NHBC Awards, Wales

Geraint Thomas scales new heights

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The Taylor Wimpey South Wales Senior Site Manager Geraint Thomas has won the NHBC award for the Viridian development in Port Tennant, Swansea.

Despite having an enviable fifteen years experience of achieving Pride In The Job awards – this year’s accolade is number eight in his collection, alongside two Seals of Excellence – Geraint described this particular project as “challenging to say the least.” He told Premier Construction that he felt “euphoric” at winning the award.

Viridian consisted of three simultaneously developed phases, each of which had different build regulation specifications. The Site Manager inherited the project part way through the building process, having been put on the project in September 2010. This required careful management, as there were sometimes over eighty people at work at one time, and each separate phase was built by different subcontractors.

Phase One comprised fifty-four units – twenty of which had not been completed when Geraint took over – which had to be built to pre-2008 regulations. Phase Two was a new development of thirty-five private housing units, while Phase Three consisted of thirty-two units of social housing. The latter were built in line with Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Wider environmental concerns complicated the build process, as Viridian is located at the foot of a mountain, adjacent to a nature reserve. There were concerns about the water run-off from the mountain throughout the build. Subsequently, measures had to be put in place to avoid flood-risks and protect the reserve.

After all of these difficulties, Geraint Thomas said that winning the award “felt like winning the NHBC regionals,” and that this site was “the most challenging by far”.

However, he pointed out that the efforts of his site team were absolutely fundamental to the success of the project, saying: “As a site manager, you’re only as good as the people working for you.” He also hoped that quality build sites such as Viridian would help to eradicate the popular myth that houses today ‘aren’t built like they used to be’. “Houses we build today are far better-built than they ever have been,” he told Premier Construction.

He particularly praised Assistant Site Manager Dean Ford, who has worked with Geraint on his previous four award-winning sites. When Geraint moves on to his next project, Dean will be remain behind to complete Phase Four of Viridian – a block of flats and thirty more housing units – as Site Manager. Geraint is pleased to be leaving the site in such capable hands as he heads to his next development, a sixty-seven unit site in Barry where he aims to keep on improving on the overall build-quality of his work.

As Phase Four progresses, the new owners of the houses from Phases One to Three will begin moving into their homes, all of which were forward-sold. This is another impressive testament to the quality of workmanship which spurred the team on.

The site name ‘Viridian’ describes a shade of green, chosen for the association with new life and beginnings. For Geraint Thomas, work on the site has proven that his talent is as fresh and up-to-date as ever. Hopefully, it will also prove to be the site of a blossoming Site Management career for Dean Ford.

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