Joining this 11-phase scheme as the second phase (one of the school’s four wings) was handed over, the mosque (phase 3) had been made watertight and piling had started on phase 5, Astrit Hoxha found a project that had never coalesced, with colleagues rabbit-holed down its many different phases. His arrival at the mixed scheme to build a mosque, a school and residential blocks brought about a sea change, as he focused what had been a collection of individuals on the whole job and engaged them as a team.
By revisiting the programming to maximise works efficiency and formulating a target construction timetable, he regained the time that had been lost. He took the opportunity to highlight key areas of the project that had to be accelerated to enable successful handover of the school in time for the start of its academic year.
With speed essential, Astrit changed two of the remaining school wings to cross-laminated timber frame. By splitting the attenuation tanks to correspond with each phase area, and then combining some of those tanks during school half term, he saved on ground support and temporary works and eliminated an enormous element from the critical path. His development of support brackets for brickwork areas outside the terrace footprint permitted work to go forward on multiple levels and gain further valuable time.
Astrit’s change in construction methodology for two of the residential blocks – from reinforced concrete frame to traditional build – brought savings of £400,000. Further substantial financial benefits came from splitting the playground works between multiple contractors and instructing additional soil testing that eliminated a gas membrane from two school wings.
Having a live school in the middle of a site is hard enough, but Astrit had the added challenge of two more schools on both sides of the project along with a local estate. Despite the resulting restrictions on deliveries and works access, and no prospect of any leeway on the school handover date, Astrit overcame the logistics challenge in the same efficient way he saw off the construction delays and budget threats. He rose to the challenges, went the extra mile and delivered budget, timetable, stakeholder rapport and client satisfaction.