Meet the UK’s best construction manager

A project manager from Northern Ireland beat 85 other finalists last night to the title of Construction Manager of the Year 2016 in the UK for his flair in leading the construction of a £29m, 14-storey student accommodation block in Stratford, London.

Despite a two month delay in starting due to late land purchase, Paul Marlow from County Tyrone delivered the building on time and with zero accidents, radically revising the build strategy to make up for lost time.

Judges were impressed by how Marlow dealt with logistical and technical challenges to get the Angel Lane property built for owner, Unite Students, said the Chartered Institute of Building, which has organised the annual competition for 38 years, after an awards ceremony in London.

Rather than reporting problems, Paul consistently delivered solutions– Luke Engmann, Unite Students

The win is a boost for his employer, McAleer & Rushe, in a competition often dominated by the biggest names in UK contracting.

The project faced major constraints: it was bound by a main road, a bridge and a neighbouring building site. There was also live rail track less than six metres from the completed building.

That meant Marlow had to get extensive pre-approvals from the rail operator and guarantee 24-hour access across his site for rail maintenance teams.

Power was another issue, as there was no extra capacity in the local electrical network, so a new supply had to be delivered from 1km away.

The 14-storey student accommodation block in Stratford, London, faced major constraints (McAleer & Rushe)

Leading from the pre-construction phase, Marlow radically revised the build strategy to save the vanished two months by switching from a post-tensioned to a reinforced in situ concrete frame.

He selected a new lightweight cladding system that could be installed by scaffold, mast climbers and cradles, freeing up tower cranes for other activities.

Judges were impressed by his leadership on health and safety: with more than 500,000 man hours worked and 1,836 people inducted onto the project, there was not a single reportable incident or accident on site.

"Rather than reporting problems, Paul consistently delivered solutions," said Luke Engmann, development manager for Unite Students.

"His foresight and suggestions enabled us to maintain programme and deliver the scheme in time for 2015 occupation. He also led by example on health and safety. The fact that we had zero accidents can be directly attributed to the conscientious work from Paul and his team."

Full details on all this year’s winners can be found here.

Top image: Paul Marlow, of Northern Ireland firm McAleer & Rushe, is Construction Manager of the Year 2016 (CIOB)

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. Fantastic , big thumbs up to the CM

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News