CMYA Finalist

Employer: ISG

Project: Moss Side Leisure Centre and Library, Manchester

Alex Mastroddi’s buildability and value for money interventions understandably exceeded the client’s expectations of this refurbishment of a 1970s-built leisure centre which years of piecemeal repairs had left in poor working order.

Innovation was the hallmark of Alex’s first all-through leadership of a project from bid to handover, with completion on time, on budget and without defects. His initial value engineering took £800,000 out of costs by initiatives such as rationalising the services and reusing rather than replacing the existing changing-rooms drainage.

His treatment of the wall cladding was a notable triumph. The proposed installation of an insulated liner system to all perimeter walls would have been a very costly way of improving thermal performance. Alex’s solution of pumping a recycled material into all existing cavity walls was far more economic.

And while the client had envisaged only making the existing cladding good, Alex put together a business case demonstrating that replacement would extend the building fabric lifespan, meet the latest fire regulations and greatly improve thermal performance. Convinced, the client released additional funds for a new cladding system.

With a large portion of the budget allocated to removing and replacing the roof, which had failed in numerous locations, Alex alleviated the financial stress. His solution of overlaying a new roof system on top of the existing one delivered thermal improvements and eliminated the leaks at a much reduced cost.

Understanding the client’s desire for building services efficiencies, Alex appointed a dedicated coordinator to help explore the opportunities. The outcome was LED lighting throughout, a greywater harvesting system and a combined heat and power unit, which recycles the energy used to heat the pool into other building functions. Overall, his service innovations achieved a 40% total improvement on building efficiencies and running costs, with the energy cost reduction alone saving £35,000 a year. Meanwhile the cost efficiencies realised by the combined heat and power plant will allow the client to sell the surplus back to the grid and achieve return on capital within 30 months.