The greatest contribution to London

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has announced that five projects are the recipients of the ICE London Merit Awards 2009, the city’s highest honour for civil engineering excellence.

In existence for over a decade, the awards celebrate outstanding civil engineering achievement, innovation and ingenuity by companies, organisations and individuals in London. All entries were required to have been substantially completed during the 2008 calendar year.  

The awards were presented by Alice Bhandhukravi, BBC London News reporter and presenter, and Robert Sharpe, chairman of ICE London, at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

Robert Sharpe, chair of the judging panel, said: “The recipients of the ICE London Merit Awards 2009 have excelled in delivering projects which combine a commitment to innovation, creativity and social value with a culture of safety and sustainability. I congratulate them all for demonstrating the important contribution that civil engineers make to London.”

The 2009 ICE London Merit Award recipients are:

Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Woolwich Arsenal Extension which was entered by Morgan Est and received the ICE London Merit Award for Infrastructure. A joint venture between Morgan Est and Colas Rail, the DLR Extension to Woolwich Arsenal comprises 2.5km of new railway, in parallel tunnels under the River Thames, connecting to a new underground station at Woolwich Arsenal. What most impressed judges was the quality of the scheme and the fact it was designed, built and commissioned by a totally coordinated team responsible for its future.

Watermark Place, entered by Sir Robert McAlpine which received the ICE London Merit Award for Buildings. A development consisting of three interconnecting buildings, Watermark Place provides 60,000m2 of office space along the Thames near Cannon Street Station. An exemplar of sustainable urban design, the judges were impressed by the way in which the project team, architect Fletcher Priest, structural and services engineer Waterman and contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, worked together closely to ensure this building was designed and built with minimal environmental impact through innovative energy and resource management processes.

Kew Xstrata Aerial Walkway which was entered by Jane Wernick Associates, received the ICE London Merit Award for Best Integrated Design. The Xstrata Aerial Walkway is an 18m high steel structure which allows visitors to pass close to the canopies of specimen trees at Kew Gardens in London and is comprised of a series of identical 12m long walkways that are supported by slender, tapering pylons. Judges were particularly impressed with the way the design was developed to fit amongst the trees and their root systems, and how the steel fabricators made the best structural and architectural use of weathering steel.

Heathrow Terminal 5A, entered by Ove Arup and Partners, received the ICE London Merit Award for the Greatest Contribution to London. Terminal 5A is the UK’s largest free-standing building and forms the centre piece of the huge T5 development at Heathrow Airport. Improving and modernising Heathrow to meet aviation demand and customer needs required an unprecedented level of collaboration by the construction team throughout the project. Judges were also impressed by the innovative design and construction methods which were employed, which gave huge savings in terms of cost and programme and enabled the project to be delivered both on time and to budget.

Hampton Advanced Water Treatment Works (AWTW) Rapid Gravity Filter Remodelling, entered by Black & Veatch, received both the ICE London Merit Award for Conservation and the ICE London Merit Award for the Greatest Contribution to London. Hampton AWTW provides one third of London’s drinking water and is Thames Water’s largest water treatment works. The refurbishment of this historic plant, originally built in 1939, impressed the judges with its employment of innovative solutions and sustainable approach to development. Upgrades are now 90% complete: six months ahead of programme and substantially under budget, with minimal interruption to the water supply of millions of Londoners.

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