A family-owned construction company that has been based in Liverpool for more than 40 years has won the Refurbishment of the Year award from the National Federation of Builders (NFB).
Lockwoods Construction, of Bootle, won the award for its work on Southport Indoor Market. It was also highly commended in the New Build of the Year category for Bailey Court (pictured), an extra-care facility in Kirkby with many low-carbon features.
Managing director John Maddock was presented with the award at a ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London.
He said: "As a result of both the general economic climate and the usual public sector procurement practice that sees most projects aggregated and let to major contractors, it is becoming increasingly rare to find sizeable projects of this type carried out by a local SME construction company.
"Among some people across the industry, there is a received wisdom that smaller companies are a higher risk or are less capable. These NFB awards go some way to showing that high levels of skill reside in local companies such as our own and that, given the opportunity, we can deliver technically demanding projects to a very high standard.
"An additional benefit is that the investment that smaller, local companies make throughout the local economy both delivers opportunities for the creation of skilled jobs and generally raises the level of expertise available in each area."
Southport Market saw the delivery of a project picked up after the failure of a national contractor. Work totalling £2.2 million included an external façade refurbishment, complete resurfacing of the roof, new glazed screens, complete new mechanical and electrical services and the construction of new stalls – all while the market was still operational.
The £3.9 million Bailey Court project used a local supply chain to deliver a very high-tech, low-carbon 35-apartment building and illustrated the ability of Lockwoods to assimilate the engineering knowledge required for new, low-carbon technologies. A key point was the conversion of the original project specification from a masonry structure to a timber frame, allowing use of more sustainable resources and a faster delivery time.
The building also uses biomass fuel combined with an array of solar thermal panels and photovoltaics for all of its heating requirements, substantially reducing the carbon footprint. Using local suppliers was a priority and 84% of orders placed were with companies in the 0151 phone area.
The NFB Annual Awards are designed to reflect the dynamic nature of the construction industry and provide a unique opportunity for members to showcase – and be recognised for – their work.