Meet the finalists

Primary education
All Finalists2019 Winners

Stephen Sear MCIOB

Morgan Sindall Construction

On this two-storey new-build school, Steve Sear won the undying gratitude of the client and user by handing over a whopping 11 weeks early while respecting the budget and delivering a high-quality build with zero defects. He didn’t just manage the project but led it collaboratively, bringing all stakeholders along at every stage. His development of a modular build solution was the key to handing the facility over in time for the academic year start in September.

About the Project

Hailsham Primary Academy, Brighton

Client: East Sussex County Council

Contract: JCT D&B 2016

Value: £8m

Sometimes, it just all comes right. On this two-storey new-build school, Steve Sear won the client’s undying gratitude by handing over a whopping 11 weeks early while respecting the budget and delivering a high-quality build. It is an exceptional achievement underpinned by Steve’s championing of modern methods of construction.

With the contractor appointed late to the project, Steve took a slew of early decisions to slash the 55-week contractual programme. By changing the internal staircases from precast concrete to steel, he removed them from the critical path. By asphalting the external hard surfaces to base course early, he created a clean, tidy and safe work area while cutting four weeks from the external works programme. By upgrading the roof vapour control layer, he got the roof substantially watertight quicker, allowing internal fit-out to begin five weeks earlier. And by upgrading the structural slab in the hall, he enabled it to take mobile work platforms, eliminating extensive scaffolding.

But Steve’s key decision was to develop a modular build solution. He had structural panels made in Germany and delivered to site with pre-installed external windows, doors, cavity insulation, breather membranes and electrical containment. It not only saved seven weeks of programme, it also enhanced the quality of the build so effectively that zero defects were logged at handover.

Having decided to install temporary classrooms so the school could bridge the six-week gap until phase 1 of the build was complete, Steve then drove the programme so efficiently that phase 1 was handed over in time for the academic year start in September, eliminating the need for temporary classrooms. Client and school alike were understandably delighted with Steve’s performance, with the contractor securing repeat work as a result.