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CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | OCTOBER 2017 CONTENTS
Switchboard +44 (0)20 7490 5595 Editor Denise Chevin 0203 865 1032 07979 245800 Deputy editor James Kenny 0203 865 1031 Production editor Sarah Cutforth Art editor Heather Rugeley Community editor Nicky Roger Redesign art director Mark Bergin Advertising manager Dave Smith 0203 865 1029 Key account manager Tom Peardon 0203 865 1030 Credit control Eva Rugeley Managing director Stephen Quirke
In this issue
Circulation Net average 30,699 Audit period: July 2016 to June 2017 Subscriptions To subscribe or for enquiries, please contact: Subscription team Tel: 020 7490 5595 Or go online at: https://constructionmanager.isubscribe.co.uk Or write to us at the address below: Construction Manager Published for the Chartered Institute of Building by Atom Publishing, 3 Waterhouse Square, 138 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 5595 firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial advisory board Mark Beard FCIOB, Ann Bentley, Ian Eggers, Peter Caplehorn, Harvey Francis, Professor Jacqui Glass FCIOB, Paul Morrell, James Pellatt, Nick Raynsford, Richard Saxon, Andy von Bradsky, Phil Wade Construction Manager is published monthly by Atom Publishing. The contents of this magazine are copyright. Reproduction in part or in full is forbidden without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed by writers of signed articles (even with pseudonyms) and letters appearing in the magazine are those of their respective authors, and neither the CIOB, Atom Publishing nor Construction Manager is responsible for these opinions or statements. The editor will give careful consideration to material submitted – articles, photographs, drawings and so on – but does not undertake responsibility for damage or their safe return. Printed by The Wyndeham Group. All rights in the magazine, including copyright, content and design, are owned by CIOB and/or Atom Publishing. ISSN 1360 3566
Prelims 06 Lawrence Waterman 08 Snapshot 12 Comment: Chris Fadoju 14 What next? 16 CIOB special interest groups 18 Comment: Gary Sullivan
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Experts 50 Wellbeing at work 52 CPD: Reality capture
Insight • Onsite Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2017 special Southbank Centre refurb The solution: Saltdean Lido
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Community Training partnerships Equality march New board members
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PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
THE LATEST NEWS, PEOPLE AND COMMENT
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A safe pair of hands THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER LAWRENCE WATERMAN HAS NEVER BEEN SHY OF SPEAKING OUT ON HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY ISSUES. NOW, AS INCOMING CHAIR OF THE BRITISH SAFETY COUNCIL, HE IS KEEPING UP THE BATTLE. DENISE CHEVIN REPORTS
“I don’t have a problem about the level of fines, but I think the money levied could be used more constructively”
Over the years Lawrence Waterman has become the go-to consultant for raising the bar on health and safety on large complex projects. The founding member of the Park Health and Safety Partnership has the Channel Tunnel and Heathrow Terminal 5 on his CV. He ensured that construction of the Olympic Park and Village was the healthiest and safest project in Europe, an achievement for which he was awarded an OBE. He had a three-year spell as head of health and safety for the £6bn
SNAPSHOT COMMENT: CHRIS FADOJU WHAT’S NEXT? CIOB SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS COMMENT: GARY SULLIVAN Battersea Power Station Development and is a consultant to the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Most recently, the Chinese developer ABP has appointed him as head of health and safety on its £1.7bn redevelopment of the Albert Docks in east London. Equally impressive, LTC Cascade JV, the technical partner on the Lower Thames Crossing, has engaged Waterman to help it fulfil an ambition to ensure that the tunnel link between Essex and Kent brings about transformational change in the sector. “It’s early days, but the big difference in terms of the strategy we’re drawing up is to make the health and safety programme more open to the outside world and invite suggestions on how to improve it,” he says. Apart from an impressive portfolio and a constant drive for improvement and innovation, what marks Waterman out is his willingness to put his head above the parapet and speak out. “I’m known for my forthright views,” he says. He is already in campaign mode as incoming chair – from November – of the British Safety Council, a pan-industry membership grouping of health and safety advocates. Waterman has rallied a plethora of industry health and safety bodies to lobby government to rethink its deregulation agenda, which originally emerged when David Cameron became prime minister in 2010. Many of these signatories to an open letter to government organised by Waterman had already reached the conclusion that the “one in, two out” approach to regulation was having a detrimental effect. The Grenfell disaster only added to the urgency to get the government to change tack.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | OCTOBER 2017 PRELIMS
Right: Waterman’s work on the Lower Thames Crossing is setting out to transform the sector
“If you keep on telling people that health and safety regulation is an unnecessary burden, rather than necessary for public safety, you’re almost sanctioning people to cut corners,” he says. “There’s become a prevailing attitude of ‘elf ’n’ safety’ being a nuisance, of getting in the way of what we do, yet it’s decent standards that ensure we don’t get poisoned by food when we go out to a restaurant or drive cars with faulty brakes. Years of denigrating health and safety has taken its toll and encouraged non-compliance.” One might argue that the focus of health and safety as far as construction is concerned has followed an opposite trajectory – and he agrees that the sector is becoming hard to beat in terms of accident safety reduction on site – but Waterman says that the industry has still felt its effect. He points to the race to the bottom in terms of fees for building control functions that has impacted on the number of inspections. The role of building inspectors is likely to come under the spotlight in the Grenfell Inquiry. While it is too early to speculate how the industry will have to change in a postGrenfell world, one area that Waterman says must improve is the Building Regulations. He’s firmly of the opinion that the regulations and accompanying guidance should have been updated as recommended by the coroner following the fire at Lakanal House in south London in 2009 in which six people died. The coroner said Approved Document B was “a most difficult document to use”. “If
the coroner says it’s not clear enough, it is not appropriate for the minister to dismiss it,” Waterman says of the subsequent failure to address it. Following the Grenfell tragedy, the government has announced an urgent review of regulations, chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt. An interim report is expected in late autumn. “I do feel the mood music in government is changing,” Waterman says, referring to noises coming from Whitehall of using the transitioning of European law into English law in the wake of Brexit to improve regulation. “That’s the sort of language it’s good to hear, getting away from this notion of regulation being a burden on business.” A recent development he’s not so keen on is using health and safety breaches to swell the treasury’s coffers. Fines in construction have almost doubled in a year as sums for offences have gone up. “I don’t have a problem about the level of fines, but I think the money levied could be used more constructively. As fines have gone up I think we should be looking for creative and imaginative approaches.”
Waterman cites the £5m fine handed out in September 2016 to Merlin Entertainments following the accident on its Smiler ride at Alton Towers where a young woman ended up losing a leg. “I would have liked to have seen that money going into training centre for permanent and seasonal workers in the entertainment industry. That would provide a fitting memorial to those affected and provide a starting point for improvement to help ensure that it couldn’t happen again,” he says. The HSE’s fees for intervention, where those contravening rules pay for the inspector’s time, also comes in for criticism. Waterman’s concern is that it creates an unhelpful barrier among health and safety professionals. “I’m not saying the fees are wrong if the money is used to fund improved activity. But when used as substitute funding then I’m not so comfortable.” In particular, he’d like to see still more focus on smaller sites. “The big challenge is taking improvements in technology and management and drilling down to small sites – which has been a challenge for a long time.” He’s also championing a focus on wellbeing. In his long career Waterman has always emphasised the health in H&S and was a founder of the Construction Leadership Group, which has launched an initiative to improve mental wellbeing. “Mates in Mind is incredibly important. The culture of the industry is still, to a certain degree, one of bravado and machismo. If someone is upset and depressed it’s got to become easier to talk about it,” he says. ●
News in numbers
A digest from www.constructionmanagermagazine.com
Following an HSE investigation, a Hullbased bakery was fined £1m following the death of a selfemployed electrical contractor following a fall from height.
According to a new report by Timetric’s Infrastructure Intelligence Center, China is reported to be involved in 30% of worldwide global infrastructure projects.
Housebuilder Bovis Homes is planning to cut 120 jobs as part of a recovery plan, according to an update that accompanied its latest results, released in September.
London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to invest £25m into niche London developer Pocket Living, which builds affordable homes with modular construction.
“If you keep telling people health and safety regulation is an unnecessary burden, you’re almost sanctioning people to cut corners”
PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Going back to work after a career break can be daunting and unnerving, as anyone who has done so will testify. Caroline Nesi, one of a cohort of women on Skanska’s returners programme, has a simple bit of advice to help get through the wobbles of self-doubt. “The one thing you have to remember is how you were before. Remember what you were capable of facing and achieving,” she says. “Don’t let yourself feel you’re not able.
It takes a little time to get there, but set your mind to it and you will.” Nesi is a project manager on the enabling works for HS2, where Skanska is in one of three joint ventures awarded a share of the £900m job in November 2016. It’s her first foray into rail work, having spent most of her career since graduating 15 years ago working in engineering and project management to do with oil and gas field exploitation in her native Brazil, with a spell in the UK between 2006 and 2012. She decided to take a career break in 2015 when her daughter was three, when the project she was working on came to an end. A move back to the UK with her husband extended the break to nearly two years while she settled her daughter into the new environment. She saw Skanska’s returners programme when she started looking for work at the start of 2017. “I liked Skanska’s philosophy of being sustainable, and I liked the idea of a short programme to enable me to get a taster before committing to the job full time,” she says. The 12-week programme runs from April and is open to men and women who have taken a career break, though 80% are women. The idea is that Skanska attracts knowledgeable, skilled people and in return they get a gentler, wellsupported reintroduction to the workplace. In 2016, its first year, there were seven placements across the group. This year there were nine, with a permanent job at the end for those that want it. Nesi was interviewed and
Regional contractors are set for a renaissance as majors turn away from smaller projects, with markets in centres outside the capital emerging as hotspots. According to Barbour ABI and the Construction Products Association, construction activity is set to spread out across the UK – with a number of new regional hotspots ready to emerge over the next six to nine months. In 2016 £2bn worth of contracts were awarded in Birmingham – an increase of 107% from the year before – with no signs of this cooling. Other hotspots include the Scottish Borders and Manchester, as construction work spreads out across the country. Regional contractors
have also been reporting an increase in work, as well as stronger margins. Mark Beard, chairman of regional contractor Beard, says that customers are increasingly opting for regional contractors, in part because of the higher level of care that they deliver – something that isn’t always apparent with the national players. Beard believes that this higher level of care is what often leads to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. “Running a medium-sized business with one’s name above the door means one’s own personal reputation is at stake on every project. This is a key driver of excellence,” he says. “Additionally,
A career break can lead to your big break CAROLINE NESI IS RECHARGING HER CAREER AS ONE OF THIS YEAR’S COHORT ON SKANSKA’S 12-WEEK RETURN-TO-WORK PROGRAMME AIMED AT THOSE WHO HAVE HAD A BREAK IN THEIR CAREERS. SHE SPEAKS TO DENISE CHEVIN
Regions get ready for a renaissance
CENTRES OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL ARE BECOMING THE NEW HOTSPOTS AS ACTIVITY SPREADS OUT 8
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CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | OCTOBER 2017 PRELIMS
placed in the HS2 team. She was promoted from senior engineer very quickly to project manager, achieving one of her goals. "During the 12-week programme the group were given support and attended workshops where they were able to discuss how they felt about being back at work and get advice.” Nesi says she found the work stimulating and her colleagues helpful and supportive. She now works from 7.30am to 4.30pm to pick up her daughter from a childminder, and spends two and a half hours a day commuting. Nesi says the most challenging aspect to start with was feeling physically exhausted – “a lack of practice”. As well as the advice to believe in yourself, another tip is to ask for help if you need it. “I took over from someone who was looking after two of the enabling packages, but as the project progressed it became too much for one person – and the packages were split with someone else. Don’t be afraid to say if you need a bit more resource,” she says. ●
One Blackfriars, or “the Vase”, the 50-storey luxury apartment block being built by developer St George is taking shape in Southwark, south London. Designed by architect Ian Simpson of SimpsonHaugh, it was inspired by a piece of 1950s art - a Scandinavian glass vessel from the architect’s private collection. Its facade has 5,400 different panes of glass. The building is due to complete in 2018. D&B contractor is Multiplex.
I believe staff in regional contractors have a greater vested interest in making a success of local projects, where invariably they have a strong personal connection with the project. At Beard, our strong focus on teamwork and resolving problems is particularly well received by our customers” Beard says that the challenge for all contractors large and small is to do the basics really well, in particular ensuring a strong focus on quality at every stage of the project, but within an organisation which is continually looking to improve and utilise the best modern technology available within our industry. Beard feels regional contractors are ideally placed to embrace both.
“I liked the idea of a short programme to enable me to get a taster before committing to the job full time”
“A few years ago, it was said that there was no room for small or medium-sized companies and we all saw regional companies merging and going under. Those who have survived have flourished,” he continues. This point is echoed by Rob Hooker, director at Poole-based Greendale Construction: “We now have less competition compared to five years ago. During the recession big companies were taking on all work, which squeezed middle-sized companies. While the nationals were hoovering up lots of smaller projects during the recession, they have now pulled back and companies like us are reaping the benefits.”
Hooker agrees that it is the more personal approach that has seen his company and similar flourish over over the last year: “We’re a £15m turnover company and work within a 100-mile radius of Poole. We have the personal relationships with the supply chain local workforce and local knowledge that big companies want these days. This really counts for something.” Michael Dell, Barbour ABI’s lead economist, says: “London’s prominence as a construction growth location is lessening. The main locations for contracts awarded in 2016 (mostly due to start in 2017) by value had two out of the top ten in London compared to six out of the top ten in the previous year.” 9
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PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Chris Fadoju Partner, Pellings
If you think the clerk of works role is an anachronism, a thing of the past, think again. At Pellings in the last three years we have doubled the number of clerks we employ, for one simple reason: the clients want them. So, raise a glass to the clerk of works. In a post-Grenfell world, as we forensically examine what went wrong to cause this tragedy, there is a duty on all clients to ensure that site works are properly and safely undertaken. But, at the same time, the industry is being lambasted for its inefficiencies, for living in the dark ages, for being incredibly adversarial and not embracing modern technology. Mark Farmer implores us to “modernise or die” – yet if we modernise at the expense of safety and a job properly done we will have achieved nothing. It is the clerk of works, a role of many centuries’ standing, who provides the client with the most likely chance that this will be done. Why? Because he or she is a human being, not a robot – the “eyes and ears” of the site. The clerk is not a mediator, arbitrator or an adjudicator, but the person who gets to know the bricklayers, the plumbers, the electricians, roofers and carpenters – the person who ensures that the job gets done and is done properly. The clerk has a rapport with these guys because, more often than not, they have come from one of these trades. The role seldom has any contractual powers, yet in some respects the clerk of works is the most powerful person on the job. Regular presence on site Pellings is able to offer this service to clients at not a huge cost but in the knowledge that clerks offer huge value with their commonsense understanding of construction, the respect in which they are held by the workforce and their regular presence on site. After all, if the client or its representative only visits the site once a week, how can they examine plumbing, soldering and electrical connections before they are sealed up by the contractor? And, when the contractor claims delays because of poor weather, there is one person who knows the veracity of that.
Raise a glass to the clerk of works CLIENTS ARE BEGINNING TO REALISE THAT TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IN CONSTRUCTION NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN EXPERIENCED HUMAN PRESENCE ON SITE TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS
“No artificial intelligence, no robot, no collaborative relationship between client, architect, contractor, whoever, will replace that friendly tap on the shoulder”
Until the 1980s, the role on public-sector projects would invariably have been in-house, but when Margaret Thatcher brought in her highly controversial right-to-buy policy, local authority housing departments were effectively consigned to the scrap heap. Now public-sector clerks are almost non-existent. Moreover, until recently, the trend towards partnering contracts, such as the PPC2000 or NEC contracts, seemed to preclude the need for a clerk. With the client, architect and contractor
working together to agree the specification and build cost in tandem, there was a feeling of why the need for a “checker to check the checker”? However, the industry has struggled over the years to totally buy into the ethos of Egan and Latham and has found in some circumstances that collaborative working relationships are too convoluted and laborious. There has been something of a return to the JCT fixed-price model where the clerk of works role comes into its own. A similar argument applies with design and build contracts. For example, there is the need more than ever to check whether the contractor is putting in a damp-proof membrane correctly or is storing timber doors and frames in the site compound properly. Different types of construction In my view the role of the clerk of works in the employ of a consultant brings another very positive dimension, because he or she will be working on several projects at a time – with a good oversight of the pros and cons of various types of construction. For instance, at Pellings we have monitored several Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) projects. Because everyone thinks it is the universal panacea for the failings of the industry, we have been brought in too late to prevent some issues such as defective installation of roofing membranes or inadequate ventilation to floor voids. These result from a lack of co-ordination between the module suppliers and the main contractor – something a good clerk of works will pick up. In my opinion no artificial intelligence, no robot, no collaborative relationship between client, architect, contractor, whoever, will ever replace that friendly tap on the shoulder suggesting the plumber redo a solder that has been improperly applied. By all means use every technological trick in the book to make construction more efficient, but all onsite problems happen because of human error somewhere along the line – and it is only human input that can ensure it doesn’t happen. ● Chris Fadoju is a partner at Pellings.
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PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Robotic vest lifts work on site to new possibilities THE EKSOVEST, WHICH WILL GIVE WORKERS THE POWER TO LIFT HEAVY OBJECTS ON SITE, WILL BE LAUNCHED IN THE UK IN MARCH NEXT YEAR
A robotic vest designed to enable construction workers to lift heavy objects with reduced exposure to injury or muscle strain will launch in the UK next spring. The EksoVest (pictured above), developed by California-based firm Ekso Bionics, is a form of exoskeleton, worn like a backpack, that can provide 2.3kg-6.8kg of vertical lift per arm when lifting tools or materials. The device, which weighs 4.3kg, is being trialled by construction companies in the US and Canada, ready for production in September, with a UK rollout planned for March 2018. The ability to augment upper body strength could open up construction careers to many more people, says Tom Mastaler, Ekso Bionics’ senior vice-president of business development. “Our device removes the brute force nature of the job, making smaller workers capable of doing what only larger workers were able to in the past,” he says. “For many companies it will overcome the problem of workers’ bodies being gradually broken down over a
20-25 year period, resulting in early retirement or the need to move into other jobs to avoid injuries or surgery.” The EksoVest is secured to the hips and incorporates two mechanical shoulders that follow the movement of the upper body as the worker carries out tasks. As the elbows rise to chest level or above, a gas spring engages to provide up to 6.8kg of vertical lift per arm to provide additional support for tools or parts. A key aim is to reduce the risk of injury to workers that have to work overhead for long periods of time, who experience strain in the lower neck, upper back, shoulders and arms. Mastaler explains: “University studies on the vest suggest a 20% to 45% reduction in muscle fatigue associated with the work task, depending on the size and shape of the worker.” The system has knock-on benefits for productivity and quality, he adds: “It enables the worker to focus on accomplishing the task at hand rather have to take frequent breaks to recover strength. The quality of work is also higher because they are not becoming fatigued and can ensure the work is done correctly.” EksoVest has a list price of US$6,000 (£4,640) and will be sold with a range of “soft goods” to make it comfortable for different-sized workers for different applications. At the same time the firm will launch the EksoZeroG gravity balancing arm in Britain, a steel device erected next to the worker that enables them to easily lift and operate heavy power tools weighing up to 16kg. The company is also prototyping a fullbody Iron Man-style version of the EksoVest, expected to launch by mid-2019, that would allow builders to carry heavy loads around a site without the need for specialist vehicles. The suit would need to incorporate “a lot of electronics and control systems” to enable users, says Mastaler: “Developing the suit for construction sites will be tricky and the uneven ground must be incorporated into how the system manages the load and forces and velocities associated with moving it.” ●
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PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Hercules adds new strength to BIM CLOUD-BASED CONTENT SYSTEM ENSURES PRODUCTS ARE KEPT TO ORIGINAL SPECIFICATIONS
CIOB starts talent search RECRUITMENT UNDER WAY FOR EXPERTS FOR SPECIALIST GROUPS The CIOB is seeking active, passionate members to join its specialist interest groups (SIGs). SIGs have been established to advance specific areas of knowledge, learning and technology which are key to CIOB policy and education. The CIOB has put together six SIGs, covering: l Ethics & Respect for People l Sustainability & Environment l Contracts & Procurement l Digital Technologies & Asset Management l Conservation l Diversity Currently each SIG has a chair in place overseen by a chair of chairs, David Philp (pictured), who will also head up the Digital Technologies and Asset Management group (for more on Philp see page 61). Ethics & Respect for People is being led by Stephen Lines FCIOB; Sustainability & Environment is chaired by Dave Hampton FCIOB; Francis Ho FCIOB will steer Contracts & Procurement; Rory Cullen FCIOB is chair of
“We will shortly be communicating out to members the planned special interest group activities and how to get involved”
Conservation; and the Diversity group chair is Chris Keast FCIOB. Three of the SIGs are actively recruiting members: Sustainability & Environment; Diversity; and Contracts & Procurement. Members will be part of a forum to cooperate, share ideas and produce solutions within their particular field. This will allow the to share knowledge within membership and beyond for the benefit of industry. CIOB members with relevant expertise and specialisms are invited to apply to join these SIGS and help to develop them moving forward. The chairs recently held the first of regular Steering Croup meetings designed to manage the interface between the various SIGs. “I was delighted to chair our SIG Steering Group where we have created a governance model,” said Philp. He explained that this would ensure that the groups are: l Outcome driven with tangible deliverables; l Aligned with members’ needs; l Supporting CIOB policy board and education; l Transparent; and l Open to all members to participate. He added that activities and resources are coordinated between the various SIGs to ensure that any overlap is planned, governed and accountable, with approved terms of reference. “We will shortly be communicating out to members the planned SIG activities and how to get involved,” he said. ● For more information, contact the policy and public affairs team at email@example.com
A new cloud-based solution is being launched for the building information modelling (BIM) process, which will help ensure that original product specifications from clients and designers are used in the final building. Product substitution – often with cheaper but inferior alternatives – is a growing problem in the industry. The Hercules content management solution, developed by BIMobject, provides a unique means of building the desired attributes and geometry of a product for the BIM model – a so-called single source of truth – that cannot be changed without the object “owner’s” agreement. David Jellings, managing director of BIMobject UK, explained: “As BIM process spreads through the supply chain, manufacturers are increasingly developing ‘BIM objects’ and making them available to the industry. ‘Single source of truth’ means that there is only one repository for any object/data element – the ‘primary source’. Wherever this data is accessed from, the link is always back to this primary source.” In practice, “single source of truth” cannot be achieved using traditional filebased systems, which are difficult to control, rather like emails; it requires an easily accessible, secure environment, such as the BIMobject Cloud, which provides a unique link to the primary source and the ability to control its data, said Jellings. “The obvious benefit of this practice is that it maintains the consistency of data and prevents the creation of inconsistent duplicates,” he said. “This is particularly important for client bodies, engineers and contractors, who may not wish to specify a particular manufacturer early in the design phase, but will undoubtedly want to have control of the objects specification and ensure that it cannot be changed. Jellings said that the “requirement” objects have the same data requirements as their manufactured counterparts, though the geometry and rendering may be more basic. In September BIMobject announced a contract with the Ministry of Justice to support the ongoing development of the department’s content library using Hercules. David Jellings will present the cloud-based solution at Digital Construction Week, Main Conference, 18-19 October at Excel, London. www.digitalconstructionweek.com/home
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PRELIMS OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Gary Sullivan Chairman Wilson James
underinvest in talent, we stifle innovation, we encourage conflict and pass on risk to those least equipped to manage – and yet those of us that stay still love it. For all its faults, the construction industry still contributes significantly to our critical national infrastructure – with engineering feats such as Crossrail and the Queensferry Crossing – or “Kevin” as it known locally. The industry shapes our skylines and builds workplaces such as Canary Wharf and many fantastic buildings in the City of London. It creates centres of learning like the Alan Turing building at the University of Manchester, and it is at the heart of regeneration with projects like the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. It is hardly failing.
Construction crisis, what crisis? WHILE THERE MAY BE TALK OF AN INDUSTRY IN CRISIS, CONSTRUCTION IS AT THE HEART OF OUR NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE – EVEN IF IT IS RESISTANT TO CHANGE
Those of you who are over 50 and who have owned a car will know the delights of cannibalising cars in the breaker’s (scrap) yard at weekends to find a starter motor or carburettor for your Cortina – we all had a few mates that were mechanics to help us fix our pride and joy. Today there are no mechanics; there are fitters. And today we have fitters who use computers to diagnose and order new parts that are delivered and fitted the same day. There are no TV repair folk any more. TVs are scrapped and a new one ordered and delivered, and your phone will tell you what day and what time it will arrive. That is change. I could go on, but you get the point. Unless you are 30 or under, in which case you think ordering parts online and same day delivery is, well, normal. BIM and quill pens The truth is that other than in safety, which became a necessity, construction hasn’t moved on that much in the last 30 years. Yes we have BIM, but still contracts are written by folk
“The construction industry’s relationship with risk is immature – risk is used as a noun more than as a verb”
with quill pens, buildings are designed by the bourgeois and built by the proletariat – at least that’s what Marx would have us believe, although it does sometimes feels that way. The hierarchy in construction is legendary and makes the armed forces look like a flat management structure (maybe). We have backfilled our talent gap with very skilled folk from around the world, although some of them may feel more at home in a Marx-like environment. We
Necessity will bring change I joined this industry 30 years ago at the birth of construction management (CM) – a change that has not yet been fully adapted to. Some may say that the construction industry has been hijacked by global organisations feeding hungry shareholders, some might say that CM brought much-needed change to an ailing industry: your opinion will depend on whether you are romantic or pragmatic. So, how do we solve this “crisis”. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and when it is necessary the construction industry will change. Yes, we need visionaries to start that change now but, as I have already said, the industry’s relationship with risk is immature: risk is used as a noun more than as a verb. At all levels the industry is encouraged to abrogate its responsibilities rather than own them. When it can no longer do that, it will change and not before. Of course, the other great agent of change may play its part too; when it no longer makes money the way it does currently, that will be a true crisis. Then we may see some change. Maybe that day will be upon us soon. ● Gary Sullivan OBE is chairman of construction logistics contractor Wilson James.
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INSIGHT• ONSITE OCTOBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Construction Manager of the Year Awards 2017 THIS YEAR’S GOLD AND SILVER INDUSTRY WINNERS
PLUS: ONSITE 4 4-47 SOUTHBANK CENTRE The McAleer & Rushe project manager triumphed over eight other gold medal winners who all displayed similar levels of professionalism in their categories. Conway took the gold in the Offices category for her work on Clarendon House, a 9,300sq m turnkey office on behalf of Belfast City Council. The works included demolishing a full building, contractsigning holdups and late design changes. What marked Conway out was that this was her first project management role on the contractor’s first Level 2 BIM scheme. Her hard work and organised, methodical approach ensured that the project not only stuck to its very tight budget, but was also delivered two months early. Planning consent was first gained for a larger 11,150 sq m block with ten storeys but Conway worked to lose a storey on the new-build, taking out a further mezzanine level to hold down costs. Her removal of rooftop plant reduced the building height to below 30m, saving
Margaret Conway Overall winner CMYA of the year 2017 Gold winner Offices. McAleer & Rushe Project: Clarendon House, 9-21 Adelaide Street, Belfast: construction of 9,300 sq m nine-storey office block, completed in 80 weeks Value: £22m Contract: NEC option A Margaret Conway has made history by being crowned the first female winner of the Construction Manager of the Year Award, at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House hotel at the end of September. Although there have been a handful of female winners in various categories down through the years, she is the first overall winner, taking the top prize for her work on a £22m nine-storey office block in Belfast city centre.
BREAKING GROUND HER FIRST PROJECT MANAGEMENT ROLE ON A BELFAST BLOCK WON MARGARET CONWAY THE CMYA OFFICE CATEGORY – AND THE ACCOLADE OF BEING THE FIRST FEMALE CONSTRUCTION MANAGER OF THE YEAR. JAMES KENNY REPORTS 22
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CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | OCTOBER 2017 INSIGHT• ONSITE
the client £500,000 by eliminating the need for a sprinkler system. Instead of piling through the existing raft foundation, she instructed further site investigation to establish the ground’s bearing capacity. The survey told her enough to be able to supplement the existing raft instead, as a spread foundation for the new superstructure, exploiting the large subfloor voids that had been found. The reward was a £750,000 saving.
Conway analysed the use of mast climbers versus scaffold, and concluded the latter was undoubtedly more economic. She then captured the cost gains by coming up with a workable fully boarded design across 16 lifts rather than the maximum seven envisaged by the scaffold contractor. When the structural engineer flagged up a possible 40mm of movement at the slab edge from the live load deflection and concrete shortening, it shot down the
Clockwise from top left: Clarendon House; the street facade; high quality interior finishes
traditional means of supporting large spans of curtain walling at alternating floors. Undaunted, Conway led the solution of suspending the entire curtain wall from the top of the building, with movement accommodated at the bottom of the screen. By breaking each floorplate into two zones, Conway completed much of the fit-out in advance of the elevation-based facade installation. The central core and the meeting rooms were then fitted out 23
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CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | SEPTEMBER 2017 | WWW.CONSTRUCTIONMANAGERMAGAZINE.COM CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | OCTOBER 2017 | WWW.CONSTRUCTIONMANAGERMAGAZINE.COM
SEPTEMBER 2017 OCTOBER 2017 Formembers membersofofthe theCIOB CIOB For
3D PRINTING CMYA 2017
CELEBRATING THE INDUSTRY AT ITS BEST
11-PAGE CONSTRUCTION MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARDS SPECIAL
3D PRINTING AND THE RISE OF RAPID BUILDING
THE HOW, WHY, WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN
constructionmanagermagazine.com constructionmanagermagazine.com 01.Cover.CMSept.17.final.indd 1 01.Cover.CMOct.17.final.indd 1
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