Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Project of the Year (subcontract over £2m): Winner

Winner: VolkerLaser – Woodhouse Tunnel A58(M), refurbishment and strengthening

VolkerLaser’s largest project to date was a masterpiece in early contractor involvement and successful planning. The client and main contractor are delighted with the work and the general public barely even noticed it taking place.

But if anything at all had gone wrong, everyone would have known about it.

The Woodhouse Tunnel A58(M) in Leeds is used by 75,000 cars a day. Just a few minutes’ delay in the morning to the work to refurbish and strengthen the tunnel would have caused instant congestion in the city centre and back up to the motorway.

VolkerLaser’s early contractor involvement meant the team could work with the principal contractor Carillion and the client Leeds City Council for a year before work began. By the time the project started, the scope was meticulously planned and fully resourced. Carillion reported that there were no surprises at any stage.

With traffic management in place from 7pm to 6am, work was delivered within an intensive seven-hour window across 400 night shifts within a two-year period.

VolkerLaser delivered the vast majority of the package, cutting down the inefficiencies of multiple interfaces between teams and placing over 5,000 sq m of formwork, pumping nearly 2,000 cu m of concrete and fixing more than 500 tonnes of reinforced steel.

“VolkerLaser managed to work without disturbing a live hospital above the site, demonstrated excellent collaborative working and had an exemplary approach to occupational health”

Judges’ comment

All this took place beneath Leeds General Infirmary and adjacent to the university, requiring additional consideration and planning to confine all disturbing drilling to a four-week period, during which patients were temporarily moved from wards.

As a result of the project’s ambition, the success of its planning and the value engineering introduced via ECI, VolkerLaser was able to shave £3.5m off what was originally planned as a £14m job, as well as several months off the programme timeframe.

The team also found time to fundraise for the hospital and other local charities and put in place a comprehensive health and safety regime. This prioritised workforce management and safety through two additional daily briefings, a focus on individual gang risk and activities, and special attention on night shift risks.

It also included an occupational health programme with regular screening for night shift workers. Two were sent home for previously undetected high blood pressure. VolkerLaser won Rospa Gold for occupational health and safety in 2014 and 2015.

The judges praised the company’s holistic approach, which delivered not only an excellent engineering project, but one which demonstrated true collaborative working, value engineering, health and safety and impressive community and stakeholder working.

Finalists

  • Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering – 100 Bishopsgate
  • Cantillon – 69-89 Oxford Street
  • Freyssinet – Hammersmith Flyover, post-tensioning replacement
  • Keltbray Group – One Angel Court
  • MAC Roofing & Contracting – MoD Lyneham
  • Severfield UK – Etihad Stadium expansion
  • Structural Systems UK – Hammersmith Flyover, bearing replacement
  • TA Colbourne – Land Rover BAR Team HQ

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.