SILVER MEDALLIST IN 2021 Refurbishment & Restoration Under £10 M

Sam O’Neill
Oakmont Construction
All Finalists2021 Winners

Oakmont Construction

Union, Stockley Park, Uxbridge

On this major strip-out and structural refurbishment, Sam O’Neill worked tirelessly to find the best solutions for the client. Even when the solution involved work of a more complicated nature, longer in duration or out of sequence, he didn’t shirk the consequences but simply found a way to make it work. Diligent and proactive, attentive to detail and brimful of technical knowledge, he instilled confidence and peace of mind and delivered a very successful project for the client.

About the Project

Structural refurbishment and fit-out of 72,000sqft office building, completed in 54 weeks.

Client: Tritax

Contract: JCT 2016, design and build, with amendments

Value: £9.4m

Moving back to the UK after four years in the UAE, Sam O’Neill’s technical knowledge, refurbishment experience and demonstration that he would go the extra mile won the contract for Oakmont.

He aced the access methodology by capitalising on an opportunity he spotted to use mobile elevating work platforms rather than a forest of scaffolding around the building. It eliminated the risk that tying the scaffold to the frame through the retained facade and windows would damage the legacy fabric.

Likewise, he quickly realised that the atrium works were on the critical path, and removed the internal scaffold early. Once again his use of MEWPs paid off, this time by allowing the lower-level and high-level works to progress simultaneously. It was an approach that proved particularly advantageous when future issues arose with the atrium’s feature staircase.

To ensure he had some control over the risk potential of the electric supply upgrade, he took over the management of its scoping, cost and installation. He adopted the same focus on solutions regardless of problem responsibility to the fibre installation.

Problems encountered were soon problems solved. When Sam discovered that the internal glazing achieved the thermal elements of the specification but not the aesthetic, he sourced an alternative that not only did both but for a much lower cost too.

And he made quality control his job rather than the client team’s. When it became apparent that the finish of the base plaster coat on the atrium’s full-height feature wall was not right for the highly polished plaster top coat, he took the difficult decision to strip it all off and recoat the wall over the Christmas period. It set the works back by a fortnight and forced a reprogramming, but it also made clear that Sam guaranteed perfection on the key details. The client thoroughly approved.