan May completed this two-storey office block ahead of programme, within budget, snag and defect-free, and without the accident book being taken out of its cellophane. That’s some feat, and the product of proactive management and forward thinking.

This was the seventh building Sir Robert McAlpine has put up at the business park. Alan took it on himself to hold lessons-learned meetings with the construction and design teams from previous projects to get their feedback. He used what he’d learned to streamline his own project, enhance buildability and quality, and make financial savings. For example, he altered the roofing interfaces to give better detailing, which in turn produced programme and sequencing benefits. And he brought into the design process early things like holes through the facade for CCTV cables and brackets, so minimising the additional setup and installation costs typically incurred.

He delivered a target programme two weeks ahead of the contract programme by early strategic planning of the front-end concrete, steel and envelope packages. His good communications and openness at the procurement stage won the necessary buy-in of the subcontractors. His decision to have M&E elements manufactured offsite gave the programme a further boost.

Alan took on the big technical challenge of connections to the steelwork with a 3D model. All parties used it to establish their links to the main steel frame and define their secondary steel requirements, which were then incorporated into the main steel erection. Likewise, a 3D M&E coordination model minimised potential service clashes.

And he got the workforce to challenge safety, giving the whole team the power to enhance safety protocols. The scheme’s resulting injury and accident-free record – after notching up more than 100,000 hours worked – is exemplary.