Richard Kirkpatrick
All Finalists2020 Winners


The Marq, 32 Duke Street, St James’s, London

Proactive and driven, Richard delivered emphatically on programme and on budget within the confines of a difficult site in his first role as project director. He also delivered outstanding quality, as is clear from the delighted client’s rapid letting of the office and retail space. His success is a tribute to his expertise in building and leading the team, his enthusiasm and tenacity, and his exceptional organisation and management skills.

About the Project

Client: The Crown Estate

Contract: JCT D&B

Value: £34m

Richard Kirkpatrick’s civil engineering expertise was the magic ingredient on this project to demolish two buildings and build a nine-storey block with ground-floor/basement retail and six storeys of office space.

With 250 secant piles to install along the perimeter of a confined site, the subcontractor’s mini rigs proved unable to get the secondary piles in after the primaries had gained more than a few days’ strength. Rapidly losing time on the programme, Richard tapped his network to find the solution: a high-torque, low-headroom piling rig specialist that was able to complete the groundworks on time and on budget.

Naturally, the build posed construction as well as engineering challenges. When the construction costs were established, they were well over the cost plan. Richard’s value-engineering exercise delivered £2m of savings to make the project viable. His determined championing of changing the facade construction from hand-set to precast saved £400,000, reduced deliveries and site activity, and drove up quality and speed of construction.

When multiple problems arose with the off-site installation of the windows in the precast panels, Richard was admirably tenacious in pushing through a solution. With the window design making little progress, he resolved roadblocks through design workshops and brought in a cladding consultant to help. When alarm bells rang with slow off-site installation of the windows in the panels, followed by their failure in a water test, forcing every window to be dismantled and reinstalled, Richard based a team member full-time at the factory to monitor every aspect of the reinstallation. With the panels finally shipped to site, where installation was slow and inexpert, Richard ensured he had the subcontractor’s full attention at the highest level by grilling its MD on site every fortnight about progress, quality, priorities and milestones. A saga, certainly, but one that he managed inexorably to success.

For every problem encountered, Richard eliminated far more in his planning. He extended 4D BIM planning to key areas, in particular the roof – a highly congested zone with multiple trades interfacing and complex scaffolding requirements. The resulting discovery of clashes added robustness and accuracy to the roof build, which went incredibly smoothly, and completed ahead of programme. And when the client asked whether WELL core and shell certification was achievable, he successfully integrated the workforce health and wellbeing building standard into a rapidly evolving design, despite having no UK precedent to follow and no experience in the project team.

In his first role as project director, Richard delivered on programme, on budget, to an outstanding quality, gaining the UK’s first WELL gold as well as BREEAM Outstanding. The client was delighted.