O’Brien Contractors win RoSPA Gold Award for fourth straight year

We won a Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards for the fourth year running.

We have won a Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards for the fourth year running.

We will be presented with the award during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The award was achieved during a special year for family-safety charity RoSPA, as it celebrates its centenary.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director of O’Brien Contractors, said: “Health and safety is sown into the fabric of our business and this is why we have made it one of our core values. We place great emphasis on minimising the risk of accident or injury to employees and sub-contractors, as well as members of the public. It is not just about staying compliant.”

O’Briens commitment to occupational health and safety has seen its industry-leading standards recognised with accreditations ranging from OHSAS 18001 to CHAS, Achilles Building Confidence (five star rating) and Achilles RISQS. 68% of its annual training budget was also dedicated to H&S training and 80% of their site operatives were also qualified to NVQ 2+ standard during 2016.

“It is always pleasing to receive recognition for outstanding achievement; especially rewarding when it is for maintaining an outstanding health and safety record over a sustained period of time.” said Peter.

Judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards are the most prestigious in the world of occupational health and safety, and held in high regard around the world, as winning one demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record. Achieving the standard required is no mean feat.

“This is a special year in the history of RoSPA, and we congratulate all of our winners in this, our centenary year”.

Leamington Spa to Romford in 5 seconds

Civil engineering and groundworks specialist providing earthworks and laser levelling services at Broxhill Sports Centre.

If your boss gave you the choice of travelling a minimum 5 hour round trip in the car, or to make that journey in 5 seconds at the click of a button, what would you choose?

Well, for engineering surveyor, Gareth Price and his team at civil engineering and groundworks specialist, O’Brien Contractors, that choice has become a reality, thanks to director, Mick O’Brien, whose investment in 3D machine control and Trimble Connected Community software, has dramatically reshaped the business.

In order to understand how the solution works, Finning News took up the offer from SITECH UK and Ireland’s Zoë Adnitt, to visit Mick at a new sports pitch project in Romford and then travel to O’Brien’s head office in Leamington Spa, all in one very long day.

The project itself involved the creation of a brand new 3G sports pitch and a multi-use games area (MUGA), constructed next to an existing sports centre. With very tight tolerances required to meet the exacting standards for the pitch, before the job was secured, the surveying team carried out an in house survey, modeled the whole project in 3D and then monitored it throughout the earthworks programme, as Mick explained:

Having proven the benefits of machine control on previous sports pitch projects, we have now gone to the lengths of setting up a new specialist division for this type of work.

“So in practical terms, our first aim with any project is to try and ensure that no material leaves site, eliminating the need and cost of truck movements. This is achieved by recycling good quality soils and designing in features like earth bunds to use material that would normally be classified as inert waste.

“Our challenge throughout this process is that we have to stick as closely to our design as possible, but you never truly know what you will unearth or how materials will compact, until you actually start doing the job.

“This is why you have to be on top of a project from day one. Typically before GPS enabled 3D machine control, we would have had to send a member of our team down to site on a very regular basis, which is a costly exercise when a round trip is 5 hours. This was the reason that prior to our investment in this technology, we tendered for jobs much closer to our base in Leamington Spa.

“This was obviously quite restrictive to our growth, especially in the more specialist sports pitch market. So by using two-way communication through the Trimble technology using the GPS network, the machines are able to tell us what they have been doing and we can see the daily progress onsite at the touch of a button.

“Equally, we can see the all important levels being achieved and therefore continually update our calculations around material movements, settlement and compaction. This means that Gareth, our engineering surveyor, can make relevant adjustments to the 3D model from his desk, delivering changes to the individual machines onsite, at the touch of a button, via the Trimble Connected Community.

“So what would be a round trip of at least 5 hours to our latest Romford project to upload a file from a memory stick or complete a survey using older techniques, is a 5 second file click and drag process, which is then sent through the cloud.

“In commercial terms, this approach has totally changed our capabilities and more importantly for the customer, changed the way a project is delivered. Our customers get a 3D design matching high quality finish, reduced truck movements, which pleases the local residents and a faster job, at a fixed competitive price.

“It really is a win win for both parties and a transformational journey from regional to national contractor for our business, I honestly don’t know how we could run a profitable job without it.”

So if you’ve got an earthworks project you’re looking to start, click here to talk to us about how we can help you generate cost and efficiency savings.

O’Brien Contractors sponsor road safety for another year!

Birmingham based civil engineering and groundworks specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has sponsored a Warwickshire road safety scheme

We have once again agreed to sponsor two local primary schools as part of the Warwickshire Road Safety Club. Membership of The Club is available to all primary schools in Warwickshire and is organised by Warwickshire County Council’s Road Safety Team.

The importance of road safety was highlighted by the Department for Transport’s latest research, released in June 2016, which found there were 22,137 people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents across the UK in 2015, with 1,910 being children aged 15 or younger.

O’Brien’s Director Mike O’Brien will be visiting Our Lady & St Teresa’s this week to find out how road safety education can benefit the local community. Mr O’Brien, said: “O’Briens is a successful, family run business, with a culture of supporting our local community and charitable initiatives. Having seen the excellent work the Warwickshire Road Safety Club do in teaching young pupils how to stay safe on the roads, we were only too happy to sponsor the schools for a second year.” Mr O’ Brien and his brothers all attended the school on Windmill Hill.

The schools will run a series of road safety initiatives throughout the year including the Kerb Safe pedestrian training for 6 – 7 year olds.

Cubbington Primary School will also benefit from the sponsorship again this year.

Eleni Jenks, Assistant Headteacher of Cubbington CE Primary School, said: “The Road Safety Club is a great way to engage with our pupils and get them thinking about road safety. Through the scheme, they learn vital skills that will help prevent accidents and equip them with lifelong skills. We really appreciate the support provided by O’Briens.”

O’Brien Sports secure Broxhill Sports Centre contract

Civil engineering and groundworks specialist providing earthworks and laser levelling services at Broxhill Sports Centre.

We have been appointed JCT Design and Build subcontractor for the delivery of new facilities at Broxhill Sports Centre in Romford by local contractor Valuegrade.

The scheme is part of Havering Council’s vision to provide the community with exciting new sports facilities that will include a new full sized 3G football pitch designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the FIFA Quality Concept, multi-use games area along with a polymeric sprint track and car park.

Our work will include earthworks remodelling of the site to form a plateau level ready for the installation work.

O’Brien Sports prides itself on being at the forefront of technology and has invested in and operated state-of-the-art GPS and laser-guided earthworks plant for some time.

Mick O’Brien, Director, O’Brien Sports, who will manage the project, said: “Our earthworks team provide accurate calculation of material quantities, including those for cut to fill scenarios, enabling us to deliver clear, accurate and reliable information and advice to clients, before, during and after contracts.”

“Where possible, we create a design that incorporates as much of the site material into the project, reducing the need to dispose of materials to landfill. This helps us offer our clients the best possible price, whilst also minimising our environmental impact.”

“Valuegrade is a highly regarded main contractor built on a reputation of delivering quality and trust. We are delighted that they recognised our sports capabilities for the installation of this scheme.”

Tim Storrar, Valuegrade, said: “We are looking forward to collaborating with O’Brien’s and believe the time spent prior to work commencing on site has been extremely valuable with regards to managing out the problems that are normally associated with these types of schemes.”

O’Brien Sports offer a full range of sports pitch services, including:

  • Full design and build construction projects
  • Synthetic and multi-use games area (MUGA) pitches
  • Pitch renovations
  • Natural sports pitches
  • Total solutions for sports pitches

O’Brien Contractors awarded SME of the Year at the 2016 Celebrating Construction Awards

Our commitment to the Midlands has seen us awarded a SME of the Year at the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards in Birmingham

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With a long-established track record of delivering expert civil engineering solutions across the Midlands, we are proud to be named SME of the Year at the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards 2016.

We scooped the highly acclaimed award for investing in our people, focussing on improving customer satisfaction and adopting industry best practises across all areas of the business. We were also praised for our commitment to sustainability and maintaining an above industry record for health and safety.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, said: “A fundamental element of our success has been the commitment we’ve placed to the Midlands. We believe by focussing on the region, we can forge strong and long-lasting relationships with clients and our supply chain facilitating greater collaboration, essential in delivering projects successfully.”

Established in 1958, O’Brien has partnered with the region’s leading industry clients, including: Morgan Sindall, Aston University, John Sisk & Son, Kier Group and University of Birmingham.

Peter added: “It’s not just about consolidating your efforts into one area. We have continually invested back into the business so that we have a highly talented and knowledgeable team, operate the most efficient plant and technology, and benchmark against industry best practices, like Achilles BuildingConfidence – having achieved a 5-star rating in 2014. This regional award recognises the hard work and commitment of the whole O’Brien team.”

O’Brien Contractors appointed to Perry Beeches V scheme

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We have  been appointed to work on Perry Beeches the Academy Trust’s fifth highly-acclaimed free school in Small Heath, Birmingham.

The delivery of a £10 million primary and secondary school facility at the former Virgin Media Office Building and adjacent industrial units will feature a 3 storey extension, sports hall, football pitch, MUGA and car parking.

Appointed by principal contractor, Morgan Sindall, we will deliver earthworks and a host of ground works – including foundations, drainage and associated works.

Morgan Sindall is a leading UK construction, infrastructure and design company and our Operations Manager, Tony Mitchell, sees the new contract as an endorsement of the services provided to them at St. Modwen’s Longbridge Town Centre Phase 2 in Birmingham: “We are delighted to be working with Morgan Sindall on this important education project in Birmingham. The past year has seen us work closely with Morgan Sindall, fully understanding their standards, philosophy and objectives and we hope Perry Beeches V will strengthen our relationship further.”

We will draw on our technical expertise, which includes state-of-the-art GPS controlled surveying equipment and machinery, to deliver groundworks services in the most efficient method possible and with minimal waste.

“Our team is well-versed at delivering high-grade education facilities in a live environment having provided civil engineering services on 9 schools as part of the Priority School Building Programme in Coventry and this experience will be pivotal in the execution of the scheme.”

Established in 1958, O’Brien Contractors is a Midlands-based provider of civil engineering, design and build and groundworks services, as well as turnkey sports pitch solutions. Receiving the prestigious five star rating for Achilles BuildingConfidence accreditation in 2014 means O’Brien sits alongside leading names in the construction sector as suppliers of excellent quality work with a commitment to growth and sustainability.

Key projects and customers include the Nestlé factory and Number One City Locks residential building both with John Sisk & Son; Longbridge Town Centre Phase 2 with Morgan Sindall; Aston Student Village for Aston University; and the Primark retail distribution centre with Sir Robert McAlpine.

Picture Caption: Perdip Mann, Secondary Headteacher, Perry Beeches V School, Caz Brasenell, Primary Headteacher, Perry Beeches V School and Tony Fitzgerald, Project Manager, Morgan Sindall.

Compactor machine control as O’Brien Contractors increase capabilities

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Since its formation in 1958 by Tom O’Brien, the father of current directors Peter and Mick, specialist civil engineering and groundworks company O’Brien Contractors, based in Leamington Spa has been at the forefront of embracing new technology.

For Peter and Mick O’Brien, a focus on developing the use of Trimble machine control systems since the late 1990s, has seen the business grow its capabilities across its mixed fleet of excavators and dozers.

Having recently trialled the latest machine control technology on a compactor with Trimble solutions provider SITECH UK and Ireland, Mick O’Brien has a clear focus on how O’Brien Contractors will continue to take advantage of the technology to maximise productivity, as he explains: “From the very early stages of machine control, we recognised the commercial advantages it could offer us as a business, investing time with Trimble to develop the early solutions.

“It has been this long term journey, now continuing with Trimble dealer, SITECH which has seen us build our fleet to incorporate six dozers, twelve excavators and more recently trial the latest in compactor technology.

“For me, most people looking at machine control tend to focus onsite, whereas through our experience we know the real value lies in preparation in the office, prior to starting a job. This is why a few years ago we employed a dedicated machine control specialist. From tender stage, he liaises with our estimating team to work out volumes and look at the overall project, to see where value-engineering opportunities exist, carrying this work through when the project starts.

Even though this is a lot of investment in time before you are even awarded a job, it ultimately contributes towards a greater understanding of the project which leads to improved planning. With clients also wanting us to react very quickly when we are awarded projects, our machine control expert has the capabilities to model the earthworks required and feed this information directly into the machines, even when they are on route to site.

“So instead of engineers being dispatched to do the setting out, the machines can be operating within minutes of arriving at the job.  Even if the earthworks models change as the project moves forward, we can send the updated drawings and technical data straight to the machine.

“Of course the key to making this work is the interaction between operator and machine and this is why our expert is also tasked with training and supporting our drivers, with help from SITECH. Interestingly, you may think that machine control would be harder to introduce to older operators, but this is just not the case, as our most experienced people are in their 60’s and have found it very simple to make the transition.

“Having recently worked with SITECH to trial a compactor with machine control, I can definitely see how we can continue to expand our machine control fleet and capabilities. But for me the next step is all about utilising two-way communications, by receiving and processing data from individual machines activities.

“For our business this will be extremely important, as our clients expect us to report on site progress and this can be done in the future without leaving the office. For example, in the last 12 months we have kitted out eight excavators with machine control and can now receive data from the machines activity.

By knowing just how much of the workload each machine has achieved and the time taken, we can plan activity much better, keeping the job on track. Equally because of the partnership we have with SITECH, for certain jobs, we may choose to hire in equipment for the duration. The benefit of this approach is that we can still integrate these machines with our head office, by hiring equipment from SITECH and fitting it to the hired machine.

“I definitely think we will now see much more demand for information on earthworks from main contractors, especially as more people are challenged to meet carbon targets. In my opinion, even when you compare older machines with newer fuel efficient models, if you get machine control right and therefore the job right, it will have a much bigger impact on fuel efficiency than simply operating a new machine.”

The key to independence…

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According to a report published by Ofsted, outside of football, a large proportion of students, who have gone on to become the next elite athletes and tennis, rugby union and cricket players, have been nurtured on the sports fields of England’s independent schools.

41% of Team GB athletes who won a medal during the London 2012 Olympics were educated at an independent school. This is quite remarkable when you consider only 7% of school-aged pupils attend an independent school in England, compared to 86–93% of the population who are educated by a state run school.

This should come as no surprise when you consider that Independent schools have embedded competitive sports into their culture and ethos. They ensure all students participate in frequent sports activities; building confidence, self-esteem, academic excellence, character building, but also providing young people with the platform to realise their sporting goals and ambitions.

Independent schools do enjoy greater financial benefits over state schools, but now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is investing over £1 billion in the next few years to help people get fitter and healthier through a range of programmes designed to make access to sports facilities easier for everyone.

So, with grants and funding available to schools and local authorities, this is a great opportunity to get new sports pitches and facilities in place and bring competitive sport into the fabric of the education curriculum of state schools.

It is vital that schools and local authorities make the most of this opportunity because the skills adopted during physical education and through regular participation, are essential to the early development of children and young people. It can teach them key values, including: sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, mutual understanding and honesty.

Through competition, a child’s education is a far richer experience. They enjoy competition. Competitive sport encourages children to try harder. It also provides them with the experience of winning and losing and how to deal with both emotions.

Sports Pitch Specialists!

Investing in new sports facilities has to be done right for two important reasons: firstly, so that you get the best value from your budget, and secondly, so that you receive a high standard installation ensuring students can and will use them for years to come. To do it right you need to work with the best sports pitch providers you can and O’Brien Sports, who’s management team has over 55 years’ experience in sports pitch construction, is one of the first large civil engineering firms able to offer turnkey solutions for a range of sports facilities.

The company delivers projects ranging from stadiums and arenas through to rugby, football and hockey pitches. This capability is all maintained in house – with no outsourcing required – by a team of experts with a proven track record of delivering design and build sports projects to a diverse range of exacting client specifications.

The sports installations that we deliver include synthetic and Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) pitches with surfaces suitable for just about every sport and user, from professional sports teams to schools and communities, and natural sports pitches, such as those used for rugby, football and cricket.

Recent projects have included the construction of a FIFA-compliant football pitch, an Olympic-standard, eight lane athletics track (complete with long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault) and a football club (complete with 11 natural turf pitches, changing facilities, entrance road and car park). All elements of these projects were handled in house and to our uncompromising standards.

Services

O’Brien Sports offers a full range of sports pitch services, including:

  • Full design and build construction projects
  • Synthetic and multi-use games area (MUGA) pitches
  • Pitch renovations
  • Natural sports pitches
  • Total solutions for sports pitches
  • Infrastructure, including: access roads and car parks

The total solution…from concept to construction, we design and build all Synthetic and Natural Sports Surfaces.

T: 01926 423918

E: info@obriencontractors.co.uk

New CAT D6T takes the highway to St. Modwen’s Longbridge scheme

Civil engineering and groundworks company provides earthworks, groundworks and infrastructure services at Morgan Sindall’s regeneration of Longbridge town centre in Birmingham, West Midlands

We’ve recently strengthened our earthworks service and plant hire division with the acquisition of a new GPS controlled CAT D6T dozer.

The new D6T will be put to the test at St. Modwen’s £100 million town centre masterplan at the former MG Rover site. This development will feature the Midlands’ largest Marks & Spencer store comprising 150,000 sq ft, a six floor multi storey, 500 space car park and an additional 45,000sq ft of retail, restaurant and café space.

We have been appointed by principal contractor, Morgan Sindall, to deliver a highways package – including earthworks, 1606m of drainage up to 6m deep and 4500m of kerbs and edgings.

The new CAT D6T takes our investment in state-of-the-art equipment and machinery up to an impressive £2.2m during the last 12 months, including: two new Volvo A25G articulated haulers, three Volvo EC140DL excavators and a CAT D6N GPS controlled dozer.

Mick O’Brien our Director, said: “Throughout the years, our expertise has grown but our aims remain much the same – to work with our clients as an expert partner and provide industry-leading staff, technology and skills to deliver end results that exceed expectations.”

“To achieve our goals, we believe we must continue to invest in our people, software and machinery to ensure we continually improve the quality of our work and the speed of installation, saving our clients both time and money.”

This latest investment is part of an ongoing diversification strategy that is transforming our business and seen us win countless awards in recognition of our innovation, including ‘Tomorrow’s Company’ and ‘Specialist Contractor of the Year’ by Construction News and ‘Contractor of the Year up to £300 million by Building Magazine.

As the industry prepares for its annual celebration at the Construction News Awards on 30 June 2015, the recognition we’ve received at previous awards has prompted us to proudly sponsor this year’s event.

O’Brien Contractors take the lion’s share at Goodman’s Browns Lane scheme

Civil engineering and groundworks contractor provides earthworks and groundworks services at John Sisk and Son’s Lyons Park scheme in Coventry, West Midlands

Leading groundworks and civil engineering contractor, O’Brien, has been appointed to work on Goodman’s regeneration of Browns Lane in Coventry.

In the latest phase of the masterplan for the regeneration of the former Jaguar Land Rover site, the Lyons Park development will deliver 214,000 sq ft of modern industrial space to the local area.

Appointed by principal contractor, John Sisk, the project will see O’Brien deliver a host of earthworks and groundworks, including: 36,000m2 site cut and fill to form a reduced level excavation for the building foot prints, pad foundations, new storm and foul drainage system and service yards – incorporating the petrol interceptors and an attenuation tank.

Stuart Chamberlain, Director, O’Brien Contractors sees the contract as further evidence of the firms diversification strategy paying dividends: “Our ongoing investment in cutting edge surveying equipment and state-of-the-art excavators and bulldozers; equipped with GPS control systems, enables us to continually improve the quality of our work and the speed of installation.”

“Our technical expertise is essential in carrying out the works and assisting in creating cut and fill balance on complex and time restricted earthworks schemes. It enables our expert operators to deliver the design to the exact client specifications and ensures we provide the highest quality and level of service possible.”

The £1.65m contract will see O’Brien Contractors on-site for 20 weeks, with the overall scheme due for completion this summer.