Meet the finalists

All Finalists2020 Winners

Stuart Peace MCIOB

William Birch & Sons

Stuart Peace’s systematic planning and relentless drive inspired the team and drove this complex and diverse project forward. He found ways to progress despite the gruelling prohibitions imposed by a magnificent thousand-year-old building. His innovation of a complex cellular raft foundation for the new-build visitor centre ensured no disturbance to historical ground at depth. His collaborative working relationships across the professional and site team delivered success and satisfaction for the client.

About the Project

Lincoln Cathedral Connected

Refurbishment and extension of Grade II-listed building to create visitor hub, completed in 92 weeks.

Client: Lincoln Cathedral

Contract: JCT 2016, with quantities

Value: £8.3m

Working alongside and inside a magnificent building that is close to a thousand years old imposed some gruelling conditions on Stuart Peace.

Take his installation of a £1m+ LED system to replace the internal lighting and the external floodlights that were switched back on at the end of the Second World War and have lit up the cathedral’s facade every night since. Installing a battery of new fixings for the 7km of cabling required to serve the 500 LED sources that make the cathedral visible from 20 miles away was ruled out by a fierce heritage consciousness. Instead, Stuart had to trace back all the existing (and unrecorded) wiring and reuse thousands of its hidden fixings. Just seven new fixing points were created, each requiring specific permission from the cathedral architect.

Nor were the main works — building a new exhibition space between the Grade II-listed Deanery and an 11th-century cloister wall – any easier. Here Stuart had to cope not just with the fixings prohibition but also find a way to form the new build’s foundation in and around archaeology (human remains and a Roman road) and up against the treasured cloister wall. Building new concrete shear walls and a steel frame, with large glulam beams, along with the connection details for weathering and rooflight works, added a little extra spice to the challenge.

His use of a complex cellular raft foundation ensured the net load of the whole building equated to that of the gross weight of the excavation, avoiding any disturbance to historical ground at depth. He held numerous design and logistics meetings to ensure the whole workforce was familiar with the concept and strategy, and instituted hold points before the works commenced.