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Project of the Year (subcontract up to £1m): Winner

Winner: AR Demolition – Glensanda

Glensanda Super Quarry is cut into a mountain 600 m above sea level on a peninsula in the remote western Scottish highlands. It’s described as a quarry like no other, and for AR Demolition it presented a decommissioning project like no other.

The Warwickshire-based company carried out a £350,000 decommissioning programme at the quarry for Aggregate Industries in spring last year.

The site, which was established on the remote Glensanda estate in 1982, is located a mile inland and has no road or rail access over the mountain or across the moors. The only practical access is by boat via Loch Linnhe.

Such a remote site required a very high level of logistical co-ordination by AR Demolition. All of its equipment, including an 80-tonne excavator, had to be shipped to site using a ferry service that was limited by tides and weather.

This led to a race against time to make sure shipping slots weren’t missed and the necessary equipment was on site when required.

Glensanda’s location also posed a challenge for AR Demolition’s personnel. The site’s remoteness meant that the six-man team had to live on site, only able to visit home once every four weeks. AR said this led to a camaraderie that was a credit to every member of the crew.

“This job shows what happens when you get a good team together, keep them motivated and deliver an outstanding result, with exceptional feedback from the client”

Judges’ comment

The challenges of the site weren’t confined to its seclusion, either. The Highlands location meant the team had to contend with severe weather, working through sub-zero temperatures, high winds and even blizzard conditions that saw 2 ft of snow fall in two days.

Complicating matters further, the decommissioning had to be carried out with quarrying still under way.

The job resulted in AR removing more than 2,000 tonnes of material from Glensanda, chartering a vessel for transport to reduce its carbon footprint. The firm also managed to recycle 99.99 per cent of waste on the scheme.

The Glensanda project demonstrated the kind of complex, conscientious work that can be carried out by demolition companies, and the judges praised the firm’s handling of logistics and its service to the client. “This job shows what happens when you get a good team together, keep them motivated and deliver an outstanding result, with exceptional feedback from the client,” they said.

In spite of working in one of the most awkward places you can find in the UK, AR Demolition managed to deliver a difficult project on programme, on budget and on time.

Highly commended: Plowman Craven – Providing a 3D solution for Crossrail

Plowman Craven’s solution for finding drill points to facilitate the installation of Crossrail’s railway systems demonstrated how subcontractors are pushing the boundaries of construction technology on London’s biggest construction project.

The firm was tasked with mapping drill points throughout Crossrail’s tunnels to enable robots to drill holes for installing equipment.

The length of the tunnels and the short timeframe forced Plowman Craven to come up with a quicker, albeit more complex, way to map them. The company’s solution led to the tunnels being measured 50 per cent faster than traditional methods and within 10 mm accuracy.


  • Abbey Pynford Geo Structures – Lifting and Moving, Crossrail
  • Plan Construction Solutions – Waterproofing, London Road
  • The Deluxe Group – Cadogan Offices, 29 Duke of York Square
  • Thompsons of Prudhoe – Merrion House, Leeds, Deconstruction
  • Tiger Scaffolding – NYCC County Hall

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