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Gateshead's Millennium Bridge: no mean achievement for Severfield-Rowan
Gateshead's Millennium Bridge: no mean achievement for Severfield-Rowan

The UK’s largest group of structural steelwork companies has retained the title it won last year.

This particular award will now share a rather crowded mantelpiece with the array of design prizes Severfield-Rowen has picked up this year for projects such as More London, by City Hall, and the Kingston Communications Stadium in Hull. The firm is currently raising the roof on the biggest of them all: BAA’s mammoth Heathrow Terminal 5, so it is unlikely to fade from the limelight. And as turnover has increased £13m in the past year, the group’s position as a market leader looks secure for the foreseeable future. It does not, however, rest on its laurels; rather, it has increased investment in design development (for efficiency and safety) and is about to release two self-developed steel-handling systems.

But can it make it a hat-trick next year?

Runners up

Billington structures
The firm is justifiably proud of its environmental record. It became the first structural steel specialist to achieve the environmental management standard ISO 14001, proving its commitment to minimising waste, controlling pollution and protecting the natural resources. On top of this, in the past year its design team has won five industry awards. This achievement is reflected by its place on the register of qualified steelwork contractors, where it has A1 Q1 approval for projects up to £6m.

Billington’s safety record is also to be admired – at the time of writing the firm has gone 539 days on site without an incident.

Bone steel
A family-run firm since it was founded in 1938, Bone Steel is well known for maintaining relationships with repeat clients. This doesn’t mean that it’s stuck in the past, though – its record for innovation is impressive. For example, it invented the process for the application of intumescent coatings off-site. It is this impressive combination of tradition and innovation that has led Bone Steel to win prestigious projects such as the Burj Dubai – at 700 m, the world’s tallest tower – and to increase turnover 20% to £36m last year.

Caunton engineering
Caunton places a great deal of importance on collaboration and it has official partnering agreements with four major national contractors to prove it. Its 3D modelling systems can be accessed not only on a company network but on a bespoke portal available to all its clients, which allows them a real-time view of all elements of production, methods and programmes.

And they will probably be impressed with what they see, too. Caunton’s steel frame systems have been made quicker and safer to erect thanks to developments in off-site technology and beam lifting systems.

William hare
William Hare has one of the largest engineering capabilities in the industry with more than 50 StruCAD design stations operating in-house and a large and experienced project management capability. Coupled with the recent expansion of its Scarborough plant, its claim to offer a comprehensive solution to any structural challenge comes across as more than an idle boast. The firm’s low rate of staff turnover is proof that it is considered a responsible employer that is committed to continuous training and high standards in health and safety – hence its silver award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.