In this the 12th year of the Building Awards, we are using the occasion to mark two very special 40-year anniversaries.
First, it is 40 years since the England football team lifted the World Cup for the first - but hopefully not the last - time. And even more importantly, it is the same length of time since The Builder changed its title and became Building magazine as we now know it.
At this year's awards, we were joined by a host of celebrities from the football world and, with just three months until this year's World Cup Finals in Germany, we take this opportunity to wish our team the very best of luck.
Should England be successful at the finals in June it would follow on perfectly from London's Olympic success last July. In a memorable final presentation in Singapore to the International Olympic Committee, Lord Sebastian Coe and his supporting team managed to deliver the games in a magnificent achievement for our capital city and in turn deliver the opportunity to win more than £8bn of additional work for our industry to deliver. Tonight we salute Lord Coe's accomplishment by naming him our Personality of the Year.
The Building Awards also celebrate the tremendous achievements of an industry that is going from strength to strength. In often close-run contests, many impressive qualities were displayed by our shortlisted firms and eventual trophy winners, including examples of best practice in sustainability, profitability, innovation and good design.
These include developer Land Securities, named Construction Client of the Year, which was cited as being at the leading edge of development having converted its procurement strategy into an integrated approach. And this year, we recognise the achievements of Sir Stuart Lipton by awarding him Outstanding Contribution to the Industry for his work at CABE and as head of Stanhope, one of the most forward-thinking clients in a generation. But these awards are not just about the industry's superstars. Many smaller firms and individuals have been recognised for excellence - such as Zoe Peters, who was named our ConstructionSkills Achiever of the Year for her determined and rapid climb through the hierarchy of Mace.
Our gratitude, of course, to all the sponsors who have yet again made these awards possible. And finally our thanks go to all those of you who entered. Here's to another 40 years of success.
Denise Chevin is the editor of Building
Building Awards 2006
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