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British Construction Industry Awards


Building award

NCE's coverage of the British Construction Industry Awards continues this week with the nine projects shortlisted from 59 entries for the BCI Building Award, which is for projects valued between £3M and £50M.

Of the nine shortlisted projects Peckham Library is also shortlisted for the new Prime Minister's Award for Better Public Building.

This Award is for buildings and infrastructure projects of any size commissioned by or on behalf of central or local government or by a grant-aided organisation. It is jointly sponsored by CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and OGC, the Office of Government Commerce.

Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge

Cambridge's new maths centre is sited in a mature, upmarket residential area at the root of the massive new western extension of the university. It was designed as a series of pavilions set around the 2.8ha plot and dug deep into the ground to minimise visual impact on the neighbouring properties.

Several separate buildings were planned so that the campus could be completed in stages as finance became available for the move of the department from its crowded quarters in the city centre. But several multi-million pound gifts from highly successful Cambridge maths graduates speeded up the process. The early phases are complete and huge pits have been excavated in the saturated ground for the final pavilions.

A high mass structure and top quality finishes define this spectacular array of buildings.

They ensure low maintenance and running costs of a project which should have a life not of decades but several centuries.

Client: Cambridge University Estates Management & Building Services Cost: £43M (phases 1-3) Principal designer:

Edward Cullinan Architects Structural engineer:

Buro Happold Contractor (Phases 1 & 2): Laing Contractor (Library, Pavillion E): Sir Robert McAlpine Other firms: Davis Langdon & Everest (project manager); Roger Preston & Ptns (services engineer);

Northcrofts (QS); Livingston Eyre Associates (landscape architect);

WSP Group (planning supervisor)

Glasgow Science Centre, Pacific Quay

Glasgow Three strikingly individual structures forming the envelope of the Science Centre on Glasgow's Pacific Quay aspire to form a focus for regeneration of Clydebank.

Technology developed for the massive drums needed for cable laying has been applied to create the world's first revolving tower, which forms a 140m high mast for the centre. Substantial spaceframes house an IMAX cinema and 'exploratorium' - a visitor attraction consisting of interactive displays and gadgets to demonstrate scientific principles.

It is the first use of titanium in the UK as a cladding material and has ensured the buildings make a spectacular addition to the landscape.

Client: Glasgow Science Centre Cost: £35M Principal designer:

Building Design Partnership Engineer: WA Fairhurst & Partners Contractor: Carillion Building Other firms: Turner Townsend Project Management; Buro Happold; Cundall Johnston & Partners

Maplethorpe Building, St Hugh's College Oxford

The Maplethorpe Building is the first phase of a masterplan aimed at transforming St Hugh's from a disparate collection of 19th and 20th century buildings and gardens into a coherent college campus.

Phase 1 includes 96 study bedrooms and a common room sited as a north-south orientated block so that every room has natural light and sun for half the day. The structure consists of prefabricated concrete floors and walls with an envelope insulated 30% better than current regulations.

Low maintenance materials have been used for exposed faces. The overall cost per square metre was £1,180 and the ensuite student rooms cost £30,000 each.

Client: St Hugh's College Cost: £4.9M Principal designer:

David Morley Architects Engineer (structure and services): Arup Contractor: Jarvis Construction (UK) Other firms: Gleeds (project manager/QS)

Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

Sheffield's Millennium Galleries is the first stage of a major redevelopment of the city's civic centre. The aim is to claw back space previously dominated by motor transport, form an attractive covered route through the city centre to the proposed Winter Gardens and create flexible, vaulted roof spaces to display Sheffield's art.

In realising the project there were difficult issues to resolve including occupation of the site, fire zones of adjacent buildings and licensing details such as floor finishes appropriate to the use of the cafe bar. The very large, fully finished precast concrete units for the frame were sourced on the Continent and shipped across the North Sea, where some suffered damage in a storm.

The final result is a cool and calm building that is discreetely lit and ventilated via a hypocaust.

Client: Sheffield City Council Design & Property Cost: £13.134M Principal designer: Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects Engineer (structure and building services): Buro Happold Contractor: Tilbury Douglas Construction Other firms: Sheffield Design & Property (project manager, QS);

Arup Acoustics; Bartenbach/Martin Klingler (lighting contractor); Hibex (precast concrete supply); Soliver (glazing supply)

Peckham Library, London SE15

Also shortlisted for Prime Minister's Award The London Borough of Southwark wanted an uncompromising building that would be a catalyst for revival of the deprived centre of Afro-Caribbean Peckham.

Conventional ideas for libraries were literally turned on their head.

Instead of the lending and study areas being on the ground floor, they are raised three and four storeys above so that the surrounding piazza extends as spacious covered open area beneath the main body of the building, which is carried on spindly inclined columns.

Brightly coloured glass, prepatinated copper cladding, hanging mesh and a bright orange 'beret' sunshield on the roof define the exterior of the boxy building.

Beehive shaped, wooden clad study pods give the library floors a unique character and assist the natural ventilation designed to minimise energy use.

Client: London Borough of Southwark Cost: £4M Principal designer:

Alsop Architects Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor Contractor: Sunley Turriff Other firms: Battle McCarthy (services and environmental engineer); Franklin & Andrews

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London WC1

A £22.7M Lottery grant was the key to RADA realising the ambition of nearly a century to create a fully equipped academy on the 15m wide by 60m deep plot between Gower and Malet Streets in central London. The money, along with another £8M funding, enabled RADA to rebuild extensively on its main site and to convert an ancillary building in nearby Chenies Street to house activities such as the props workshop, library, refectory and extra rehearsal rooms.

The design challenge was to squeeze three separate theatres, including one seating an audience of 200, into a tiny site where the maximum height was constrained by the existing terraced buildings either side. Lifting the main theatre to second floor level allowed the ground level to become circulation space while excavation and underpinning of party walls to three storeys below ground created the volume for workshops and a new access to the existing George Bernard Shaw Theatre. Acoustic isolation was crucial. Daylight to the central area of the building comes in via the barrel vault roof.

Client: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Cost: £17M Principal designer:

Avery Associates Architects Structural engineer: Arup Contractor: John Laing Construction Other firms: Theatre Projects Consultants; Roger Preston & Partners (services engineer);

Davis Langdon & Everest (QS)

Wellcome Wing, Science Museum, London SW7

Science Museum's Wellcome Wing, funded by the Lottery and the Wellcome Trust, is one of the most important developments at the South Kensington museum for many years.

The aim was to provide a 'theatre of science' with large open spaces forming giant trays displaying the latest developments in science, medicine and technology, plus a 450 seat IMAX cinema.

Major challenges faced the design and build team. An 8m deep basement had to be excavated tight up against the existing Science Museum buildings and their foundations. And creating column free spaces involved extensive use of tension structures in the hanging facades and external walls, complicating the building process but creating a dramatic envelope for the museum.

Client: The National Museum of Science & Industry Cost: £20.5M Principal designer:

MacCormac, Jamieson, Prichard Engineer (structure and services): Arup Contractor: Kier Build Other firms: Davis Langdon & Everest (QS); Architen (blue fabric screens); Lionweld Kennedy (architectural metalwork contractor); Mag Hansen (west wall glazing)

Toyota (GB) UK Headquarters, Epsom

An open working environment with no barriers was Toyota's brief for its new headquarters built on a brownfield site near Epsom. The response is a glazed 'street' stair, lift, services and meeting place core that links with four, two storey office blocks set in a landscaped site. Overall the building is a single enclosed compartment of 10,000m 2. The structure was designed for maximum offsite fabrication with a mix of exposed precast, and concealed insitu, reinforced concrete in the frame which is clad in large panels of glazing and aluminium curtain walling. Natural ventilation and passive solar shading support a strategy of minimising energy consumption during operation of the building.

Client: Toyota (GB) Cost: £26M Principal designer:

Sheppard Robson Structural engineer: Whitby Bird Contractor: Takenaka (UK) Other firms: Arup (environmental/ consulting engineer); Insignia Richard Ellis (project manager);

Davis Langdon & Everest (cost consultant)

Wessex Water Operations Centre, Claverton, Bath

Wessex Water is in the environmental business and wanted to centralise its operations into a single office that would demonstrate a corporate commitment to sustainability.

Green credentials of this office for 580 staff, which also includes the emergency incident control room, began with its location - a brownfield site on a hilltop adjacent to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

During construction, environmental awareness put a premium on local firms and local materials, minimum site waste and a neutral balance of cut and fill.

During operation rainwater is collected for re-use and the office is designed to run at one third of conventional energy consumption, at 100kWh/m 2/year. Its low embodied energy precast concrete coffered floor acts as a thermal flywheel.

The only obvious contribution to local pollution is the smokers' shelter, positioned discretely away from the main building.

Client: Wessex Water Cost: £21.4M Principal designer:

Bennetts Associates Engineer: Buro Happold Construction manager: Mace Other firms: Grant Associates/Bernard Ede (landscape architect); Davis Langdon & Everest (cost consultant); Hamilton Chartered Surveyors (client representative)

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