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Ground Engineering Specialist of the Year

Abbey Pynford Geo Structures

Abbey Pynford Geo Structures

2014 was the first year following the integration of two distinct operating divisions, with Abbey Pynford Geo Structures recording turnover growth, increased productivity, improved health and safety and an increase in workforce engagement as a result.

Average order value increased by 10 per cent last year and turnover and net profit are ahead of expectations. The firm also increased training expenditure by 84 per cent and staff morale appears high – there were zero resignations in 2014.

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering 1

Health and safety was a key focus for Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering last year.

The firm has increased near-miss observations and hazard reporting by 8 per cent over the last two years and delivered 427 days of site supervisor training, almost doubling its target.

Four graduates and three apprentices were welcomed into the business and the company pushed the boundaries of geotechnical engineering in 2014 with the UK’s largest test pile installed in London.


Prestige projects for CGL included one of the largest brownfield development in Europe at Barking Riverside, London, and Royal Wharf in east London, where CGL engineered sustainable solutions for the development of a new riverside community.

The company’s turnover grew by 20 per cent year on year in 2014, with a 72 per cent profit rise and a 28 per cent increase in staff.

Deep Soil Mixing

Deep Soil Mixing in Nigeria

Launched in 2012, Deep Soil Mixing has grown from a standing start to a turnover of £750,000, which is forecast to hit £1.5m in 2015.

The firm employs four full-time and seven part-time staff and has undertaken projects across the UK and internationally as far afield as Nigeria.

A close relationship with Coventry University and Cambridge University’s Geotechnical Department has resulted in research and development, with Deep Soil Mixing employing a Coventry PhD graduate as its first new hire.



2014 has been another stand-out year for Groundforce, with further growth and profitability.

Turnover has again increased year on year to £42m in 2014, which was 20 per cent above the initial forecast for 2014.

Profitability has increased in the same period from £5m to £8m, with key projects including Crossrail, the Wilton International energy-from-waste site on Teesside, and projects in London, Paris and Berlin.


Keltbray Piling

Keltbray Piling achieved high levels of customer satisfaction in 2014, doubling turnover and tripling profit in the process.

The firm won its largest ever piling contract at Chelsea Barracks in 2014, worth £10m, and achieved zero reportable accidents with all projects delivered on time.

Use of extensive field test data has enabled Keltbray to learn and innovate, and it employed three graduate engineers and numerous site operatives to support its growth.

Mole Group

Mole Group

A major project for Shepherd Construction and the Ministry of Justice saw Mole Group work throughout 2014 on renewing all underground wastepipes at a secure institution, one that covered more than 250,000 sq m and contained multiple occupied buildings and associated facilities.

The business strategy has targeted strong growth over the past seven years, and the firm appointed new members to the management team last year.

In the past five years Mole Group has had no RIDDORs, accidents leading to over seven days absence, or specified near-miss incidents.

O’Brien Contractors

O Brien Contractors Nestle

O’Brien Contractors developed a five-year business plan in 2009 that is updated biannually – and it has found success so far.

In 2014 the firm invested £2m in plant and equipment, increased its average contract value from £463,000 to £874,000, secured £15m of turnover and increased profits to more than £1.4m.

The decision to launch a sports pitch construction division in 2013 has also proved a good one, and it now contributes £3m to the company’s turnover.

Van Elle

Van Elle

Van Elle has spent the last year working to take major steps forward in what is still a relatively new specialism for the firm: on-track rail.

The company has been successful so far, and its work in other sectors in which it has more experience has continued to pay off: Van Elle has grown its turnover, profit, market share, range of services offered and levels of client satisfaction for the seventh consecutive year.

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