Read about the winner and shortlisted entries for this year’s Construction/Consultant Surveyor of the Year (more than 100 staff) award
Winner: Mott MacDonald
In response to the pandemic, Mott MacDonald provided support for London’s Nightingale hospital (pictured) and other NHS facilities in Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff. The employee-owned business produced pay gap reports for both gender and ethnicity, while its social mobility foundation provides opportunities for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. It has committed to the net zero 2050 target and aligned itself to the UN’s sustainability goals. It works on the Ministry of Justice’s framework and claims 80% of workload is repeat business. Innovations include the use of VR to improve confidence in site activities and a platform to access project history and forecast workload.
Aecom has worked on a number of high-profile projects over the past 12 months, including the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool and the Institute of Physics’s new headquarters in London. The firm has also maintained a high level of client satisfaction, with 85% of its work coming from repeat business. In 2020 Aecom ran a 2D-3D upskilling programme across the UK, Ireland and the Middle East to make sure hundreds of its staff have skills fit for the future. The consultant says its investment in digital tools enabled it to transition to remote working during the pandemic with a less than 1% impact on productivity. The firm has also had a focus on DfMA across several sectors, including housing, education, healthcare and commercial.
London-based Alinea has seen its revenue grow by 10% to £16.8m and staff numbers rise slightly to 107, with 17 internal promotions. The firm has managed to navigate the covid-19 pandemic with no reduction in headcount or having to furlough any of its staff. Highlights this year include working on 3 million ft2 of life sciences projects (a growing specialism), 96% staff retention and increasing repeat work from 80% to 90%. Clients have included Capital Real Estate, Woods Bagot and Mitsubishi Estate. Overall, Alinea has supported the construction of projects worth £19bn. It has also diversified the markets in which it works in terms of both sector, with a push into public sector work such as the Northern Estate Programme, and geography, with projects in Ireland, Italy, France, Japan and Australia.
In its eighth year of existence London-based Core Five advised on £23bn of construction work. The firm worked on 20 international projects and contributed to the refurbishment of 3 million ft2 of office space. Projects included the National Museum of Denmark, Native Land’s Bankside Yards in London and Fulham FC’s new Riverside Stand. The consultant’s other big-name clients include Almacantar, British Land and Sony. In 2019/20 72% of revenue came from repeat clients. The firm reacted proactively to the global pandemic, with 100% of its 125 staff working from home since 16 March. Core Five holds regular team conferences to ensure its teams remain fully engaged. It has also launched its C5 App to bring the team closer together.
Rider Levett Bucknall
RLB helped deliver more than £6bn worth of building work for clients including HS2, Paris Olympics 2024, Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Amazon and Deutsche Bank over the past 12 months. The consultant, which invested £2.6m in research and development during 2019/20, delivered £23m of social value and promoted 10% of its staff. This year it has also developed value-based cost modelling software that links capital and operational cost modelling, to enable clients to define their value drivers and consider the capital, lifecycle and whole-life cost impacts of projects. It also became the first specialist cost consultancy globally to obtain the BSI Kitemark for BIM Design and Construction, with BS EN ISO 19650:2018 proving its BIM capability.
Turner & Townsend
Financial performance has been impressive this year with the global consultant delivering revenue growth of 16% to £744m and profit rising by 29%. Regular client feedback scores reveal an average satisfaction rating of 8.6 out of 10. The firm says its partnership model allows it to invest in the long term, for example in digitalising more of its services, and meeting its sustainability target, set in 2015, to reduce carbon per employee by 54%. It has also launched its technical training academy with eLearning modules for project managers. The firm boasts big-ticket projects such as the Battersea Power Station redevelopment and Astrazeneca’s global HQ in Cambridge, as well as supporting Barclay’s global capital investment programme.