Seven extensions of time totalling 193 days is a key statistic from Anthony Mitchell’s complex construction of a steel-framed four-storey office above a reinforced concrete box with two levels of underground parking.
The programme almost doubled as a result, but it shines a light on the heart of the matter: Anthony’s unerring ability to give the client exactly what it wanted. With more than 1,000 variations to process for a client that wanted to get its new and innovative HQ absolutely right, he was able to communicate the reasoning for each extension of time so effectively that every single one was awarded unchallenged.
For Anthony, it was client, client, client. Thus the significant value-engineering options he offered, such as a £500,000 saving on the window system and the same again on the metalwork, roof tiles and boarding system. Thus the immense efforts he made to build the uninterrupted flexible internal spaces with interconnected delta beams spanning up to 18 metres and creating immense soffits with sightlines from front to rear. The logistics of fitting over 900 precast concrete planks weighing up to 12.5 tonnes each with the imported delta beams and steel frame had to be perfect due to the limited site space – and, thanks to Anthony, were perfect.
He had a perfectionist determination to achieve ‘absolute completion’. The goal of sign-off with zero defects, zero reportable incidents and zero environmental incidents was no absurd piece of PR puffery but an actual achievement. Materials were photographed as they entered the site gates to check for damage and compliance with specification. All works were periodically checked throughout the day, with the final one the most crucial of all – any anomalies, and work could not proceed the next day. It sounds simple, and it was, preventing any compounding of defects.
Senior site manager before this contract, promotion to project manager to lead it, and subsequently moved further on up to the position of senior project manager – Anthony’s career trajectory is merely another detail that reveals a job that went very right indeed.