Meet the finalists

Residential Over 10 Storeys
All Finalists2019 Winners

Brendan Conway MCIOB

McAleer and Rushe

Pitched into the deep end for his very first project management role – a 22-storey tower in a notoriously windy and high-profile location – Brendan Conway emerged triumphant. He made the key construction decisions that delivered the crucial handover date. His introduction of slipform construction and double-stacked mast climbers accelerated the build and allowed him to accommodate major alterations mid-project. He delivered a hugely complex building not just on time, but also safely and within budget.

About the Project

Horizon Heights, Liverpool

Client: Unite Students

Contract: JCT D&B

Value: £54m

It’s not outrageous to wonder whether a first project management position on a massive and complex scheme might be simply too much too soon. But the contractor’s choice of Brendan Conway for what was at the time the tallest building it had ever built – and that’s 22 storeys in a notoriously windy and high-profile location – turned out to be a masterstroke.

Brendan made the key decisions that delivered the handover date – utterly unalterable if eye-watering damages and a justifiably angry client were to be avoided. Right at the start of the project, he saved time – and cost – by realising that an existing retaining wall could be used instead of a planned temporary piled wall to protect another student block alongside the building footprint.

The key project advance came from his introduction of slipform construction – another first for the contractor – for the tower’s core. This allowed a second tower crane for the site to be installed on top of the core, greatly expanding the rate at which an immense quantity of construction materials, equipment and site personnel could be fed to the workfaces as the structure rose. Further programme protection came from Brendan’s decision to use double-stacked mast climbers to allow multiple trades access to the facade at the same time.

His methodology was inspired, allowing the build to advance fast despite the loss of an unexpectedly large number of working days as a result of high winds. It also enabled him to hit the all-important deadline while accommodating major alterations mid-project. The changes included respecifying the cladding as non-combustible and replacing already installed cabling with smart fibre to all rooms.

Brendan delivered this vast building not just on time, but also safely (he researched and deployed Ischebeck safety screen for the concrete frame works) and within budget. His success is a tribute to his management and technical skills, positivity and ability to galvanise the wider project team, and has delighted a long-standing client.