This year’s Building Awards were some of the most hotly contested yet.

An array of talented individuals and enterprising, forward-thinking firms have turned in excellent results, fabulous designs and spectacular feats of construction. We have, as you can see in these pages, an industry of which we can be proud.

The completion of a high-speed rail link that can whisk travellers from London to Paris in just two and a quarter hours was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year – and allowed London & Continental Railways to walk away with the Client of the Year trophy. Without its vision and management, this project would have struggled to come in on time and budget. Stephen Jordan, take a bow.

Our judges were equally knocked out by what’s been going up in Manchester, where the opening of the Civil Justice Centre proved that wonders really can be worked when private and public sectors hit it off. Finally, at the other end of the scale, these awards showcase the wealth of talent that is coming up the ranks. Our congratulations go to Obiora Onuora, whose warmth of personality, grasp of his job and absolute enthusiasm for the industry won the day in the ConstructionSkills Newcomer of the Year category. Well done, too, to all the other winners, including Byrne Brothers, the Specialist of the Year and best of the best winner.

Finally I'd like to thank all our judges for giving their time and expertise so generously. I'd also like to thanks all our sponsors that made these awards possible. And finally, thanks to all of you who entered – your achievements continue to make these awards a magnificent showcase for construction excellence.

Denise Chevin, editor, Building