CMYA Finalist

Employer: Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd.

Project: Oak Lodge SEN School, Barnet

This two-storey new build demonstrated Danny Buckley’s ability to identify fundamental flaws and implement changes critical to project success.

Danny Buckley’s project to build a two-storey classroom block stalled early on. With an undocumented attenuation tank found in the ground where the storm sewer was going to run, and the realisation that demolition would be proceeding above live gas services, Danny’s clear-headed reasoning won the day and kept the client relationship in positive territory. He had the knowledge and confidence to come up with options and clear recommendations for the best way forward.

This was a challenging project. Not only was the landlocked site extremely confined, but also the community had objected to the building. A very active local action group was even seeking a judicial review. Fortunately Danny’s charm offensive was effective and well considered.

By embracing local street parties, road cleaning, traffic marshalling and helping the elderly with their shopping, he defused much of the antagonism towards the project. He set up a collaboration committee of residents, school and client to communicate concerns, and reacted positively to issues. With many residents fearing that the proximity of the new build to their houses had privacy implications, Danny supplied details of glazing heights and planting proposals, and even arranged for a site visit so residents could gaze out of the windows and see for themselves that they couldn’t be overlooked.

Budget and schedule were key client considerations, and Danny responded with a series of value-engineering initiatives. He replaced brickwork with brick tiles, streamlined the multiple elements in the building envelope, and changed the sprinkler tank from bespoke cylinder to off-the-shelf square

He also came up with a speedy pile breakdown method. A small section of pipe was fixed to the rebar cage just above the cut-off point of the pile so that a wedge driven into the pipe would allow mobile plant to easily lift off the top of the pile. The innovation also reduced noise and waste, and eliminated the hand arm vibration syndrome risk presented by using hand tools to break the piles down.