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Gold winner

Employer: Kier Construction

Project: Ayr Academy

Andrew McTavish’s programme mastery was the key to his success on this three-storey academy build.

He cut costs by retaining soil on site, relocating it all under the grass pitch so construction works could proceed immediately. By effectively completing construction a fortnight before handover, he was then able to put all his focus on the finishing trades to deliver a quality building. As a result, Kier has been awarded a number of high-value projects by the client.

Andrew McTavish’s programme mastery was the key to his success on this three-storey academy build. With the value-engineering list including the retention on site of all excess material strip and topsoil, his decision to put 15,000 cubic metres of it under the grass pitch allowed construction to proceed straightaway.

He also solved the difficulty posed by having to install the steel frame for the gym block before completing the post-tensioned concrete frame of the main teaching block to which it connected. On a site with a large footprint but access restricted by the larger university and college campus around it, he brought in two cranes so he could erect the steel frame without waiting on the concrete frame.

When it emerged that ground conditions wouldn’t support the staff car park under construction, the straightforward option of importing a great deal of crushed hardcore would have pushed the project into the red commercially. Andrew’s determined pursuit of an alternative was successful with a geotextile design that reduced the cost of the works by 70%. Likewise, when tests revealed that the fill under the sports pitch hadn’t been compacted correctly, he banished the sudden prospect of big extra costs with another geogrid implementation.

His close monitoring of the site, regular communication with the professional team and supply chain, and careful planning set high standards early on. By effectively completing construction a fortnight before the handover date, Andrew was then able to put all his focus on the finishing trades to deliver a quality building. As a result, Kier has subsequently been awarded a number of high-value projects by the client.