In this category, the crack team that emerged victorious was the one that applied military precision and masterminded impeccable tactics to conquer some extremely challenging projects. Sponsored by Jewson


Defence Estates

The Ministry of Defence's procurement agency won this reward in recognition of the military precision with which it tackled a seven-year, £150m project to refurbish about 1400 UK homes for the United States Airforce's personnel and their families, and another to do up 606 houses at RAF Lakenheath. The scale of the task was ideal for training the industry's standard scratch team into a unit of crack professionals. This was achieved with the help of Mansell, which marshalled the consultants and suppliers with such efficiency that the USAF's houses were finished in half the time and slashed the expected costs. The team's tactics included using a procurement co-ordinator for the first time ever and using the Cadweb project management system for the first time on a MoD job.

Defence Estates is refurbishing up to 606 houses at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk

Defence Estates is refurbishing up to 606 houses at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk

Runners up

Interserve Health

The operating phase of PFI projects is ideal for the formation of integrated teams that learn from their mistakes and continually better their performance. Or, to use the contemporary jargon, to weld the seven or so key team members into a single virtual company. To this end, Interserve has developer a process map that was so successful that it was adopted nationally by the NHS. The fruits have already been plucked: St Helens Hospital had its rehabilitation wards completed ahead of schedule with no accidents, defects or overruns and £3.6m in savings were delivered at Withington Community Hospital.


Many knowledgeable people in the construction industry have suspected that one of the truly great projects of last year was Royal Bank of Scotland's headquarters at Gogarburn in Edinburgh. Much of the attention has focused on its scale, the luxuriousness of the finishes, and the client's budget. But it is largely thanks to Mace, the construction and project manager, that it was finished three months early, as it was Mace that directed every profession and trade on the site.

Taylor Woodrow

This contractor estimates that about 80% of the value of its service is delivered by its suppliers, ergo the lion's share of any improvement that the firm can make in its service can be achieved only through improving the performance of those suppliers. Those key suppliers, in fact, since the overall strategy rests on building a bond with a precious few top quality partners. The outcome is demonstrated by Taywood's strategic alliance partnership with three M&E firms; this has completed more than £1bn of business and has achieved outstanding KPIs.

Birmingham Construction Partnership

Birmingham council worked out that traditional tendering was costing it about £6m a year, and 73% of projects were overrunning. The general solution to this problem is generally agreed to be some kind of partnering arrangement, but the one developed by the council is unique: it is working with three contractor partners to deliver up to £500m of investment. Together, council and contractors have formed the Birmingham Construction Partnership, and the details of its operations, from open-book contracting to co-location reads like a paradigm and a paragon of smart construction.


This is a story of a successful marriage between housebuilder and materials supplier. For a start there is a happy mutual dependence: Wolseley provides building materials to 50 sites run by housebuilder Keepmoat. Then there's the issue of communication: Wolseley's supply chain team works with Keepmoat's procurement team to ensure the co-ordinated and cost effective delivery of materials. And finally, there's the mutual benefits. For Wolseley, this has been a tenfold increase in orders since 2002.