For 25 years Ridge has led the way in M&E consulting, with other firms replicating its blueprint for success. Over the years it has developed innovative systems and tools to help clients, including the Ridge Pricing Schedule, a bespoke tender document which facilitates easier negotiation and allows transparency of costs. Its efforts have meant it has worked on a seemingly endless list of projects, including university buildings, hotels, retail premises, and for clients as diverse as Renault F1, Boots and Watford council.

The project that perhaps best highlights its skills is its remodelling of 60 stores for a major high street retailer this year, on which Ridge took full control of the procurement process and negotiated it using a two-stage tendering process. The M&E cost consultancy team generated 9% of the company's turnover in 2006.

Franklin + Andrews
The building services team at Franklin + Andrews currently employs over 50 commercial M&E staff, with backgrounds in contracting, engineering, quantity surveying and business, which means they are able to integrate with a design team as well as work within a commercial framework.

Through projects such as the East London Line for Transport for London, Waterloo International for the Department for Transport and Colchester Garrison for Sir Robert McAlpine, the team generates a total income of over £5m every year.

In addition, it has been instrumental in collating and indexing whole life cost and benchmarking data to assess the investment value of M&E installations.

In the knowledge that energy costs are increasing, natural resources are depleting and sustainability legislation and technology are changing rapidly, Gleeds' highly-trained M&E team of 12 concentrates on providing sustainable building solutions internally, to various Gleeds operations, and externally to consulting engineers, designers and end-users.

Vital to this approach are its methods of information sharing, not only in the UK but worldwide. This year Gleeds launched Gleeds TV, a television channel dedicated to sharing information across its global business.

Maitland QS
The 20-years-old Maitland QS specialises in M&E quantity surveying and has a turnover of £8.5m.

Its 140 employees include a good mix of experienced, intermediate and junior staff. Many of the more inexperienced members of the team are sponsored through external studies or trained in-house, which adds to the team’s expertise.

Its projects include the Royal Festival Hall, White City shopping centre and the Hilton Hotel.