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2013 Awards Winners

The annual presentation of The Concrete Society's coveted Awards for Excellence in Concrete took place on 7th November 2013 at the Intercontinental London Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Please click here to view the complete 2013 shortlisted entries, click here for the 2013 guest list.

If you want to be part of the 2014 Society Awards experience please contact Sue Courtney either by email or 01276 607170.

Hill Top House, Oxford
Hill Top House is a modern private dwelling slotted in between two older properties in a residential part of Oxford that has a variety of architectural styles. The project is described by the architect as “a small but exemplary essay in the use of concrete to create the complete structure and interior of a house”.
Judges' Comments:

This is an excellent use of precast concrete in a domestic application to produce a simplistic uncluttered construction, which highlights the benefits of concrete. There is a very high ratio of visible concrete to square footage. The owners are extremely satisfied with the form and function of their new house, which has maximised the available plot of land and content within the agreed budget.

The desire to maximise the floor plan, in particular the width as well as providing the necessary thermal and sound insulation with the adjacent properties, drove the design to a precast option. The foundations, ground floor and floor screed were laid in-situ, with the external walls, floors, stairs and shear walls formed in precast units.

The front façade attempts to replicate the features of the adjoining dwellings in a modernistic interpretation of roof profile and bay windows. To the rear, large expanses of glass allow the natural light to penetrate deep into the property.

All services are contained within the central core, which also includes the three-storey single-flight precast stairs and lighting within partial false ceiling. There are practically no services attached to the exposed precast, giving the concrete high prominence.

Hill Top House, Oxford Hill Top House, Oxford Hill Top House, Oxford
MMU School of Art & Design, Manchester
The new Manchester Metropolitan University building brings together in one space various departments that were previously in separate spaces. It has been found that there are considerable creative benefits in the students of various art and design departments working together.
Judges' Comments:

Concrete was an ideal material for this building, providing a robust structure able to withstand the rigours of a busy and dynamic university art and design department.

The inherent robustness and ‘mouldability’ of concrete were exploited. The use of self-finished concrete reduced the need for applied finishes. The thermal mass of the concrete structure was used in the design.

Exposed concrete frames are commonly used in university buildings; however, in this building the tiered form of the main work space was unusual. Also the use of bespoke formwork liners on some column faces was unusual, as was the use of OSB for the stair core wall formwork, to produce a textured surface. There is a large amount of exposed concrete in this building. The varied and innovative finishes to the exposed concrete were well executed and the finish to the faces of the columns cast against a formwork liner was very good.

This is a good building that exploits the inherent properties of concrete.

MMU School of Art & Design, Manchester MMU School of Art & Design, Manchester MMU School of Art & Design, Manchester
Building (Education) Category – Certificate of Excellence
New Stratford Library, University of East London
New Stratford Library, University of East London
Number One Riverside, Rochdale
Number One Riverside represents a significant milestone in the holistic use of concrete, in numerous roles within the project. Not simply employed as a structural framing device, the use of concrete became fundamental to the curvilinear structure, which was left exposed to aid environmental performance as well being used for its rich expression when detailed and specified considerately.
Judges' Comments:

This is an excellent high-quality building. The scheme was intended to provide a landmark building, which would aid the development of a part of the centre of Rochdale. We believe it has achieved this goal.

Reinforced concrete was the ideal (and possibly the only really suitable) structural material for this complex structure. The curved shape of the building follows the alignment of the adjacent River Roch. The new building stands out in the area as there are no surrounding buildings of any architectural merit. Both internally and externally the concrete quality gives a suitably prestigious appearance.

The inherent durability, robustness and ability of concrete to be formed into complex shapes, were exploited in the design as were its thermal properties. Also the use of high-quality exposed concrete finishes reduced the need for finishes. GRC and precast concrete were used to clad to external elevations. The combination of the building shape and layout, the use of hybrid construction for the floors, GRC and precast cladding and the extensive use of exposed concrete produced an unusual and striking building. These forms all work very well together to produce the overall aesthetic effect.

Number One Riverside, Rochdale Number One Riverside, Rochdale Number One Riverside, Rochdale
Building (Mixed Use) Category – Certificate of Excellence
Multi-storey Car Park, EBBW Vale
Multi-storey Car Park, EBBW Vale
The Radiographic Cell, Poole
Tight temperature controls and a careful mix design ensured the successful build of a concrete radiographic testing cell in Poole, Dorset. Due to an ever-expanding workload requiring a new manufacturing building, the client required the capability to carry out all non-destructive testing in a specially designed on-site radiographic cell, with two bays, capable of handling the new order book 24 hours a day, instead of the previous arrangement of sending completed units off-site or night closure testing on-site.
Judges' Comments:

The structure has an impressive visual appearance, especially considering that this wasn’t a particular requirement. The exterior was originally going to be painted but the finish was so good that it was left as-struck.

It does the job that it was designed to do and was reportedly cheaper to build than one using dense aggregate; it also doubles as a blastproof test chamber for water and gas pressure testing.

The tight specification in terms of temperature differential meant that 130 thermocouples were used to monitor temperature and several methods were combined (insulation, heated enclosure, leaving formwork on for six weeks) to ensure that the temperature differential was minimised. One continuous pour (including roof) avoided the use of any joints (apart from a quick-strip joggled joint for the labyrinth access ‘tunnel’).

A high standard of workmanship is evident in the finish achieved. Despite the high GGBS content there were very few ‘sand runs’ and none of any significance. Formwork tolerance around the 40 tonne doors was very tight as the ‘seal’ closure is part of the X-ray containment.

The two radiographic cells were constructed as the main fabrication building was built around them. This meant that the formwork needed to be dismantled using a smaller crane than was used to build it, requiring a considerable amount of forward planning. This is a very impressive, innovative and logistical use of concrete to deal with several construction challenges.

The Radiographic Cell, Poole The Radiographic Cell, Poole The Radiographic Cell, Poole
Across 46 years and 47 volumes, Concrete magazine reached a milestone in May this year, with the publication of its special 500th edition. To mark the occasion, The Concrete Society presented an award for Outstanding Contribution to Concrete.

In deciding this award, the Editor and his team have considered the consistency and editorial merit of articles down the years. One of main requirements the magazine places on its contributors is for objective and informative articles, no small feat in trade publishing.

After much deliberation, with a shortlist that reads as a Who’s Who of the concrete industry (see Concrete December/January issue), the award was presented to Hanson UK. The company’s editorial support to Concrete has been continuous across the years, with articles that are balanced and informative, and included not only case studies or commentary on specific topics but also Current Practice Sheets.

Principal Judges:
Ruth Reed, RIBA (President 2010–2011)
Alan Crossman, IStructE President Elect
Geoff French, ICE President
Concrete Society Judges:
Paul Browne, President, The Concrete Society/Grace Construction Products
Alasdair Stables, Immediate Past President, The Concrete Society/Peri
Martyn Fear, President Elect, The Concrete Society/Specialist Precast Products
Kathy Calverley, Managing Director, The Concrete Society
Supplementary Judges:
Richard Day, Technical Director, The Concrete Society
Richard Barnes, Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society
Neil Crook, Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society
Ian Heritage, Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society
Deryk Simpson, Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society

Ribble and Little Viaducts, Settle
The British Ready-Mixed Concrete Association Award for Excellence in Customer Service recognises and celebrates ready-mixed companies who provide a high-quality efficient and professional service. The award was presented at this year’s Concrete Society Awards Dinner.
The top winner and commended entries demonstrate the range of applications and provide a showcase for the technical expertise of the members and their commitment to delivering solutions to meet client needs. Judges are impressed with the high quality of positive feedback from clients and contractors.

Service is always important, particularly when the contractor is working in the limited time available on the rail network. In this case, the requirement was to provide a high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete to an in-situ 32-hour tensile strength requirement, where the ambient air temperatures were down to –5°C. The judges believe Hanson Concrete is a deserved winner of the BRMCA Excellence in Customer Service Award for its exceptional delivery on this project.
  BRMCA 2013 Winner
Heathrow Airport East Terminal MSCP
The 2013 PTA Awards has produced an exciting mixture of important post-tensioned structures that have graced the UK landscape in the past 12 months. The winner of this year’s prestigious prize is the entry from Strongforce/Laing O’Rourke - Heathrow T2 Multi-storey Car Park.
The multi-storey car park (1340 spaces) at Heathrow is part of the new T2A building, which will be the gateway to the new Heathrow world-class Terminal 2 and built on a footprint of 114 × 85m. This project won the award for not only addressing all the key elements that entries are judged on but also the fact that it reflected current trends to further reduce materials and bring precast elements to the fore in major prestressing works. Precast has usually been associated with pre-tensioning so this project offered post-tensioning a way in. The PTA hopes to see more innovations in PT in future awards, particularly with the move to open up the spans in mixed-use developments.   PTA 2013 Winner
Sir David Chipperfield
The winner of the Creativity in Concrete Award 2013 is Sir David Chipperfield and the team at David Chipperfield Architects of London, Berlin and Milan.

The Chipperfield practice has an impressive portfolio over its 29 years, with perhaps a special reputation for public space and museums. Recent work has moved into refurbishment and even industrial design. The Neues Museum reconstruction in Berlin features extensive use of structural precast concrete to tie together old and new. The Ciutat de la Justicia collection of new buildings in Barcelona is admired for its use of subtly different pastel colours for the concrete cladding on each building.
British Precast Federation 2013 Winner

Concrete Society Awards 2013
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