There are a number of things in common between the Specialist Contractors Awards and the Oscars in Los Angeles: both use an extremely large number of judges to determine, as objectively as possible, the opinions of their respective industries.

This means that you hold in your hand a magazine containing the names of the 78 best specialist contractors in Britain. From this list, we extracted the five that scored the most first-place votes from our academy of experts. They are, in alphabetical order, Cementation Foundations Skanska, Hotchkiss, Kingspan Access Flooring, Laing O’Rourke and Overbury.

All of these firms had a unique selling point. Laing O’Rourke has done more to shake up the industry’s ideas about what is possible and how business should be done than any other company, practice or limited liability partnership. No other firm has come close to matching its growth or its impact. It is also good at pouring concrete. Then there is Hotchkiss, which pulled off the unprecedented feat of being nominated in four categories and victorious in two, a high-IQ, high-quality, class act. Overbury has pulled off the gravity-defying feat of growing while its key markets were shrinking: it is by far and away the biggest and most successful fit-out firm in the country in terms of turnover and rate of profit. Then there is Kingspan Access Flooring, the firm that predicted the needs of the 1990s back in the 1970s. It practically invented the market for raised floors and has led it ever since.

Bearing all of the above in mind, you ought to get an idea of the quality of the firm that beat them all, the firm that was voted (by a gnat’s eyebrow) the best specialist in Britain … Cementation Foundations Skanska.