Meet the finalists

Primary education
All Finalists2019 Winners

Michael Pyatt MCIOB

Morgan Sindall Construction

Michael delivered this two-storey school project on time and on budget by combining technical and management expertise with a collaborative mindset. His methodical risk mitigation exposed as mythical the documented diversion of a main sewer that still ran across the site. He successfully managed the uphill struggle of creating a watertight envelope in winter on an exposed site. And he showed a sure outreach touch in bringing a close-knit local community over to the side of the project.

About the Project

Abertillery Learning Community – Six Bells Campus

Client: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Contract: JCT D&B

Value: £8.2m

Michael Pyatt delivered this two-storey 15-classroom school project on time and on budget by combining technical and management expertise with a collaborative mindset.

His risk mitigation strategy was exemplary. The site had initially been prepared for the development 20 years before, and drawings showed that an existing 1200mm-diameter sewer running across the site had been diverted outside the plateau created for the school footprint. However, reviewing the information in detail, Michael realised the diversion had merely been proposed and never implemented.

Using metal detectors to locate a buried upstream inspection chamber, he then plotted the position and depth of the sewer, which turned out to run under the building footprint. The ensuing £1m sewer diversion works in advance of the construction start date was the key factor ensuring project success.

He successfully managed the uphill struggle of creating a watertight envelope during the winter months on an exposed site. He progressed the fit-out in parallel with the facade construction through the use of such innovations as waterproof plasterboard. Even more effective was his acknowledgement of the setbacks and collaborative engagement with the team to achieve a solution. The support of the design team, client and supply chain were all key to achieving a fit-out recovery programme in line with the required completion date.

His community outreach was another notable success in a mining town with mixed feelings about the location of the site on a former colliery, which had become a local recreational area. Michael improved relations by running a series of meetings early on where members of the community could raise issues. He also maintained access to the recreational areas and to the nearby Guardian of the Valleys monument commemorating the death of 45 miners in an underground explosion.