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All Finalists2020 Winners

Mark Gibson

ISG Construction

Mark Gibson went the extra mile on a daily basis to deliver a high-quality scheme, within budget, on time and with zero defects. He put an exceptional quantity of time, energy and passion into a tricky project. He added value in the ground by challenging the initial excessive cut and fill. And his roofing and partition board upgrades introduced enhanced quality, with the cost repaid through the resulting capture of programme and resource advantage.

About the Project

Chester Fire Station

Construction of fire station, completed in 78 weeks.

Client: Cheshire Fire Authority

Contract: JCT, design and build

Value: £5.9m

A track record of blue-light builds cut little ice with the sceptical fire crews watching on from the old building as Mark Gibson, requested for this job by the client, set about constructing a temporary fire station in the first phase of this project.

They had a point: the timespan was for a standard modular and portal building that did not account for the complexities of what a fire station has to do – in particular, the services fit-out. Mark, though, used his experience to win them over by introducing user-focused extras such as additional TV aerials, gym mats throughout the exercise area, and stoned-up hardstanding to make parking easier. With his relationships back secured, Mark got down to constructing the permanent facility.

He used his knowledge of road construction to use the fill material from demolishing the old station as aggregate for the new build, halving the amount of hardcore imported and reducing the cut material to be taken off site. By planning the correct cut of the piling mat in conjunction with a geogrid, Mark slimmed it down by two-thirds and was able install the sub-base of the ground-floor slab at the same time, delivering programme and cost savings. His introduction of an underground mass-fill concrete structure with steep batters eliminated an excessive cut and fill and additional drainage required by the original no-retaining-wall design.

Once out of the ground, Mark continued to add value. He changed the main roof construction to composite panels, gaining resource and time reduction for the extra quality cost. With experience of engineered partition boards and the knowledge that their once substantial price had fallen, he championed a higher-quality alternative to the two layers of 15mm board for the internal wall partitions. His solution reduced the amount of boarding required, eliminated the need for pattresses altogether and gave a programme advantage. Similarly, well versed in the problems of potential plant-room leaks and defects, he upgraded a thin layer of epoxy floor paint to a robust waterproof coating of resin quartz.