Kier's determination to remain in the building business helped it achieve global turnover of £927m last year and operating profit of £15.6m worldwide. This is not to say the firm is not forward-thinking: far from it, Kier has expanded its facilities management and partnering activities over the past year and set up a new business, Caxton Islington, to run maintenance for the London Borough of Islington under a £120m, 10-year contract. Its excellent safety record also impressed judges, as did its performance on the £67.5m Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, which it handed over six months early. Four Kier divisions worked on the project, which was Scotland's first major PFI hospital. To cap an exemplary year, the company launched an environmental policy in 2000, and backed it with a training and awareness programme for staff.
Sir Robert McAlpine
This family-owned company took on two of the highest-profile and most challenging projects of 2000 – the Millennium Dome and Cornwall's Eden Project. The groundbreaking St Austell greenhouse was a hit with the public, and clients are clearly impressed with Sir Robert McAlpine: more than 60% of work won last year was repeat business. To keep customer satisfaction high, it is developing its own key performance indicators to monitor work on site.
Bovis Lend Lease
Bovis Lend Lease continued its march onto the world stage last year, with a five-year extension to its global contract with BP and a new alliance with telecoms giant Nokia that covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa. International projects include the £175m Terra Mitica theme park in Benidorm. In the UK, the firm completed Salford's Lowry arts centre. All this helped the company to record worldwide turnover of £3.5bn, with operating profit of £39m.
Wates' commitment to improving its own performance caught the judges' eyes. Its Improving Construction programme, launched in January 2000, includes "right first time" workshops, technical training, supply-chain management and project monitoring with key performance indicators. All these skills came into play on the fit-out of the John Lewis store at West Quay mall in Southampton, which the client described as "the best yet".
Building Awards 2001
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Major contractor of the year: £200m-plus turnover