Winner — Crown House Technologies
This Laing O’Rourke division is a huge fan of doing things off site. Want a 4.5MVA electrical distribution centre for the new 450m-long grandstand at Royal Ascot racecourse? No problem – it’s built and tested in Wolverhampton and then installed on site, saving everybody time and money. The approach is similar for mechanical heating and cooling. However, the off-site mantra doesn’t stop there. Crown House even monitors its buildings remotely – in India to be precise, over the internet. All this adds up to turnover increasing by a quarter to £179.3m last year and profit up to £4.1m. So next time you’re stuck in a queue to a call centre in India, be nice or you might suddenly start to feel a little bit chilly.
SE Controls makes a bold admission to all of its clients: although it is a heating and cooling engineer, it doesn’t promote the use of air-conditioning. The fact that its client list includes the weathermen and women of the Met Office is revealing, as they know just what challenges a naturally ventilated building has to deal with. SE Controls knows what it’s doing, though. It increased its R&D spending by 53% to over £80,000 last year and as a result was able to launch its OS2 natural ventilation control system that has been used on the award-winning Heelis building, the new National Trust headquarters.
When Kier’s engineers first met with its new client Oxfam they were told that they would have to produce the most environmentally friendly building possible as well as ensuring that all materials used were purchased from ethically sound sources. Their response? “No problem”. Kier came up with a heated and cooled beam that ran throughout the 85,000 ft2 office and worked with its partner suppliers to ensure Oxfam received just what it wanted. Firmly on the sustainable path, Kier has now employed 18 apprentices and is constantly expanding its off-site manufacturing capabilities.
Mitie is a big supporter of its suppliers and clients. So much so that it has set up its own football team with them called Team United. Sadly this team doesn’t actually meet to kick a ball about, rather ideas to ensure that everyone is happy with a particular project. Like any good team it has been stringing together a rather impressive set of results with a project for the AA seeing lead-in time cut from 16 to just three weeks; construction time from 28 to 17 weeks; and capital costs by 28.5%.
Specialist Contractor Awards 2006
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M&E specialist of the year