Easilift Loading Systems, the UK’s leading supplier of total loading bay solutions, has acknowledged its successful long working relationship with major construction company Bowmer & Kirkland after recommending the firm for a prestigious national award.
Easilift nominated Bowmer & Kirkland for the 2010 Confederation of Construction Specialists Main Contractor of the Year award after the companies worked together on a demanding recent project for Tesco.
The scheme, in Teesport, Middlesbrough, involved the construction of a new 90,000 sq m distribution centre and saw Easilift supply and fit 76 dock leveller loading pods and 15 double deck lifting platforms, incorporating PowerDoor sectional overhead doors and PowerShelter collapsible dock shelters.
It was the latest in around 70 projects the two companies have worked on together over the past 20 years, including additional developments for Tesco and other leading retailers such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Next, Boots and B&Q.
What made the Teesport project significant was that the building had to be exceptionally airtight, meaning that a significant amount of work went into sealing the junctions between Easilift’s loading pods and the buildings’ outer walls to prevent leaks.
Rob Fay, managing director of Easilift Loading Systems, said that the problem was solved through close and in-depth co-operation between Bowmer & Kirkland, built environment experts BSRIA and Easilift, who were involved in the project from the planning phase right through to completion. It was this co-operative approach which earned Bowmer & Kirkland Easilift’s nomination, and which eventually led to them picking up the award.
Mr Fay said: "It’s a cliché, but they do say that the word TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More and that is certainly what we have proven time and time again when working with Bowmer & Kirkland.
"At Teesport, Bowmer & Kirkland set themselves an extremely high air permeability target and they recognised that meeting the required standard meant close co-operation with ourselves.
"Unfortunately that is not always the case with main contractors, who can sometimes keep sub-contractors very much at arm’s length. Bowmer & Kirkland are very different; they share our belief that all stakeholders need to be collectively engaged if a project is to be really successful, which is why we have enjoyed such a long and successful association with them and why we nominated them for this award."
Tesco’s new distribution centre achieved air permeability of 0.41m3/(h.m2) and an air leakage index of just 0.69m3/(h.m2). This puts it way above the industry norm, and even above Tesco’s already stringent airtightness standards.
"It would have been easy for Bowmer & Kirkland to set their standard and pass the problem of solving the potential leaky interface between the loading pods and the wall to us," Mr Fay added.
"But instead, they commissioned BSRIA for design advice and air testing and then fully co-operated with us, giving full consideration to the impact of the unusual additional requirements we were being asked to fulfil.
"By collaborating with us and sharing information in the early stages of the project, it enabled us to work together in finding an early solution so that the project completion date was never at risk.
"We are obviously delighted that Bowmer & Kirkland has now won the Confederation of Construction Specialists Main Contractor of the Year award."
The award was presented by Paul Morrell, the Government’s Chief Construction Advisor, to Bowmer & Kirkland’s Regional Director, David Horton, at a recent ceremony held at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London.
Tesco is one of a number of blue-chip companies on Easilift’s customer list, which reads like a roll-call of some of the biggest names in UK retailing, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, warehousing and the service sector.
The company, based in Kirkburton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has itself just achieved Investors in People Bronze status accreditation, which places the company at the leading edge of best people management practice in the UK in its sector.
It is already an active participant in the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and all its engineers are fully qualified under the CITB Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS).
And it was also one of the first in its sector to achieve the prestigious SAFEcontractor accreditation, a scheme which independently assesses the health and safety record and competency of contractors and, as such, confirms to prospective customers that effective policies and systems are in place.