Tony Gallagher MCIOB
Tony Gallagher’s bricklaying experience was invaluable on this project, where a million bricks went into a series of mid-rise apartment blocks. A champion of the superior quality of traditional trades, he was still able to innovate cannily. His introduction of a light, prefabricated scaffold system avoided damage risk to a railway running right through the site as well as legacy structures. He brought clarity, enthusiasm and professionalism to a brownfield project, delivering a quality build on time and on budget.
About the Project
Manor Place, Elephant and Castle, London
Client: Notting Hill Genesis
Tony Gallagher’s bricklaying apprenticeship may lie 30 years in the past, but on this apartment block project it was more invaluable accessory than distant memory. With over a million bricks going into the construction of a series of mid-rise blocks, his experience was key to assuring supply and quality.
Rather than use brick slips for the external corners of four blocks, he improved the aesthetics by preferring real bricks, having a prototype panel built to show the radius could be achieved with standard bricks. Not only did it fit perfectly with the external facades, it also saved six weeks in procurement and benefitted the budget. A believer in the superior quality of traditional trades, Tony also opted for a wet-plaster finish in the apartments rather than tape and joint drylining.
And when it emerged that certification for the specified cladding on one of the facades would not be forthcoming, with the delivery of an alternative delaying the tight programme by 10 weeks, Tony came up with the idea of reproducing the effect with cast stone. It decimated the long lead time and delivered commercial advantage.
Yet innovation also played a key part in the project. Realising that the refurbishment of a grade II-listed chimney on the site using traditional tube-and-fitting scaffold risked damaging the roof of the former boiler house, he opted for self-supporting scaffold. The sheeted system was bolted onto the bottom of the chimney and built up from that point, with the much lighter prefabricated solution also mitigating the risk of any impact on the railway that ran through the site.
From the very start of this scheme – including the 30 months of preconstruction planning and research – right through to the end, Tony brought clarity, enthusiasm and professionalism. On a site that had been a recycling yard for decades, he used specialists to decontaminate the ground to a depth of six metres in situ, avoiding the considerable expense and community impact of off-site soil disposal. He delivered on time and on budget, having driven a quality build.