CMYA Finalist

Employer: Laing O'Rourke Construction North

Project: Meadowhall Remodelling, Sheffield

You could think of Mark Lazenby’s scheme to modernise one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK as being something like servicing a jumbo jet in the sky. The centre, and its 280-odd retail tenants, remained live at all times, with all works in the mall undertaken at night and works to the back of house areas undertaken round the clock.

With a potential £220m redevelopment and extension of the mall currently in planning stages, Mark put Laing in an excellent position for any future contract award with exceptional value management initiatives that took £8m out of the costs. He replaced with lightweight GRP nearly 40 tonnes of structural steel intended for a 1km-long service raceway on the roof. It eliminated hundreds of penetrations over tenants’ units that would otherwise have been required, took 12 weeks out the programme, and reduced craneage and risk of damage to existing membranes. Another value-engineering gain came from him moving new smoke vents out of the flat roofing and into the pitched glass roofing to eliminate significant steelwork alterations, improve sequencing and simplify interface management.

Mark robustly managed change control in a project whose value rose by over £30m as a result of client variations. He set up a separate change team that quickly analysed and responded to every one of nearly 300 change requests, helping the client to make informed decisions.

The retail-driven changes included diversions of the existing fibre backbone, shell works to an anchor store expansion, reglazing of over 5,000sqm of mall roofing, and multiple shell reconfigurations to accommodate tenant upgrades following the mall remodelling. Mark absorbed all the variations within a revised contract programme with just a 17-week extension.

His successful completion of this quality scheme on time and on budget has clearly given the client confidence to continue the working relationship on future Meadowhall opportunities.