Two Skanska employees – Iain Bushell and Gareth Jacques – beat tough competition at the Construction Manager of the Year Awards to claim gold and silver prizes in their respective categories.
The awards, which recognise the value of the people leading construction projects throughout the UK, are highly respected industry accolades judged by an independent panel.
Iain claimed the title in the ‘New build & Refurbishment between £5-7 Million’ category – a strong field which had a shortlist of 12 contenders from across the industry.
Iain led on the May Park Primary School extension project in Bristol and his approach in providing innovative and practical solutions, excellent value-for-money and highly considerate operational plans which impacted positively on the school have seen the scheme receive many awards since completion.
Using open and honest communication with the head teacher, pupils and other stakeholders, Iain was a regular at school assemblies to share project updates and provided many opportunities for people to visit the site works. When costs and timings became challenging, Iain led delivery of the external walls of the four-classroom extension building in one day, by using a straw bale timber frame. This was followed by the roof installation in just two days, followed by fit out in just four weeks over the summer holidays. Heavy plant movements were programmed outside school exam periods, and on a congested site with shared access he brought forward the bulk shift of 700 lorryloads of earth so the groundworks could proceed during a half-term holiday. Iain then led his team on to build a two-storey 1,800sqm extension block with 16 classrooms, a sports hall, kitchen and offices as well as carrying out an extensive remodelling of the existing school layout within a retained structure.
Iain said: “I’m delighted to be recognised with this industry award. In a tough field with so many great candidates I never expected to win. The team on May Park School was fantastic and I’m very proud to be able to say I was part of the project.”
Super silver for Scotland
In the ‘New build & Refurbishment between £40-80 Million’ category it was again a close one to call, with Gareth Jacques celebrating a silver prize for leading the Skanska team to deliver HMP & YOI Grampian in Peterhead, Scotland.
The construction of the 550-place prison in a remote location on an exposed rocky outcrop near the coast, with high winds and terrible weather driving in off the North Sea, was also a challenge due to the financial straitjacket on the project.
However, Gareth showed strong leadership to guide his team to overcome disastrous winter weather and some significant project variations that challenged the programme delivery. Leveraging the collaborative relationship he had built with the client to gain a well-earned extension of time, Gareth bravely changed some of the delivery methods, such as reducing the constantly wind-threatened lifting time by installing one-piece prefabricated risers that enabled internal connections to be made immediately. In motivating his team to deliver a high-quality product in gruelling circumstances, Gareth successfully balanced the demands of the client and Skanska, keeping his cool and remaining focused throughout.
Gareth said: “The team worked extremely hard on a tough project and I was privileged to lead them to deliver a facility which is rightly recognised as one of the best in the custodial sector. I might have been awarded this accolade, but it’s largely due to the extraordinary efforts of the rest of the team.”
Meanwhile, Stuart Cload, senior construction manager, was also shortlisted in the ‘New build & Refurbishment between £2-4 Million’ category for his work on St John's Primary School in Bristol.
Stuart led his team to refurbish an old police station and add 500sqm of new build for an infants’ annexe. With its problematic access and chronic parking difficulties, close proximity to neighbours with high-value property and equally high expectations, it was Stuart’s understanding of the client’s needs, his technical insight into the design, and his focus on minimal community disruption that led to the team delivering a high-quality successful project.
Stuart commented: “It’s great to be recognised within the industry for the efforts of the team on delivering a challenging project. Leading them was a privilege and I’m delighted that my colleagues Gareth and Iain have been recognised for their fantastic project successes too.”