Andy Shepherd MCIOB
Andy Shepherd motivated his team to push above and beyond, working round the clock to keep this Covid testing centre project on its superfast track. Dynamic, collaborative and diligent, he worked a miracle in shoehorning a project that would have taken two years before the pandemic into just four months. He captured cost and time benefits by discarding the original or most obvious design wherever it threatened delay. His technical flexibility and resolutely proactive approach secured success.
About the Project
Lighthouse Labs, Plymouth
Construction of Covid testing centre, completed in 17 weeks.
Client: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
Contract: NEC, option C, share gain
Pandemic-response projects are alien to considered construction, the sheer urgency of the need demanding that work be completed in weeks not months, and decisions taken in hours not days. Yet on this project to convert an existing warehouse into a Covid testing centre, Andy Shepherd demonstrated that a dynamic, collaborative and diligent construction manager can work miracles. He condensed the 12 months of preconstruction and 10 months of on-site work a project of this type would typically require to six and 11 weeks respectively.
Finding a large amount of asbestos in the ground, Andy avoided the further potential safety and cost risk of excavation by identifying products that would allow building on top of the ground. Permeable cellular paving grids were introduced to create a car park.
When a gas feed was required by a late client request for a new laundry, Andy refused to use the on-site private gas main that would have meant time-consuming, costly and disruptive excavations along the site access road. Instead, he took on the utility company’s reputation for long lead times and persuaded it to extend its gas main through a grass verge and into the laundry without disruption and at an extremely competitive cost.
He captured cost and time benefits by discarding the original design to run the lab drainage under the existing slab. By opting for a pumped system to run at high level over the labs and into the exiting toilet drainage, Andy avoided the delaying the project’s substantial services installation.
A late change in lab operator threw up the unpalatable prospect of no decisions being made until staff with the proper skills and experience could attend meetings. Aware of another Lighthouse Lab recently completed in Newport, Andy persuaded the client to let him visit the facility with his designers to understand how it operated and learn the lessons of how to improve on it.
Ambitious, forward-thinking and proactive, Andy motivated his team to push above and beyond, working round the clock to keep the project on track. Through sheer determination and resolute leadership, he successfully delivered this project within the four months required.