Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Building the best: how to improve

Next month sees the launch of the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award: The Summit, an event devoted to sharing the very best practice in construction delivery.


Prime Minister’s Award winner: University College Hospital MacMillan Cancer Centre, London

Since its launch in 2001 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, the government sponsored Prime Minister’s Award for Better Public Building has become an integral and hugely valuable part of the annual British Construction Industry Awards.

The Tate Modern’s outstanding transformation of the disused Bankside Power Station in London set the tone as the first winner in terms of outstanding value for money, design excellence and complete client engagement.

And most recently in 2012 the University College Hospital MacMillan Cancer Centre in London continued the tradition by delivering a first class healthcare facility that demonstrated real forward thinking in the way increasingly scarce public cash was spent.

Every year in between, inevitably inspired by the success that went before, we have seen a succession of head turning publicly funded construction success stories to demonstrate that innovation and best practice in building and infrastructure procurement do not solely rest in the private sector.

“The event is devoted to sharing the best practice and excellence in construction delivery highlighted in the Prime Minister’s award for Better Public building”

Each of the winners has presented the industry with a vast amount of hard learning and inspiration for how future public and private sector construction projects should be run, whether in building or civil engineering.

Clearly the key to delivering this success is always to capture and then act on this learning and inspiration.

To ensure that past successes are repeated and that past mistakes, regardless of their scale, are learnt from.

Building on the existing British Construction Industry Awards collaboration, NCE is now working with theGovernment Cabinet Office, Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Green Construction Board to host a new specially focused summit. The event is devoted to sharing the best practice and excellence in construction delivery highlighted every year by the Prime Minister’s Awards for Better Public Building.

There will be a strong government presence at the event and the content will be focused on developing specific best practice rather than delivering broader strategic aspirations.

Key reasons to attend

  • Learn from case study presentations from the best building and civil engineering projects of the year
  • Gain insight into the innovations and collaborations that made these projects so successful
  • Join industry leaders in discussing the challenges of public procurement and how the industry can meet them
  • Gain exclusive access to key clients, architects, contractors and engineers with demonstrable success in publicly funded projects
  • Hear and understand the strategies that resulted in the success of these exemplar projects
  • Discover the latest best practice that you can apply to your future projects to ensure successful delivery across both the public and private sector.


Delegates can expect hard and practical details of the challenges, successes and innovations of these winning exemplar projects, so that the lessons learned can be applied to future public building projects.

It will feature a range of keynote speakers, focused case studies and panel sessions specially designed to help all those engaged in the planning, procurement, design and delivery of public building and infrastructure projects to learn from the successes of the past.


Key speakers

Invited: Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office

Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive, Crossrail

Wolstenholme leads the £14.5bn Crossrail project London and has committed to delivering world class construction with an impeccable safety record. Previously, he ran the £5bn Heathrow Terminal 5 project and in 2010 wrote the government-backed procurement advice report “Don’t Waste a Good Crisis”.


Wolstenholme: Key speaker

Simon Kirby managing director, Infrastructure Projects, Network Rail

Kirby joined the Network Rail board in 2008, having been with the organisation since 2003. He is responsible for delivery of all large enhancement and renewal infrastructure projects and also for leading the new rail projects business within Network Rail.

Sunand Prasad, senior partner, Penoyre & Prasad

Prasad co-founded architecture practice Penoyre & Prasad in 1988 and was president of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 2007 to 2009. He was a founding commissioner of CABE and played a central part in the development of the Construction Industry Council’s Design Quality Indicators.

John McAslan executive chairman, John McAslan & Partners

McAslan formed John McAslan & Partners in 1996 and remains active in all of the practice’s work - most recently leading the award winning transformation of Kings Cross Station western concourse.

John Turzynski, chief operating officer, Arup

Since joining Arup in 1977, Turzynski has led multidiscipline project teams on a variety of projects in the UK, Europe, and the USA and beyond, including the Kings Cross and St Pancras Station redevelopment project and Crossrail in London.


Streamed sessions will also enable delegates to drill into key projects from the 2012 Better Public Building Award shortlist and understand at first hand how future public construction projects can be better planned and delivered.

The event will conclude with an exclusive networking reception to enable delegates to form closer professional relationships and better understand how future public projects can be increasingly delivered ahead of programme, under budget and with greater quality.


Book your place

  • Date: 26 February 2013
  • Venue: Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EQ
  • Book your place at Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award: The Summit


Attending the Prime Minister’s Award Summit in London will give you unprecedented access to the most cutting-edge practices and thinking in the sector. The event will help you to shape your business effectively throughout 2013 and beyond.

Save £95 - book before 31 January to take advantage of your NCE subscriber discount.

Call 020 3033 2790 to speak with the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award Summit 2013 team, or book online at

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.