Vince Finnegan’s project was to re-equip the 17th-century facilities that house the Chelsea pensioners with such 21st-century conveniences as a bathroom for each of the 187 ‘berths’. In doing so, he not only had to respect the many limitations imposed by a grade I-listed building but also ensure the whole complex remained operational throughout, so the client could run an extensive events calendar within the grounds including the Chelsea Flower Show.
Professional, dedicated and a slave to quality, Vince hugely impressed the client. He kept his prized joinery subcontractor on board, despite its inability to store and restore the large number of heritage timber panels offsite, by buying a portable store and workshop and siting it in the car park.
He integrated the separately instructed £1.8m lead roof replacement works within his own main contract works, saving the client considerable sums in prelims.
Likewise, Vince’s careful works resequencing and management following the discovery of additional asbestos mitigated delay to the ground works. Indeed, he was so effective in doing so that the project finished six weeks early. The resulting client savings in fees were estimated to be £400,000.
He also pulled off a notable one-arm-tied-behind-his-back feat of replacing the lead and slate roofing to one ward without tying the scaffolding into the building. Instead, he tied it across the roof and then stabilised it all by installing ballast tanks on the facade scaffold.