SILVER MEDALLIST IN 2021 Accommodation up to 4 Storeys

Mick Hill MCIOB
Willmott Dixon
All Finalists2021 Winners

Willmott Dixon

The Beeches and the Nevilles, Leeds

Mick Hill’s leadership of a series of challenging in-fill sites has converted the client to that must-have for project success – the construction manager with the expertise, character and insight to deliver. Consistently professional, calm and respectful, he resolved problems fast. He smoothly managed the substantial technical difficulties on two tight sites, planning meticulously while showing the flexibility to overcome the unscheduled. He exceeded the quality expectations and the client wants him to lead its next schemes.

About the Project

Construction of 59 homes across two sites, completed in 74 weeks.

Client: Leeds City Council

Contract: NEC

Value: £9.5m

When a new client has 1,500 homes in its build pipeline, the construction manager who values future business as much as the current contract badly wants to get it not so much right as perfect. On this ‘prover’ project of 59 houses, Mick Mills had the added challenge of winning over a client that had grown increasingly disillusioned about the ability of construction to deliver.

By taking the client on a tour of a similar project he was completing in Doncaster, and offering the opportunity of a frank discussion with Doncaster Council about his approach to quality and programming, he began building back client confidence. It was a confidence that never subsequently foundered.

Mick remained true to his promises despite the logistics and constraints of lockdown. With the pandemic repeatedly squeezing deliveries, he met handover dates by switching materials and trades between the project’s two sites. His forward planning – he persuaded the subcontractors to stockpile materials on the site – and excellent relationship with an established supply chain were of real benefit.

He smoothly managed the substantial technical difficulties on two very tight developments made up of infill sites. The installation of concrete attenuation tanks with 80-tonne cranes was an operation that cut off site access at a time when the timber frames and system scaffold had to go in. He juggled the competing demands through meticulous planning.

Consistently professional, calm and respectful, Mick listened to everyone – clients, professionals, subcontractors and neighbours – and resolved problems quickly. He offered no property up for inspection until he had personally checked it. Despite Covid, not a single completion date was missed, and both sites were handed over defect-free to a sky-high customer satisfaction rating.

By exceeding quality expectations as well as hitting all the client’s other requirements, he has delivered business gold – the client’s confidence. The client has asked for Mick and his team to work on its future schemes.