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Client of the Year

Our finalists for the client prize have between them shown commitment to sustainability, excellence in procurement and exceptional efforts on collaboration.


Argent reached a number of milestones in 2014: at King’s Cross, the HQ for the Camden Borough Council achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating, the highest ever for a city centre building of its type; its own HQ at Stable Street, King’s Cross, was awarded BREEAM Outstanding, the first time ever for a fit-out project; and in December it confirmed the construction of Birmingham’s new Paradise Circus development, to be built by Carillion.

Over the past 20 years, Argent has delivered 4.4m sq ft of development with an end value in excess of £1.7bn, and it is bringing forward more than £1bn of construction at King’s Cross alone.

Derwent London

Derwent London owns a portfolio of commercial real estate predominantly in central London valued at approximately £3.7bn, making it the largest London-focused real estate investment trust.

In 2014, the company completed 277,500 sq ft of development, with a further 555,300 sq ft on site in 2015 – and another 900,000 sq ft in the pipeline.

Derwent London has particularly focused on sustainability, bringing forward low-carbon schemes like the White Collar Factory in east London and the Morelands Building Rooftop Extension, one floor of which achieved one of the highest BREEAM scores in London to date.

Environment Agency

In 2014, the Environment Agency delivered the largest capital programme in any one year in its history because of increased government funding for its flood and coastal erosion risk management programmes.

It repaired England’s flood and coastal risk assets that were severely tested and damaged during the winter 2013/14 storms, carrying out a rapid inspection of 150,000 assets with the assistance of 200 military personnel in just six weeks.

A programme of 890 projects was identified at a value of £135m, and over £105m was invested in flood recovery projects by the end of 2014.

Its Water and Environment Management Framework was used to procure consultants and contractors, with a typical supplier selection process taking just two weeks compared to a typical three months.

Great Portland Estates

Great Portland Estates continued to move ahead in 2014 with its long-term strategy to develop high-quality buildings in central London.

GPE was the first private-sector developer to provide a BIM model at tender stage and did so for each of its three major projects in 2014.

It believes its payment terms are market-leading, offering twice-monthly payments, retentions reduced to 1 per cent, and payments to the main contractor within 14 days.

Project highlights included 240 Blackfriars Road, which was delivered on time and below budget.

Maro Developments

Maro Developments has taken the lead in delivering Project Pluto, a modern HQ for clothing and homewares retailer Matalan, at Knowsley Industrial Park, Kirkby.

The developer was commissioned by Matalan with a ‘blank page’ in terms of the building’s location and appearance, meaning that it needed great vision and a can-do attitude to deliver.

Matalan’s relocation to Kirkby has benefited the local economy greatly and boosted regeneration, bringing in a national business that employs over 2,000 people.

Maro fostered a culture of collaboration and honesty with the project team, including main contractor Morgan Sindall, delivering this high-quality building within budget and a week ahead of programme.

Surrey County Council (Walton Bridge Project)

At the beginning of the Walton Bridge project in 2005, Surrey County Council set out to act as an intelligent client, leading the whole project team and working collaboratively to achieve its objectives.

The procurement strategy involved interviewing each prospective main contractor in a structured way, leading to a close partnership with eventual winners Costain.

The council was actively involved in Costain’s health and safety programme, carrying out joint inspections, and it was also the first client to use the Eurocodes and Euronorms design standards in the UK, which have since become widely used across the country for all new bridge designs.

The scheme had existed in one form or another for 25 years, so Surrey CC worked hard to address the concerns of the local community and bring the project to life.

The Pirbright Institute (BBSRC) Development Programme

2014 saw the Pirbright Institute move from operating a single construction project to a complex multi-project programme, concurrent to a wider organisational change programme.

The Plowright Building project was joined by four others, taking its programme to 10-plus years and £250m in value.

The Plowright Building stands out in particular as it was delivered a week early and attained its licence within 12 months as scheduled – a positive achievement in the high-risk world of delivering high-containment facilities.

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