Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (fewer than 100 staff)
WINNER: Walker Sime
This category included several impressive companies that weathered the recession on limited resources, but first prize went to a small firm that is making big waves in the North-west
Walker Sime was a worthy winner last year, impressing the judges with a submission that demonstrated how this small North-west-based firm truly punched above its weight in 2013. Recording a 40% increase in fee income over the past year plus a 20% rise in operating profit, Walker Sime also boasted a highly impressive repeat business percentage of above 90%.
CITB Training Initiative of the Year
WINNER: Building Lives
The judges were truly inspired by Lakehouse founder Steve Rawlings’ ‘gutsy’ plan to address both the industry’s skills shortage and unemployment in deprived areas of London
Building Lives was set up when Steve Rawlings, the founder of contractor Lakehouse, discovered that 47% of people living in social housing were unemployed. Having grown up in east London and started his career as an apprentice roofer, Rawlings realised there was an opportunity to provide careers for people from deprived areas of the capital while also helping meet the industry’s looming skills shortage.
Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (over 100 staff)
WINNER: Turner & Townsend
Rapid growth in emerging markets and eye-catching deals such as the Battersea Power Station redevelopment ensure that Turner & Townsend takes the prize for the second year running
For the second time in a row, Turner & Townsend rose above a strong field of competitors as the judges’ unanimous choice. In a highly challenging business environment, Turner & Townsend grew its work in all regions – and, in emerging markets, by 90% – with non-UK markets providing more than half of the firm’s revenue for the first time over the last 12 months.
BIM Initiative of the Year
With the 5D BIM methods it used on Casement Park in Northern Ireland, Mott MacDonald has shown how highly complex designs can be built in less time and for less money. Now it’s sharing its findings with the wider industry
Mott MacDonald developed its “BIM Protocol – A Guide to 5D Publishing” through its use of 5D BIM methods on a number of projects, including Casement Park stadium in Northern Ireland. Through its work on Casement Park, which features a complex structure and geometry, cost updates and interrogation of revised design proposals could be produced in fractions of the time of traditional techniques.
Architectural Practice of the Year
WINNER: Stanton Williams
Stanton Williams has followed up its Stirling-winning Sainsbury Laboratory with a key role in the transformation of King’s Cross and a raft of prestigious commissions – making it a worthy winner of this hotly contested category
Stanton Williams says it is focused on design excellence and on engaging and communicating with its staff rather than following a “profit-driven culture”. If that’s the case, then this architect’s financial performance is doubly impressive. In 2013, Stanton Williams’s turnover grew by 70% while operating profit leapt 108%. It also improved its level of repeat business and saw the size of its studio expand from 45 to 75 people.
Contractor of the Year (up to £300m)
WINNER: O’Brien Contractors
The judges hailed the ‘great recovery story’ of a West Midlands firm that fought its way through the recession by transforming itself into a main contractor – and hasn’t looked back
Back in 2009 O’Brien was close to going under. The family firm, based near Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, was established back in 1958 but, after more than 50 years trading as a specialist contractor providing drainage and groundworks, it was in real trouble. Turnover had fallen, contracts were drying up and those it did secure were on ever reducing margins. As the firm itself says “something drastic had to change”. Bosses decided to reinvent the business, turning O’Brien from a specialist to a principal contractor in order to offer everything needed for a civil engineering project.
Major Contractor of the Year (over £300m)
Mace’s ‘classy’ approach impressed the judges – as well as the clients on some of the year’s most prestigious projects, including Vauxhall Sky Gardens, South Bank Tower and Battersea Power Station
Mace says it went from strength to strength in 2013 and put forward such a compelling case that the judges wholeheartedly agreed and named it last year’s winner. As it continues its international growth, Mace now boasts a turnover in excess of £900m following a 5% rise over the year. Group pre-tax profit rose by a very healthy 11% but the firm also stood out for its “classy” approach according to the judges.
Engineering Consultant of the Year
WINNER: Max Fordham
A stellar list of projects including the Tate Britain refurbishment and Maggie’s centres in Leeds and Cardiff helped to clinch top spot for Max Fordham
Max Fordham works on some of the most prestigious projects in the world and enjoyed a great year in 2013. Total income during the year rose by 13% while operating profit increased by 6%. The firm itself says: “We’ve experienced remarkable growth in recent years, and 2013 has been without precedent at Max Fordham.” Judges singled out the calibre of the consultant’s projects including completing the refurbishment of Tate Britain.
Housebuilder of the Year
WINNER: Redrow Homes
Redrow Homes’ ‘fantastic turnaround’ and commitment to product development stood out for the judges, despite strong competition from across the rejuvenated housebuilding sector
In the financial year ended June 2013, Redrow’s legal completions rose 15% to 2,827, pre-tax profit rocketed 63% to £70m and the board reinstated a final dividend of 1p per share. The housebuilder said it had been quick to respond to government initiatives such as Help to Buy and, more recently, its equivalent in Wales. Judges were impressed by what they described as a “fantastic turnaround”, highlighting particularly strong product development and an excellent commitment to training and development and the wider supply chain.
Housing Project of the Year
PRP Architects’ logical planning and sophisticated detailing at a care home in Leicester impressed the Department of Health’s HAPPI panel and our judges alike
In a highly competitive category last year PRP Architects’ Pilgrim Gardens in Leicester emerged triumphant. A scheme for older people that combines contemporary assisted living with a modernised dementia care home on one site, the project builds on an existing community and was designed to provide future-proof facilities and space for client Pilgrim Friends’ Society.
Manufacturer of the Year
WINNER: Knauf Insulation
Knauf Insulation’s decision to take matters into its own hands and lobby government directly to get the Green Deal working more effectively made it the clear winner in this category
It is rare to see a major construction manufacturer lobbying government directly, but that is exactly what Knauf did over the Green Deal. Correctly identifying that the national retrofitting scheme was unlikely to succeed without better uptake incentives, the firm decided to put the pressure on with an effective and intense lobbying campaign through trade bodies, social media and consumer communications.
Small Project of the Year (up to £5m)
The first UK project by Norwegian architect Snøhetta was the stand-out entrant in this category, thanks to on-site innovations from contractor Robertson Construction and its team
The Maggie’s care philosophy is centred on providing warm, accessible environments that maintain an almost domestic intimacy, and Norwegian architect Snøhetta responded to this brief by conceiving a curved concrete shell with timber internal walls. But it is contractor Robertson Construction and its supply chain that have turned this concept into reality by overcoming a number of technical challenges.
Specialist Contractor of the Year
Family-owned fit-out firm Lucas takes the plaudits for its refreshing approach to innovation, while the judges were also highly impressed by the financial success story at Elliot Thomas Logistics
Family-owned fit-out and finishing specialist Lucas was described by a leading major contractor as a “premier league” subbie and its submission justified such a description. This innovative firm believes in new technology and R&D and has expanded its laboratory services, opened new off-site manufacturing facilities and partnered with an architect specialising in BIM.
Sustainable Project of the Year
WINNER: Brent Civic Centre – Skanska
There were several trailblazing projects in this category, but Skanska and Hopkins Architects’ Brent Civic Centre stands out for redefining the humble council office as a beacon of low-energy design
Located on a prominent site next to Wembley stadium, the new BREEAM “outstanding” Brent Civic Centre aims to streamline all aspects of Brent council’s activities while being an exemplar in environmental performance. Crowning this project the winner, the judges called it a clear example of what other local authorities should be doing, with one adding that the finished building was a “delight to visit”.
Building Magazine Project of the Year
WINNER: Mary Rose Museum – Bouygues UK
Stations, schools, offices and even a council leisure centre battled it out for the top spot, but none could match Wilkinson Eyre and Bouygues UK’s beautiful resting place for Henry VIII’s most famous warship
Judges said the team behind this project were faced with a very difficult task but responded with a highly technical and “beautiful” solution. The museum is an inspired combination of sci-fi technology and maritime conservation architecture. When Henry VIII’s warship was raised from the Solent in 1982, she had been saturated by over 120 tonnes of seawater and the ship’s fragile carcass required a drying process spanning decades.
International Project of the Year
Atelier Ten’s low-energy engineering expertise has been used to create a highly sustainable headquarters for the Turkish Contractors Association – establishing an impressive precedent for the country’s builders to follow
This development is an exemplar building in Ankara to showcase world-class environmental design and technologies not currently employed in Turkey. The building, home to the Turkish Contractors Association, incorporates a thermal labyrinth and an active thermal slab cooling system – both firsts in terms of commercial application in the region – and exploits the diurnal temperature range of the local climate to reduce energy demand for heating and cooling.
Chief Executive of the Year
Turner & Townsend’s Vincent Clancy has steered the firm through years of growth in a tough market as well as leading the firm’s strategic overseas acquisitions — and all while earning the respect of his peers and colleagues along the way
Vincent Clancy was praised by this year’s judges as “an intelligent and energetic leader”, who has led his business to an impressive four successive years of growth in a tough market. His company, Turner & Townsend, reported profit growth of 28% in 2013, with revenue also steadily growing. The company’s strength was felt both in the UK, where it picked up market share in key areas including infrastructure and commercial work, and further afield: the consultant opened more overseas offices last year than at any point in its history.
Construction Client of the Year
WINNER: Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council’s forward-thinking approach has helped it realise a series of recent civic projects, including the central library refurbishment and major transport and infrastructure schemes
There is a lot of talk about BIM being the new frontier of construction, and Manchester City Council is at the forefront of that revolution. The client’s forward-thinking approach to projects is epitomised by its recently completed central library refurbishment, its stand out project of the past year. Manchester council committed to using BIM on the scheme principally because of the benefits it believes it can offer in managing the building more effectively after completion.
Building Magazine Personality of the Year
WINNER: Steve Morgan – Redrow
From homes to hotels to football clubs, Redrow founder and chairman Steve Morgan has seemingly done it all, but the best may be yet to come as his firm is showing some of the fastest growth in the sector
Born in 1952, Steve Morgan started out in the construction industry in 1974, borrowing £5,000 from his dad whilst a trainee to buy his employers’ firm, then called Wellington Civil Engineering. He developed this business into housebuilder Redrow, which he eventually listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. He made £300m in 2000 by selling his stake in the firm, concentrating on his other interests, including hotel group De Vere, land trading firm Harrow Estates, and football.
Building Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award
WINNER: Patsy Byrne – Byrne Group