The travails afflicting recent high-profile construction projects like Wembley Stadium, the Scottish Parliament and Bath Spa illustrate how building and engineering works can go wrong, resulting in delays, over-spends, acrimony and litigation. When Mace was founded in 1990, its aim was to deliver first-class projects on time and to budget by building relationships deliberately engineered to circumvent conflict.
In the years since, Mace has delivered in spades (although its people are more likely to rely on a state-of-the-art laptop than a shovel). When it completed a brand-new control tower for Heathrow Airport's new fifth terminal last October, the 900-tonne structure, built 2km away in a quiet part of the airport, was shifted into position in the dead of night to ensure no disruption to runways next day. It was five weeks early.
Mace has been at the heart of some of the UK's most prestigious projects in recent years - the London Eye, the British Museum's Great Court, Royal Bank of Scotland's new HQ at Gogarburn and the aforementioned Terminal 5, to name a few. Clients at the highest level know that Mace's construction and project management skills will meet their standards. Mace - part of the consortium that will oversee the London Olympics construction project - is a Service Excellence stalwart, having twice won its category before. What persuaded the assessors to make it this year's overall winner was the firm's carefully planned and meticulously executed approach to moving into a completely new market: the water industry.