CMYA Finalist

Employer: McAleer & Rushe

Project: Premier Inn, Wembley Stadium

In delivering this 13-storey hotel project an eye-popping 14 weeks ahead of schedule, well within the budget and above the quality expectations, Stephen Neeson gave the first-time client the full red-carpet experience. He combined peerless expertise and a wide-ranging knowledge of construction with a calm and confident approach that resolved the inevitable challenges with seeming effortlessness.

Coming into the project with the design near completion, and the floor to ceiling heights already set, he was able to take an overall 1.5 metres out of the building height (and capture all the resulting materials savings) by revamping the services strategy. He then brought in prefabricated bathroom pods. Delivered to site 10 at a time, they minimised material wastage and allowed for much faster site progress as only plumbing and electrical subcontractors were needed to complete the installation.

To ensure the cladding would comply with any shift in future fire regulations, Steve suggested installing 3mm-thick non-composite aluminium panels with a non-combustible spray paint finish and mineral rock wool insulation. And he met the client’s wish for a continuous staggered cladding panel design across the entire elevation without visible movement joints by developing a bespoke system that accommodates potential movement/deflection in the underframe via the carrier rails and brackets on each panel.

The proximity of Wembley Stadium to the site made logistics, security and relationships with neighbouring businesses and residents key aspects of the project. Steve’s adroit and good-humoured handling of these elements were central to its success. That success was subsequently recognised by the client’s award of a £130m contract for 553 new homes in the area to McAleer & Rushe.