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Construction News Awards Contractor of the Year

Winner: Mace

It wasn’t just the jaw-dropping projects that saw Mace take the contractor crown this year.

It was the fact that the company delivered a breadth of work, including complex major schemes, and grew its business – all while showing an unwavering commitment to safety, supply chain and sustainability.

The competition was extremely fierce – the judges pointed out the “incredibly high standard and a number of really strong submissions for a year that saw many landmark achievements in our industry”.

Naturally, The Shard and the London 2012 Olympics dominate the headlines. But it wasn’t the projects alone.

“The safety performance and innovation delivering The Shard exemplifies why we chose Mace as a winner,” they said.

“Obviously the Olympics figured highly, but the winner demonstrated sustained exceptional performance over the past six years culminating in a number of landmark completions in 2012, with a clear and ambitious vision for the future.”

The Shard boasts a number of innovations, from the UK’s largest concrete pour at the time to the first use of jump-lift construction in the UK. More than 90 per cent of the MEP works were prefabricated to save time and improve quality, health and safety.

“The safety performance and innovation delivering The Shard exemplifies why we chose Mace as a winner”

Judges’ comment

There were other grand projects in London such as the Emirates Air Line cable car; Park House, which was the largest Oxford Street project in 40 years; and the £100m Café Royal renovation scheme in Regent Street.

In a tough, declining market, Mace’s construction business grew every year from £235m in 2006 to £850m in 2012, with pre-tax margins between 2.5 and 3 per cent.  That was the driver for Mace reaching a £1bn group turnover for the first time in 22 years.

The firm is committed to a 30-day payment charter and Mace also shows its dedication to training and supply chain through its academy.

Outside of the company, 38 suppliers developed its Safety First Second Nature ethos.

In 2012, the Mace Construction Training Programme was launched, while another big project, Birmingham New Street station, boasted more than 100 apprenticeships.

There is also a clear investment in innovation, on its projects and within the group. BIM was used on the Three Quays and 240 Blackfriars projects, while the firm also hosted workshops with its supply chain promoting integration.

In sustainability the year saw many sites achieve more than 36 points – classed as ‘exemplary performance’ in BREEAM and seven projects achieved national site awards.

Highly Commended: Clugston Construction

When it comes to focusing on people and showing passion, Clugston “sets the standard within our industry and has a spirit that the UK should be proud of”.

“Clugston has a spirit that the UK should be proud of”

Judges’ comment

This and a commitment to supply chain – evident in all of the finalists – along with an outstanding performance in its 75th anniversary year, bowled over the judges.

Finalists

Galliford Try

McLaren Construction Group

MWH

Sir Robert McAlpine

Skanska UK

Willmott Dixon

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