Nottingham Biosciences’ construction manager nominated for national award

Paul Smith, Willmott Dixon

The construction manager responsible for delivering Nottingham’s £27m Biosciences building has been nominated for a national award.

Paul Smith from national contractor Willmott Dixon has been shortlisted for the Public Infrastructure and Healthcare category at the Construction Manager of the Year Awards. This nomination showcases Paul’s commitment to community engagement, providing work opportunities and outstanding health and safety compliance.

The 50,000 square foot development features modern office space and high tech laboratories spanning a total of five storeys. Affixed to the exterior is the art installation ‘Corona’ designed by internationally-renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress. The sculpture hosts an ever-changing fibre optic light system that are linked to two NASA satellites.

Speaking of the nomination, Paul said: “I’m delighted to have been nominated for my work on this project. Not only was it important for the local economy, it brought real benefit for the local community. The positive engagement with local schools, universities and potential employees was something we were really keen to support.”

Paul’s commitment to the build ensured that the project was completed on time and on budget. To encourage high health and safety compliance Paul instigated a monthly safety reward scheme for the site team to engage with. This proved to be a huge success, and as a result Paul won three Willmott Dixon National Safety awards, two for outstanding working environment and one for on-site health and safety.

During the project build, 86% of labour and 89% of project spend came from within a 20 mile radius of the site, supporting local businesses and offering work experience and employment opportunities for local residents.

Paul said “We were really keen to add local labour where we could and to encourage community engagement with the project, whether that is work experience opportunities or accommodating local school and university visits.

“The site tours were an exercise that I really enjoyed doing. Throughout the course of the build we hosted around 400 children from across the region as well as those interested in gaining work experience on a high-profile build, taking them on site tours and encouraging our team to engage with them and show the wide range of opportunities there are across the sector.

“Hopefully we have inspired a few of those children to take up a career in construction whether this is on site, as a surveyor or in project management. I truly feel there is a lasting legacy with this project and I am privileged to have been a part of it.”

The award ceremony will be held at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 27 September 2017.