O’Brien Contractors named ‘Tomorrow’s Company’ in Construction News Awards 2014

Construction News Awards 2014: Tomorrow's Company

Midlands-based O’Brien Contractors has been named ‘Tomorrow’s Company’ at the Construction News Awards 2014. The prestigious title is awarded for providing, “a great example for the industry to follow.” This must include, “growing financially and in the service they provide clients.” The judges singled out O’Brien management foresight in investing in people and diversification at the bottom of the recession.

The Awards judges said, “They clearly have a smart strategy and have had the foresight to implement a succession plan alongside an ambitious growth plan.”

The judges praised the bold, extremely long-term outlook, which put O’Brien in a prime position to take advantage of the recent upturn. They also cited the clear succession plan, focused on improving customer satisfaction and relationships. O’Brien has raised customer satisfaction to 92 per cent by acting directly on feedback and having all clients deal with directors.

Peter O’Brien, managing director, said, “We worked hard to implement a sound business model which has stood up to the challenges of the recession. We have also invested in our people and systems to ensure that we deliver the best possible customer service. This national Award recognises the hard work, commitment and dedication of the whole O’Brien team.”

O’Brien Contractors has won a prestigious Green Apple Environment award


In the latest of a long line of business award successes, O’Brien Contractors has won a prestigious Green Apple Environment Award alongside much larger companies, including Laing O’Rourke, Kier and Lovell.

The Bronze Award recognises the company’s achievement and long-term commitment to developing a sustainable business and sharing best practice within the industry to improve the construction sector’s overall sustainability and environmental performance.

Managing Director, Peter O’Brien said: “We are delighted that our commitment to sustainability and continual improvement of our environmental performance has been recognised by this internationally renowned environmental recognition programme.”

As well as recognising the financial stability that the company has created through its diversification programme, which saw it expand its service offering, develop new solutions, grow its client base and increase its workforce, the award recognises the commitment the company has demonstrated to being environmentally sustainable through a range of initiatives.

These include:

  • Developing a comprehensive three page Environmental Policy
  • Implementing a purchasing policy that ensures materials are sourced sustainably, for example:
    • Suppliers must be ISO14001 accredited
    • Timber must be FSC certified and a chain-of-custody certificate must be produced
    • Preference must be given to recycled stone/bricks where possible
    • Metal must have a minimum recycled content of 40%
    • Using Hanson EcoPlus concrete which incorporates waste blast furnace slag to reduce its CO2 content by 13.53 tonnes for every 100m3 of concrete

O’Brien’s has also introduced a comprehensive recycling system that segments waste recycling in the office and on site, with dedicated skips for timber, steel, rubble and cardboard. It is further developing this system in order to achieve zero waste to landfill.

Excavated earth is recycled whenever possible by incorporating it into the projects it delivers, for example at Hollyfast School, Coventry, it was used to construct a turfed mound in the playground. This not only reduced waste but also reduced disposal costs and the resulting cost to the client. If materials can’t be reused on-site they are transported to nearby projects for reuse if possible.

The move to a paperless office is now saving approximately 12,000 sheets of paper per year and the company’s entire fleet of vehicles has been updated to low-emission models.

Peter O’Brien said: “Implementing environmental best practices now and constantly striving to improve performance is vital for our business, and our industry, to remain successful.

O’Brien wins a new contract for the Assay Office in Birmingham

new assay office birmingham

O’Brien has won a contract for Project Gateway in the Jewellery Quarter in central Birmingham. The contract will be for the construction of a new Assay Office and will be its second contract with Galliford Try after the successful completion of Solihull College.

Project Gateway is a landmark building marking the Western ‘gateway’ to the Jewellery Quarter and St George’s masterplan. The proposed development has been designed to respond to its location at this key frontage in the Jewellery Quarter, and respect its sitting within the Conservation Area.

The contract will involve the construction of the new building which will be 2/3 storeys high, utilising the sloping nature of the site, and will extend to circa 5,380 sq. m. The environmentally friendly design is proposed to be built to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard. The scheme comprises on-site car parking within a secure yard area.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, said: “I am extremely pleased to be working alongside Galliford Try again on what will be an exceptionally prestigious contract. We look forward to delivering the contract on time and to budget.”

The contract is due to start at the beginning of May 2014.