Calm and efficient, Jeremy Mann was exceptionally proactive on this scheme. His hardworking, collaborative and passionate leadership was inspiring to the client, professionals and delivery team alike. Innovative and cost-effective solutions flowed under his management, while his flexible attitude and determination to achieve the client’s aspirations delivered a greatly increased scope in works. His success is clear from the award of a further phase of the same scheme, and the new £16m Quayside house project.
About the Project
Shire Hall, Gloucester
Internal and external refurbishment of part-listed building as modern offices, completed in 184 weeks.
Client: Gloucestershire County Council
Contract: JCT 2011, design and build
On this scheme to refurbish an inefficient 1960s-built eyesore, Jeremy Mann operated rather like the unbottled genie who offers three wishes and makes them come true.
Delivery without disruption was the client’s chief desire for an office block that housed 2,500 staff. Assessing the original plan for moving staff around the building so that the new facade works would occur only in unoccupied areas as logistically difficult, extremely costly and likely to hit productivity, Jeremy found a solution that let staff continue to work at their own desks throughout the project.
By developing for curtain walling the punch window replacements he had introduced early in the scheme, he was able to have desks and cables moved, out of hours, 1.5m away from the walls, soundproof temporary screens fitted, and the works carried out before everything was moved back. Not only could office staff carry on working undisrupted, but the initiative saved the client £3m in moving costs.
Wish number two: more for less. Pursing his lips at the huge cost of removing asbestos on one block by installing a temporary scaffold roof six storeys up (which would require foundations and be at the mercy of the weather in a coastal location), Jeremy suggested a different approach. By first putting in a new steel portal-framed roof, he not only created a covered area for dealing with the asbestos, but raised the sixth floor’s headroom by a lofty two metres.
Wish number three: budget magic. As well as the vast saving from keeping staff in situ, Jeremy suggested turning the cafe in one of the blocks into a flexible space to accommodate seminars and conferences, saving the client another £500,000 year on hiring external venues. His introduction of a scaffolding system without cross-bracing and that needed fewer access points saved a further £500,000. His replacement of the original overengineered brise soleil design with maintenance-free galvanised box-section steel also saved £40,000 and reduced the programme, allowing the scaffold to be progressively stripped and off-hired.
The client’s delight with its genie is perfectly clear from the 59% increase in scope that took the scheme from £12m at tender to £19m at completion. It evolved from an energy-efficient recladding and window replacement contract to a thoroughgoing re-engineering of work spaces. Jeremy was also handed the refurbishment of two more blocks on the scheme, and awarded the client’s adjacent £16m Quayside house project.