Winner: M+W Group – IMEC 450 Fab3, Belgium
M+W’s entry for CN’s inaugural International Project of the Year award was a stand-out winner, in a category which showcases some amazing projects from around the world.
Carrying out a project valued at more than £100m is challenging enough in any environment, but constructing a building that had to adhere to the highest performance standards – and with specification requirements which could change on a monthly basis – was an amazing achievement from M+W.
The judges said it was a truly breathtaking project, with M+W’s attention to detail in designing and delivering it “first class”.
Built to house testing and research facilities for the world’s latest nanotechnologies, IMEC 450 Fab3 is an example of a construction project that could change people’s lives across the globe.
The project had to be delivered with very little margin for error at every stage of delivery, as any mistakes could have risked spoiling millions of pounds-worth of equipment for the client.
The fact that only one other facility like this had been built in the world before made the scheme’s delivery on time and to budget even more impressive.
The judges said they had very rarely seen a project delivered with so much flexibility and adaptability from the contractor.
“What an impressive project. Very rarely do you see a contractor quite so adaptable, and the client was clearly pleased with the outcome”
Not only did M+W have to develop five different design scenarios at the start of the build, but throughout the project there were changes in specification which had to be factored into the programme of works.
This adaptability also extended to the contractor’s supply chain, with EU public procurement rules meaning that M+W had to bring in suppliers with whom it had not worked before.
M+W drew up clear goals for its subcontractors, ensuring continuous training for the supply chain and using rewards for good performance.
The choice of M+W as a contractor has clearly already had benefits for the client as well. Not only has value engineering from the firm at the design stage cut nearly 45m euros from the build cost, but the completion of construction on time has meant research at the facility has already unlocked well over 100m euros in investment.
Not only that, but the finished building is visually impressive to boot. It is often easy for a project which focuses so much on functionality to just pay lip services to the aesthetic. But with a highly respected architect on board, the building’s striking design is also worthy of recognition.
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