This Kawneer-backed category rewards the achievements of the most reliable and efficient project managers in the business, with the trophy going to a firm whose latest megascheme was launched with a royal seal of approval



September was a proud month for Mace - the Queen herself came to open its £350m Royal Bank of Scotland HQ outside Edinburgh. Not only was this scheme gargantuan in proportions - office space for 3000 bank staff, a business school, a conference centre and a leisure complex - but the site also had a range of challenging issues, from poor accessibility to the protection of wildlife habitats. And yet, despite all this, it managed to complete the whole thing three months early and on budget. By working closely with the client, Mace achieved a stunning 20% productivity improvement on industry norms. It's this collaborative approach that has won it favour with local authorities - it now has business with More London Properties and a strategic partnership with Thames Valley Water.

The £350m Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters has been hailed as one of 2005’s most successful projects

The £350m Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters has been hailed as one of 2005’s most successful projects

Runners up

Cyril Sweett

Clients want a safe pair of hands, and that's what Cyril Sweett guarantees. But to win the big jobs, project managers have to offer something extra - the ability to find solutions on complex and difficult projects. One such was DEFRA's £220m redevelopment programme for the Veterinary Laboratory Agency. This involved state-of-the-art labs for testing animal viruses such as bird flu. Cyril Sweett's commitment to sustainability helped the building become the first lab to achieve a BREEAM "very good" rating.

Hornagold & Hills

Hornagold & Hills has its finger in all the big pies: the new Wembley regeneration project, the Elephant & Castle redevelopment, and Pfizer's pharmaceutical sciences centre, to name just a few. But perhaps the biggest and most prestigious is its involvement in the £2bn NHS LIFT programme, which aims to upgrade primary care facilities across the country. H&H has played a key role in bringing private and public sectors together on 20 LIFT projects so far. And as if being the UK's largest independent project manager wasn't enough, it is planning 20% growth in the next year and to open more offices in Dubai.

Rydon Group

When Rydon took on a £64m PFI health project - the largest scheme in its 27-year history - it knew that the scheme's success depended on using the right man for the job. That man was senior project manager Eddy Tipping. The first phase of the PFI, a £19m medium-secure mental health unit, presented Eddy with some real challenges. He had to relocate, form a totally new team, overcome access problems to the site, organise groundwork to an old quarry site, solve a sewer access problem and work to tough security standards. And he did it all in just 18 months and to budget.

Turner & Townsend

Turner & Townsend manages to exceed its clients' expectations, year-in year-out. That's probably why its been appointed to more than 50 long-term framework agreements with big names such as BAA, NHS Procure 21 and English Partnerships. Its latest success has been delivering a roll-out programme of in-store cafes for Tesco. T&T's bespoke execution plan led to the whole programme coming £1.02m under budget. Tesco was so impressed it has decided to use T&T's roll-out model for 2006. Now you understand why 75% of the firm's work comes from repeat business.