Winner: Carney Construction – Lyme Regis sea wall and promenade
This highly competitive award was fought over by a range of very different schemes, each with its own particular set of challenges.
Judges were impressed by several entrants, but it was Carney Construction’s work on the Lyme Regis sea wall coastal defence that carried off the top prize.
The job was Carney’s first foray into the technically challenging and often highly specialised area of coastal defence work.
To add to what was already a tough job, the work was carried out over a 14-month period that included one of the toughest winters on the south coast on record.
Landslides buried much of the site around Christmas 2013, causing unexpected delays.
Despite this - and the contractor electing to halt work during air shows and other major local events - the job was completed on time and within budget.
“A beautiful feat of engineering in a very difficult environment”
Judges were particularly impressed with project manager Mark Taylor, who was leading a team for the very first time on the project.
One said: “It was a completely new area of business for Carney and they brought in someone completely new. It could have been the worst job in the world but thanks to him, it wasn’t.”
Another judge said: “In terms of what they produced, this was innovative work in an innovative field.”
Working with principal contractor Balfour Beatty and client West Dorset District Council, Carney developed a design involving purpose-built shutters of varying sizes to create a 450 m-long structure that will protect the town for the next 50 years.
The steel shutters were installed alongside bespoke timber carpentry to allow the wall to closely follow the undulating coast line.
Judges described the finished project as “a beautiful feat of engineering in a very difficult environment,” recognising that the Carney team had been “battered by the weather and yet they still delivered”.
Judges were also impressed with Carney’s engagement with the local community in Lyme Regis.
Work was stopped and the wall opened through the town’s busy summer tourist season, while the project also employed 24 local labourers out of a total workforce of 32.
Both client and principal contractor were happy with the final product, and the work was completed without a single reportable accident.
Highly Commended: AR Demolition – Belgrave flyover
AR Demolition’s removal of the Belgrave flyover in Leicester ran this category’s eventual winner very close.
Judges described the nine-week demolition job as being executed “with military precision”.
One commented: “If all our demolitions went as well as this, we would be pretty happy.”
They were also impressed with AR’s level of engagement with the local community on a job that had the potential to cause major disruption to the surrounding area.
This included running a voting process among residents to allow them to decide between two different demolition schedules.
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