We all know the importance of having a good boss, and this award goes to the best of them: the developers and clients who bring forward the great projects, then work with their teams to make sure they’re successful
Winner - Hammerson
Hammerson is one of the construction industry’s most successful and exciting clients. It has enjoyed consistent growth over the past nine years, in part owing to its flair for developing schemes that become genuine destinations, whether office, retail, regeneration or a combination of the three. Most recently, it has impressed the construction world with its drive for quality architecture from the likes of Foster and Grimshaw, and of course Future Systems’ iconic Selfridges in Birmingham. Hammerson’s teams are skilled at forging lasting relationships with suppliers and stakeholders to overcome the inevitable hiccups in complex schemes, and in keeping a rigorous, but intelligent and understanding eye on progress.
Birmingham council realised that traditional practices meant that projects often lacked cost or programme certainty and presented little opportunity to harvest learning. So it formed the Birmingham Construction Partnership, bringing together Urban Design and three large construction companies to deliver its capital building programme, worth £500m over five years. It’s been a resounding success – projects are increasingly completed on time, defects are fewer and accident rates on site are reduced.
Everyone wants to work on a landmark building and British Land’s portfolio is studded with them. They also know how to manage these most dangerous of schemes, thanks to its experienced in-house team, many of whom have crossed the fence from the supply side. That’s why contractors like working with the firm – they praise its understanding of the kinds of problems that befall megaprojects and its sympathetic attitude to those who must overcome them.
This central London-focused property investor is renowned for the quality of its designs and no-expense-spared approach to creating highly original and attractive office space. Derwent London doesn’t just cater for the West End occupier; it also takes a calculated chance on up-and-coming locations, and takes a long-term view of future value. Architects love working with Derwent London because its directors not only appreciate a creative approach to their buildings but positively rely on them to lessen project risk and maximise returns for shareholders.
This developer is one of the most reliable clients in the industry, with a steady stream of groundbreaking office, retail and regeneration developments. Where it leads, others follow. Its developments at Bankside and Victoria have transformed shabby corners into attractive, bustling places. Land Secs is an expert client; this year it has become a more hands-on one, taking the time to develop relationships with every subbie and supplier in the chain.
Ministry of Defence
Defence Estates has made giant strides in improving its procurement and construction management in the past few years. Now one of the most admired in the public sector, it manages its vast, complex and often crumbling estate with military precision. Large projects are signed and completed ahead of schedule – six months earlier in the case of phase one of the £2bn Colchester Garrison project – and its approach to procurement is intelligent and modern. No wonder contractors and consultants are queueing up to work with it.
Building Awards 2007
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Client of the Year