Institution of Civil Engineers 2014 West Midlands Awards

Strongford P-Removal and Sludge Buffer

Client: Severn Trent Water Partners: Mott MacDonald Bentley, Offa-Fix Formwork, Carlow Precast

The project's main drivers were to meet a new effluent phosphorous consent and to increase the efficiency of the onsite digesters. It included a new carbonaceous facility, a sludge storage and thickening facility and the upgrade of existing assets which are valued at approximately £20 million.

The project has been delivered as part of Severn Trent Water's e5 Major Projects Programme which was developed to promote innovation and collaboration between framework contractors and the supply chain at all stages of a project's lifecycle.

The team at Strongford have not only embraced this ideology but built on it further to form strong partnerships with Severn Trent Water's operations, numerous sub-contractors and the local community. All of these major contributing factors have been crucial to the overall timely and commercially sound delivery of a successful project in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Community Centre Canopy Extension

Client: The Salt Peter Trust & Koutulai Grace Farmers Group Partner: Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) West Midlands

Designed to improve the lives of a co-operative of widows in Uganda, the Koutulai Development has been built by the West Midlands branch of Engineers for Overseas Development over the last four years.

Led by Sarah Blick, the team made up of young West Midlands professionals volunteered their time to design and build the canopy extension during 2013. Negotiating language barriers and cultural differences, four members of the team travelled to Koutulai in pairs in August to complete the project which challenged and developed their engineering skills.

By sharing knowledge and ideas the team overcame many obstacles working in a rural area in Uganda and delivered the project on time and budget. The canopy extension has allowed more people from the local community to attend church services, group activities and educational lectures and, when hired out, generates a welcome income for the widows.

Tunnels Refurbishment Phase 1, Birmingham city centre

Client: Birmingham City Council Partner: Amey

The refurbishment of the A38 tunnels through Birmingham presented a number of challenges. Careful management inside the tunnels and mitigation of the impact on travel around the city was paramount. The route carries up to 85,000 vehicles a day and previous emergency closures had demonstrated significant disruption to traffic.

Early contractor and supplier involvement was crucial in ensuring materials, plant and labour was delivered within the time constraints. Work was carried out around the clock with between 120 and 200 operatives working within the tunnels.

The tunnels were refurbished to current standards, focusing on improving the safety to users in the event of a fire and traffic incidents. The success of advanced planning for the revised six-week programme and management of the construction ensured phase 1 was completed on time with a multi-million pound saving.