Constructing Excellence National Awards 2015 – Winners Revealed

Young Achiever of the Year
Sponsored by SuccessTrain

Winner – Danny Branson (East of England)

This Year’s Young Achiever is extremely passionate about the industry, in just five years they have self-funded a carpentry apprenticeship, won a Regional Carpentry Competition, beat thousands of competitors to finish fifth in BBC’s national search for Talent of the Year, and all while securing a series of promotions that now see this individual as a construction manager for their employer.

This spectacular individual is a natural leader and committed to delivering maximum performance on every project from £5m to 15m. Their positive outlook and continuing desire to learn more about the construction industry has shown how committed they are to delivering quality for customers, driving forward the sustainability agenda and engaging with young people to give them an insight into our industry

Leadership People and Development
Sponsored by Heathrow Airports Ltd

Winner – Cundall (West Midlands)

The winner of this Award support and encourage staff in progressing professional qualifications, supporting further and higher education, and operating accredited in-house-training schemes with engineering institutions.  The organization’s internal seminar programme provides opportunities to share knowledge and experience.  They encourage their employees to attend technical lectures, external seminars and networking events – all of which help develop their career.

Their ‘We Believe’ partnership helps employees understand, not only their own role, but how they participate within the wider construction industry.  Identifying and developing talent, through a focus on long-term career planning and recognising excellence, through their annual “Excellence Award”.  They also reward loyalty through a flexible benefits scheme and Long Service Awards.

Health and Safety
Sponsored by APS

Winner – Cardiff Business School (Wales)

This year’s winner has shown from the start of the project to achieve outstanding levels of health and safety not only among the workforce but with the general public. Implementing the successful health and safety strategy was underpinned by the integrated and collaborative team working established on site.

The safety of the general public in and around the live project was addressed through such measures as secure site access arrangements and the introduction of safe pedestrian routes with barriers and lighting. An innovative health and safety app was developed and distributed to the supply chain to help manage travel safely, including deliveries to site.

The employees worked with a local cancer charity to provide on-site health screening sessions for the workforce and the local community. The site also received a merit award from the International Safety Council and the health and safety app has been used on other schemes.

Heritage Award

Winner – Lincoln Castle Revealed – Lincolnshire County Council, Arrol and Snell, Robert Woodhead Limited, The Morton Partnership, FAS Heritage, Summers Inman, Belvedere and Mouchel  (East Midlands)

This particular project is highly sustainable, multi-functional building including the first new build development within the area for over 150 years and the centre is a focal point of Heritage skills and development. Protecting and conserving the walls these were done through traditional techniques, with it being of critical importance to weather proof the paved top surfaces and properly re-point all parapets to prevent rainfall penetration. The project comprised of installing a complete circuit ‘Wall Walk’ experience which, for the first time in recent history, offers visitors panoramic views across the town and is accessed through the installation of a contemporary lift tower and staircase.

This project was to celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in 2015 with the focuses on their entry of three project phases: the Heritage Skills Centre, the conservation of Lincoln Castle Walls and Lincoln Castle Prison and Subterranean Magna Carta Vault

Integration and Collaborative Working Award
Sponsored by Waterloo Air Products

Winner – P21+ Repeatable Rooms – ProCure21 Plus Partnership Group, Department of Health, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, IHP, Interserve, Kier and Willmott Dixon (South East)

The winning project team which includes six main principal contractors work together in a non-competitive partnering ethos to develop evidence-based healthcare designs that improve patient outcomes whilst delivering capital construction cost reductions. The project has facilitated the formation of virtual teams comprising clinicians, patients, academics, managers, designers and others to develop these facilities.

The standard components alone have already saved over £1m, with the potential for £30m per annum savings based on the annual framework spend of £600m. The aim of these rooms is to exceed the 14.1% cost reduction target set by the Department of Health. The first P21+ project to use Repeatable Rooms has only just been completed with savings of up to 9% already verified and savings in excess of 20% predicted.

The Legacy – Sustainability Award

Sponsored by Constructing Excellence Wales

Highly Commended – Gas to Grid – GENeco (South West)

Winner – The Abberton Scheme – Northumbrian Water Group, MWH, EC Harris and Carillion Plc (East of England)  

The purpose of this winning project was to create a sustainable legacy, that will have long term benefits for people, businesses and the environment.  The extensive scope of works incorporated within the scheme required the inclusion of several technical disciplines and demanded careful co-ordination and management.

Planning applications included a substantial Environmental Statement containing a comprehensive impact assessment, reflecting the high ecological value of the landscapes involved. The key to success was keeping communities informed and part of the decision-making process. More than 100 public meetings were held and over 700 local residents attended the Drop-in sessions and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.

The scheme is an exemplar of sustainable construction and development a showcase of what can be achieved when engineers and environmentalists share a common goal; working together to enable man and nature to co-exist in a changing climate.

Sponsored by Northumbrian Water Group

Winner – UtterBerry Wireless Sensor Devices – UtterBerry Ltd and Costain Skanska JV Crossrail (South East)

The winner of this Award shows how their product will revolutionize civil engineering instrumentation and monitoring by introducing this new technology. This product is used to render the task easier to perform, with better measurement precision, and yielding dependable results in real time with their zero power electronics, a powerful microprocessor and wireless communications. The devices also measures displacement and tilt in three axes, as well as other variables such as vibration, temperature and humidity.

The project saved millions of pounds by using this new product and provided unparalled monitoring technology, particularly in a sealed environment with no human access. When benchmarked against other technologies the key outcomes were overall project installation time/complexity, impacting overall cost; equipment weight (affecting transportation, fixing); automation of analysis, calibration; cabling and health and safety.


Winner – Huddersfield Royal Infirmary – Interserve, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and AFL Architects (Yorkshire & Humberside)

The winning project shows a collaborative relationship between the partners and has provided long-term value and has significantly improved the condition of the estate and the environment for all involved. The ProCure21+ framework gives the partners a unique opportunity to improve and innovate, ensuring value for money and the highest clinical outputs for patients and staff.

The collaborative relationship has achieved many of the goals recognised within the ‘Construction 2025’ vision; namely reducing costs, project programmes and emissions whilst delivering high levels of customer and product satisfaction. The programme has generated around 20% cost saving from the initial project. The operating theatre programme is generating savings of circa 16%. The delivery timescale for the refurbishment programme was reduced from the original 26 weeks per ward to 17 weeks per ward, with a 34% saving.


BIM Project of the Year

Highly Commended – A1 (M) Leeming to Barton Improvements – Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture, Highways England, Aecom and Grontmij(Yorkshire & Humberside)

Winner – Pride Hospitals – Hopewood Park – Laing O’Rourke, Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Medical Architecture and Turner & Townsend  (North East)

A ‘one team’ collaborative culture underpinned the BIM response for this project, driven by a need for early client engagement and effective communication with the hospital’s stakeholders. The coordinated response, enabled by co-location of the design teams, appropriate management software and the use of innovative techniques to not only construct the project but walk the client and stakeholders through a 3D model of what they could expect of their finished facility.

The coordinated BIM response allowed for the early engagement of principal subcontractors, full design synchronisation and clash avoidance and detection. The models were readily available to be reviewed at design team meetings to efficiently resolve issues and ensured everyone on the team was working towards the same goals. Collaborative working was demonstrated further when the architects co-located with the service engineers in their office for two weeks as part of the ‘one team’ culture that was instilled throughout the project. This approach was extremely beneficial for both parties, providing them the ability to coordinate room-loaded information during this period of intense design work and stay on programme.

Working with the contractor, the design team provided accurate and coordinated information in BIM to allow building elements to be sent directly for offsite manufacture. These included structural concrete panels (with coordinated openings for services), steel frame, timber frame and en-suite pods. Clash detection/avoidance was also a major benefit, saving costly rectification on site by finding the problems sooner. Using the Navisworks model also allowed the design team to engage the client and stakeholders in new ways. Using the architect’s own 3D equipment library they were able to incorporate loose and fitted furniture and equipment into the model. This not only allowed the generation of 3D room-loaded drawings but were able to use the model to ‘walk’ them through the building, showing them how it would appear when constructed.

SME of the Year

Winner – Hodgson Sayers Ltd (North East)

With over 35 years in the industry this organisation has excelled over the past few years with a change of management and new headquarters in 2007. This saw a new future direction, planned growth and development strategy for the organisation.  As a responsible employer and proud of the industry in which they work, they are active members of various industry body organisations including NFB, Competent Roofer, Trustmark & British Safety Council. They also hold accreditations with CHAS, SafeContractor, Achilles B2, Constructionline and BRE Loss Prevention Certification Board. In their pursuit of improvements in performance they were one of the first construction companies in their region to recognise the importance of externally verified quality standards  in 1996 and consequently followed by many others.

Through their blog, social media channels and traditional media they have contributed to discussions on a wide range of subjects including apprenticeships, business ethics, recruitment and training, technological developments within the sector, the Living Wage Foundation, CITB Be Fair anti-bullying and the effects of Health and Safety to name but a few.

Client of the Year
Sponsored by Diligentia

Winner- Stockton Borough Council (North East)

This winning client shows vision at the forefront of their organisation and how they operate to develop relationships to deliver benefits for not only main contractors, but also their suppliers. This underpins successful delivery and fosters a culture of excellence which benefits all.

This client was named as one of the 12 pilot towns in the 2011 Portas Review for a wider Town Centre Regeneration Investment Plan. The project has brought huge benefits to the town itself and will have a huge impact on local businesses and residents.

The procurement method used has also been important in creating a culture of excellence by empowering the contractor through ECI, benefits are realised throughout the initial stages of the

project by identifying and maximising efficiencies across the board and encouraging innovation and best practice. Collaboration is placed at the heart of the process to ensure success is delivered whilst developing open and honest working relationships.


Achiever of the Year
Sponsored by Constructing Excellence in the North East

Winner – Louise Brooke-Smith (West Midlands)

The overall winner of this category goes to an individual who drives their organisation and employees forward which is seen as one of the top ten independent consultancies in the UK. The company has recently been award the Regional Planning Practice of the Year by the RTPI.

This individual was the first female RICS president and has been an advocate for diversity across the property sector. She has led various initiatives including supporting women spokespeople across the UK, an initiative which eventually will be rolled out internationally.

She has led and headed up many international professional groups & meetings in the Far East and Africa and recently chaired the RICS Governing Council meeting in Johannesburg. She has been invited by the UK Government onto many advisory panels such as The Cabinet Office, DCLG and DWP.  This individual has been named as Outstanding Women in Construction in 2015 and with her busy RICS ambassadorial duties, consultancy work in the UK together with her family obligations showing that, with the support of a good team, it can be done!

Project of the Year

Commended – Penarth Learning Community –Leadbitter – A Bouygues UK Company, Vale of Glamorgan County Council, HLM Architects, Arup and AECOM (Wales)

Highly Commended – Lincoln Castle Revealed – Lincolnshire County Council, Arrol and Snell, Robert Woodhead Limited, The Morton Partnership, FAS Heritage, Summers Inman, Belvedere and Mouchel (East Midlands)  

Winner – Dawlish Emergency Project – Mott MacDonald, Network Rail, Tony Gee & Partners, BAM Nuttall, Amalgamated Construction and Dyer + Butler (South West)

The winning project overcame a series of issues within a very short deadline to complete the project. One of the main issues were the continued storms, but this project team rose to the situation named by Prime Minister David Cameron as the ‘Orange Army’.  The work between all parties has shown a clear indication of the Latham Report benefits of collaborative working. Queries, discussions and problems were discussed in an open and honest forum with a no blame culture. The collaborative nature required buy in from all parties and it was their determination to continue in this manner which drove the project to be completed within the ambitious 9 week deadline.

Work continued 24/7 with an average of 300 people each day and 150 each night working tirelessly. Whilst rebuilding the infrastructure was the common goal, protecting people and communities throughout this endeavour had to remain top priority. With the working demands fatigue had to be controlled through managing rolling shifts and it is estimate 300,000 site hours attributed to the works.

This project is a great example for why others should embrace the collaborative working culture on all construction projects.