Employer: Mace

Project: 12-14 New Fetter Lane, London

A simple ‘green field’ project this most certainly was not – quite the opposite. An enormously challenging programme, a bursting-at-the-seams budget and a tight site in the busiest of locations held no fears for new Mace recruit James Williams. He not only triumphed on all three fronts but delivered exceptional quality too. So successful was he that the client was able to sell on this 15-storey office block midway through the construction phase for a handsome return on its investment.

Let’s start with the money. Originally priced in 2011, the project was facing a suppliers’ market when procurement began. James deftly handled supply chain brinkmanship to strike deals and secure the core packages. By offering project deals as part of a batch of packages across other Mace schemes, he secured top suppliers eager to capture economies of scale.

As for the ambitious programme, James drove it forward through excellent sequencing and logistics insights. For example, the original brief positioned one crane in the boiler room location, severely hampering the effort to get the building weatherproof and progressing the MEP. James’s alternative solution was to perch it on a concrete cap on top of one of the low-rise lifts. He also modularised the intricate cladding and large sections of the services.

The logistics he streamlined by bringing the cladding panels through the floors and distributing them by the hoist. They were then installed from within the building floorplate by using a spider crane on the floor above. It was safer and faster than working at height above a busy pedestrian walkway in an area of dense commercial offices.

And James’s controlled project close-out drove quality. He made sure the planning brought in sufficient materials for each area so that the trades could fully complete an area before offering it for snagging. The strategy drastically reduced revisits for missing items. He introduced extensive benchmarking with off-site mock-ups that set the quality standard. Combined with tablet-based snagging software that freed package managers from paperwork in the office and got them out onto site, it delivered an exceptional level of craftsmanship and quality.