The Environment Agency, Mackley (working as part of Team Van Oord) and Jacobs enjoyed unparalleled success at the 2014 British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards’ ceremony in London on 8 October.
The partners received two awards, including the top award of the night, The Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award which is sponsored by The Cabinet Office.
Both awards were for the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme in West Sussex. The scheme was commissioned by the Environment Agency, with Team Van Oord as principal contractor and Jacobs as consultant.
The BCI Awards recognise all round excellence in construction, including the overall design and delivery of buildings and civil engineering projects.
The 27th BCI Awards ceremony – the largest to date – was staged at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane where more than 1,200 of the industry elite celebrated construction and engineering excellence.
The Medmerry scheme, which was described on the night as ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘innovative’, first beat off stiff competition to scoop the Civil Engineering Project of the Year (£10m – £50m) Award. The shortlist included projects by Surrey County Council, Network Rail (2) and Anglian Water.
The project was then selected from a shortlist of 26 to receive the premier award of the evening, The Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award. This award is the pinnacle of this awards’ ceremony and nominees were assessed on a range of standards including economic and social value.
Opened in November 2013, the Medmerry flood defence project involved the construction of four miles of new sea walls to reduce the flood risk to hundreds of properties in the area. The lifesaving defences held firm throughout last year’s floods and the scheme has been hailed as a gold standard of flood defence in the UK.
The project also created a new wetland for local wildlife to flourish and much of the site is now managed by the RSPB as a nature reserve.
By building this new form of defence, £300,000 per annum has been saved for the taxpayer and additional growth has been brought to the local area by allowing businesses to operate year round without the risk of flooding.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General said: “The projects shortlisted for the Better Public Building Award are exceptional examples of British construction.
“From the first spade in the ground, these projects helped set new standards in construction but will also give something valuable back to their communities.”
The Medmerry scheme joins an elite group of previous winners which includes the Tate Modern and the Velodrome at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Maurits den Broeder, Chairman of Team Van Oord, said: “We were thrilled to win the Civil Engineering Project of the Year, and humbled by the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.
“These awards are testament to the foresight of those at the Environment Agency who commissioned the scheme, the design talents of the team at Jacobs, and the skill and determination of our team who were tasked with delivery.
“Medmerry can provide a blueprint for many of the other vital coastal management and realignment schemes that will be delivered across the UK in the coming decades.”
Haven for wildlife: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE5_cXHZBHk
This is the latest in a long list of accolades for the Medmerry scheme. Other award wins in the past 12-months include:
• The Environment Agency’s Project Excellence Award for Sustainable Resource Management.
• The Institute of Civil Engineers South East Award for Environment & Sustainability.
• The Chartered Institution of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Award for Best Stakeholder Engagement, Best Practical Nature Conservation (joint winner) and the Tony Bradshaw Award in recognition of an ‘exceptional project that set an overall impressive standard’.
• The International Building Press Communications and PR Award for ‘2014 Integrated Campaign’
• The Constructing Excellence Awards (South) for Innovation (and ‘Highly Commended’ in the sustainability category).
• The Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice (the ceremony is in November when TVO will find out if the award is gold, silver or bronze)
Medmerry has also been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) ‘Pride Award’ for Community Relations, and the Constructing Excellence Awards (National) for Innovation, both of which will be presented in November 2014.
The Environment Agency published two short films tracking progress at Medmerry:
June 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggQbxJ64X24
August 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE5_cXHZBHk
9 October 2014