After well over 30 years in the industry, Warren Hough shows that experienced construction managers are constantly open to learning new tricks. During this project, he fully embraced the advantages of modern methods of construction.
Responsible for delivering eight schools for the client, all running concurrently to a very demanding schedule (14 months from stage 1 design to school-ready handover), he adopted a production line-focused mentality for this project. His factory approach created value by standardising the design while leaving enough choice to personalise the school for the end users.
For transport and installation, all the modules were temporarily braced to withstand the lifting, and units stacked up onsite to create large spaces – 20 modules were assembled to create a large hall space. Once the units had been connected, all the temporary supports were removed and sent back to the factory for reuse.
He also used building information modelling to avoid costly interface issues and optimise the service runs. His numerous factory visits at all stages – from chassis frame construction to fitout and final checking – not only enabled quality checks but also progress monitoring against the schedule.
Each project was adjusted for just learned lessons, driving productivity and budget savings. For example, after identifying a gap between the door frame and fixed light window on the combination door frames, he investigated the fixing details, drew up an action plan, and got his teams to check the other sites and correct any faults, driving down the defect count at practical completion. And he had better door locks fitted and CCTV positioned over the plant room entrance as intruder deterrents to address the site security concerns raised by preassembling the plant rooms at the factory rather than onsite.
Not only did he deliver budget, quality and programme, he even won the best education project at the Offsite Manufacturing Awards.