Praise for standards of onsite health construction

Published: 26-Mar-2012

Community consideration, safety and site aesthetics highlighted in industry awards

Carbon management efforts, rubbish and noise control, and health and safety excellence were just a few of the ways in which construction companies managed to mitigate the impact of major healthcare developments last year.

A number of firms have been singled out for praise as part of this year’s National Site Awards , organised by the Considerate Constructors Scheme to recognise high standards of consideration towards neighbours, the workforce and the environment during the delivery of new buildings.

The winners included companies behind the development of three UK health centre schemes and five hospitals, as well as a centre for regenerative medicine and a biomedical research facility.

Given gold awards were: Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospital Joint Venture for its approach to the development of the new Pinderfields Hospital; Sewell Construction for the Branholme Health Centre in Hull; and Miller Construction for the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh.

Silver awards went to GF Tomlinson Birmingham for the College Road Medical Centre; ISG Construction for the Biomedical Research Centre Building in Newcastle; Balfour Beatty Construction Northern for Salford Royal Hospital; and Sewell Construction for the Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull.

And the judges also handed bronze awards to Laing O’Rourke Construction for the Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Blackpool Victoria Hospital; and to VINCI Construction UK for the second phase of the Whiston Hospital PFI development.

Awards are given to just 7.5% of construction sites registered across the UK, with judges examining everything from whether the developer was a good neighbour and its workers were respectful and created a positive image, to the overall appearance of the site, the health and safety record and the environment impact of the work and the resulting building.

We've worked hard to form relationships with the local community and do the best by our workforce and the environment

One scheme rewarded for its approach to the management of carbon emissions was Miller Construction UK’s work on the centre for regenerative medicine for the University of Edinburgh. Active carbon management identified that car journeys were contributing 100 tonnes of the 110 tonnes total emissions for the site, and a subsequent car sharing programme reduced this level considerably. Photovoltaic panels supplied site power and a 90% waste recycling score was achieved. The firm also introduced staff facilities including a prayer room and gymnasium and free fruit was provided in the canteen. In addition, the company donated fencing panels for a charity event, provided 50 car park spaces for hospital staff during a period when their own car park had reduced capacity, and invited local schoolchildren to decorate some of the hoarding panels around the site.

The work at Pinderfields Hospital was singled out for a gold award for ‘exemplary standards of internal cleanliness’ as well as the work undertaken to maintain the overall look of the area despite constantly-changing site boundaries. The judges said: “In addition to standard jet spraying for dust control, atomisers were also introduced to great effect, while the solid timber hoarding was complemented by screened walkways to reduce interaction with the public.”

The site also holds a record of charitable donation which now exceeds £24,000 and detailed staff induction procedures complemented by zero harm behavioural training resulted in 365 days with no reported accidents.

Commenting on Sewell Construction’s brace of accolades, Sean Henderson, project manager at the gold award-winning Bransholme Health Centre, said: “We've worked hard to form relationships with the local community and do the best by our workforce and the environment. The health centre will provide great facilities and services for local people once it's opened, but we're keen to be a good neighbour while constructing the centre and be a great company to work for and with. It's great that our efforts up to this point have been recognised and we'll continue to do so through the final stages of the build."

Bransholme was described by the judges as having an ‘almost clinical level of cleanliness throughout’. They also praised the construction team for adopting a ‘friendly and helpful’ approach to the public and community, with regular informal conversations held with passers-by and assistance given to disabled drivers in directing them to the appropriate bays. Further interaction was encouraged via hoarding vision panels and practical community support included the provision of additional car parking for the adjacent Methodist church and community centre, together with redecorating work. Energy bills were also covered for the church and a better rate negotiated for its future energy supplies.

For more information, click here to visit the Considerate Constructors Scheme site

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