Meet the finalists

OFFICE
All Finalists2019 Winners

Ian Rowe MCIOB

Oakmont Construction

By delivering a complex and constantly changing project at speed, Ian Rowe has captured a huge opportunity for a regional contractor to step up a league. His clarity of thought, strategic focus and technical mastery were constants. He integrated a large-scale tenant fit-out with his own base build. And his ability to incorporate extensive design changes once construction had started was astonishing. They included resizing the foundations and steelwork for an upscaled plant gantry and adding another storey.

About the Project

LONDON 1 Data Centre, Dagenham

Client: Axa Investment Managers

Contract: JCT D&B 2016

Value: £29m

With extensive experience building large distribution hubs, Ian Rowe had the background and the technical knowledge to take on this enormous three-storey data centre. He convinced the client of his technical prowess and management skills, and won the tender for a regional contractor against much bigger competition.

Ian overcame a delayed site start by reprogramming to start construction in the middle of the building and working outwards in two directions at the same time. He accommodated the tenant fit-out works 20 weeks earlier than contractually required by allowing different trades to proceed simultaneously – at one point, piling, groundworks, steel frame, decking and cladding were all on site concurrently. He had the concrete for the top floors poured before the ground-floor slab was completed so that faster progress could be made on the roof to speed up the works.

He constantly maintained rapid momentum on a project that incorporated £6.7m of extra works during construction. By inserting a break in the structural frame, he was able to build a fourth storey of offices at one end of the building (a tenant variation) that could easily be completely taken down if planning permission to go up in height was not granted.

His ability to incorporate extensive design changes once construction had started was astonishing. The installation of 30 miles of underground ducting in and around the building incorporated a late instruction for two new fibre routes from the main road 500m away. He resized the foundations and steelwork to accommodate an upscaled plant gantry. Just as the steel was going into manufacture, he shepherded through fabrication changes required by the last-minute addition of further gantries. Further instructions were still arriving after completion.

By rising so impressively to the challenge of delivering a complex and constantly changing project at speed, Ian has captured a huge opportunity for the contractor to step up a league. His clarity of thought, strategic focus and technical mastery laid the foundations of his success.