CMYA judges embark on summer site visit marathon
The second phase of the 2015 Construction Manager of the Year Awards is officially under way as CMYA judges prepare to visit 75 projects across the length and breadth of the UK.
The CMYA awards, now in their 37th year, are unique in the built environment sector for focusing on the ingenuity and leadership of construction managers, rather than sites or project teams. Entries range from small residential schemes to hospitals, schools, iconic restoration projects and giant commercial programmes valued at more than £100 million.
A 22-strong team of judges will be forensically assessing the ten categories. All judges have in-depth construction experience and many are former medallists from previous years of the competition.
The judges will not only be examining the finish and quality of the completed building, but also how the project manager dealt with the unique challenges of his or her location. Each project is marked against a broad range of criteria, which is later explored in an in-depth interview in front of a panel of three industry experts.
Gareth Davies FCIOB, chair of this year’s £12 to £20 million projects category, has been judging CMYA for eight years and says that the site visit phase often throws up surprising frontrunners.“We’ve seen the projects on paper, but it’s impossible to appreciate the complexity of each site until you walk round and get a feel for it. Every year I meet people who have performed minor miracles on seemingly routine jobs. They can easily become top contenders,” he adds.
Jane Wade MCIOB, chair of the residential projects up to 6 storeys category, says that the judges’ task is to focus on the achievements of the individual, and not be swayed by the glamour of a finished structure. “The building could be architecturally stunning and in a fantastic location, but that’s not what we’re scoring,” she says. “This competition is unique because it assesses what the project managers delivered and how they dealt with their immediate environment, as well as the quality of the final product.”
Peter Roberts, FCIOB, who won a CMYA silver medal for The Lowry, in Salford in 2001, is chairing the new build and refurbishment projects over £60 million category. Remembering the exhilaration and fulfilment of being a former CMYA contender, he is looking for signs of inspiration and leadership in every project manager that he interviews this year. “CMYA is uniquely important, because it celebrates project managers: the people that have nurtured an idea from the cradle to the grave. They’ve taken the vision of the client, the dream of the architect, and the calculations of the engineer and transformed them into a structure that will leave a lasting legacy. We don’t celebrate this enough as an industry.”
Candidates that pass this summer’s site assessment and interview will become CMYA finalists. In recognition for the high standards that they have demonstrated in reaching this stage, any finalists that are not full CIOB members will be invited to become chartered without having to undergo the usual peer review.
Saleem Akram CIOB director said: “The annual site visit phase is an exciting time for CMYA, and the chance for us to meet some of the industry’s fastest rising stars. Our judges often return from sites enthused, not only by the quality of the building and the new techniques that they’ve witnessed, but also by the ability of project managers to problem-solve and think laterally.
“CMYA is an invigorating and exhilarating process for individuals, and testament to rising standards within our sector. Congratulations to all 75 project managers on getting this far. We all wish you luck for the later stages of the competition.”
More information about CMYA is available at www.cmya.co.uk
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