Meet the Finalists

2022 | Residential & Accommodation

Robert Ianson MCIOB
Eric Wright Construction

Atelier, Salford: construction of 178 apartments in four seven-storey blocks, completed in 108 weeks. 

Client: English Cities Fund 

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build 

Value: £34m 

About the Project

Atelier, Salford

Success on this complex city centre project pivoted Rob Ianson’s impressive work ethic, technical understanding and attention to detail. 

Getting the scheme up and away in the first place was largely his achievement. A 30m-deep tunnel running across the site had the piled foundation design mired in preconstruction uncertainty. Rob’s management of the technical arrangements with the tunnel’s third-party owner secured both project feasibility and the start date. 

His success came from a relentless focus on the key milestones. As a result, the frame, power on, roof and benchmark apartment were all delivered on schedule, as were the apartments themselves. 

The value-engineering opportunities he identified paid for the bulk of the client changes requested. What’s more, the omission of stair finishes in communal areas, rooftop plant screens and conduits in apartments had no knock-on programme effects.  

Rob’s technical solutions included leaving the construction of the inner courtyard podium slabs until the blocks’ concrete frames were three storeys up. It maximised space on the tight island site and allowed the critical-path main blocks to progress without hindrance. Equally it meant most of the podium had been built by the time the frames were topping out, minimising the overall duration of the concrete programme. 

Repeat work is perhaps the supreme recognition a client can give a construction manager. Here Rob’s success is absolute. The client has awarded another apartment block worth £20m, and is negotiating another £35m residential project.  

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