Ambitious hostel contractor wins award for work

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HELPING the homeless get a decent roof over their head has led to Portsmouth-based construction firm Warings scooping a top national award.

The company, which is part of the French Bouygues group, was given the gong for its work on a landmark £7.3m 10-storey YMCA hostel in South London.

The large building, in Wandsworth, was completed in June, three months ahead of schedule, and most of it was built more than 100 miles away in Gloucestershire.

Warings built it in ‘modules’, which included parts of lift shafts and already-furnished rooms with beds, tables and light-fittings.

These were then trucked down to London and put together on the site.

Warings’ construction director Colin Crowther said: ‘Despite the rapid construction technique employed, the project is still of the very highest quality and that is crucial for the client and the community.’

The work resulted in Warings being awarded the Project under £10m award from Construction News – winning ahead of some of the UK’s biggest building names.

Judges unanimously voted the project as the winner, saying: ‘Collaboration between client, designer and contractor enabled this at-risk scheme to be delivered ahead of time and on budget.’

The building consists of 161 modules, providing 56 rooms with space for around 80 of London’s most vulnerable young people to find a place to sleep.

Almost 1,000 of the construction industry’s leading figures saw Warings lift the award at a Gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Philippe Jouy, Warings managing director, said: ‘We were honoured to be an integral part of such a hugely innovative project that will make a real difference to vulnerable people in south London.

‘We are pleased to be able to provide these people with the very best facility and it is great that the quality of our work has been recognised.’

The YMCA project has also been placed as a finalist in the government-backed Constructing Excellence Awards for the London and south east.

If successful it goes through to the national finals.

Warings was also shortlisted for Contractor of the Year and Environmental Project of the Year for its involvement in Bournemouth’s £45m new airport, in particular the new arrivals hall.

The construction of that took four years and 450 tons of steel, working around five million passengers.

Thanks to Warings’ work, the airport was named as the most improved in Europe for customer satisfaction even before the project was completed in the autumn of 2011.

It was described as a ‘fantastic achievement’ by Warings.