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Velodrome wins Prime Minister's award at British Construction Industry Awards

The Velodrome at the Olympic Park won the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at the 24th British Construction Industry Awards, it was announced last night in London, in front of 900 industry leaders.

UK winning and highly commended schemes were located in London; Grantham, Lincs; Salisbury; Dymchurch, Kent; Rosyth; Cambridge; Tidworth, Wiltshire; Stratford-upon-Avon; Gt Billing, Northants; Wootton, Bedfordshire; Norwich; Bath; Exeter; and the Yorkshire Dales. The Aviva Stadium in Dublin won the International Award.

Read on for the full list of winners, together with judges’ comments.

Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award

The Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award

Sponsored by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Cabinet Office

For buildings and infrastructure projects of any size commissioned by or on behalf of central or local government or by a grant-aided organisation.

Winner: Velodrome, Olympic Park

The 6,000 seat Velodrome is the venue for the indoor track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The permanent track is designed to provide a lasting legacy for the area.

  • Commissioning Authority: Olympic Delivery Authority
  • Principal Architect: Hopkins Architects
  • Principal Engineer: Expedition
  • Principal Contractor: ISG Interior Exterior 

Judges’ comments:

  • Well procured with the design and build strategy achieving a splendid example of form following function.
  • The most environmental and sustainable structure on the Olympic Park.
  • A particularly clever cable net roof solution, both in the concept of the structure and in the resolution of the design and construction details, has significantly saved materials compared to a conventional solution.

Small Building Project Award

Any building scheme valued at up to £3M

Winner: Sports Canopy, The National Tennis Centre, London

The UK’s first demountable air-beam canopy and the world’s first for a sports facility is formed from composite low pressure pneumatic fabric and steel beams spanning 42m. It is designed as a prototype for future professional and community uses.

Commissioning Authority: Lawn Tennis Association

  • Principal Designer: GS-CA
  • Principal Engineer: Airlight
  • Principal Contractor: Shelterdome

Judges’ comments:

A bold initiative by the NTA to think beyond meeting a single requirement and developing it into a solution to long-term problem.

  • A genuinely new and highly innovative way of covering tennis courts with a great potential for the future.
  • Success came from the meeting of innovative minds and collaborative teamwork.
  • A world first for this form of covering used for sport structures.

Small Civil Engineering Project Award

Any civil engineering scheme valued at up to £3M

Winner: LUL Bridge D83A Replacement, London

With extended maintenance on the original bridge not viable, a new bridge was installed with the complex and challenging removal and replacement of the bridge deck undertaken in a single planned weekend closure of the District Line.

  • Commissioning Authority: LUL
  • Principal Designer: LUL
  • Principal Contractor: Vinci Construction

Judges’ comments:

  • An extremely tricky job delivered with engineering and construction precision.
  • Extremely difficult site and very tight timeframe created a high risk of failure.
  • The risks were well managed and logistics successful.
  • Great teamworking and skill in execution achieved completion to within five minutes of programme.

Building Project Award

For projects valued between £3M and £50M

Winner: Ravensbourne College, London

Part of the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsular, this specially designed media and design college includes retail space on the ground floor while the college, which is pioneering an innovative style of education, occupies the remaining 14,000m² on five upper levels.

  • Commissioning Authority: Ravensbourne College
  • Principal Architect: Foreign Office Architects
  • Principal Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
  • Principal Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease

Judges’ comments:

  • Clear and visionary leadership from the Principal was consistent throughout the project.
  • A very radical brief for a new style of tuition using flexible space.
  • An innovative building matching its use for teaching digital media and design.

Highly Commended: Evelyn Grace Academy, London

The product of a partnership between the Department of Education and ARK Schools, the Academy is based on a small school model new to UK secondary schools. It broadens the educational diversity of its surrounding area and accommodates 1,200 pupils providing a welcoming addition to the community’s local urban regeneration.

  • Commissioning Authority: Ark Schools
  • Principal Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Principal Engineer: Arup
  • Principal Contractor: Mace

Judges’ comments:

  • An inspiring building fully respected by pupils and staff alike.
  • A tremendous asset in a challenging environment.
  • An outstanding facility which has had a major impact on the local community.

Civil Engineering Project Award

For projects valued between £3M and £50M

Winner: High Knocke to Dymchurch Sea Defences

While providing high quality durable coastal defences, the scheme is designed to enhance the amenity value of the frontage, helping in the promotion of existing local tourist and retail industries and encouraging development and investment in the area.

  • Commissioning Authority: Environment Agency
  • Principal Engineer: Jacobs
  • Principal Contractor: Birse Coastal

Judges’ comments:

  • The project has created a civic benefit out of necessity, which has been greatly welcomed by the local community.
  • The extensive new wide promenade demonstrates precast and insitu concrete to a very high standard.
  • Project was a triumph of enthusiasm from client to user.
  • As well as protecting the town, it has created a sense of style and place and is already proving a significant influence on regeneration.

Highly Commended: Rosyth CVF Infrastructure Upgrade

A complex project using innovative temporary works has created facilities to accommodate the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. During construction three massive temporary cofferdams were constructed to retain up to 20m of water in a safe working environment.

  • Commissioning Authority: Babcock Marine
  • Principal Designer: Halcrow
  • Principal Contractor: BAM Nuttall

Judges’ comments:

  • Considerable ingenuity was displayed in the design of both the temporary and permanent works.
  • Consequences of failing to complete on time would have been catastrophic for the passage of nuclear submarines and the programme for the new generation of aircraft carrier construction.
  • An outstanding all round team effort ensured success.

Major Building Project Award

Sponsored by Arup

For building projects valued at over £50M

Winner: Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres Transformation, Stratford-upon-Avon

A radical transformation of the Grade-II listed theatre and its public surroundings is created from the mix of old and new public spaces. A new 1,000 seat auditorium has revolutionised the way audiences experience live theatre.

  • Commissioning Authority: Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Principal Architect: Bennetts Associates
  • Principal Engineer: Buro Happold
  • Principal Contractor: Mace

Judges’ comments:

  • There were no compromises in the tough decisions that were made to achieve the end result, which is a brilliant synergy between old and new.
  • Communication with multiple stakeholders was complex and executed very well.
  • Very skilful use of materials is evident both in the old and the new fabric.
  • The new 36m tapering viewing tower, constructed from loadbearing brick is a source of great pride to the bricklayers and forms a new marker for the town.

Highly Commended: Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Set in historic botanic gardens, the laboratory aims to be a world leader in plant science research and to attract top scientists by providing the highest quality facilities and working environment. An energy efficient building, it reconciles precise scientific requirements with a sensitive approach to its historic site.

  •  Commissioning Authority: University of Cambridge
  • Principal Architect: Stanton Williams
  • Principal Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
  • Principal Contractor: Kier

Judges’ comments:

  • The building oozes quality.
  • A great deal of enthusiasm from the project team has gone into this project.
  • Outstanding attention to detail has been both rewarded and justified by the result.
  • A complete commitment to excellence from concept to final delivery.
  • The quality of the finishes hides a huge amount of structural complexity.

Highly Commended: Olympic Stadium

The stadium, designed for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, will provide 80,000 seats during the Games. It was planned after the Games to comprise 25,000 permanent seats in its lower tier and a further 55,000 seats in its removable lightweight upper tier.

  • Commissioning Authority: Olympic Delivery Authority
  • Principal Architect: Populous
  • Principal Engineer: Buro Happold
  • Principal Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine

Judges’ comments:

  • The design and construction has created a rich and rewarding building.
  • By resisting the temptation to over design, and consciously keeping things simple and expressing the engineering, they have achieved an iconic structure which will provide an appropriate legacy.
  • Compared to Beijing, it is smaller, lighter and greener yet achieves almost as much capacity.

Major Civils Project Award

Sponsored by Harsco

For civil engineering projects valued at over £50M

Winner: A421 Improvements M1 Junction 13 to Bedford

A highly complex project, completed one month ahead of schedule, provides welcome relief to villages that had been blighted by huge traffic volumes along a former single lane carriageway. The project pioneered innovative sustainable design solutions including use of recycled tyre bales for lightweight fill, contributing to 97% of waste being diverted from landfill across the project.

  •  Commissioning Authority: Highways Agency
  • Principal Designer: URS Scott Wilson
  • Principal Contractor: Balfour Beatty Major Civil Engineering

Judges’ comments:

  • Delighted client sees this as an exemplar scheme for innovative technical solutions.
  • Great pride and team spirit from client through the design and construction team.
  • Difficult traffic management was dealt with extremely effectively. 
  • Great use of a variety of sustainable solutions including waste tyre bales as lightweight fill for embankments and 60% recycled aggregate.
  • All round a very successful project.

Local Authority Award

For a local authority project of any size consistent with the Government’s Better Public Building programme.

Winner: Redhayes Bridge, Exeter

The 100m bridge spans the M5 motorway and consists of two inclined steel arches from which the steel deck is suspended on cables. The 230t bridge was lifted into position by an 85m high crane requiring the temporary closure of Exeter Airport.

  •  Commissioning Authority: Devon County Council
  • Principal Architect: Design Engine Architects
  • Principal Engineer: Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Principal Contractor: Carillion

Judges’ comments:

  • A client delighted not just with the manner of execution but whose local authority members felt it had delivered everything they had wanted and more.
  • Very strong planning coordination and contingency was demonstrated by the excellently integrated team working with local stakeholders.
  • The single lift installation of the bridge deck over M5 motorway worked perfectly
  • The striking bridge will contribute to economic benefit and regeneration.

Highly Commended: Bourne Hill Offices, Salisbury

The redevelopment of a sensitive historic site has created new centralised offices for Salisbury District Council. It is set in the medieval city centre and includes the refurbishment of a Grade-II listed building combined with new build.

  •  Commissioning Authority: Wiltshire Council
  • Principal Architect: Stanton Williams
  • Principal Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
  • Principal Contractor: Morgan Sindall

Judges’ comments:

  • Combines striking modernism with conservation of Salisbury’s rich heritage.
  • Great attention to detail in architecture, conservation and landscape, employing appropriate use of materials.
  • A background of political difficulties was overcome to consolidate many existing Council offices into one building which is a successful addition to Salisbury’s townscape.

Environmental Award

Sponsored by Atkins

To recognise a project which demonstrates a particular contribution to environmental issues or in which environmental issues were a key factor in its concept and/or execution.

 Winner: Broadland Flood Alleviation Project, Norfolk

The project has involved upgrading over 185km of floodbank, new defences for five undefended communities, safeguarding 1,700 properties; 30ha of arable fields and ecological sites in the Broads National Park.

  • Commissioning Authority: Environment Agency
  • Principal Designer: Broadland Environmental Services / Halcrow / BAM Nuttall
  • Principal Contractor: Broadland Environmental Services / Halcrow / BAM Nuttall

Judges’ comments:

  • Judges were impressed with the culture of the team: negotiation, collaboration and consistency demonstrating real teamwork and a shared passion for this project.
  • The decision of the Environment Agency to let the work as a 20-year design, build and maintain contact was brave, simple and effective and has clearly worked.

Highly Commended: Woodland Trust Headquarters, Grantham

A building which demonstrates that innovative, sustainable solutions can be truly affordable. It has been designed to accommodate 200 workstations in open-plan office space.

  •  Commissioning Authority: Woodland Trust
  • Principal Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • Principal Engineer: Max Fordham
  • Principal Contractor: Bowmer & Kirkland

Judges’ comments:

  • Sincere collaboration with a committed contractor has resulted in a low-cost, high-quality contemporary office environment.
  • Genuinely innovative design of the concrete and timber acting in unison.
  • Proper consideration and successful outcome for sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

Regeneration Award

Sponsored by Gifford

For a project of any size which has made a significant contribution to the regeneration of an under-privileged area or the creation of new facilities or accommodation which has made exceptional use of brownfield sites

Winner: Anne Mews, King William Street Quarter, Barking, London

A high quality, affordable, council housing development, forming part of the regeneration of the Lintons Estate in Barking. It replaces high-rise with small-scale family homes in a mews style configuration.

  • Commissioning Authority: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Principal Architects: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Maccreanor Lavington Architects
  • Principal Engineer: Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners
  • Principal Contractor: Mansell

Judges’ comments:

  • An exemplar for well planned, good quality, low cost Council housing.
  • A demonstration that good building doesn’t need to be glitzy – money was spent in the right places.
  • A new community has been created on a difficult site which is popular with the residents.
  • The original Victorian street pattern has largely been reinstated after the failure of the 60s social housing, proving that it can be done and done well.

Conservation Award

For a project designed and executed with respect for original fabric, design and form while making a minimum intervention consistent with safety and structural integrity. 

Winner: Theatre Royal Bath

The significant Grade-II listed building has been extensively upgraded with both conservation and improvement works to bring a new lease of life and additional spaces, thereby securing the long term future of the theatre.

  • Commissioning Authority: Theatre Royal Bath
  • Principal Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • Principal Engineer: E3 Consulting Engineers
  • Principal Contractor: Midas

Judges’ comments:

  • Client drove the project from concept to successful completion.
  • Project enabled its historic structures to be improved for commercial and theatrical gain.
  • Married conservation with practical use of space and function.
  • A difficult job complicated by the need to keep the theatre running while works were carried out.

Best Practice Award

Sponsored by Balfour Beatty

For projects which involved processes adopted to understand and meet client needs; supported team working throughout; and maintained continuous improvement.

Winner: Anglian Water AMP4 Biosolids Programme

This programme uses an innovative enhanced digestion process to treat biosolids at four sewage treatment facilities. The plants generate 180,000t of biosolids each year, 90% of which is recycled as a soil improver for arable farmland.

  • Commissioning Authority: Anglian Water
  • Principal Designer: Mott MacDonald
  • Principal Contractor: Black & Veatch / GTM

Judges’ comments:

  • Great pride in the project and the way it is operating, delivering £3million operational savings per annum.
  • Clear benefits from the programme management approach to the whole rather than a series of separate projects.
  • The co-located integrated team operating across the whole programme provided enhanced savings to the client and benefits to the supply chain.

 Highly Commended: Project Allenby/Connaught, Tidworth, Wiltshire

The largest infrastructure PFI project let by the Ministry of Defence has improved the conditions for over 18,000 soldiers living and working on the army garrison in Aldershot and across Salisbury Plain. 487 buildings were demolished and 550 new and refurbished buildings created to provide modern living and working accommodation.

  •  Commissioning Authority: MOD
  • Principal Designer: Scott Brownrigg
  • Principal Engineer: Aspire Defence Capital Works
  • Principal Contractor: Aspire Defence Capital Works

 Judges’ comments:

  • A hugely worthwhile upgrade of vital facilities for Britain’s soldiers.
  • Despite the huge scale and scope of works, the project was delivered on time and ahead of schedule and with an excellent safety record.
  • The Aspire team has delivered to the Army a project with which they are delighted.

Judges’ Special Award

Sponsored by Mott MacDonald

For a UK or International building or civil engineering project of any size which the judges consider to be particularly inspirational in one or more aspects.

Joint Winner: Far Moor Bridge, Yorkshire Dales

The construction of the bridge in a remote upland location was achieved with extremely difficult access for materials.  Designed and built entirely of short lengths of timber, it is formed from the combination of stress laminated arch construction acting compositely with a screw laminated stressed timber deck.

  • Commissioning Authority: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • Principal Designer: Forestry Commission
  • Principal Contractor: Houseman and Falshaw

Judges’ comments:

  • Can’t think of a better way of integrating innovative man-made thinking into a natural setting.
  • An iconic and inspirational project achieved at a remarkably low cost.
  • Good linkage and shared pride between client, designer and contractors.
  • Exceptionally difficult access along lanes and tracks in the middle of the moorland with materials transported across the river on boats was assisted by the design allowing short lengths of timber to construct the whole bridge.
  • The combination of stress lamination for the arches and screw lamination for the deck is believed to be unique in the world.

Joint Winner: Angel Building, London

An ingenious and radical transformation of an unloved 1980s commercial building is an excellent example of how out of date offices can be reinvented. It contains 26,900m² of high specification office space, 1,400m² of retail and roof terraces with views across London, all within a conservation area.

  •  Commissioning Authority: Derwent London
  • Principal Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Principal Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
  • Principal Contractor: BAM Construction

Judges’ comments:

  • A carbon efficient model for the future regeneration of existing city centre building stock.
  • By not demolishing existing buildings, all the savings are in the embodied carbon.
  • A superbly executed project by an excellent team.
  • Impossible to tell that such a high quality end product was in fact a tired old office block brought up to the highest current standards.

International Award

For projects outside the UK for which a UK-based British firm has made a significant contribution.

Winner: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

The 51,700 seat Aviva Stadium has created a new landmark for Dublin. Its city centre location presented many challenges to the design and construction team. The former stadium’s west stand over a commuter railway together with the creation of a new railway corridor integrated with the development required a finely tuned programme for demolition and reconstruction with minimum railway closures. The result is a spectacular state of the art facility.

  • British Involvement: Buro Happold

Judges’ comments:

  • A new, replacement stadium in a restricted city centre site was always going to present major challenges.
  • Those challenges have been met and conquered in dramatic fashion and in every respect.
  • It was on time and on budget but in addition the judges were very impressed by the build quality and successful team building involving all parties from client to sub-contractor.
  • Ireland has an International stadium for Rugby and Soccer of which the whole nation can be justly proud.

Highly Commended: Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin

A steel cable stayed bridge with a 48m high pylon rotates about a central pier to open or close the river to traffic allowing the waterway to remain navigable. The 124m long bridge was fabricated off site and floated into position onto the central pier during a spring tide amid high media attention.

  •  British Involvement: Northern Ireland contractor John Graham (Dromore)

Judges’ comments:

  • Iconic is a word often used too loosely. Not for this bridge!!
  • Dublin City Council deserves the highest praise for delivering this unique structure as a symbol for all Ireland.
  • The significant value engineering proposals by the JV contractor accepted and developed successfully by the project team is an exemplar of how the best construction projects should happen.
  • The judges were particularly impressed by the vision and leadership of the City Engineer in converting a dream into a reality.


The judging panel for the BCI Awards 2011

Chairman: Martin Baggs - Chief Executive Officer, Thames Water

Deputy Chairman: Peter Hansford – President, Institution of Civil Engineers

Simon Allford – Partner, AHMM

Keith Bradley – Feilden Clegg Bradley

Philip Dilley – Group Chairman, Arup

Katrina Dowding – Business Development Director, Skanska, and Chair, NAWIC

Hugh Ferguson – Formerly Deputy Director General, Institution of Civil Engineers

Paul Finch OBE – Chairman, Design Council, CABE

Hanif Kara – Partner, AKT

Alan Kay – Managing Director Environment, Costain

Michelle McDowell MBE – Chair, Civil & Structural Engineering, BDP

Rory Olcayto – Features Editor, Architects’ Journal

Antony Oliver - Editor, New Civil Engineer

Graham Reid – Regional MD – UK, Hyder

Philip Singleton – Director, Facilitate Urban

David Tonkin – UK MD, Atkins

International Category

Alan Crane CBE - 3Cs Consultants

Bob McGowan - Independent Consultant; former Chairman, Scott Wilson Group

Hugh Ferguson – Formerly Deputy Director General, Institution of Civil Engineers

Special Advisers to the UK judges

John Ioannou – Construction Category Head, Efficiency and Reform Group, Cabinet Office

Tony Mulcahy - Construction Sector Unit, BIS

Philip White, Chief Inspector of Construction, Health and Safety Executive

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