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Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25m): Winner

M J Rooney Construction

In recognition of an exceptional approach to business and projects – particularly for a company of its size – M J Rooney is deservedly named Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25m).

M J Rooney is an established groundworks and underpinning business that was founded 30 years ago by Michael Rooney and has been run by his three sons since 2006.

The company uses technology in a way that does not simply assist its operations but is at the very core of everything it does.

Judges were treated to a demonstration of how the company uses tablets to overlay navigable 3D renders onto flat drawings in augmented reality, making it abundantly clear why clients would choose M J Rooney over rival subcontractors.

The firm’s major innovation in 2017 has been its virtual basement initiative, which combines 3D modelling to set out construction, 4D modelling of sequencing, and use of smartphones to share work sections with other specialists on site. This all combines to give full clarity to workers – and clients – of how a project will be delivered.

With an annual turnover of £4.2m and 17 full-time employees, M J Rooney is at the smaller end of the specialist category.

However, it has been growing at an impressive 20 per cent a year and its initiatives are not merely confined to the adoption of cutting-edge technology.

The company has demonstrated a proactive focus on the wellbeing of its workforce, recognising this area as a business imperative. It has also shown a confident approach to improving the reputation of the basement sub-sector.

“M J Rooney wows with its use of technology to drive improvements in all aspects of its business and to attract, retain and train new talent into what is traditionally a difficult sector”

Judges’ comment

And while the company can prove it delivers exceptional service to clients – as can many of this year’s finalists – M J Rooney’s attitudes and actions beyond its day-to-day operations help set it apart from the rest.

Apprentices and graduates have been meticulously nurtured and developed, to the point where they are actually producing innovations themselves – a hugely impressive achievement for a company of its size.

In addition, the judges praised how the company refuses to see the lack of female job applicants as simply a fact of life in this industry, instead going into girls schools to encourage the next generation of women to consider construction as a career.

This was just one of the factors that reflect M J Rooney’s efforts to be the leader in its field.


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