Willmott Dixon’s strategic approach to innovation in all its forms made it a clear winner of this award, sponsored by Zurich Financial Services

Winner: Willmott Dixon

As it has the UK’s largest housebuilding programme using off-site manufacturing techniques, there is no doubting contractor Willmott Dixon’s dedication to innovation, but it was the company’s systematic approach that impressed the judges. The company has trialled a variety of standardised and pre-assembled components, scoring their performance against its own Innovation Checklist, and introduced best practice to its sites. Learning about innovative technologies and processes is shared with staff, customers and supply chain partners via a website.

Second: Environ/Sunley

The joint venture of Environ Country Homes and Sunley Holdings travelled to Canada to source the innovation behind its homes at Kings Hill Park, in West Malling, Kent. It is using Canadian Super E registered technology, which combines timber frame with mechanical filtered ventilation to produce highly energy-efficient homes. The joint venture has already trialled Super E at one of its sites and it is now building 33 Super E homes at Kings Hill Park, where it is promoting the tangible benefits of the innovation to its customers.

Third: Black Country Housing & Community services Group

Housing association Black Country Housing has partnered with steel frame and module manufacturer Renaissance and cost consultant Paul Mantle Partnership in a series of projects to explore the potential of off-site manufacture. Over the course of three projects, significant improvements in defect reduction, speed of construction and value for money have been achieved.

Fourth: St George

St George is innovating on a large-scale at its 750-unit, mixed-use St George Wharf scheme in central London. A 16% saving in programme time has been achieved, and best practice is being shared with the rest of the building industry.

Fifth: East Thames Housing Group

The housing association won recognition for coming up with a different form of innovation: the project design quality plan. The PDQP is a model for design briefing and design management, written by East Thames Housing Group in association with consultants Watkins Gray International and Philip Pank Partnership.