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Specialists Awards winner: Low Carbon Excellence

Going green to get the gold: which firm’s low carbon credentials saw it come out on top?

Winner: B&K Structures

Prior to the onset of the recession, B&K Structures was predominantly a steel manufacturing and construction company. In 2007, the company moved into innovative timber solutions to improve and grow its business and is now focused on the design through to construction of low-carbon structural-frame solutions.

Judges were impressed with the company’s engagement with clients, showing how mixing and matching different materials can produce the optimum integrated solution.

As part of this, B&K Structures has developed a carbon calculator to ensure clients are able to achieve low-carbon structures with minimal costs.

Working in sectors including retail, leisure, education and residential, the company’s significant switch in focus has reaped impressive results, with its turnover standing at £24m in 2013. B&K Structures has built 85 per cent of Tesco and Sainsburys’ timber-frame stores.

“B&K Structures is an aspirational company that has fundamentally changed the way structures are built with the mixed-materials approach”

Judges’ comment

The company adopts a mixed-material approach, using steel, concrete and engineered timber. It looks to deliver integrated solutions involving cross-laminated timber, glulam structures, steel/timber hybrid frames, structural cassettes and modular build solutions.

B&K has demonstrated a strong understanding of the vital importance of early involvement at the design stage of projects to ensure the best possible value and highest levels of carbon reduction.

Judges were impressed with the company’s use of building information modelling, with Level 2-plus BIM offered to reduce procurement time and waste, while ensuring it collaborates fully with all parties of the supply chain on its projects.

As well as collaborating with its supply chain, the company insists on high standards among its suppliers, going right back to the source to check its materials are low-carbon. It is certified for both FSC and PEFC-approved materials through the Timber Research and Development Association.

Furthermore, B&K Structures has looked inward to improve the sustainability of its own operations, reducing the energy usage of its in-house air conditioning units, introducing an efficient air exchange system, cutting in-house water usage by 95 per cent and moving to online data storage to reduce paper and postage costs.

The judges cited the effects of the company’s low-carbon efforts bringing success in winning new work and improving environmental impacts, and praised the innovation on show through its mixed-materials approach.

Highly commended: BCM

Established in 2002 with the aim of helping deliver low-carbon and low-energy buildings, BCM has an embedded culture of sustainability and an excellent approach to training, ensuring its staff are committed to the principles underpinning its strategy.

The company has achieved outstanding results on high-profile projects, including health centres, schools and student accommodation.

It is also a member of Passivhaus Trust and on the steering committee for Manchester City Council’s A Certain Future initiative, reflecting its understanding of how collaboration is crucial to the industry.

BCM has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of and commitment to low-carbon issues and has challenged conventional thinking over its 12 years in business.

The judges praised its integrated approach to projects and its engagement with clients over their sustainability choices.

It has also shown exceptional leadership in both the market and the communities in which it operates.


GAP Group

NG Bailey

S and B Eps

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