Judges Special Award

Sponsored by:

Winner: G3 Systems Facilities and O&M Group’s Role 3 Medical Treatment Facility at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan 

This far away project belongs in the Major Award category because it is run for the US Navy by G3 Systems located in Portland, Dorset. The Group Manager in charge is Peter Underhill, Group Manager Facilities O&M Group, who commutes on a regular basis between Dorset and Kandahar an unenviable task, to ensure the smooth running of a life-saving facility.  In fact, it is this aspect of the hospital that impresses most; Coalition Forces, wounded on the battlefield, have a 98% chance of survival once they have been admitted to the Kandahar trauma unit. The hospital’s location in the desert, where everything from water to generators has to be flown in, demands extraordinary attention to resources and the control of energy.  During the planning and design stage, G3 Systems and Peter Underhill who was the Senior Construction Manager at the time of construction needed to take a proactive stance to overturn inappropriate suggestions put forward by NATO; initial designs for the hospital were replaced by a facility influenced largely by G3 Systems’ own experience in putting patients first.  The result is a facility which has much to teach its ‘peace time’ equivalents.  Kandahar staff,  all too aware that they exist in the middle of a war zone, gain some sense of security from the knowledge that the hospital is the safest place to be in Kandahar Province.  The 18inch concrete surrounding walls and roof can effectively withstand rocket attacks, which occur on an almost a daily basis. A new category of FM emerges from the Kandahar experience – ‘combat FM’. This is no exaggeration as Tony Bates the Senior Facilities Manager in country, himself has needed to don full body armour to cope with emergency situations.  He pays huge tribute to his staff in performing well beyond the call of duty; he describes them as being very bright third world people who, for instance, demonstrate extreme diligence in the difficult but vital task of both preparing and cleaning-up operating theatre facilities.  One endorsement states: “I have never been to another hospital that stays as consistently clean as ours does, completely owing to the diligent efforts of our housekeeping staff.”  It follows that MRSA has never become a problem at Kandahar”.


Winner: LOCOG Facilities Team

Gary Johnston leading the LOCOG (The London Organising  Committee of the Olympic Games) Facilities Team stated that ‘the success of the project can best be judged after the games’.  We now know the result and can acknowledge the project’s outstanding success.  For once, the word ‘unique’ can genuinely be applied; within a 7 year period, FM staff grew from 1 to 6,000, with 50% of the project outsourced to ETDE.  LOCOG worked on a policy of mutual trust; FMs were never told what to do but, always, they were asked for advice.  In the judges’ opinion, the sprint to the finish did not always produce perfect results (viz. LOCOG’s own offices) but long-term objectives were always achieved.  LOCOG   controlled 3,000,000 sq ft of space over 7 sites with an immense variety of tasks performed by FMs taking individual responsibility.  Many people employed temporarily by LOCOG have now walked away from the experience with increased confidence in their abilities and newly acquired skills.