Awards Continue To Flow For A-one+
26 November 2015
The A-one+ joint venture between Costain, Colas and CH2M picked up more plaudits for its work on behalf of Highways England at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards (HMEA), held in London’s Lancaster Hotel.
The Area 12 team covering Yorkshire and Humberside picked up the top prize in two of the three categories for which it was shortlisted – ‘Most innovative project/Scheme of the year’ and the Institute of Highway Engineers’ ‘Team of the year’ award.
The ‘most innovative project’ award was won for the team’s work on managing the motorway ‘soft estate’ by carrying out a first ever trial for Highways England in converting low-grade timber to biomass low-carbon fuel for electricity generation.
The timber came from thinning trees in areas adjacent to motorways in Area 12. “There’s a requirement to maintain the landscaped areas for Highways England,” said Construction Assurance Manager, Brian Dunn.
“Analysis from our Environmental Manager showed there were 150 plots in the Yorkshire and Humberside area greater than one hectare. We selected five plots to provide enough timber, which produced 1656 tonnes of biomass.
“Highways England now has our very detailed report and is studying whether it wants to continue producing fuel for local power stations [from the timber] on a national scale.”
The judges commented that “this is a great idea which is eco-friendly and can be transferable to other highway maintenance schemes”.
Meanwhile, the ‘Team of the Year’ award was presented to mark the work of the Area’s Ambassador Group, which promotes engineering in local communities, schools and colleges to help address the industry-wide skill shortage.
“About two or three years ago we recognised we had a couple of employees going to schools careers fairs and other events in their own time to support STEM subjects,” said Brian.
“So, we created the Ambassador Group to share the commitment and now have 16 STEM ambassadors in our business. In the last year and a half they’ve diversified and now take on a wide range of additional roles such as mentoring graduates and we now have four apprentices in the business.
“In STEM and WISE activities this year alone, the ambassadors have reached out to over 850 children. We’ve also had a ‘bring your child to work’ day and we supported the national ‘Women in Engineering Day’. We’ve done a lot in the past year and Highways England is very supportive of that.
“The judges’ comment about our submission was that ‘Our team took community liaison to a new level dealing with some industry wide issues at a programme level rather than relying on the good will of individuals’.
“In terms of relevance the HMEA awards are highly significant, reflecting the work A-one+ and our parent companies do as major players in the highways maintenance and construction industry,” said Area 12 General Manager, Brian Statham.
“The event is sponsored and attended by many of our competitors and major companies and it should be of great pride to all that A-one+ Area 12 was the most successful of any company or project submitting papers this year.”
Area 12’s third entry was also shortlisted for ‘Environmental Sustainability’, as was Area 14’s ‘Product of the Year’ entry for use of Ecolite-TH2 eco-friendly temporary lighting. Area 7 was jointly shortlisted for best use of new technology for roadworker safety.
Caption: TV personality Gaby Roslin (left) presented the Most Innovative Project award to the Area 12 team.
Costain Communications Department