CMYA Finalist

Employer: BAM Construct UK

Project: Sarah Swift Building, University of Lincoln

The spirit of innovation breathed right through Ian Rainbow’s leadership of this five-storey teaching block new build.

With the brownfield site next to an operational railway, Ian preferred his own extensive knowledge of the site to the advice of senior managers in deciding to use mobile cranes and MEWPs instead of tower cranes and mast climbers. It allowed greater flexibility of crane positioning around the build, reduced the risk of anything falling on the operational railway, and kept the site perimeter clear for groundworks.

And with extremely limited site access from a busy main road, he developed a digital procedure that gave him oversight of all deliveries and the ability to organise them to suit the critical path programme. Following its success here, this system has since been deployed by BAM on all constrained sites.

The original design overshadowed the set budget. Ian delivered the necessary cost savings by reducing the size of the central atriums while maintaining the size of the teaching and research areas.

He backed up the value engineering by delivering programme efficiencies through innovative construction techniques. His use of precast concrete stair cores and lift shafts allowed rapid installation, a reduction in site activities, more space on site and the ability to open up more work faces on upper floors.

And with the client concerned about vibration from the railway line, Ian created a peaceful environment for the lab spaces of this project by introducing blockwork walls to add vibration-minimising weight to the floor, and doubling the thickness of the floor slab to create a stable environment.

He also installed a lightweight roof to take two weeks off the critical path by getting watertight quicker, allowing a faster start by the internal trades. The plant room was put on the roof’s concrete slab section.