Construction National

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Mon23102017

Last updateFri, 20 Oct 2017 3pm

And the winner is…the construction industry

Construction National blog logoIt’s that time of year again, when awards are awarded and competitions competed in. The biggest deal in the past couple of weeks was the presentation of the Construction Industry Awards themselves, at the Grosvenor Hotel on 9 October.

The big building project award – for those valued at over £50m – went to perhaps the capital’s most notable new building of recent years: The Shard. Renzo Piano’s latest masterpiece has used up all the superlatives, so I won’t use any.

At the other end of the scale was the gong for Building Project of the Year for a project valued at up to £3m was for the gorgeous new Henry King Chapel at Ripon College in Oxford, which was also shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.

The most outlandish-looking project won the International Award, for “projects outside the UK for which one or more UK-based British firms have made a significant contribution”. That was the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Wow!

Check out New Civil Engineer for pictures of all the award winners.

• Another prizegiving this month was that of the Structural Concrete competition, supported by the Mineral Products Association, the Concrete Centre, the Institution of Structural Engineers and Laing O’Rourke. It is a design competition for civil and structural engineering students. This year’s competition called for the design of a luxury residential building that formed part of the extensive redevelopment of an industrial site close to the centre of a large UK town.

First prize and sustainability prize were awarded to a team from Imperial College London, while the winners of the second prize were from the University of Southampton.

Next year's competition, for which entries are now open, will require entrants to produce a design for a school building within an existing school development in the suburbs of a large UK city. The brief for the competition includes a range of specifications that must be adhered to, as well as a precise description of the ‘site’ and its conditions, imposing constraints upon the entrants, who must “respond as though they are the structural engineer responsible within the consultant’s team”.

• Entries are also now open for the 2014 Greenbuild Awards. As the name implies, the awards celebrate “truly green buildings that show the project teams are serious about sustainability”.

These awards are for actual buildings that have been constructed, and entrants must show that they live up to the green aspirations of their design while actually in use. One of the seminars at this year’s Greenbuild Expo featured an entertaining sidelight on how and why some buildings with marvellous specs fail to deliver the carbon footprint to which they aspire – usually because the people in them don’t behave as they are supposed to!

Chris Stokes