Employer: Coniston Ltd

Project: Epping Forest Museum, Waltham Abbey

Flexibility is the construction manager’s best friend. Awarded the contract for this museum refurbishment, Peter Griffiths soon realised that the scope exceeded the project finances by £150,000. It took his careful value engineering, particularly of the M&E and the finishes, to align the two.

The lift was a recurring thorn in his side. The excavation works for it revealed an earlier house on the site that needed recording, incurring a week’s delay. It was the first in a host of historical issues, such as installing the lift shaft within a half-inch of the grade II-listed Georgian ceiling beams.

Then it transpired that the lift shaft headroom could not accommodate the specified lift. Peter’s tenacious and spirited management of a pre-agreed design successfully sourced a compatible, design-acceptable alternative. Only for the lift to be supplied eight weeks behind its scheduled date. Peter had to completely resequence the main core and ground-floor area to maintain the programme.

Further headaches included a requirement to use lime plaster across the building, and repeated flooding in the new area from the upstairs premises. There was also an unexpected need to install fireproofing across the whole ceiling due to a change of use in the floor above. Positive and proactive in his problem solving, Peter showed the determination and commitment needed to ensure the project completed within time frame as well as budget.