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Construction News Awards finalists: Project of the Year (under £10m)

This category celebrates the best projects under £10m in the past 12 months, with finalists including schools, railways, health centres and historic theatres.

Atkins / Laing O’Rourke / Trafford Borough Council – Lime Tree Primary School, Trafford, Greater Manchester

This 420-pupil primary school, designed by Atkins and constructed by Laing O’Rourke, is a ‘forest school’: a highly specialised environment where the curriculum is taught outdoors as much as possible.

The school’s design was very carefully considered and was built in just 17 weeks at a total cost of £3.8m.

A total of 400 sq m of material was prepared offsite each day, before being assembled on site. The school was operational a full year ahead of the Trafford Borough Council’s original programme.

Bam working in collaboration with Network Rail – Hooley Cutting Stabilisation

Hooley Cutting – a crucial section of railway line between London and Gatwick Airport – had been a source of considerable concern for Network Rail and was identified as being in need of stabilisation to avoid landslips.

Innovation was needed, with a lightweight access system deployed instead of normal scaffolding and sprayed concrete used to form structural beams and columns.

Works were undertaken very close to houses, while the line was able to continue operation with no speed restrictions or delays.

Cassidy + Ashton / Seddon Construction – Riley Sixth Form Centre, Bolton School

The Riley Sixth Form Centre is a contemporary building constructed amid Grade II-listed surroundings of Bolton School.

The 500-year-old school required a new purpose-built centre to house its expanding sixth form, which Cassidy + Ashton and Seddon delivered.

The building encloses the school’s courtyard, creating a landscaped outdoor social area, and connects to the old buildings via two glazed link corridors. Precision engineering and sympathetic design were required to ensure the building fitted its historic setting.

Clugston Construction – Refurbishment of Richmond Flats, Huddersfield

Clugston was appointed to undertake the £3.7m design-and-build transformation of the rundown Richmond Flats.

This tired 10-storey tower block was under pressure from local press and residents to be demolished, with scepticism over whether they could be saved.

Clugston’s work breathed new life into this neglected community asset, increasing living space for residents and acting as a catalyst for further regeneration in the area.

The community benefited through work on the scheme, too – 53 per cent of the workforce lived with 15 miles of the project.

Colas Rail / Morgan Sindall JV – Energlyn and Churchill Park Station

This project called for the team to construct a brand new railway station around a live twin-track line on an otherwise greenfield site.

Handover to Network Rail and Aviva Trains was achieved in December 2013, two months before required contract completion and 10 days before public services commenced.

Both client and local community feedback has been extremely positive, with the site set-up minimising environmental disruption and limiting noise.

Robertson Group – Maggie’s Cancer Centre, Aberdeen

Maggie’s philosophy is that buildings can be uplifting and contribute to the care of cancer patients; the new centre at Aberdeen had to live up to these expectations.

The unique nature of the building’s fabric, designed to resemble a pebble, required innovation and collaboration to achieve on time, with an international design being delivered by a local team.

The project caught the imagination of the local community, raising funds quicker than any other Maggie’s Centre, while a number of companies in the project team provided labour for free.

Thomas Vale Construction – Wilkinson Primary School

Thomas Vale was appointed in October 2013 to build this £8.2m primary school in Wolverhampton to Passivhaus standards, replacing and expanding upon the previous school, which had been destroyed by fire.

The project was completed on time and on budget and achieved an airtightness score of 0.34 – one of the lowest ever recorded for a building of this type in the UK. Energy savings are expected to equate to £100,000 per year.

Virtus Contracts – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Globe Theatre Foyer

This project to build a new theatre next to Shakespeare’s Globe required historic skills to be relearned and combined with modern construction methods.

Around £1m-worth of carved oak was used to construct the building’s frame, with complex contemporary building services seamlessly integrated into the design.

Along with the theatre construction, the team completed a 22-week refurbishment of the Globe’s foyer, creating a new space to show off both theatres.

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