THE Quality in Construction Awards, now in their 11th year, celebrate the best achievements by construction teams and individuals across a vast range of endeavour.
For a decade now, these annual awards have shone a spotlight on the trailblazers who led the way in improving health and safety, pioneered the use of modern information technology, improved efficiency through innovative team working and established milestones of best practice.
But it is at the sharp end - on site - where all these achievements are manifested. Health, safety, environmental performance, efficiency and technical brilliance are all ultimately judged against the finished product, be it a humble primary school or the most breathtak ing br idge.
On-site performance is therefore the expression of quality in construction. These awards include three categories which focus on actual project delivery and are judged on the all-round standard of performance. The criteria are exacting and the winner in each category will be a project which exhibits excellence across the board.
The award for Small Project of the Year is for outstanding team performance on a project valued at up to £5 million. The Medium Project of the Year award is for projects of between £5 million and £50 million in value, and the Major Project of the Year award is for projects valued at more than £50 million.
In each case, the winner will be the product of exceptional team performance and if you or your company is part of such a team, we want to hear from you. This is your chance to ensure your achievements get the exposure they deserve.
Entry forms are available from www. qicawards. com. Closing date for entries is October 13 2006 THE 2006
Major Project: Gatwick Pier 6 This £112 million project, built by Mace at Gatwick airport, was constructed according to a BAA project management framework developed to focus the team on predictable performance and efficient manufacturing in safe, quality-controlled environments.
Despite its massive size - 250,000 tonnes and 200 m in length - Pier 6 (which gives passenger access to 11 remote aircraft stands, passing over a live taxiway) was largely assembled from prefabricated components.
This method achieved huge gains in productivity, reducing installation time by 60 per cent and labour requirements by 30 per cent.
Despite the challenges of installing such a structure in a single night possession, the project was delivered early and within budget. As one of the judges commented: 'The team didn't put a foot wrong.'
City of London Academy This £23.5 million project to build a secondary school for 1,200 pupils in south-east London, was delivered by a team so well integrated that it worked as a 'virtual company' - a culture shock for the client, which had been used to awarding its construction contracts to the lowest bidder. But its collaboration, particularly with main contractor Willmott Dixon and designer Studio E Architects, produced a team of exceptional eff iciency.
Located on a brownfield site in Bermondsey, the school is widely regarded as a flagship of urban redevelopment and a credit to the Government's education policies.
Of the construction team's performance, the judges had only praise: 'They worked really well together, achieved a huge amount and produced a beautiful building that the client is over the moon about. What more could you want?'
Small project: Spiral Cafe A genuine one-off, this project was half functional building, half municipal sculpture. Built by Thomas Vale Construction and designed by London Eye designer Marks Barfield Architects, the Spiral Cafe is a small but highly complex structure with barely a straight line in it. Teamled problem solving helped deliver a bespoke project, incorporating innovative materials and increasingly rare craft skills, to a tight and inf lexible £800,000 budget.
This marriage of exuberant, adventurous design and down-to-earth building processes was only made possible by the whole team buying into the client's vision. In fact, Thomas Vale refused to commit itself to the project until it had all of its specialist subcontractors and materials suppliers on board.
One of the judges summed it up as 'cutting-edge design combined with traditional craftsmanship of a quality that just blew me away.'
THE QUALITY IN CONSTRUCTION CATEGORIES Company Culture Corporate Social Responsibility Achievement Training Achievement Health and Safety Management Achievement Excellence in the use of ICT Innovation Product and Equipment Housing Management and Process Project performance Major Project Medium-sized Project Small Project International Performance Project Safety Excellence in Collaborative Engineered Design Personality of the year