As this is the 6th time we are hosting our annual Excellence in Construction Awards programme, I think it is safe to say that the programme is becoming a habit – a GOOD habit. It is wonderful to have an opportunity to showcase our industry and generate publicity for our members, partners and the Association itself, and off course to have a fun-filled glamorous gala event to captivate us for a few magical hours.
Underlying all of this, and what is most important, is to recognise that we have fallen into the good habit of celebrating excellence. One of the definitions of excellence is “possessing good qualities in high degree”. So what are good qualities? Buildings, above all, have to perform to meet the needs for which they were conceived and built in the first place. This might be to provide shelter, or to create a space for learning or economic activity, or a place for healing and health care, a place for worship and contemplation, or some or other vital aspect of infrastructure such as the provision of energy, water or transport.
For a building to perform well in any of these applications, it needs to be built impeccably. This means the right materials have to be used in the right manner, the right methodologies need to be used to put all of the different materials together and the right level of quality control needs to happen to make sure that the end results meets or exceeds the client’s original needs or expectations.
This type of quality control doesn’t happen by itself or by accident, but is the result of a commitment and dedicated effort on the part of the contractor and other role- players. While such commitment may start in a boardroom or in a policy document, it needs to be carried out by a range of role-players on an ongoing basis. It consists of right action, right attitude and a high level of discernment under often high pressure conditions.
The recipients of all the awards in this years programme have only received recognition because they decided to make quality a priority. This was not a one-off decision but an attitude that was adopted and implemented every single day while the projects were taking shape. It is this hard work and dedication that we truly wish to recognise.
Its almost a cliché to say that something like the Excellence in Construction Awards goes from strength to strength, but this has been the genuine finding of our adjudicators. The standards get better each year and their job becomes more challenging. What fantastic news for the construction industry in KwaZulu Natal. What fantastic news for clients and the users of the structures that are built in this fashion.