Meet the finalists

ACCOMMODATION OVER 4 STOREYS
All Finalists2020 Winners

Ciaran McCallion MCIOB

McAleer & Rushe

Ciaran McCallion’s strong and pragmatic leadership ensured the on-time and on-budget delivery of a first-time client’s landmark development. He changed the facade of the 21-storey tower to a brick slip system made entirely of non-combustible components. His innovative use of prefabricated rebar column cages allowed more effective use of a tight site and drove the programme. And his fine ground engineering solution included introducing resin anchor fixing for the foundation connection design of the existing concrete raft.

About the Project

The Gate, Sheffield

Construction of 455 units of student accommodation, completed in 106 weeks.

Clients: MRP/Curlew Capital

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build

Value: £35m

Ciaran McCallion’s strong and pragmatic leadership of this scheme ensured the on-time and on-budget delivery of a first-time client’s landmark development.

On the 21-storey tower that soars over the rest of this 455-bedroom scheme, Ciaran allayed every possible fire safety concern for the post-Grenfell high-rise construction sector. He changed the building facade to a mechanically fixed brick slip system made entirely of non-combustible components. And he led the architectural and financial review to find the most economic way to create a secondary escape staircase for the 64m-tall tower while minimising the rooms lost and maintaining the aesthetic.

Ciaran’s ground engineering proved highly effective, and included a challenge to the hydrodemolition of the double basement. By changing the foundation connection design to the existing concrete raft to hydrodemolition for the highest stressed connections only, and resin anchor fixing for the rest, he saved seven weeks on the process.

Another innovative solution driven by the tight programme and restricted site area was his use of prefabricated rebar column cages. Instead of storing rebar on site and tying all the steel in situ, he had the rebar made off site and delivered just in time to be laid directly on the freshly poured deck, enabling columns to be poured the same day. The cost-neutral initiative removed space-hungry rebar storage and fabrication from site.

The height of the building and the design of the glazing sections meant the curtain walling had to be installed elevation by elevation. Ciaran avoided any resulting delay in the fit-out by separating the works in the tower from those in the lower-level podium (where 80% of all the rooms were). By weatherproofing openings in the podium levels, he was able to crack on with the fit-out so effectively that much of it was completed in advance of the facade.

By spending money to gain programme benefit, Ciaran saved money in the long term. He was able to remove the tower crane early on, using a mobile crane to remove the mast climbers in a single lift from the inaccessible courtyard. It saved £75,000 in ongoing crane costs and enabled faster completion of common areas of the building.