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BRMCA award winners announced

Merseyside Loop

British Ready-Mixed Concrete Association awards celebrate excellence in customer service

THE winners of this year’s British Ready-Mixed Concrete Association (BRMCA) awards for Excellence in Customer Service, which recognize ready-mixed concrete companies for high-quality, efficient and professional service, have been announced.

The overall winners were Hanson UK for two complex concurrent contracts with Story Contracting – Eden Brows and Merseyside Loop, while two companies were ‘highly commended’: CEMEX UK for 60-70 St Mary Axe (the ‘Can of Ham’), with AJ Morrisroe & Sons Ltd as the contractor; and Tarmac for the London Bridge Station redevelopment with Costain.

The Eden Brows Project is the reinstatement of the historic Carlisle to Settle railway that was closed due to a severe landslide, where the engineering challenge was described as ‘…one of the biggest ever faced by Network Rail’.

More than 500,000 tonnes of earth moved along a strip 130m long by 70m wide, continuing to move at around 0.3m each month. The site had to be continuously monitored for movement and this was a factor that had to be carefully considered during the repairs.

Adding to the challenge was the location; the site was only accessible through densely populated and environmentally important woodland supporting protected floral species and wildlife.

The second Hanson UK contract undertaken with Story Contracting involved the upgrading of the MIR Birkenhead to Liverpool Loop Line (pictured), where more than 500m of track slab and four stations were upgraded. The C40/50, F5 concrete was initially retarded for five hours with an accelerator being added just before placement into the second pump.

A clever technical solution coupled with enormous commitment from all involved, including production, logistics and technical staff, helped deliver exceptional customer service. Story Contracting Ltd said they had no hesitation in engaging Hanson’s technical team to once again engineer specialist concretes and ‘deliver the goods’.

Of the two highly commended projects, the ‘Can of Ham’, as 60-70 St Mary Axe is otherwise known, is in one of the busiest parts of the City of London with very restricted access. The 23-storey, 90m tall tower required 4,000 cubic metres of slipformed concrete to be supplied within 14 weeks.

The CEMEX UK technical team worked closely with AJ Morrisroe to design concretes that could be readily placed where ambient temperature varied from 12°C to 31°C. The results were said to have exceeded customer expectations.

The highly commended London Bridge Station redevelopment saw Tarmac working in partnership with Costain to deliver a fluid concrete using a 10mm (max) aggregate that was specifically designed for Costain and trialled at their holding yard in Edmonton.

Multiple tests allowed both parties to assess the required placement methodology as well as a realistic supply time, to ensure that the concrete remained within specification throughout the process. They also allowed for formwork release agents and reinforcement spacer options to be tested, reducing variables and ensuring that the concrete supplied fulfilled the client’s precise requirements.

Pal Chana, executive director of MPA Cement, said: ‘These richly deserved awards showcase three exceptional ready-mixed concrete solutions and demonstrate the need for excellent customer service and collaboration in the successful application of concrete in construction. BRMCA members are committed to delivering resource-efficient, innovative solutions based on a wealth of technical experience and working in close partnership with contractors.’

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