The big mind-focuser on Ciaran Tiffney’s project to build 24 apartments in a seven-storey block was its complete coverage of the entire site footprint. What’s more it was in a busy central London location, a stone’s throw from parliament. Logistics, health and safety, methodology and site facilities were all constrained – only one elevation was accessible – and required firm direction.
Ciaran provided it. Site cabins not an option? He sourced local offices close to the site to house the office and welfare facilities. Servicing the site without storage? He put in a tower crane to lift materials direct to their intended final location.
But the thorniest issue of all was how to construct the handmade brick facade of a high-end residential building with multiple coursing styles and stepped recesses. Ciaran decided early on that traditional bricklaying would have a tough job achieving the required precision on such a complex facade. Bad weather downtime on a timetable that couldn’t cope with site-laid bricks anyway, and the lack of space for scaffolding, were also factors. His selection of a precast panel system, made offsite and installed in sections by the onsite tower crane, delivered quality, safety and programme.
Ciaran’s scheme showcased his work ethic, leadership by example and determination. If he wouldn’t do it himself, he didn’t ask his subcontractors to take it on. He didn’t rule with a rod of iron or shout louder than everyone else, but gained respect by his own respectful management. He didn’t punish or belittle those who made mistakes, but did demand that on any given day everyone gave their best. The result? A project that delivered quality and budget ahead of programme.