CMYA Finalist

Employer: Galliford Try

Project: Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre, Birmingham

A whopping £8m over budget at precontract, Michael Deeming led an intensive value-engineering exercise that secured Galliford Try this contract for a four-storey hotel linked to a two-storey conference centre and saved the scheme from an early-doors extinction.

Financial shortfall on this scale requires a bold, innovative and radical approach. It was one that Mike took, telling his team that no idea was a bad idea and no stone should be left unturned. Along with £3m in various omissions and substitutions, a £4m saving came from eliminating a separate combined heat and power centre adjacent to the hotel and a basement plant room.

Straightforward enough for sure, but it was in resolving the resulting difficulties that Mike made his years of experience tell. His introduction of gas-fired boilers for energy generation and fan coil units in the bedrooms in place of a centrally fed ventilation system offered efficient service substitution. But the stand-out was his well-considered incorporation of the main M&E plant into the building without shrinking the income-generating space.

He brought a services contractor on board early and, using a 3D model of the project, determined that the space within the pitched roofs (along with the repurposing of cleaners’ cupboards and store areas) was sufficient to house the equipment and plant. He incorporated the revised M&E scheme into the building, without the loss of any bedrooms or conference space.

Then, six weeks before handover, a storm flooded the large conference room and main function room. The only answer was a wholesale strip-out and refit of areas (including their services, which lay below the raised access floor) that had been snagged and desnagged but were now submerged in muddy water.

With the remedial works likely to take 12 weeks, Mike moved to weekend working to claw back time, and took over the management of the client’s fit-out contractors in the areas not affected by the flooding, giving them an earlier start than scheduled. His proactivity and decisiveness allowed the project to open on the original date, and helped win two further contracts from the client.