Winner — Building Consultancy and Debut Services

Debut, a joint venture between Bovis Lend Lease and Babcock Services, is quietly undertaking one of the largest construction projects presently under way in Britain: the provision of single bedrooms for single soldiers, otherwise known as Project SLAM. The thing about a project this large and this standardised is that the value of any innovation is multiplied across the whole job: and this project is, as the judges said, incredibly innovative and wide ranging. So far nearly 6,000 units have been completed and another 3,000 are on site. The partnership between the SLAM team, Birmingham council and Poole council, has resulted in the rapid approval of more than 70 projects nationwide.

The finalists

Amber Valley council and Peveril Homes

Peveril is a residential developer that builds between 150 and 200 homes a year in Derbyshire. The firm uses Amber Valley building control for all its plan approvals, a happy relationship in which the housebuilder pays tribute to the council’s understanding of its business needs, while the council has developed great confidence that Peveril’s techniques will meet the regulations.

Bolsover council and Waystone

For the past seven years Waystone has worked on the Barlborough Links, a vast development on former open-cast mining land in Derbyshire. Over this time Waystone has never resorted to approved inspectors, but then it has never really felt the need to. Building control applications are fast-tracked and there is a daily presence of building control staff on the 150-acre site.

Carmarthenshire council and Andrew Scott

This entry covers the three-storey Discovery Centre overlooking Carmarthen Bay, a visitor centre and rather startling architectural landmark, notable for its large areas of glazing. Council and contractor are proud of the extremely high quality of the workmanship here, and the council was delighted with the excellent relationship it forged with Andrew Scott.

Flintshire council and David McLean

These two have been working closely together since 1999, and their alliance is a lesson in how to make a success of such partnerships. As in all relationships, the key is communication. Council and contractor have stressed the importance of discussion at the earliest possible stage, thereby providing council with the chance to suggest improvement or highlight problems.

Vale of Glamorgan and Alfred McAlpine

Vale of Glamorgan council chose a Holiday Inn hotel complex, built on a greenfield site next to Cardiff airport as its entry into this category. There is a Roman saying that good fortune conceals the talent of a general whereas ill fortune reveals it. That came when it was found that the foul drainage required excavations of up to 4m, a job that was carried out with the maximum regard to health and safety and the minimum of delay.