LABC Constructing Excellence Awards
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Portakabin wins industry recognition with a constructing excellency award


Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA2) was awarded the London District Surveyors’ Association (LDSA) President’s Award at the LABC London Building Excellence Awards in London on Friday evening.

The project was built in just nine weeks in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham by offsite specialist Portakabin.

The LABC (Local Authority Building Control) London Building Excellence Awards reward excellent buildings, outstanding companies, and partnerships and individuals that go that extra mile. The LABC network covers all local authorities in England and Wales and is split into 12 regions, of which London is one.

In partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) approached modular experts Portakabin and international consultancy and construction business Mace to build a school for almost 1,000 students in the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

Now known as the fastest school ever built, KAA2 was an unprecedented project from start to finish; taking just 12 weeks from appointment to occupation and a record-breaking nine weeks to build.

Judges awarded the project the special recognition of the LDSA President’s Award. James King, President of the London District Surveyors Association said: “A team was put together in response to the tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year to rebuild the Kensington Aldridge Academy.  This project took just 12 weeks from appointment to occupation and a record-breaking nine weeks to build. Known as the fastest school ever built, the London District Surveyors Association (LDSA) decided to present the project team, consisting of - the school, Portakabin, Mace, the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the building control team from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with a special LDSA President’s award. 

“This award acknowledges the very essence of professionalism within the construction industry, showing how by working collaboratively with LABC, design and construction teams can deliver projects to very tight timeframes in difficult circumstances.”

David Benson, Principal of Kensington Aldridge Academy, said: “Staff, students and parents at KAA are extremely grateful for the exceptional work from everyone at Portakabin, Mace and the ESFA to provide our students with a place to learn on schedule for the start of the academic year in September. This shaped a positive start to the term and has allowed us to deliver the same rich curriculum to our students, ensuring their education is not impacted by the temporary move. Portakabin are thoroughly deserving of this recognition for creating the ‘fastest school ever built.’”

Derek Carter, Chief Executive of Portakabin said, “What an amazing project - the quality of the relationship and interaction between all parties involved was outstanding. At our busiest time of year, we had no hesitation in committing to support this project. The entire team, including all our partners, worked actively and creatively to deliver this fantastic building together. It is something the entire business is incredibly proud to have been part of.”

Phoebe Leach, Mace’s project director, said: “The temporary school for the Kensington Aldridge Academy was a hugely emotional project to work on. It was very moving to see everyone in the supply chain move heaven and earth to deliver a fully functioning school for nearly 1,000 pupils in less than 13 weeks. We’re thrilled that this work has now been recognised by the LABC Awards – it’s a real honour and reflects the hard work from everyone at Mace, the EFSA and Portakabin who helped deliver the project.”

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