Willmott Dixon was declared Major Contractor of the Year at this year’s Building awards.

The UK’s third largest privately owned capital works, regeneration and support services company saw annual turnover reach nearly £1 billion in 2009 – an increase of 68% since 2008.

Group chief executive Rick Willmott commented: “The judges said the decision to give Willmott Dixon this award was unanimous. We were the best of the best! It’s recognition for all our team’s hard work and our continuing commitment to innovation, sustainable building and a forward-thinking approach to help our clients meet their ‘more for less’ agenda.”

At the awards, judges said:

“This was a tough category and amid stiff competition it was Willmott Dixon that stood out for all judges. The extent of their commitment to sustainability marked it out from rivals as a truly forward thinking business, with incentive payments modified to include sustainable development targets and almost 90% of site waste diverted from landfill in 2010.

The company has also been quick to use partnering to meet the government’s ‘more for less’ agenda, developing an off-the-shelf range of schools in partnership with architects and local government procurement organisation Scape that can cut the cost of delivering a new building by 30%. The judges were also impressed by Willmott Dixon’s commitment to its workforce. An average of five days training per employee a year led judges to describe the firm as on where ‘people are at the heart of what they do’.”

The Building awards recognise the industry’s top and most innovative performers, while encouraging sustained performance and further development throughout the sector.

“While it’s always nice to receive recognition of our work from our peers, ultimately what matters most is what paying customers think. This is why we place such emphasis on our client satisfaction surveys which resulted in a 90% score. We have two formal client reviews, one at the end of the pre-construction period and one three months after completion to benchmark our performance.

Rick continued, “As we are privately-owned, we can take a longer-term view to investing in our people. We want to make this company a business that people are proud to work for. It’s initiatives such as giving staff 15 hours a year to take part in community projects, the day off on their birthday, green company car bonuses, gym membership and access to on-site health and wellbeing clinics, which the judges appreciated.”