Meet the finalists

SCHOOLS ABOVE £20 M
All Finalists2020 Winners

Dale Parker MCIOB

Willmott Dixon

Green School for Boys, Isleworth, London

Organised and efficient, Dale Parker was the effective, collaborative and proactive construction manager that every client dreams of. He created an environment in which everyone felt respected, and showed exemplary communication skills. His professionalism and quality focus delivered a school that impresses in everything from the build to the paintwork. He didn’t just hand this project over with no outstanding defects to an elated customer, he did so 18 weeks early.

About the Project

Green School for Boys, Isleworth, London

Construction of secondary school, completed in 113 weeks.

Clients: The Green School Trust and London Diocese Board of Schools

Contract: JCT, design and build

Value: £36m

Quality control is the story of Dale Parker’s leadership of this school project he was recruited for. Right from the start, his championing of cast-in plates to fix the structural steel frame to the concrete frame, rather than drilling anchors after the concrete pour, signalled his intent. From recent experience, Dale knew that drilling would be slower and inevitably end up hitting rebar, making quality-checking difficult.

With a listed wall needing to be dismantled brick by brick, relocated and rebuilt using traditional methods, he made the council’s heritage consultant realise that those methods would compromise safety, quality and product longevity. He highlighted that the existing columns were not original and did not confer structural stability (there was a large gap in the wall) while removing the existing footings would undermine the footpath. Dale’s successful alternative proposal of modern concrete foundations and steel posts offered better quality without compromising the aesthetics while saving weeks on the programme.

His checks on the groundworker’s paving buildup uncovered the installation of a permeable membrane instead of an impermeable one. While the entire area had to be dug up and rectified after failing on-site flood testing, Dale’s early identification of the issue prevented it impacting the critical path of the project.

Similarly, he halted the glass balustrade installation after finding minute imperfections in the laminate. The manufacturer inspected and agreed with him, leading to the removal and remaking of 75% of the panels already installed.

He had the envelope and window contractors provide a sample panel showing all interfaces, from the SFS studs to the finished pointing and mastic, using the correct fixings, boards, brackets etc to mimic on-site conditions. The panel prompted redesign of the sill and head details, raised queries over the finishing of the mastic, and highlighted a paint issue between the window supplier and the reveal manufacturer. Solutions were therefore found before their installation on site rather than after.

When the plant room commissioning revealed the original ventilation calculations to be wildly out, with more ventilation louvres required than there was wall area available, Dale snatched triumph from disaster. He realised the only way to get the design to work was to reduce the acoustic requirement and set up a noise-monitoring station on the boundary of the property to check that the sound levels did not disturb the neighbours. Its success underpinned the installation of louvres with reduced attenuation to the plant replacement doors, improving airflow and reducing room temperature.

Dale didn’t just hand this project over with no outstanding defects to an elated customer, he also did so 18 weeks early.