Meet the finalists

All Finalists2019 Winners

Tom Millard MCIOB

Willmott Dixon

Despite major logistical, financial and programme challenges Tom Millard kept his enthusiasm and passion for this scheme to refurbish and remodel a derelict listed building. During the construction, he met the client’s request for a 15% programme reduction, and took on a third fit-out for a third party. He completed ahead of the original contract date, still within budget and defect-free. On the back of his performance, the client awarded a £95m follow-on scheme, which Tom will be leading.

About the Project

Cardiff Royal Infirmary Block 14

Client: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Contract: NEC option A

Value: £7.5m

Big challenges aren’t exclusive to the biggest projects. On this scheme to refurbish and remodel a derelict listed building, Tom Millard had challenges coming out of his ears.

The tight city centre site was surrounded by major roads and flanked by live hospital wards. The remodelled space would be occupied by two very different users (a relocating hospital physio department plus a domestic violence unit) with internal layouts designed by separate architectural practices. And there were no records showing additions and changes to the building since its construction in the early 1900s.

It got worse. The contingency budget disappeared early to fund temporary accommodation at another hospital project. Asbestos was found in a perimeter service trough. During the construction phase, the client asked Tom to slash the already challenging programme by a hefty 12 weeks after the physio department’s temporary lease on another building could not be extended as planned. Then, two of the project’s upper floors were let to a third party which required a separate fit-out (under yet another architectural practice) in parallel with the works.

Tom kept his enthusiasm and passion, and fired up the site team throughout the works. He moved from a section-by-section approach to a faster zoned programme to allow for extensive overlapping of trades. His numerous sequencing adjustments and ability to leverage supply chain goodwill delivered the required budget savings.

He kept disruption to the surrounding users to a minimum. For example, the internal demolition works revealed a ground-floor slab varying in thickness from 50mm to 240mm. Tom avoided the noise and fumes that heavy breakers would create by using electric excavators to remove sections of the slab bit by bit before repouring.

And he still made time to innovate. He introduced a 360-degree camera and the Matterport platform to create a 3D model of the building. It allowed him to explain progress and resolve queries more effectively, and generated a buzz with stakeholders unfamiliar with the build process. It proved so useful it has since been rolled out to all the contractor’s projects in Wales.

He completed ahead of the original contract completion date, still within budget, and defect-free. The excellence of the customer feedback was underlined by the client’s award of a £95m follow-on, seven-year scheme, which Tom will be leading.