Heavily overbudget at tender, Andy Lock, a construction manager of immense experience, was well aware that the lecture theatre, large-size classrooms and Sports England-standard sports facilities were as far beyond the finances as they were beyond government standards compliance.
The need to lose £7m from the costs – to deal with contaminated land on the former gasworks site, to plot what lay below the brownfield surface, and to satisfy onerous planning requirements – was an immense challenge. Andy prepared for it by extending the preconstruction period to identify the value engineering options while proceeding with the enabling works to derisk the ground and still get project commencement under way.
He came up with the long list of value-engineering proposals and despecifications. They included reducing the number of brickwork types, removing the external canopies, re-engineering the groundworks and boundary treatment, cutting back on the M&E, omitting screens for the roof plant, and changing the curtainwalling from composite timber/aluminium to a standard stick system. He was also instrumental in generating further savings during the supply chain negotiations, ultimately bringing the scheme within the client’s cost plan.
Always on top of progress and potential problems, he was proactive and decisive in getting the design and programme correct from the outset. He designed out the technical issues as he was designing to the cost constraints. For example, to improve cost and programme, he changed the structural frame from in-situ concrete to steel, replicating the mass of concrete needed for the night cooling design by using a prefinished stud-welded deck that spanned beam to beam.
The result of his excellent understanding of his client’s operational needs and vision for the development is a school built to the exact brief, with phase 1 handed over four days early and phase 2 eight weeks early.