VolkerFitzpatrick Operations Manager shortlisted in the CIOB Awards 2023

We are delighted to announce that Rakesh Chavda, Operations Manager at our Apex project in Kings Cross has been shortlisted as a finalist at the CIOB Awards 2023 in the Sustainability category. The CIOB Sustainability Award, introduced to the CIOB Awards in 2022, celebrates those who have made their mark on sustainability within the built environment. 

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With nearly two decades of experience as a project manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, Rakesh has dedicated his career to championing sustainability in the construction industry and leaves a positive impact on the environment and communities he works in.

The Apex project exemplifies his understanding of energy management and environmental impact and as such has resulted in a significant carbon saving of 84% on this project. This was by setting a pioneering precedent, using site subsoil as a construction material. By collaborating with Bennetts Associates Sustainability Team and HG Matthews, the team transformed excavated material into low-carbon earth blocks which have been used to clad the basement perimeter walls internally. 

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What makes this carbon saving even more impressive is that The Apex was the first building of its scale to make use of site subsoil as a construction material, and the aim is to set a precedent on using earth blocks for the construction industry. In total almost 14,000 earth blocks were laid, covering over 90m³.    

Due to the site’s close proximity to the water, Rakesh has worked closely in collaboration with The Canal and River Trust throughout the project. To support the London Borough of Camden, over 30 apprenticeships and 36 work placements have been offered, providing valuable training and employment opportunities for local residents. Additionally, at least 10 percent of the contract value was reinvested within the borough through local supply chains and diverse procurement practices.

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In April 2023, The Apex project received an outstanding score of 48 points out of a possible 50 by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). This is well above national average. For Rakesh and the site team to achieve this high score, they demonstrated a wide range of social value, as well as undertook environmental training and showing innovation on site.  The Apex project also received a distinction in the International Safety Awards from the British Safety Council this year. A true demonstration that people are a priority on the site.

Caroline Gumble, CEO at CIOB, said: “We have received lots of high-quality entries for this year’s CIOB Awards, which showcase the very best leadership and talent in the built environment sector. Our congratulations go to all the finalists, and we hope they will join us at the awards ceremony, which is always such an inspirational event. It will be exciting to discover who the winners are.”

The awards take place on Tuesday 9th April 2024 at the Hilton London Metropole.