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Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards

Images of previous winners from 2021

Photos: Portugal Place (photo by Paul Coulson), Chemistry of Health at University of Cambridge, and The Old Granary and Counting House (photos by Nick Guttridge) – all winners in 2021.

Together with our sponsors, Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry (CFCI), we have held design awards annually since 1988. Over the past few years these awards have expanded to include all aspects of construction, celebrating best practice in both the design and construction of our built environment, in addition to celebrating the individuals and crafts people, and the teams who make it happen. Sustainability, engineering, and community are important aspects of the overall industry and we have included additional awards to celebrate best practice in these areas.

The awards are aimed at all sizes and complexities of project ranging from smaller new buildings to the larger developments and new neighbourhoods as well as celebrating the best renovation and conservation projects in Greater Cambridge.

Changes for the 2022 awards

There have been a number of changes to the awards for 2022.

Submissions are now welcomed from the whole of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service area, including both Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.

We have added two new awards to celebrate the performance of contractors during construction with a special focus on contractor innovation during the construction process, sustainability measures taken by the contractor throughout construction and the approach the contractor has undertaken to engaging with the local community to address concerns and improve outcomes during construction.

Due to the pandemic, we have reluctantly had to defer the new neighbourhood and landscape awards which are run every three years and should have been part of the 2022 Awards. We hope to run these categories in 2023 and 2024.

Scroll down to find out how to submit for the 2022 awards, and the date for submissions.

Award Categories

There are eight main categories for entries as listed below. The presentation of all the awards will be made in March 2022.

Building Awards

  • Best new building (under £2m construction costs)
  • Best new building (over £2m construction costs)
  • Best conservation, alteration, or extension of an existing building (under £2m construction costs)
  • Best conservation, alteration, or extension of an existing building (over £2m construction costs)

Contractor Awards

The City Council’s Considerate Contractor Scheme Awards continue to be supported and will follow the format for 2021 and are being presented at a virtual awards event at the end of the summer in 2022. 

We have introduced a new category of award as part of the GCDCA to specifically recognise the contractor’s contribution to the built environment during the construction phase of the project. It aims to celebrate the major contribution contractors make to the built environment in respect of innovation, sustainability, and community engagement. If successful, further awards will be considered in the future.

There are two new awards:

  • Best project demonstrating innovation, sustainability, and community engagement during construction (under £2m construction costs).
  • Best project demonstrating innovation, sustainability, and community engagement during construction (over £2m construction costs).

Engineering, Sustainability and Craftsmanship Awards

  • Engineering and sustainability project of the year award.
  • Craftsmanship award.

Deferred Awards

The following categories have been deferred from 2022:

  • New neighbourhoods - awarded once every three years, next to be awarded in 2023.
  • Best new landscape - awarded once every three years, next to be awarded in 2024.

People Awards

Other categories will be presented by the CFCI and GCSPS at the same time as the Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards. These categories are judged by experts in their field appointed by the CFCI, alongside representatives of the GCSPS. Applications are to be made through the shared planning authority as per the main awards.

  • Young Professional of the Year.
  • Apprentice of the year Award.
  • Site Manager of the Year.

 

Criteria for judging

Building Awards

The criteria for the Building Awards are:

  • design excellence – a building of overall architectural merit
  • inclusive and accessible design
  • design appropriate to the context
  • good quality of workmanship
  • good quality materials - including durability
  • sustainability - carbon performance, environmental design, creative approach to site constraints, future adaptability
  • the submitted schemes should also include any performance data where it is available

Any completed schemes within the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas can be entered.

Contractor Awards

The new Contractor Awards will be assessed on the project team’s performance during construction (rather than on design quality), with scores split equally between the 3 elements listed below:

  • Innovation – at least one example of an innovative construction technique, process or product (e.g. modern methods of construction), or new way of working (e.g. innovative contract arrangements or programming or procurement approaches).
  • Sustainability – at least one example of the use of sustainable construction methods or products, or sustainable approaches to procurement, employment, etc. or improved sustainability during the whole life of the asset.
  • Community – at least one example where the project has addressed the concerns/needs of the local community, or where it has given a benefit back to that community during the construction period, in terms of charitable work, engagement with local people, contribution to local employment and/or education, etc.

Any schemes currently on site or completed within the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas can be entered.

Engineering and Sustainability Award

This award is for projects which demonstrate engineering excellence in civil, structural, mechanical and electrical, or construction engineering. Detailed submission requirements including data from the completed building are set out in the requirements below.

Any completed schemes within the Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas can be entered.

Craftsmanship Award

Specialist elements of construction exhibiting exceptional quality of workmanship, design, fabrication, and installation. The craftsmanship should demonstrate detailed knowledge of materials and show a high level of expertise applied with skill to deliver both precision and beauty in the work being submitted for this award.

Any completed schemes within Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas can be entered.

People Awards

The People Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals working in the construction industry, and related fields, in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. The awards are judged on a nominee biography, a statement from a nominator and a referee – details are set out in the ‘How to Enter’ section. The three award categories have different judging criteria, set out below:

Young Professional of the Year

This award is to celebrate the achievements of professionals, under the age of 35 on 1st January 2022, who have excelled in their professional field. Nominations can come from all built environment industry sectors including property, law, planning, construction, surveying and design. The submissions will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Inspiring others: Being a positive role model and representing the future of the profession,
  • Collaboration and leadership: Excelling at working with others and showing leadership potential,
  • Innovation: Displaying original thinking, problem solving abilities, the capacity to overcome challenges, taking positive action to reduce carbon emissions, and
  • Anything else that makes this individual stand out as an exceptional young professional.

Apprentice of the Year

This award recognises apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces, and who are enrolled on a formal apprenticeship, traineeship programme or vocational degree course on 1st January 2022.  The submissions will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Achievement: Carrying out work of an exceptional quality, showing determination, personal development, contribution to a particular project, overcoming challenges,
  • Teamwork: Making an exceptional contribution to the workplace, and
  • Anything else that makes this individual stand out as an exceptional apprentice.

Site Manager of the Year

This award recognises outstanding contribution by site managers, appreciating the pivotal role that they play in the success of a project. The submission will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Attention to detail: Achieving consistently high standards of workmanship, resolving technical issues, applying working methods to reduce carbon emissions during construction,
  • Collaboration: Leadership skills, subcontractor management and developing good relationships with clients and the community,
  • Health and Safety: Considering efficient controls and evidencing that the welfare of everyone is a priority, and
  • Anything else that makes this individual stand out as an exceptional site manager.

 

The judging panels

Our panel of judges include representatives from the sponsors as well as experts with knowledge of buildings in Cambridge and SCDC and their design and construction.

The judging process for the building awards will include an initial selection of a shortlist of projects from the electronic submissions followed by a site visit by the judges to the shortlisted projects early in the new year and a final selection of winners and commendations to be announced at an awards evening in March 2022.

  • Chair of Judges, Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Master of Emmanuel College Cambridge and former Director-General of the National Trust.
  • Chair of the new Greater Cambridge Design Review Panel (to be confirmed)
  • Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport
  • Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins, South Cambridgeshire District Council Lead Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and Delivery
  • Meredith Bowles (architect) Chair of CFCI Trustees
  • Feb Phillips (architect) CFCI Trustee
  • Tom Foggin (architect) CFCI Trustee
  • Joel Gustaffson (engineer) CFCI Trustee

The engineering and sustainability awards and the new contractor awards will be judged by a separate panel using the electronic submissions only.

  • Joel Gustaffson (engineer) CFCI Trustee
  • Simon Smith (engineer) CFCI Trustee
  • Bob Ensch (construction consultant) CFCI Trustee
  • Nick Milne – 3C Building Control Construction Monitoring Officer
  • Emma Davies - Principal Environmental sustainability Officer, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service

The People Awards will be judged by a panel selected by the trustees of the CFCI.

  • Emma Fletcher – CFCI Trustee
  • Tom Foggin – CFCI Trustee
  • Alison Wring – CFCI Trustee
  • Isabel McTiffin – CFCI Trustee
  • Bob Ensch – CFCI Trustee
  • Heather Jones – Strategic Lead 3C Shared Services Building Control - GCSPS
  • Jane Green – Built and Natural Environment Manager - GCSPS

 

How to enter

The awards will be presented in March 2022. Entries must be received by 7 January 2022.

Building Awards Submission Requirements

For the Building Awards, entrants must submit an application form to state which category the scheme is being entered for and the following photographs and documents:

  • A single PDF sheet giving the project brief and the clients and contractors involved
  • A minimum of five and up to ten JPEG images, with a minimum width or height of 1000px (max file size is 10MB)
    • Include external and internal photographs showing specific details that you wish to highlight. In terms of accessibility, entrances, routes, and spaces should be clearly shown
    • Each photograph should be uploaded as a single image file unless you wish to show before and after images of a refurbishment project
    • Convey how the project relates to its context as these will be the main way the scheme will be judged
    • Include both wide shots and close-ups. If possible show the building in use too
    • Include the photographer’s name for copyright. Please note that submitted photographs will be used for promotion of the awards by the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service and the CFCI on their websites, and to inform visitors which entries won
  • Alongside the photographs and project brief, please submit a minimum of one and a maximum of six drawing files in JPEG format (maximum file size 2MB)
    • Include a location plan (1:1250)
    • Site plan
    • Floor plans, ensuring that the main access is clearly shown
    • Two sections through the building.

Building Awards - application form

 

Contractor Awards Submission Requirements

For the Contractor Awards, entrants must submit an application form to state which category the scheme is being entered for along with the following:

  • A maximum of three A4 pages of text (font size 11 minimum) describing the project, the team involved and the examples of innovation, sustainability, and community.
  • Any supporting photographs and plans would also be welcomed, up to a maximum of 12 images (max file size is 10MB).

Contractor Awards - application form

 

Engineering, Sustainability and Craftsmanship Awards Submission Requirements

For the Engineering and Sustainability awards and the craftsmanship awards ensure that drawings or photographs are submitted as for the main awards above. They need to show how these matters have been addressed to a high standard in the submitted scheme. For the Engineering and Sustainability entries, please include two sides of an A4 PDF (a maximum of 400 words) giving the project brief, companies or individuals involved, and a summary of the engineering excellence and primary sustainability details delivered as part of the project.

Engineering, Sustainability and Craftsmanship Awards - application form

 

People Awards Submission Requirements

Entrants must submit an application form including the following information, for all categories: 

  • Contact details for the nominee and nominator
  • Contact details for a referee (this could be a senior manager, client, consultant, or contractor). This person will be contacted and asked to provide a statement of support if the nominee is shortlisted.
  • Nominee biography (max. 400 word)
  • Nominator response to the criteria (max. 800 words)

Apprentice of the Year 2022 - application form

Young Professional of the Year 2022 - application form

Site Manager of the Year 2022 - application form

 

Questions

Any queries should be directed to Susan Smith, principal conservation officer via historicenvironment@greatercambridgeplanning.org or 07514 924164.

We look forward to receiving your entries. Thank you.

 

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