Judges were not only looking for examples of great projects, but business acumen, a clear strategy and commitment to safety, staff and training. The finalists completed a wide range of projects in a variety of sectors, from industrial decommissioning to aviation schemes.
Cantillon has focused on improving its green credentials in the past year, using new technologies and adapting existing methods to recycle, reclaim or reuse more than 94 per cent of all materials from its sites.
The firm used a new water recycling system on its Riverwalk House project that had a 40 per cent lower carbon footprint than other systems.
Health and safety has also been a particular focus, with the company working more than 1.5m hours since 2006 without a RIDDOR.
This company took the decision to focus on larger and more complex contracts requiring high levels of expertise – a decision that has helped spur continued growth.
Erith trained and recruited more staff than ever before last year to support this, while also renewing and upgrading its equipment fleet.
It also adopted a Seven Steps to Safety strategy, setting out a benchmarking system for monitoring safety that has been rolled out across the company.
Hughes and Salvidge
A focus on the aviation sector helped Hughes and Salvidge continue to grow, with sales rising from £9m to £25.5m in the last four years.
The firm has a permanent onsite office at Heathrow Airport and has worked on a wide range of projects there for a number of different main contractors.
This year is the firm’s 50th anniversary and its recycling and waste-management subsidiaries allow it to target 95 per cent recycled materials on any given job.
Masterton’s business strategy in 2013 resulted in a number of successes, including 70 per cent repeat business, a 3:1 tender win ratio, a 99 per cent materials recycling rate, turnover growth of 40 per cent and more than £1m of investment in new plant and health and safety initiatives.
Highlights included the £3.2m decommissioning of Petrofac Gas Plant and the £3.7m contract to decommission liquefied natural gas tanks at Glenmavis.
Thompsons of Prudhoe
Thompsons of Prudhoe received an award from Willmott Dixon last year for its work on the King’s House project in Newcastle city centre.
This scheme involved the removal of old and delicate brick catacombs, and more than 12,500 man-hours were completed with zero reportable incidents.
The firm completed 105 projects in total last year, maintaining a 97 per cent recycling rate on site and investing heavily in new plant and equipment.
Following the opening of its new regional office in Canterbury, Walter Forshaw won its first contract in the south-east of England: a £1.3m demolition of two 12-storey tower blocks for Barking and Dagenham Council.
The company is in line to post a 40 per cent increase in turnover year on year – the largest in its history – and has invested heavily in renewing plant and establishing a new training centre.
This facility has since become the northern regional centre for the National Demolition Training Group.