This year the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) is 30 years old, and to celebrate, New Civil Engineer is to present an award for the best of the winning projects of the last 30 years.
Best of the best
To help you decide, awards creator, BCIA judge and former New Civil Engineer editor Hugh Ferguson, has drawn up the following long list in chronological order.
The first-ever BCIA “Supreme Award” went to phase 1-4 of the Broadgate Development at Liverpool Street station which “changed the face of property development”, says Ferguson. The project was led by the Stanhope team of Stuart Lipton and Peter Rogers. At the time it was a triumph for Arup/Arup Associates and for Bovis, whose Broadgate team went on to form now rival contractor Mace. Vote for this project.
In 1991 the Civil Engineering Project of the Year award went to the Channel Tunnel’s British cross-over cavern. Described as a “stupendous engineering feat” the gigantic cavern earned its place on the wall of fame. Vote for this project.
Channel tunnel tbm004
This years’ Supreme Award went to Sizewell B nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast. This project was the last nuclear power station to be build in Britain and the country’s only pressurised water reactor. Construction started in 1988 and it started generating in 1995. Vote for this project.
The Second Severn Crossing won the Supreme Award this year. The 5km crossing of the Severn Estuary was hailed as a “stunning” piece of architecture that gives no hint of the major engineering and construction challenges that had to be overcome to make it happen. The £300M privately financed structure completed on time and to budget, is a central cable stayed bridge across the navigation channel linked to each shore by two approach viaducts. The project was designed, built and operated by the John Laing-led consortium Severn River Crossing Plc as a ‘flagship’ PFI project. Vote for this project.
The Tsing Ma bridge in Hong Kong is one of Ferguson’s personal favourites. The structure was designed by Mott Macdonald and built by Trafalgar House and Costain. It will also go down in legend as being one of the best-ever BCIA entry submissions and presentations, he says. Vote for this project.
Tsing Ma Bridge
Source: Chung Kiu, Ryan Cheng
Hong Kong International Airport’s passenger terminal won the international award and was described as “stupendous”, the railway to the airport was also highly commended. It was all done amongst all the uncertainty of handover to China. Vote for this project.
The Millennium Dome. Amid all the criticism of the activities within the dome, the structure has been reborn and now stands as a feat of engineering in east London. Vote for this project.
03 10 millennium dome 1
There were two stand out projects in 2001. The conversion of the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern art museum from, was truly inspirational and won the inaugural Prime Minister’s Award. Vote for this project.
The second project to come out of the 2001 awards was the stunning Eden Project. The BCIA judges praised the project team including architect Grimshaw, structural engineer Anthony Hunt Associates and contractors Sir Robert McAlpine and Alfred McAlpine for overcoming a considerable cut in the original budget. The £57M project is instantly recognisable by its distinctive biome structures, the tallest of which is 55m high. These comprise steel space frames supporting ethyltetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) foil glazing. Vote for this project.
The Channel Tunnel Rail Link, now known as High Speed 1, was deemed a ”very well managed project, on time and on budget, and still perhaps the finest exemplar on how to do big projects at a time when this sort of quality of delivery was not usual and not expected” said one judge reflecting on the project. The project ended up winning four BCIA awards, at least two more than any other (for the whole project in 2004, for another contract in 2006, and for St Pancras station in 2008). Vote for this project.
Transport channel tunnel eurostar high speed 01 070906
Winning hearts and minds, small projects winners often get overlooked, but there couldn’t be a better example than the 2002 winner: Buro Happold’s innovative timber Downland Gridshell building in Singleton, West Sussex. This was the first timber gridshell building to be constructed in the UK and its lightweight timber structure is made of oak laths. Vote for this project.
Inside the Weald and Downland Gridshell 3to2
Source: Hugh Chevallier
This years’ Major Project award went to Tinsley viaduct strengthening project. This project is worth mentioning not just because of its clever engineering, but because it marked a shift from new construction to repairing and restoring existing infrastructure. Vote for this project.
Tinsley Viaduct 2 M1 Sheffield 3to2
Source: Terry Robinson
The Emirates Stadium was an “outstanding project”, not just as a stadium but as an exemplar of good procurement practice – particularly with an excellent client who knew what he wanted and made quick decisions, says Ferguson. Vote for this project.
Bcia emirates aerial p53
Another winner this year, but this time for the International Award, was Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. This was the only winner the judges had not visited due to security restrictions but it nevertheless won to raptious applause. This was probably the most rousing, emotional response to the announcement of a winner that we at New Civil Engineer has ever witnessed at an Awards dinner. Vote for this project.
Bcia aerial view of camp bastion
The 11.5km, 13.2m diameter SMART project in Kuala Lumpur was a really clever way of financing an essential flood-relief tunnel by designing it to act as a tolled road tunnel at other times. It was the world’s first dual-purpose tunnel, used to divert flood waters while its middle 3km section doubles up as a two-deck motorway. Vote for this project.
The spectacularly successful construction work for the London Olympics, was recognised by two Awards. The Olympic Velodrome, widely regarded as the finest as well as the most sustainable of all the Olympic structures, won the Major Project Award in 2011, while the whole Olympic Park was given the Judges’ Special Award in 2013. Vote for this project.
Vel n297 standard
Shown here on its opening night, the Shard in London is the UK’s tallest skyscraper. At 310m high, the WSP designed and Mace built structure re-wrote the rule book on designing tall structures in the UK. Vote for this project.
D.vintiner mg 5926
The ultimate in structures having to withstand the extremes of nature, this project deservingly won the International award. The £26M Halley VI project sited in the Antartic was designed by Aecom and is all prefabricated, designed for extreme conditions and to be self-sustaining over long periods. It is a modular structure jacked up on hydraulic legs, which keep it above accumulated snow. Giant retractable skis on the bottom of the legs allow the building to be relocated. Vote for this project.
A favourite from last year’s awards was Thames Water’s Lee Tunnel. This is London’s deepest ever tunnel and includes lots of innovative engineering. It is the precursor for the next phase – the Thames Tideway project. Vote for this project.
Lee Tunnel - the finished product
But which of these is the best? Vote now! And have we missed any? Tell us what should have made the long-list!