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Specialists Awards finalists: Project of the Year (subcontract over £2m)

A diverse set of projects made the shortlist for Project of the Year (subcontract over £2m), including work on Crossrail, overhead power lines, runway resurfacing and a giant new dairy. Judges were looking for client satisfaction, supply chain relationships, sustainability, innovation and safety records.

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering – Beauly-Denny Replacement Transmission Lines

As the largest overhead line of its kind in the UK, the replacement of the 132 kV Beauly-Denny Transmission Line with new 400 kV infrastructure was a big challenge.

Taking five years and crossing 220 km through the Highlands of Scotland, 539 towers were required to support new conductors.

As most towers were not accessible using existing roads, 250 km of access road had to be constructed. Some towers were up to 800 m above sea level, while others were on slopes of 45 degrees – a huge variety of challenging conditions.

BriggsAmasco – Birmingham Gateway

The £600m Birmingham Gateway project will see New Street Station transformed into a 21st-century transport hub.

Main contractor Mace turned to BriggsAmasco for the design, supply and installation of approximately 15,000 sq m of waterproofing and roofing systems across the site.

All roofing works were completed with the station in live operation, with 140,000 passengers passing through each day. The project was completed safely over two years with no RIDDOR incidents.

Cementation Skanska – Crossrail

Cementation Skanska secured eight contracts totalling £100m across Crossrail, including four contracts worth a combined £83m in 2013 at Bond Street, Farringdon, Paddington and Woolwich.

Over the course of the contracts, the company achieved a number of milestones, including its deepest-ever diaphragm walls at 60 m and its heaviest reinforcement cages at 24 tonnes.

The firm committed a £4m plant investment to the project and, at peak, had almost 50 per cent of its employees working on the scheme.

EBS Elk – Chapel Street, Oxford

EBS Elk used offsite construction techniques to build a 60,000 sq ft building in eight weeks with a team of just six men.

The team used a closed timber panel system to facilitate a significantly reduced construction programme, enabling a cost estimate reduction of 9 per cent and leading to EBS Elk finishing seven weeks ahead of schedule.

The team minimised waste both on and off site, and the increased thermal performance of the materials meant less space was required for M&E installations and equipment.

Lafarge Tarmac Contracting – Heathrow runway rehabilitation, Southern Runway

Lafarge Tarmac Contracting was appointed by main contractor Morgan Sindall to undertake the resurfacing of Heathrow Airport’s 3.8 km-long southern runway in early 2013.

In total, 200 workers and 150 pieces of plant were on site during the nightly working window of 10.30pm-5.30am. Every night, the team turned the runway into a construction site before restoring it to use for the next day’s flights.

Extreme weather and variations in temperature led to lost time, but the team successfully recovered the programme to finish within agreed timescales.

NG Bailey – Arla Dairy

NG Bailey was contracted to provide all mechanical and electrical work for Arla Foods’ new £150m flagship diary in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

The firm used offsite construction methods to deliver the dairy’s main services distribution corridor project in just five weeks, compared with the 12 weeks it would have taken using traditional construction methods.

This method also provided sustainability benefits, reducing both site traffic and material wastage. The project was completed within budget, with no RIDDORs or other health and safety incidents.

O’Keefe Construction (Greenwich) – Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich

This project called for the excavation and removal of 1m cu m of soil from the Woolwich Crossrail box within a tight 13-week duration – and with the imminent approach of tunnel boring machines, there was no room for error.

The close proximity to the River Thames presented challenges with groundwater, so a monitored dewatering system was used to remove up to 10 litres per second. In addition, 99.99 per cent of construction waste was re-used for beneficial purposes.

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