Simply put, WSP has had an outstanding year. The range of brilliant projects, results and multiple initiative launches inspired the judges.
Using a deconstructable 3D-printed model, graduate engineer Katherine Tobin bowled over the judging panel with an explanation of how the 22 Bishopsgate project is being delivered using the existing foundations from the former Pinnacle tower.
Rather than demolish them, WSP reused 100 per cent of the piles and 67 per cent of the basement structure, despite the redesigned building being 30 per cent larger than its predecessor.
Since the columns in the new design did not match the existing foundations, WSP manipulated the loads to suit, which had the knock-on effect that the project only required 30 per cent new piles.
The design also allowed for top-down construction, with 20 storeys added before the basement was even finished.
“WSP was strong right across the board, demonstrating a clear vision around innovation and displaying a deep self-awareness of what makes it different from its competitors”
The judges were also impressed by WSP’s progress on achieving diversity targets, with 23 per cent of apprentices and 28 per cent of graduates for 2016 being female. This in a year of significant organisational change in the UK, where the firm took on 1,300 new recruits that included 365 graduates and apprentices, growing the business by 38 per cent.
The panel also noted that the firm had increased its female senior leadership, which now stands at 11 per cent, and has established its Women in Leadership mentoring network.
This wasn’t the only diversity launch though, with the consultant creating VIBE, its LGBTQIA network. As a consequence, WSP said that 96 per cent of staff felt that the company is committed to overcoming barriers to developing a diverse workforce.
Independent assessment is critical to such claims, of course, and the fact that the business has risen 90 places in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index bears this out.
Supporting the positive impact of initiatives such as these is an employee survey that revealed 91 per cent of employees were proud to work for WSP, with 90 per cent saying they would recommend it as a good place to work.
The business also achieved both its financial targets and stretch targets for 2016, the success of which it puts down to a combination of factors such as working in joint venture with competitors when necessary, remaining at the front end of major projects throughout the delivery cycle, and ensuring its involvement wherever possible as both a trusted technical adviser and contracting engineer.
- London Bridge Associates
- Mott MacDonald
- Pick Everard
- Ridge and Partners