Meet the finalists

Higher Education
All Finalists2019 Winners

Adam Price MCIOB

Beard Construction

The programme may have been short, the logistics super-tight, and the tolerances on the envelope and internal walls all but non-existent, but Adam Price had the determination and ability to build this four-storey block beautifully. His energy, infectious enthusiasm and technical expertise drove an outstanding attention to detail and quest for quality. Acute and perspicacious, he changed the frame solution and rescheduled and resequenced constantly to deliver on time and on budget.

About the Project

Catherine Hughes Building, Oxford

Client: Somerville College, University of Oxford

Contract: JCT D&B

Value: £9m

‘A well-designed building, beautifully built, and delivered on time and budget,’ is the uncompromising definition of project success held by Adam Price’s client. But as that implacable metric comes coupled with a fulsome tribute to Adam as one of the major reasons for the success of this four-storey student block, it is clear that the construction manager has every reason to feel proud.

Realising that the projected concrete-frame build was undeliverable in time for the start of the new academic year, Adam proposed a cross-laminated timber alternative that could slash nine weeks off the programme. While CLT may not be particularly innovative throughout the industry, it is for a traditional Oxford college, for the contractor and indeed for Adam too. He stepped outside of his comfort zone to convince a visionary architect and a high-profile client that a method he had only ever delivered once before was the right one for the project.

The programme may have been short, the logistics super-tight, and the frame methodology unfamiliar, but Adam had the determination and ability to pull it off. His 20-year career progression from apprentice joiner to project manager has equipped him with acres of technical knowledge and the ability to leverage the expertise of the supply chain to fill in any blanks for him.

As with the CLT frame, the full-height prefabricated brick corbels were also new to Adam. A visit to the factory taught him what he needed to know. He ensured that the traditionally built red-brick walls were perfectly aligned with the factory-made corbels by deploying a series of timber templates on each level of brickwork for the bricklayers to work to.