Meet the finalists

All Finalists2019 Winners

Craig Stokes MCIOB

Laing O'Rourke

Craig’s impressive ability to assimilate enormous amounts of information, allied to a calm, professional and open style of communication and interaction with the client and the professional team, made him the go-to man and chief solutions officer for the construction phase of this 17-storey tower. His derisking of the massively complex build was extremely well judged. His logistics foresight streamlined the programme. And his extensive innovation secured time, quality and safety benefits.

About the Project

The Brunel Building, Paddington

Client: Derwent London

Contract: JCT D&B 2011 with amendments

Value: £121m

As this 17-storey block came out of the ground with the formwork for the cores going up, Craig Stokes arrived to lead the build team for the massive technical challenge of its dramatic steel-frame exoskeleton. His ability to assimilate enormous amounts of information and act as a genuine source of detailed knowledge on all aspects of the project, allied to his calm, professional and open style of communication and interaction, rapidly saw him promoted to senior project manager – the go-to man, fixer, solution finder and chief innovation officer for the construction phase.

Craig immediately derisked the logistics. He spotted that two of the tower cranes on a site tightly hedged by a canal, a mainline station taxi rank and two other developments would prevent a series of major installs in the roof plant room. He had them removed early and replaced with additional cranes in different locations.

He rationalised and relocated three temporary internal hoists that prevented completion of key areas of floorplate on each storey. By replacing them with two independent external hoists, he was able to still feed materials in while closing out the floor construction.

With the services coming down from 64,000 soffit-mounted drop rods, the precise setting out would require over a million button presses on the standard electronic theodolite – around a year’s worth of work for a single engineer. By introducing a prototype rig with a wide-angle lens projector linked to the 3D building information model, Craig halved the workload.

The innovation continued with his solution to the working at height issue created by the need to use the same in-situ mix as the cores for the roof-level parapet cladding. He avoided pumping the concrete in from 60m-high temporary scaffolding by casting the parapet on-site at floor level and craning it into position for a faster install.

It was a similar story with a main mechanical service riser. He had the 17-storey riser pre-welded off site, and delivered in six sections. Securing a road closure and coordinating the deliveries allowed its installation in five days rather than the four months required by multiple gangs of operatives working at height in an open riser.