The winners of the BRMCA's Award for Excellence and Customer Service, which recognises ready-mixed concrete companies for high quality, efficient and professional service, have been announced. The overall winner was Hanson UK for two complex concurrent contracts with Story Contracting: Eden Brows and Merseyside Loop. Two companies were awarded Highly Commended; CEMEX UK for 60-70 St Mary Axe, the 'Can of Ham,' with A J Morrisroe & Sons Ltd as the contractor and Tarmac for the London Bridge Station Redevelopment with Costain.
The Eden Brows Project is the reinstatement of the historic Carlisle to Settle railway that was closed due to a severe landslide, where the engineering challenge was described as '…one of the biggest ever faced by Network Rail.' Over half a million tonnes of earth moved along a strip 130m long by 70m wide, continuing to move at around 0.3m each month. The site had to be continuously monitored for movement and this was a factor that had to be carefully considered during repair. Adding to the challenge was the location; the site was only accessible through densely populated and environmentally important woodland supporting protected floral species and wildlife.
The second Hanson UK contract undertaken with Story Contracting was for the upgrading of the MIR Birkenhead to Liverpool "Loop" Line, where over half a kilometre of track slab and four stations were upgraded. The C40/50, F5 concrete was initially retarded for five hours with an accelerator being added just before placement into the second pump. A clever technical solution coupled with enormous commitment from all involved, including: production staff, logistics and technical helped to deliver exceptional customer service. Story Contracting Ltd had no hesitation in engaging Hanson's technical team to once again engineer specialist concretes and "deliver the goods".
Two projects were highly recommended:
The 'Can of Ham', as 60-70 St. Mary Axe is known, is in one of the busiest parts of the City of London with very restricted access. The 23 storey, 90 metre tall, tower required 4,000 m3 of slipformed concrete to be supplied within 14 weeks. The CEMEX UK technical team worked closely with A J Morrisroe to design concretes that could be readily placed where ambient temperature varied from as low as 12?C to as high as 31?C. Results exceeded customer expectations.
The London Bridge Station Redevelopment saw Tarmac working in partnership with Costain. A fluid concrete using maximum 10mm aggregate that was specifically designed for Costain and trialled at their holding yard in Edmonton. Carrying out multiple tests allowed both parties to assess the required placement methodology as well as a realistic supply time, to ensure that the concrete remained within specification throughout the process. It also allowed for formwork release agents and reinforcement spacer options to be tested - reducing variables and ensuring that the concrete supplied fulfilled the client's requirements.
Commenting, Pal Chana, Executive Director of MPA stated:
"These richly deserved awards showcase three exceptional ready mixed concrete solutions and demonstrate the need for excellent customer service and collaboration in the successful application of concrete in construction. BRMCA members are committed to delivering resource efficient, innovative solutions based on a wealth of technical experience and working in close partnership with contractors."
- The BRMCA Award for Excellence in Customer Service was awarded as part of The Concrete Society's 49th Awards which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on 16 November 2017.