CABE Built Environment Awards 2024 winners announced

Excellence and ingenuity were recognised at last week's CABE Awards – we found out more about the winners.

A marker of industry standards by recognising excellence and ingenuity, the ceremony  which was held at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham on 9 February  acknowledged organisations and individuals who have made a meaningful and impressive contribution to the construction industry. The winners are listed below.

Access and Inclusive Design

Urban Design Guidance: ‘Creating Places That Work for Women and Girls’ – Arup and London Legacy Development Corporation for Access and Inclusive Design

The purpose of Arup and London Legacy Development Corporation for Access and Inclusive Design’s urban design guidance – Creating places that work for women and girls – was to make a positive impact on culture and safety by creating more gender-inclusive spaces in the built environment. Bolstered by robust evidence and created through collaboration with experts including UN-Habitat and the London School of Economics, the work was informed directly by and co-designed with a diverse group of women and girls.

An initial consultation undertaken by the London Legacy Development Corporation collected the voices of women and girls living in the area, which were used to support the achievement of a more inclusive public realm. Examples of projects include a pavilion installation designed by, and for, teenage girls, an inclusive public art project by a female artist, and improvements in infrastructure and lighting in an underpass.

The judges said: “This is an outstanding project to understand women and girls’ experiences of the urban environment and how the environment can be made safer. A genuinely inclusive, forward-thinking project.”

Apprentice of the Year

Adam Griffin, Assistant Building Control Surveyor, Assent 

Since joining Assent in September 2020, Adam has shown exemplary professionalism, commitment and conduct. His gifts as a natural leader were clear from the very beginning of his apprenticeship as he mastered complex tasks and motivated fellow group learners to progress at an accelerated pace.

Adam exhibited the competence and aptitude to conduct his own inspections on housing sites within only a few months of becoming an apprentice. He has also advanced the learning model for the entire apprenticeship cohort and the company, assisting the new cohort with presentations and giving feedback.

The judges said: “Adam shows passion, drive and determination, a willingness to go above and beyond. His CPD is exemplary, as is the body of evidence that accompanied the entry – he’s presented a portfolio of work astonishing for an apprentice.”

Building Engineer of the Year

David Humphreys, Director, ACP Architectural Conservation Professionals 

David has worked within the global built environment sector for more than 30 years.

Since 2000, as Director of ACP in Ireland, he has been dedicated to promoting best construction methods within historical structures while supporting traditional building techniques. ACP has now worked on more than 950 historical structures. David’s attention to traditional crafts and commitment to CPD led him to train under a master blacksmith for ten years to fully understand ironwork and its repair.

David, a CABE Fellow, has worked tirelessly to promote best conservation practice, raising standards in Ireland and internationally. He also continues to hone his own skills to aid in the positive development of his colleagues’ skills to achieve the best for building engineers and our built environment.

The judges said: “David  is a committed CABE member and Fellow, keen to give back to the sector. We noted his dedication to promoting best conservation practices, both in Ireland and internationally.”

Building Safety

ONE Engage, ONE Creative Environments 

ONE Engage is an innovative resident engagement platform that enables duty holders to fulfil their obligations under building safety regulations. Using digital information management, it connects the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), residents and landlords, providing all with accurate, secure, accessible information and giving residents a voice in building safety.

Vulnerable residents can rest assured that their landlord is doing all they can to keep them safe in an emergency. The platform has now embarked on the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Phase 3 Golden Thread Pilot Scheme. This could pave the way for new national guidance on the implementation of leaner processes within the FRS and between the FRS and landlords.

The judges said: “The engagement with NFCC, collaborations with FRS and the potential to feed into national guidance give this project considerable kudos. There is great potential for this to expand to form part of a national database of information.”

Carbon Reduction Impact

Turnstones, ARCO2 Architecture

ARCO2 constructed this Cornish house exceeding Passivhaus u-values with a 300mm full fill cavity combined with steelwork, posi joists and beam and block to ensure airtight construction, super insulation and greater sustainability. The property benefits from a striking contemporary design, with a wildflower green roof concealing solar panels, wonderful views of the coast and sensitive screening of neighbouring properties for better privacy.

Sustainability was at the core of design decision-making. The operational carbon of the house (before PV and battery storage) is 50kWh/m2 and its embodied carbon is 412kgCO2/m2, almost half the baseline domestic of 800kgCO2 /m2 . The house is designed to achieve 15kWh/m²/yr, the house will be complemented by 6.85kWp of solar panels and 9.2kWh battery system, further reducing energy reliance, and making the building one of the top performing buildings in the country.

A client said: “The innovative design effectively shields against the noise from the neighbouring pub and garden, standing as a testament to ARCO2’s resourcefulness. Their unwavering commitment to overcoming obstacles and delivering a superb design shine brightly. Profound appreciation for crafting a masterpiece against all adversities.”

Consultancy/Organisation of the Year

Vantage Building Control

Vantage Building Control started trading just months before the Covid-19 pandemic struck – yet it was able to adapt its business model, taking on more staff and even opening a new London office.

Having teamed up with MadHR to develop its values and monitor staff wellbeing, it has built an inclusive, flexible and family-friendly culture with a comprehensive range of staff benefits.

The company has invested in training and development to ensure its building control surveyors comply with the Building Safety Act, having pledged to be one of the first Approved Inspectors to be registered. It has developed its own structured degree apprenticeship and training programme and provides regular CPD and team training days.

The judges said: “Vantage Building Control is a young company setting the pace in good business practices and sustainability. Importantly, it takes very seriously the need to prove competence and robust qualifications in building control surveying.”

Digital Transformation/Innovation

Transitional Housing Project at Hung Shui Kiu, Yan Oi House – CR Construction Company

The primary objective of CR Construction Company’s Yan Oi House project was to address the need for transitional housing in Hong Kong while championing sustainability and efficiency.

The company used building information modelling (BIM) to integrate the entire project lifecycle, from design and construction to operation and maintenance. This allowed it to create a detailed virtual model of the project, enabling accurate visualisation, clash detection, and co-ordination between various disciplines. It also facilitated effective communication, reduced errors and optimised construction sequencing.

To improve communication and collaboration, CR Construction Company used its own mobile app, SmarTickPro, as a centralised platform for sharing information, managing tasks and tracking issues. This provided real-time access to project data, streamlined workflows and promoted efficient decision-making, significantly improving project co-ordination and enabling seamless communication between teams.

The judges said: “This is a great project that encompasses building technology, innovation and results in significant benefit to the public and wider audience.”

Health and Wellbeing

Sky Innovation Centre – Arup 

The Sky Innovation Centre in Isleworth showcases holistic low-carbon and user-centred design and supports Sky’s net-zero vision. The building’s four floors are connected by a central atrium that brings light into the middle of the floorplates to promote connection between staff.

Engagement with future occupiers was carried out at the design stage, and the mixture of amenities comprises a multi-faith room, welfare room and quiet areas. High levels of indoor environment quality, visual, acoustic and thermal comfort, ergonomics and connection to nature are designed to aid wellbeing. Indoor air quality is attained through air-quality sensing, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) finishes and furniture, generous ventilation rates, superior filtration and the highly efficient displacement system. The project achieved both BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum – the second building in the UK to do so.

The judges said: “The designer’s collaborative approach, early engagement, continuous performance monitoring and community engagement delivered a dynamic activity-based workplace offering great flexibility, sustainability, wellness and whole-life carbon reduction.”

Learning and Development

Elmhurst Energy

A specialist in the energy performance of buildings, Elmhurst continues to scale up its energy assessment and retrofit courses for new and existing professionals. The firm participates in industry and government working groups, integrating insights into its training programmes.

In 2022, Elmhurst had a successful year in training, delivering 2,570 events attended by 4,251 learners. It has been awarded funding to provide subsidised training for new entrants and to upskill existing assessors so that the UK can meet its net-zero carbon and retrofit targets.

The firm is keen to work with those who are new to the industry and allies with universities and colleges to offer access to software, training sessions and talks to students. Elmhurst also provides free student membership for those undertaking training and degrees in the construction sector.

The judges said: “Elmhurst provides relevant training courses and has extensive links with other institutions to broaden its reach and offering.”

New Build

The Jo Cox ‘More in Common’ Community and Prayer Rooms – Morgan Sindall Construction 

The Jo Cox Foundation was formed after the tragic murder of the MP in 2016. It seeks to make meaningful change within three areas: nurturing stronger communities, championing respect and advocating for a fairer world.

Morgan Sindall was appointed to create a new multi-faith centre at the University of Huddersfield that felt aligned with these values. The Jo Cox More in Common Community and Prayer Rooms harness a sense of community, inclusion, and commitment within an outstanding new building that provides a bespoke space for reflection for all faiths and none, allowing generations of students the chance to explore their spirituality or general wellbeing.

What resulted was a project that addressed the needs of its users and provided a sustainable environment for the community within it to thrive. Students have praised the building, the peaceful environment, the spacious rooms, the landscaping and its location.

The judges said: “It’s an interesting and unusual project arising from a tragic event and addresses an often-overlooked aspect of the spiritual and emotional needs of students and other building users.”

New Product or Technology

FRAEW App – PartB Group

PartB is a fire engineering consultancy dedicated to fire safety design, fire risk management, forensic fire engineering and fire safety training. It created an app to draft FRAEWs (Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls) – a comprehensive assessment process designed to evaluate the fire safety performance of external walls in buildings – to hasten the resolution of the current building safety crisis.

The FRAEW app uses logic-based code to ensure engineers can describe the conditions found at a building and arrive at the correct rating as described in PAS 9980. This digital technology promised to increase the productivity of an engineer writing an FRAEW by five to ten times.

The judges said: “This is certainly a project that is bringing about new technology into an area where a significant amount of change has happened over a short period of time. Facilitating a more efficient use of practitioners’ time and a faster turnaround of reports benefits both industry and building owners/leaseholders.”

People Development

ACP Architectural Conservation Professionals

ACP sets developing and educating its in-house staff, the profession as a whole and those students who wish to understand its traditional processes at the centre of its business. Believing we are only custodians of historical buildings, support and education must be provided to the next generation to continue to protect our shared heritage.

Each year ACP sets aside a proportion of its annual turnover to redirect into CPD courses for its staff members. In recent years, ACP staff members have undertaken CABE courses in structural engineering, a postgraduate course in fire safety, and Adobe Construction.
ACP has also developed a holistic approach towards the office environment, actively improving wellbeing within the workspace. To achieve this, ACP promotes staff self-development and mindfulness activities within the office such as meditation classes, yoga classes and group events to promote collaboration.

The judges said: “ACP’s good internship and student programme, educating others on the importance of traditional building engineering solutions and how these can be applied throughout the built environment.”

Preservation and Conservation

All Saints – EPR Architects 

EPR Architects acquired a new headquarters, All Saints in south London, and was keen to celebrate the original character of the former orphanage while simultaneously enhancing the workplace experience for staff and visitors alike. The project added significant community value to the Elephant and Castle area while also retaining and preserving the heritage features of the Victorian building.

A cantilevered stone staircase and existing mosaic-tiled floors were meticulously restored and paired with complementary new finishes. EPR also retained and exposed the original brickwork and corbels, including the previously external walls of the infills.

The judges said: “This project has preserved the heritage character of the building while introducing landscape features and planting that enhance the street scene, and provide a functional, accessible, workspace that has achieved BREEAM Excellent standards. The local outreach programme adds community value to the project.”

Refurbishment

All Saints – EPR Architects 

The All Saints building in south London, a former orphanage, now contains a distinctive and versatile studio space, enabling collegiate and works alongside innovative wellness elements embedded into the building’s design.

All Saints was in a poor state of repair, but EPR sympathetically restored the main front elevation while avoiding any visible expansion, with all new build elements at the rear. The design was warmly received by the local residents.

Unsympathetic post-war extensions were demolished, and two contemporary extensions constructed. These are connected by a series of new openings that cut horizontally through the building, creating a variety of vibrant spaces to work and socialise.

The judges said: “Fantastic commitment to sustainability, accessibility, inclusion and social value. The project showed that high-quality, innovative design solutions can transform historic buildings into modern workplaces while preserving the site’s history and character.”

Sustainability

Sky Innovation Centre – Arup 

Challenging environmental standards and driving towards net zero were at the forefront of the development of the Sky Innovation Centre. The project has succeeded in achieving ambitious goals in terms of energy use intensity, sustainability, whole-life carbon impact and occupants’ wellbeing, satisfaction and performance. The site uses fabric efficiency, effective shading, efficient systems and low carbon technologies to maintain sustainable standards.

A key sustainable innovation in the project was the process developed to reduce construction waste. The project achieved a 31% single-use plastic reduction during construction, diverted 100% of construction waste from landfill, and eliminated 40% of CLT plastic packaging, with the remaining 60% recycled. The building’s performance is continuously being reviewed and optimised to reduce energy use.

Diana Foxlee, Director Sky Spaces, said: “Working with teams who shared our vision allowed us to lead the way in reducing embodied carbon and single-use plastics and to thoughtfully source materials, suppliers and subcontractors, setting out a successful blueprint for the way we’ll work in future construction.”

Team of the Year

CR Team 1 – CR Construction Company 

The 30-strong CR Team 1 at CR Construction Company has successfully undertaken several projects to date, such as One Hennessy, Anchors Academy, Maxim’s Food Factory, Yan Oi House and Tsuen Fook Kui, and is currently engaged in the development of the Innovation Building 1 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The team’s projects demonstrate a strong commitment to adopting technology, disseminating research and innovating for sustainability. The team has enhanced its internal processes to optimise efficiency and deliver exceptional results. One notable initiative was the adoption of lean construction principles. By identifying and eliminating non-value-added activities, streamlining workflows, and promoting a culture of continuous improvement, the team significantly reduced waste and enhanced productivity.

The judges said: “Every member of the team is respected, and their views included. There’s a lot of learning and development taking place as well as collaboration in order to share that learning.”

Young Building Engineer of the Year

Tang Kai Yiu Raymond, Project Manager, CR Construction Company

Raymond is currently CR’s Project Manager at the New Research Building 1 project at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. An accomplished professional with over 11 years of experience in the construction industry in Hong Kong, he embarked on his career journey as a Graduate Engineer in 2012.

His exceptional leadership and interpersonal skills have been instrumental in managing his team and fostering a collaborative work environment. His dedication to success is evidenced by his implementing systematic and pragmatic construction management approaches. Raymond has successfully delivered projects on time and within budget thanks to his solid knowledge of construction management principles and practices, and his innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

His dedication to addressing the needs of environment, society, and governance extends beyond individual projects. He actively seeks opportunities to share knowledge and experiences through industry conferences and workshops, contributing to the advancement of the broader construction sector.

The judges said: “A strong leader and communicator evidenced by his work with wider stakeholder groups making use of social platforms for team communications and collaboration. Raymond has demonstrated his problem-solving skills and innovative approach to address project challenges with time and cost savings without compromising quality.”

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