Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Grant Prior 2 months ago
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Frank Connolly of Mace has been named Construction Manager of the Year for his successful delivery of the 13-storey Centre Building for the London School of Economics (LSE).

Connolly beat 60 other finalists across nine categories in the awards run by the Chartered Institute of Building.

He oversaw the two-year construction of the £82m home for political sciences which is the largest building commissioned in the LSE’s 125-year history.

Maintaining a ‘business as usual’ campus with students forming their own paths through the site was one of the many challenges facing Connolly.

The job also had a number of archaeology issues and was almost at tender stage when Brexit happened sending product prices soaring.

But he found solutions that not only saved time but money too.

Connolly de-risked the archaeology that historically has dogged the client’s programme in construction projects by co-ordinating the digs with demolition activity.

All archaeology was signed off before the construction phase began as scheduled.

Around 65% of the project was prefabricated, including the steel frame and precast planks, the sprinklers and reception and cafe pods. This move reduced site deliveries, labour requirements and improved overall quality.

Two homeless men sleeping adjacent to the site’s entrance were discovered to both be skilled construction workers who had not managed to find work upon entry to the UK.

Within a week the team had secured them temporary accommodation and employment on Mace construction sites.

Following the announcement at the virtual awards event, Connolly said: “What a fantastic honour to have received this prestigious award, something I had dreamt about for many years.

“Thank you CIOB for your perseverance and determination to ensure these awards took place. This was a special project delivered to exacting standards, and something I am very proud of.”

Caroline Gumble, CIOB Chief Executive said: “The Construction Manager of the Year competition seeks out the very best of leadership and talent in our sector and this year is no exception.

“Frank Connolly’s work was outstanding, with judges commending his ‘leadership, passion and commitment’.

“Construction managers are instinctively problem-solvers, who can juggle conflicting priorities and oversee a huge range of issues, including the maintenance of quality standards, the large investment from a client, the health and wellbeing of their co-workers and the interests of the local community.

“Frank’s efforts are a shining example for what the best of construction can offer. He’s both hugely talented and humble and an inspiration during this particularly challenging time.”

For the full list of winners click here.

Next generation of rising stars recognised

After 42 years of recognising the construction managers at the peak of their career, the Construction Manager of the Year Awards is now rewarding those at the beginning of their career with the Rising Star Award.

Kelly Attwood and Vasiliki Bowler are the award’s gold medallists, while Annabel Clark has won the silver medal. With just 14 years of experience combined, this year’s winners are a shining example of the high quality of professionalism exhibited throughout the sector.

Attwood, a graduate site manager at Morgan Sindall, was praised for her “exemplary attitude” and “inquisitive nature” by colleagues, as well as a true passion for construction.

In a little over two years, Kelly has already worked on a number of projects, including leading a £10m design and build three-storey modular building.

Bowler, who has worked in the built environment for six years and been with Faithful + Gould for the past four, has managed projects including for the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the London Metropolitan University (LMU) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Clients expressed appreciation for her ability to meet expectations “precisely and consistently”, and well as tackling numerous requests and alterations in light of the current worldwide pandemic.

Clark, a Senior Consultant in Faithful+Gould’s Strategic Asset Management Team, gained recognition for her work on the Barnsley Blood Centre Project.

She was clear on objectives, always available and fully engaged, which contributed to her positive impact on the project.

 

 

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