Stuart Cowan MCIOB
Five years after helping build the original distribution centre on this site, Stuart Cowan was back in charge of the rebuild project. He challenged the initial time-hungry mezzanine design, with its pad foundation for every single column. Stuart’s thicker floor slab drastically reduced the number of foundation openings in the floor slab and speeded up the mezzanine erection. He constantly resequenced to recover time repeatedly lost to external events, and had the facility operational in record time.
About the Project
Project Hawk, Ocado, Andover
Rebuild of distribution centre, completed in 60 weeks.
Contract: JCT, design and build
Five years after helping build the original robot-operated distribution centre on this site, Stuart Cowan was back in charge of the rebuild of a facility that had been destroyed in a massive fire. Just as calm, thorough and accurate this time round, he came equipped with a whole new suite of integrated M&E skills.
Once the design was fully developed and cost certainty reached, Stuart made the value-engineering moves that brought the project back down to budget. His redesign of the finished levels in the front service yard eliminated extensive remodelling and kept existing fill material on site.
His treatment of the floor-slab design and mezzanine column loads was inspired. The initial mezzanine design gave every single column a pad foundation 450mm below finished floor level. It was an approach that required additional shuttering and the omission of hundreds of pockets from the floor-slab pour. Stuart demonstrated that thickening the floor slab in some areas, and moving the top of foundation levels up to the slab soffit would improve the load transfer, allowing a drastic reduction in the number of foundation openings in the slab for the mezzanine columns. It reduced the slab pour by two weeks and speeded up the mezzanine erection.
Stuart worked miracles to get the facility operational in record time. He constantly resequenced to recover time repeatedly lost to external planning and remediation and ecological strategy delays. Just six months into the build, he accelerated the mezzanine construction to allow earlier integration with his own works of the substantial client fit-out team installing hundreds of new robot pickers.
Having impressed the client the first time round, Stuart made himself its go-to construction expert after this rebuild scheme. His achievement has been pivotal in securing further construction contracts from the client.