CEW 2009 Award Winners

In mid September over 400 people from across the construction industry celebrated the achievements of Welsh built environment at the third CEW Awards at Cardiff City Stadium.

block 09In mid September over 400 people from across the construction industry celebrated the achievements of Welsh built environment at the third CEW Awards at Cardiff City Stadium.  Construction gets a hard time from the media and public; it is guilty of not always shout about its successes. So, it was fantastic to be amongst a party atmosphere where project teams, clients, designers, engineers and consultants swapped stories, ideas, gossip and a bit of glory too.

Cardiff Central Library, Newport High School, Mark Adams of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Laing O’Rourke stole much of the limelight winning project of the year, the new waste minimisation category and achiever of the year, whilst the Laing O’Rourke team won three of the awards available.  But the spirit of collaboration was the real winner.  All ten awards demonstrated why the Welsh built environment is still one of the most important areas of the country’s economy despite current conditions.  Construction defines how we live our lives because it shapes and impacts upon every part of the environment in which we work, live and play.  It lies at the heart of the Welsh economy; the infrastructure we need to help the country emerge stronger and fitter from this recession will be delivered by the construction industry and its various built environment disciplines.

We need a strong construction industry if Wales is going to develop its economy.  If we want to give our children the education they deserve and if want to take care of our people then we have to build well designed and functional schools, hospitals, houses and transport systems as well as commercial developments.  To achieve this, the industry itself has to be united.

Judging by the buzz around the Cardiff City Stadium, the industry is pulling together.   The theme running through every award category was collaborative working.  No matter what the nature of the scheme, the specific details of the award criteria or the role of the client – working together was a constant factor and was proven repeatedly to deliver outstanding results.  Whether it was in regard to designing out waste at Newport High School, or Monmouthshire County Council’s ten year’s of collaboration with Willmott Dixon, each of the schemes, organisations and individuals receiving awards shared the common bond of integrated team working.  One thing that makes a major impact is inspiring leadership from people committed to making a change in the industry’s culture.

Mark Adams, the Head of Construction Projects, Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC ticked all of the judges’ boxes for the achievers award.  He has shown real leadership, embracing innovative ideas and personally developing them to deliver real value for his Authority.  His personal commitment has been infectious and he inspires all those who work with him, as a client and as a colleague.  This is shown in the way he lead two of the largest projects in Wales – Porth Relief Road and Church Village Bypass.  He fully understands what best value procurement means to a Local Authority.  He knows how important efficiency in public procurement is to the rate payer.  Costain described him as “the most rounded, intelligent client we have ever worked with.”

From Lawson Construction at the small and medium sized end of the industry to Willmott Dixon, every aspect of the industry was represented and had the chance to demonstrate their achievements and promote the ideals of collaborative working and best practice.  But the showpiece award of the evening was the project of the year, won by the Cardiff City Library, built by Laing O’Rourke.

It opened in March is a great example of the benefits of team building.  Anyone living and working in and around Cardiff will have seen the development work, but they might not have realised the issues that the builders, Laing O’Rourke were dealing with.  Pressure was on the team not just to deliver on schedule and on budget, but to create a building that the city would be proud of.  They therefore had to work with the council, wider community and disabled groups to make certain the result was more than just a library.  When the CEW judges assessed the project it was obvious that throughout the scheme there was evidence of strong leadership, a sound management process and excellent collaboration – the result of which was delivering the building three months ahead of schedule.

Cardiff has a library to be proud of, that has not cost the earth and that sets a new standard for sustainable city centre design.  Across Wales organisations like Opus International Consultants, Monmouthshire CC, Willmott Dixon, Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC, Lawson Construction. Leadbitters and Magnox are doing the same as Laing O’Rourke – delivering great projects through their commitment to collaborative working.  Details of all our award winners are atwww.cewales.org.uk/awards or you can call us on 02920 493322 to find out more.