2011 Award Winners
Integration & Collaborative Working - Sponsored by Leadbitter
Carmarthenshire County Council Partnering Framework
Based upon the Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water AMP 3 partnering model, the framework has facilitated £160million construction investment in Carmarthenshire, including renovation of housing stock and the build and refurbishment of schools, leisure centers and theatres. Projects have been delivered on-time, on-cost, and with no disputes. The judges were impressed that strong leadership and commitment from the team had helped overcome initial hurdles and that the project has successfully benefitted a wide range of suppliers as well as the community. It has encouraged the participation of second tier suppliers and SMEs; allowed business planning, IT and H&S training for SMEs as well as providing for some excellent structured apprenticeship schemes and education of the supply chain. Whilst the framework began in 2002, it really became energized in 2007 and gained real momentum. What impressed the judges most was the team ethos and emphasis on sharing.
Leadership & People Development - Sponsored by WWT
City & County of Swansea, Corporate Building & Property Services
After many years of minimum investment, the City & County of Swansea’s Corporate Building & Property Services (CB&PS) is currently undertaking a major programme of staff training and development. This is taking form through a number of initiatives but together they are all aiming to produce a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the 21st century. Part of its “cradle to grave” strategy relates to the specific targeting of its apprentices and pre-apprenticeship strategies aimed at developing the future capacity and skills for the organisation and to enable it to meet customer expectations. The judges said that team leading the project demonstrated real commitment and they were impressed by the decision to go right back to schools to help influence career choices. The judges commented that the actions of CB&PS are helping to catch up the private sector as well as influence other local authorities and client organisations.
SME Award - Sponsored by SEWales Club Nominated by UWHA
Holbrook Timber Frame Ltd
Taking on a challenging, innovative concept, Holbrook was challenged by United Welsh Housing Association and Bere Architects to design, manufacture and produce a building fabric capable of delivering the standard of insulation and airtightness to comply with the very demanding standards of Passivhaus and Code Level 6. It was clear to the judges that Holbrook is a cutting edge business, keen to push the boundaries in construction. This was shown in the way the directors worked closely with Bere and BRE Wales, visited Austria and Germany to learn about Passivhaus, and then applied the current best practice. Holbrook collaborated prior to manufacture and then right through the project. The result was that the Larch House achieved one of the lowest air tightness results achieved in the UK to date. The approach of Holbrook throughout the embraced innovative design and manufacturing techniques with strong emphasis on health and safety and collaboration.
Innovation – Sponsored by Hugh James
The UK’s First Zero Carbon Passivhaus
As a Passivhaus, the Larch House is the first zero carbon (code 6), low cost, certified Passivhaus in the UK. It was built as prototype social housing on the brown field site of the disused, former steelworks at Ebbw Vale. It encompasses a design standard that seeks to eliminate as far as possible, the need for space heating and cooling by reducing heat loss to a minimum. This is in line with Welsh Government targets and vital if the industry is to build houses that reduce household energy bills and protect people from fuel poverty. The judges recognised that it is a radical new concept and that sustainability is built into the design as well as the build process itself. The judges observed that lessons from the scheme will go far beyond just the housing sector and that the wider implications of the concept are enormous. The results from the Passivhaus now need to be tracked, updated and then monitored once the house is being lived in.
Low/Zero Carbon – Sponsored by BRE
Greenhill Primary School
Insulated walls, floors and roof, a rainwater recycling system, four wind turbines and the largest array of solar PV panels on a school anywhere in the UK. That is just some of the outstanding features of Greenhill School, the rebuild by Caerphilly County Borough Council that demonstrates the council’s commitment to sustainability and to using the feed in tariff. With its turbines and great use of solar technology producing electricity for the school, a Combined Heat and Power unit providing hot water and generating electricity, Greenhill is expected to be the most energy self sufficient school in the UK. The judges noted that it is carbon negative, has a BREEAM excellent score, but also represents good value for money and the project went through a good handover and is operating well.
Achievers Award – Supported by Value Wales
The winner of the CEW Achiever Award is selected from individuals that have made a difference not just to Welsh construction, but the environment itself and to the world that we live in. This year, one senior professional shone through because of their work in challenging environments: Ian Flower. His self belief that civil engineers and construction professionals can make a major difference to society – in Wales and overseas – has won friends, plaudits and changed lives too.
Despite having a demanding job as Regional Director of Mott Macdonald, on returning from a church organised trip to Africa Ian was determined to find a way to help the villagers the group had met. After instigating a conversation with the Institute of Civil Engineers in Wales an infrastructure was established to enable young engineers to get involved with potential schemes in Gambia and Uganda. This was the beginning of the EFOD (Engineers for Overseas Development) project that, under the guidance of our achiever of the year, helped the graduates raise funds and then plan projects, travel and all the scheme logistics.
Over the past ten years large groups of graduates have gone out to Africa for two, three weeks at a time helping with the construction of anything from a hospital incinerator for medical waste, water supply infrastructure to sites and accommodation and teaching blocks to an orphanage. There is a real momentum now with significant numbers of Welsh graduates becoming involved – which is great for the communities of Gambia and Uganda as well as valuable experience for young people entering civil engineering in the Welsh built environment.
But, none of this would have happened without the commitment, passion and devotion to the cause by one man. And that is why, Ian Flower, recently retired from Mott Macdonald, is the winner of the Constructing Excellence in Wales achiever award for 2011.
Waste Minimisation - Sponsored by Green Compass
Church Village Bypass
The judges were very impressed with the entire Church Village Bypass project and said it exemplifies what can be achieved on a major project in respect of waste reduction, incorporation of recycled product and use of waste resources to provide unique engineering solutions. In particular the re-use of the tyres which had previously been land filled on the route of the new by-pass is a perfect example of how an imaginative and innovative engineering team, working in collaboration with their client, were able to turn a substantial tonnage of waste into a usable engineering material. By this action alone Costain achieved a significant reduction in the potential carbon footprint of the project, coupled with a significant cost saving by avoiding landfill and the cost of importing virgin materials. The project is already part of Constructing Excellence in Wales’ Demonstration Programme and is held up as an example of best practice in the construction sector.
Client of the Year – Supported by Welsh Government
Airbus Operations Ltd
The North Factory Project at Airbus Operations’ Broughton site is vast in its scale and technically challenging. The 52,000m2 wing assembly facility will create the next generation of aircraft and will play a pivotal role in the development of the UK’s aviation industry. At its peak some 300 people have been involved with the scheme employed via 15 supply chain partners, made up from a significant number of local companies. The need to minimise waste on site; meet technical design and engineering challenges and overall, deliver what is a core project for Airbus and the UK aviation industry demanded strong leadership. The judges said this was very apparent, along with a vision and clear strategy. The overall management of the process was very impressive, demonstrating a holistic approach that was difficult to improve upon. The personal commitment to build the team came over clearly; the ‘no blame’ culture the project team aspired to was genuine not just lip service and it was clear to the judges that the entire workforce supported this approach.
Project of the Year – Sponsored by CLAW logo
A40 Trunk Road Penblewin to Slebech Park Scheme
The A40 improvement scheme between Penblewin to Slebech Park has set new highway engineering standards in Wales, producing economically viable and innovative solutions to challenging engineering and environmental issues. The 4.6Km project includes four bridges, three underpasses, a 170m long retaining wall and fourteen culverts. The ‘2+1’ carriageway, the first of its kind in Wales, illustrated the approach of the project team and the judges noted that it had been thought through and implemented well. The team ethos was very strong and shone through in the approach to bio diversity, dealing with environmental issues such as water treatment ponds and wild mammal resistant fencing. It was clear to the judges that Costain explained the benefits of the scheme to the community and at each stage of the scheme were committed to sharing the lessons learned amongst the industry and the supply chain.