Employer: Interserve

Project: Longley Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield

Not many construction managers would be pleased to see people doing their very best to destroy the fittings, fabric and furniture in the sample room. For Leigh Bennett, though, it was all part of the process.

He needed to identify products and structures that would not only suit the client’s budget and the programme, but were also safe and robust enough to withstand the worst that the user group of mental health patients could possibly do to them.

And, of course, the project to refurbish and extend the health facility displayed challenging behaviour of its own that Leigh had to defuse and resolve. For example, with large parts of the design incomplete, jeopardising the fast-track programme, he kept a detailed RFI tracker. It was the only way to get a clear view of the design status, to record accountability and to help the design team prioritise information delivery to suit the construction need. And where long waits for design details did occur, Leigh adapted the programme to progress other works. He sustained project momentum by treating the project as a design and build rather than the traditional contract it was, and by involving himself in driving the design.

His other major contribution to project success was value engineering. He alerted the client to a roof covering product that suited the unusual shape of the new-build extension as well as the budget. The liquid plastic sheet could also be installed quickly without having to remove the roof-mounted plant first.