University of Birmingham contracts for O’Brien Contractors worth £1.5m

Midlands based civil engineering specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has provided design and build and groundworks services for the University of Birmingham

We have been chosen to work on the University of Birmingham’s campus expansion plans.

The two projects are part of a wider drive by the University to invest close to £500 million, over a five year period, to enhance the student experience on its Edgbaston campus.

Appointed as principal contractor by the University, we have been selected to work on a design and build contract for the construction of an 800m footpath/cycle way from the main campus to the main student residence village, the Vale, along with associated section 278 works and soft landscaping.

The second scheme will see us install hard and soft landscaping around the prestigious new library.

The contracts build on our tradition of supporting the top universities across the Midlands with their major campus upgrades, following 8 years working with Aston University to develop their Student Villages complex and assisting Birmingham City University’s relocation to Eastside.

Stuart Chamberlain, Director, said: “University of Birmingham is Internationally acclaimed with a reputation spanning over 100 years. We are absolutely delighted to be chosen to work on their campus redevelopment – one of the most high profile schemes taking place in Birmingham.”

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.

Key projects and customers include the Nestlé factory with John Sisk; the Longbridge Marks & Spencer store with Morgan Sindall; and the Thunderbird 2 retail distribution centre with Sir Robert McAlpine.

Stuart Chamberlain added: “85% of our projects now come from repeat business and recommendations, but we know that it’s not enough to be satisfied with where we currently are. So we continually improve by developing our people and processes, and challenge ourselves to constantly re-evaluate our core competencies. By doing this we ensure that we understand our clients’ needs, concerns and pressures more completely than our competitors.”

O’Brien Contractors takes pole position at Silverstone Park

Civil engineering specialist providing groundworks services across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Leading groundworks and civil engineering specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has been named by Readie Construction as the partner to work on MEPC’s Silverstone Park development.

The latest phase of the high-performance technology business park will enable new businesses to join a growing motor sport community, including eight of the 11 F1 constructor teams and many supply chain companies that serve the motorsport industry.

Appointed by principal contractor, Readie Construction, O’Brien has secured a design and build contract for the installation of roads, sewers and services.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Readie Construction to our portfolio of high profile clients. It is always refreshing to work with likeminded businesses with a reputation of providing the highest standards in terms of quality, health and safety and the environment. We are very much looking forward to forging a strong and long-term relationship with them.”

O’Brien Contractors has built up a presence in the Northamptonshire area having provided civil engineering support on a number of schemes, including: Thunderbird 2 in Kettering – a 98,700 square meter distribution centre for Sir Robert McAlpine and Northampton College – a state of the art college building for SDC.

Established in 1958, O’Brien Contractors is a second generation, family-run business that has gone from strength to strength and expanded into a range of new sectors.

From commercial units and hospital facilities, to industrial units, schools, universities, highways and commercial housing developments, O’Brien’s extensive experience consistently leads to the delivery of class-leading solutions.

MEPC, the developer behind Silverstone Park, has aspirations to create more than 8,000 new jobs and accommodate 200 businesses at the site over the next 10 years.

O’Brien Contractors appointed to Interserve’s Ingenuity House scheme

Civil engineering specialist, providing groundworks services at Interserve’s Ingenuity House scheme in Solihull, West Midlands.

We have been appointed to work on Interserve’s multi-million pound regional headquarters in Solihull.

Situated at the heart of the transport network and one of the Midlands’ important regional development programmes – UK Central, the new state-of-the-art headquarters will enable the Global construction and support services company to bring together its West Midlands operations into a single, energy efficient and highly sustainable building.

We will deliver a host of ground works – including: drainage, foundations and reinforced concrete works.

Tony Mitchell, Operations Manager, O’Brien Contractors, said: “The Ingenuity House development marks an exciting new chapter for Interserve and we are extremely delighted to have won this contract to provide groundworks expertise for their new flagship HQ.”

“We’ve developed a business strategy that focusses on becoming a regional strategic partner for leading construction companies, like Interserve. Key to our success is our ability to provide innovative solutions that reduce costs, saves time, delivers operational efficiency and ensures the highest standards of health and safety.”

Established in 1958, we are a second generation, family-run business that has gone from strength to strength and expanded into a range of new sectors.

From commercial units and Olympic-standard sports facilities, hospitals, universities, highways and commercial housing developments, our extensive experience consistently leads to the delivery of class-leading solutions.

Key projects and customers include: the Nestlé factory with John Sisk; the regeneration of Longbridge town centre with Morgan Sindall; and the Primark retail distribution centre with Sir Robert McAlpine.

O’Brien Contractors pounces on groundworks package at Project Gazelle

West Midlands based civil engineering contractor provides groundworks services at Project Gazelle in Bedfordshire.

Quantum Construction has awarded O’Brien Contractors a £900k groundworks package for a regional distribution warehouse in Bedford.

Codenamed Project Gazelle, the new 3,058m2 warehouse, including offices and distribution facility, is for Matthew Clark, a national drinks wholesaler with over 200 years’ experience supplying drink products, hospitality training, labour management and marketing support to over 16,000 On-Trade premises across the UK.

The works to be undertaken by O’Brien include: pad foundations, service yard – including the ramps for the dock levellers, ground floor slab of in-situ concrete and associated drainage.

Operations Manager, Tony Mitchell, said: “We are delighted to have won this contract and have the opportunity to demonstrate our technical expertise to new client Quantum Construction.”

“Organisations are looking for a partner who can provide the most cost-effective solution while always ensuring the best quality and speed of installation, a commitment we apply across all of our projects.”

O’Brien Contractors adopts SkillSight to help maintain its’ industry-leading Health and Safety standards


The safety of employees, sub-contractors and members of the public is our top priority.

With a varied workforce, managing training requirements, ensuring qualifications stay up-to-date and recording all of this information in a meaningful way had become a very complicated and time-consuming job.

By implementing SkillSight, the free skills management software from Reference Point, we have been able to improve the way we raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business and protect employees by ensuring people attend the necessary training courses, providing them with the relevant skills to carry out their jobs on site safely and efficiently.

With a workforce ranging from 100 to 180 depending on the range of projects appointed to, Training Coordinator Kelly Davis has to record thousands of inductions and qualifications on Excel spreadsheets which previously stored all of the company’s training related information, but were difficult to manage.

Added to this, many of the qualifications expire after certain periods so workers have to be booked onto the correct courses at the appropriate times so that they stay accredited as required.

SkillSight allows construction companies to add training and qualifications to the chip on CSCS cards and securely edit the information online at any time. Then the card can be read on site, in the office or anywhere it needs to be, using a card reader or NFC enabled android or Windows smartphone.

Graham Wren, CSCS Chief Executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see that forward thinking contractors like O’Brien are taking advantage of the many benefits that using CSCS smartcards can bring.”

O’Brien’s Training Coordinator, Kelly Davis, said: “Following a successful office-based trial we are rolling SkillSight out onto sites with a view to implementing it on a company-wide system over the next few months. Already it is making managing our training records much easier and quicker and more accurate.”

Andrew Foster, Health and Safety Manager, said: “We are constantly striving to raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business and we aim to protect employees by providing healthy and safe working conditions and by minimising the risk of accident or injury by providing our team with the necessary training and skills to work more safely. The implementation of SkillSight and CSCS smart cards will help us to achieve this goal.”

Staff from O’Brien Contractors show their support for local charity Myton Hospice


We are proud to announce we have supported Warwick Myton Hospice in giving the centre a makeover.

Through its’ patient and family support services, the Coventry and Warwickshire based charity provides vital assistance to 1,000 patients and their families each year, from hospices in Warwick, Rugby and Coventry.

The initiative has presented us with the opportunity to give back to the community by donating members of staff to decorate sections of the Myton Hospice in Warwick.

Tony Mitchell, Operations Manager, said: “The specialist care Myton Hospice gives to people who are terminally ill is magnificent. We were delighted to have the opportunity to help maintain one of their first-class facilities, helping ensure their patients have a comfortable environment to be cared in.”

Over the last couple of years, we have adopted a more strategic approach with a number of Midlands-based leading organisations, including: Morgan Sindall, John Sisk & Son, Aston University, Kier Group, Galliford Try, Birmingham City University and Lovell Partnerships. The change in policy has enabled our business to deliver the highest standards across projects in Birmingham, including: St. Modwen’s Longbridge Town Centre Phase 2 scheme, Alumno Developments’ Number One City Locks, Aston Student Village scheme and The New Assay Office and in-turn, grow turnover by 59.98%, from £17.5m to £28.03m.

This financial success has been the driving force behind the company backing a wealth of community support initiatives, including:

“Our business is run on good family values and we actively get involved in schemes that benefit the local community. 2014/2015 has delivered a record turnover and this financial success has given us the platform to be able to do even more with local charities.”

Phill Jones, Myton Hospice, Estates Manager at the Warwick Hospice, said: “We would like to say an extremely big thank you to O’Brien Contractors who have spent almost three weeks helping transform our Warwick Myton Hospice. Their voluntary labour has saved Myton a significant amount of money. We greatly appreciate their hard work and generosity.”

For further information about Myton Hospice, please visit their website:

O’Brien Contractors shortlisted for two categories in Builder and Engineer Awards 2015


We have been shortlisted in the Specialist Contractor of the Year and Sustainable Project of the Year categories for the 2015 Builder and Engineer Awards.

The awards are designed to reward the hard work and creativity of those working in the industry.

The Sustainable Project of the Year accolade is for Nestle’s £200m coffee manufacturing facility, codenamed Project Dove, which saw us deliver an £11m groundworks and civil engineering package.

The judges will be looking for evidence that the winning project has considered the impact on the environment and has contemplated sustainability. With 2012 the wettest year on record, we were presented with a site containing 40,000m3 of spoil not suitable for re-use. The original solution our engineer had designed was no longer viable.

To overcome this, we implemented a soil remediation strategy that subsequently cut costs by £800k, reduced lorry movements by c7,000 saving 15 tonnes CO2, sent no spoil to landfill and reduced imported stone by 70%. We also achieved a zero accident performance with in excess of 90,000 man hours worked and created a safer stable site for ongoing construction work.

The Specialist Contractor of the Year award recognises businesses that have excelled by delivering exceptional performance, increased turnover, invested in innovation, added value to its’ clients and improved health and safety standards. During 2014/2015, we grew turnover by 59.98%, from £17.5m to £28.03m, maintained our accident rates well below industry average, invested £2.4m in new state-of-the-art plant and equipment and delivered 9 multi-million pound contracts which accounted for our 2014 turnover.

The winners will be announced at the Builder and Engineer Awards on Thursday 19th November at the Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.

O’Brien Contractors shortlisted in Birmingham Post Business Awards 2015

We have been shortlisted in the Property and Regeneration category for the 2015 Birmingham Post Business Awards.

The winner will be the company that has demonstrated exceptional progress over the last year by growing financially and expanding the services they offer to clients. We have achieved a 59.98% increase in turnover and significantly invested in our earthworks service. During 2014/2015, we spent £220k in GPS technology and appointed an Engineering Manager and Assistant Project Manager to provide clients with the most efficient earthworks solutions, helping them reduce waste and cost. Across projects in Birmingham, our solution has prevented 27,000m3 of material from being taken to landfill, equating to:

  • Avoided c.3000 of lorry movements across Birmingham.
  • Saving 23T CO2 and fuel for 90,000 miles of 20 tonne lorry haulage, leading to less pollution in the atmosphere.

Other criteria that the company will be judged on include job creation, investment in equipment and infrastructure, industry recognition, accreditation, accolades, service innovation, strong commitment to the region and customer satisfaction.

In our submission we have demonstrated excellence and improvements in all of these categories.

Managing Director, Peter O’Brien said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted in this category. We are a Midlands based company and committed to this geographical area, a strategy that will ensure we continue to deliver excellent projects for our customers and provide them with the best service for the best value.”

The achievements that have resulted in the shortlisting for this award include:

  • Turnover increased by 59.98%, from £17.5m to £28.03m.
  • Delivered 9 multi-million pound contracts which accounted for our 2014 turnover.
  • Recruited 5 apprentices from the Birmingham area.
  • Health and Safety: Maintained our accident rates well below industry average.
  • Awarded consecutive ROSPA gold accolade.
  • Invested £2.4m in plant and equipment.

The winners will be announced at the Birmingham Post Business Awards on Thursday 12th November at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.

O’Brien Contractors appointed to Perry Beeches V scheme


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.

Double delight for O’Brien Contractors as it strikes gold at RoSPA awards

In recognition of our Health & Safety standards, we received the Gold Award during the RoSPA’s Occupational Health and Safety Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016


We are pleased to announce we have been awarded our second Gold award for Occupational Health and Safety from the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The internationally recognised RoSPA Health and Safety Awards provide businesses and organisations of all types and sizes with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work.

Mick O’Brien, O’Brien Contractors’ Health and Safety Director, said: “Receiving the Gold award for Occupational Health and Safety from RoSPA is testament to the commitment we place to ensure the safety of our staff by constantly striving to raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business.”

The Gold award follows another successful year which has seen an increase in the size of our projects and workforce, matched by further investment both in new plant and in ongoing training and development programmes so that our employees are competent to work safely.

“We feel it is vital companies, and especially the construction industry, protect their employees by providing healthy and safe working conditions and by minimising the risk of accident or injury to employees and sub-contractors, as well as members of the public that may be affected by their work.”

In addition to our rigorous safety policies, our industry-leading standards have been recognised with occupational health and safety accreditations ranging from OHSAS 18001 to CHAS, Achilles Building Confidence (5 Star Rating) and Achilles Link-Up.

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage improvement in occupational health and safety management. Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as O’Brien Contractors Limited, contribute to raising standards overall and we congratulate them.”