Construction company BAM has been selected as ‘contractor of the year’ at the Education Industry’s annual gathering.
The company, which is in its 150th year of trading globally, received its award at the annual Education Estates conference in Manchester .
The conference – which was attended by over 2000 people – is described by the Department for Education as a “must attend” event.
Each year the company regularly designs and builds more than a dozen primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and university buildings. Its clients include the Department for Education, local authorities, higher education providers and specialist trusts.
James Wimpenny, BAM’s Chief Executive, said:
“Great schools, colleges and universities play an essential role in our society. Our work supports great education, and helps our clients operate sustainably and efficiently.
“What we offer appeals to our clients not only because the buildings are high quality but also because of how we do things, and how well we understand how they do things. Our secret is simple: collaboration. You can only collaborate if you listen, and understand. Then you must engage, and learn. Every single project, we take ourselves to school.”
Mr Wimpenny said the award was especially meaningful because of the company’s journey through history.
“We built our first school in the UK in 1874, annexed to St Paul’s Cathedral. Our first University was 1890, for Kings College. In those days we moved things around by horse and cart and employed a stablemen. Now, we have virtual reality engineers and drone pilots.”
The company places great emphasis on adding value beyond the fabric of the building.
“We recently won the Department for Education’s first ever safety award for the construction sector. In 2018 we engaged 20,000 students and hosted 536 education activities. Construction can and should be a learning opportunity for those around us too. Our responsibility is to reach out to them. That way what we leave behind is not just a fine building. We leave behind people whose lives are changed by what, and how we have built.”
BAM was joined on the list of winners by Scott Brownrigg, which was the Architectural Practice of the Year. Together, BAM and Scott Brownrigg have recently worked on Brecon High School, Great Western Academy and Kingfisher Primary school, both in Swindon and Ryden Enterprise School in Surrey.