Office blocks, housing, schools and shops – while each scheme is unique, the canny construction manager has the comfort of tapping into the shared experience of colleagues and peers. The industrial sector, though, covers the nichest of buildings and requirements, as did Scott Sykes’ brewery refurbishment project, which included the building of a tank farm extension to house enormous fermentation vessels, and then installing those vessels. With no-one on his team with anything like previous experience or knowledge to share, Scott was essentially out there on his own.
Erecting the steel frame for the tank farm’s 15 165hl fermentation vessels in the restricted space available was tough enough, given that the building was a unique and precisely engineered structure with a 65ft apex. But the real sweat-inducer was the need to lower the vessels through the roof into their supporting cradles with just 120mm to spare. Scott used two cranes to tandem-lift the vessels from flatbeds and guide them blind over the adjacent buildings, all the while taking the effect of windspeed on the immense vats into account, before lowering them in place. The success of the eight-hour operation made the point that this was a construction manager who could be trusted to make things happen – and to be entrusted with numerous variations, including the £250k construction of a new loading bay and ramp.
Finishing off as strongly as he’d begun, in week 48 of the 50-week contract Scott dealt admirably with a consultant’s identification that the power supply was inadequate for some of the client’s soon-to-be-installed equipment. By trading on the good relationships he’d established and constantly juggling, he managed to coordinate and bring back the many trades required to strip out, redesign and reinstall the power even though they had technically completed and moved on to other projects.
With a brewery refurbishment project so unique that no-one on his team had any previous experience or knowledge to share, Scott Sykes was essentially on his own. Yet he managed tasks such as blind-craning enormous fermentation vessels over adjacent buildings and through a restricted hole in the roof with such success that the client added numerous variations to the scheme, including the £250k construction of a new loading bay and ramp.