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This category attracted a large number of entries, most of which were of a very high quality

SPECIALIST AWARDS

CONCRETE SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR ? sponsored by BRC

WINNER: McDERMOTT BROS

McDERMOTT Bros has come a long way since its first job ? a £1,200 concrete wall at Canary Wharf.

Today the £20 million turnover company is a major force in the construction of multi-storey slip-formed building structures.

This year, the company is launching a new health and safety regime, dubbed 'Care for Life' to further improve its excellent health and safety record.

Currently working towards IIP accreditation, McDermott is committed to staff training and all employees are encouraged to acquire new skills. The site staff are all CSCS certified and all receive internal and external health and safety instruction.

McDermot t believes in openness and communication; an intranet service provides information to all sites and helps to improve productivity. Throughout its history, it has maintained a commitment to close working relationships and today is a keen advocate of partnering, operating an open-book policy with clients and suppliers alike.

What the judges said: 'A clear winner from a strong category. A smaller company and one of the few that spoke about open-book accounting.'

HIGHLY COMMENDED: BYRNE BROTHERS A large and well-known concrete specialist, Byrne Brothers is at the forefront of developments in formwork systems and techniques, safe working methods and design innovation. Recent projects include the new £350 million Emirates Stadium for Arsenal FC.

This project presented Byrne Bros with the challenge of planning and constructing a major concrete frame within a demanding schedule and on a very restricted site.

Not only did this require a high degree of management skill, it also required a h igh standard of finish ? much of the work is architectural-quality concrete.

More than 400 operatives worked on the project, pouring over 60,000 cu m of concrete and laying over 10,000 tonnes of reinforcement within a punishing 99-week programme.

What the judges said: 'A good professional performance across the board.'

FINALIST: CHARCON Pre-cast specialist Charcon is a leading supplier of building components such as kerbs, flags and drainage systems.

Producing almost 1 million tonnes of pre-cast concrete per year, the company is a noted innovator. Recent product developments include its lightweight K-Lite kerb, the Ultrapave reinforced paving slab and a new sustainable urban drainage system.

STRUCTURAL RENOVATIONS Structural Renovations specialises in repair and restoration, ranging from residential properties to roads and bridges.

A methodical approach to quality, health and safety and client relations has seen the company grow steadily and build an enviable reputation in its sector.

MPB STRUCTURES This fast-growing company has tackled some high-profile projects in recent years, including most recently the 48-storey Beetham Hilton hotel in Manchester ? believed to be the tallest residential concrete frame in northern Europe.

EXPANDED Expanded's entry in this year's Awards focuses on one huge project: the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.

The architectural demands on the concrete subcontractor were exacting and the quality of the work second to none.