Meet the Finalists

2022 | Residential & Accommodation

Stephen Sidebotham MCIOB
Willmott Dixon

Artifex, Blackfriars, Salford: construction of 11-storey block with 108 apartments, completed in 131 weeks. 

Client: Salix Homes 

Contract: JCT, design and build 

Value: £22m 

About the Project

Artifex, Blackfriars, Salford

Joining this scheme five months after it had started, with the original project lead departed and the programme months in arrears, Steve Sidebotham began his first high-rise residential build. 

With speed of the essence, Steve did not wait for the foundations to be completed before moving on to the structural frame. As soon as the foundations were in for half the site, he started erecting the frame while the substructure works proceeded on the rest of the site.  

He flipped the sequencing to start the apartment build from the bottom up – in fact, from the first floor up, as the ground floor on this tight site was used for storage. Reversing the planned top-down build allowed internal works to start earlier.  

These initiatives won back five weeks. Combined with a completion cycle of five apartments a week in the final months, he pulled back all the lost time to hit the handover date. 

Steve also made astute value-engineering savings for the client. He changed the central heating system from gas to all-electric. And his standardisation of bathroom shapes and sizes allowed the use of off-the-shelf elements, requiring fewer installation trades. 

He delivered fine quality by completing two standard-setting apartments early and enforcing achievement of the finishes agreed. The client was delighted with the outcome – and with Steve’s flexibility and cooperation throughout. 

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