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2014 Awards Winners

The annual presentation of The Concrete Society's coveted Awards for Excellence in Concrete took place on 29th October 2014 at the The Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Please click here to view the complete 2014 shortlisted entries, click here for the 2014 guest list.

If you want to be part of the 2015 Society Awards experience please contact Sue Courtney either by email or 01276 607170.

Living planet, Woking
This ultra-green building feature’s extensive use of high-quality, exposed concrete both inside and outside as an aesthetic and functional component avoiding the need for secondary finishes. The podium slab is supported by concrete columns, from the car park below, which continue to support the internal concrete mezzanine.
Judges' Comments:

Concrete is visible internally and externally and finished to an extremely high standard in all locations. Concrete is used as one of a number of structural materials (along with wood and steel) to form a harmonious and warm aspect. The combination of materials works very well indeed.
Even in potentially lower-importance areas (car park soffit) it works really well and looks great. The attention to detail and care over appearance in all areas is outstanding. The concrete for the most part was exceptional.
The building has to cope with a variety of functions and appears to do this well. It has a degree of flexibility for future changes of use.
The building fits in extremely well with the surrounding areas – the external concrete does not look overpowering for the location. Care has been taken equally internally and externally.
The very high standard of finish makes this structure stand out. Apparently surfaces were lightly hand-sanded to even out colour differences without affecting texture.
Some nice complicated details, which look simple but would be difficult to place efficiently, ie, slopes, post-treatment of surfaces and some corner details.
We were very impressed by the quality of the workmanship. Even the bin area (sample panels for testing finish types) looks high quality.
Soffits and slabs look crisp and clean and even the car park soffit looks better than most interior soffits. The interior soffits are excellent, with minor steps and excellent uniformity.

Living planet, Woking Living planet, Woking Living planet, Woking
LSE Saw Swee Hock, London
A multifunctional 9 storey student facility with a large venue, learning café; activity, media, careers and interfaith prayer centres; pub, offices, gym, dance studio, social space and roof terrace. Downstand long-span ribbed slabs provide column-free space. Exposed concrete soffits throughout with recessed lighting, 2 feature spiral staircases with grit-blasted concrete balustrades and granolithic floors.
Judges' Comments:

A confined site with additional lower basement; the superstructure tapers vertically to respect ‘rights to light’. It works very well for use over the nine floors. Constraints required meticulous programming and delivery.
It is always difficult to complement the surroundings in a tight London site but the externally brick-faced concrete and reducing footprint with height creates an interesting and welcoming appearance.
As-struck finishes, with varying degrees of grit-blasting, allow ‘the skeleton of the concrete’ to be seen, ie, exposes all the casting defects as envisaged by the architect. The use of limestone powder improves the lightness of concrete colour and the building makes use of concrete’s thermal mass, allowing passive ventilation.
The project used bespoke formwork for spiral stairs and for the constantly changing geometry of the inclined and sloping walls. All other exposed board work is of high quality.
In-situ concrete work was well executed. Workmanship involved is very good, producing good exposed concrete with little making good.
The quality of concrete finishes shows what can be achieved. This is a well-thought-out, architecturally impressive student hub in the centre of London.

LSE Saw Swee Hock, London LSE Saw Swee Hock, London LSE Saw Swee Hock, London
Building (Education) Category – Certificate of Excellence

Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow
Judges' Comments:Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow
This is an excellent building, in a very prominent site opposite the internationally important original School of Art building. It has a complex geometry with three inclined circular ‘shafts’ bringing light into the building. Exposed painted concrete has been used for most of the internal vertical surfaces and slab soffits. There were large interesting internal spaces within the building.
Concrete was, in practice, probably the only suitable material for the complex geometry of the building. The use of exposed concrete also provided hard-wearing, durable surfaces, which are needed in art schools.
The architect decided, probably rightly, that the new structure should also be unashamedly modern, rather than trying to match or reflect the iconic existing building. Externally there is little exposed concrete. The external elevations are very modern with generally flat, plain façades.
The ability to form concrete into interesting complex shapes has been exploited in the design.
The three inclined ‘shafts’ were very unusual. In one area there was a spiral staircase curling around one of the light shafts. Part of the spiral staircase had been cast in black pigmented concrete.
The standard of the concrete finishes is high. Most of the internal concrete was exposed and was painted white. A board-marked finish had been specified for many of the shear walls and the standard was good.
University Square, Stratford
Judges' Comments:University Square, Stratford
University Square has a highly functional design using the space efficiently, yet giving the feel of a larger complex.
Externally, this corner structure adds to rather than subtracts from the surroundings, with clean lines, slate-like cladding (or various textures and shine) and smoked glass. Exposed concrete is well-proportioned and executed, in conjunction with timber panelling, stainless steel and white painted plasterwork.
The execution and finish is excellent. The in-situ exposed concrete in the ground to first floor reception and café area is of high quality yet retains the natural texture and visual robustness expected of concrete. The proportioning of the joint rebates and tie-bolt holes removes obvious pour and formwork panel lines. Integration of vertical lighting strips within the concrete is not only stunning but also the casting of the insert is near faultless.
The fire exit/back-of-house stair cores are also well executed, with attention to detail similar to that of the reception and plinth. Particular attention has been given to the floor-to-wall connections, which are typically notoriously poor in many other structures. Precast stairs match well with the in-situ works. An outstanding feature is the first-floor link-bridge.
Stormy castle, South Wales
A site specific contemporary family home that responds sensitively to the site, creating a high-quality architectural solution carefully integrating three stepped ‘wings’ following and cut into the contours of the landscape. Exposed concrete throughout provides longevity, whilst providing a raw, honest aesthetic appropriate to the exposed site.
Judges' Comments:

Designed and executed to the owner’s specific requirements, the dwelling blends in well with the surrounding topography and old building by the mixing of stone, concrete and COR-TEN steel. It is a contemporary design that sits unobtrusively into its environment, which will become even more camouflaged as the plants and vegetation mature. The dwelling is intended to change to reflect the client’s requirements over the years.
Life-cycle costs, longevity, low maintenance, aesthetic qualities and thermal mass have been important aspects in choosing concrete as the main structural component and it has been used to a very good effect.
Integration and connectivity with the different levels throughout the dwelling has shown the flexibility of concrete. Exposed in-situ concrete can be seen throughout the dwelling and where areas of false ceiling for services have been located, precast planks have been used but are not visible. Exposed polished concrete and precast steps form the walking areas.
A high standard of finish has been achieved throughout. The challenge was to make it look like basic shuttering but still achieve a good finish.
The project has attained a very low level of energy usage through a combination of the properties of the concrete and technological systems, which often results in exporting energy into the National Grid.
This is a very impressive building using the best properties of concrete. Exposed concrete is visible throughout but it is not overpowering and gives a bright, airy feel internally.

Stormy castle, South Wales Stormy castle, South Wales Stormy castle, South Wales
Building (Mixed Use) Category – Certificate of Excellence

Burntwood School, London
Judges' Comments:Burntwood School, London
The quality achieved from simple concrete finishes shows what can be accomplished within a budget. The buildings have been designed very much with functionality in mind on a traditional corridor and classroom layout, and reportedly function very well as a school campus.
Striking load-bearing precast panels are cleverly optimised to give a pleasing pattern rather than rigid repartition. In-situ concrete work was very well executed, soffits were straight off the skydeck system but a good finish was achieved despite a basic approach. Precast cladding panels have an attractive deep acid-etched finish to aid weathering. Exposed finishes meant exposed services, which required considerable advanced planning.
Self-supporting cladding (just tied to the frame for lateral stability rather than being hung from the frame) means that the frame can be more slender and hence more cost-effective.
Very simple rectangular layouts, basic exposed concrete finishes but well executed and simple designs all point to a value-for-money project.
Beckton STW Extension, Essex
An innovative Design for Manufacture and Assembly approach for 2 Aeration Tanks 120m x 90m x 8.5m deep, divided into 3 lanes, and 16 conical-floored 45m diameter Final Settlement Tanks (FST). Aeration tanks consist of precast twin-wall system, the first use in this application. FTS’s walls consist of post tensioned precast panels with in-situ ring beams.
Judges' Comments:

This project shows a very impressive, innovative use of precast twin-wall concrete panels.
Both the aeration tanks and the final settlement tanks have a crisp functional high-quality appearance and the structures fitted in with the rest of the STW. All of the tanks passed the leakage test first time; pipe connectors are factory-cast into the precast element ensuring a water-tight seal.
The low permeability of good-quality concrete was exploited by using thinner walls than are normally specified, thus ensuring a reduction in overall concrete volume.
Innovative use of precast elements for the aeration and final settlement tanks resulted in small gangs and one mobile crane as the majority of construction was off-site and so there was a reduction in site operatives, materials storage etc. This is the first time that the technique has been used on this scale in the UK.
A high quality of workmanship is shown throughout, as evidenced in the quality of finish, lack of repairs and minimal leakage at joints and through panels. It is certainly an improvement on traditional in-situ work.

Beckton STW Extension, Essex Beckton STW Extension, Essex Beckton STW Extension, Essex

Project Nominated by
Dickson Poon China Centre, Oxford Galliford Try Construction
East Ham Customer Service Centre & Library Getjar
Hadyn Ellis Building, Cardiff BAM Construction
John Henry Brookes Building & Abercrombie Extension, Oxford Expanded
JW3, London AKT II
Littlehaven Promenade & Seawall, South Shields Aggregate Industries
London Road, Barking Bouygues UK
The Exchange, Cornwall Burwell Deakins Architects
Western-Super-Mare STW, North Somerset PERI UK

Principal Judges:
Ruth Reed, RIBA (President 2010–2011)
Alan Crossman, IStructE Vice-President
Geoff French, ICE President
Concrete Society Judges:
Paul Browne, President, The Concrete Society/Peri
Martyn Fear, President Elect, The Concrete Society/Specialist Precast Products
Kathy Calverley, Managing Director, The Concrete Society
Richard Day, Technical Director, The Concrete Society
Supplementary Judges:
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

Mott MacDonald - Ryde Pier refurbishment
The 2014 Structural Concrete Award identified innovative structural concrete repair and refurbishment solutions that overcame the most demanding of engineering challenges, while advancing technology and understanding in this specialist field.
Entries were received from members of the three trade associations that make up the Structural Concrete Alliance. Members of the Concrete Repair Association (CRA), Corrosion Prevention Association (CPA) and the Sprayed Concrete Association (SCA) supplied details of the solutions they had delivered to overcome difficulties encountered in a range of demanding projects.

The judging panel was impressed by the high standard of the entries, which served to highlight the professionalism of CRA, CPA and SCA members.

The award was presented to Mott MacDonald for its refurbishment of Ryde Pier on the Isle of Wight, completed in April 2013. The judging panel felt that the innovative approach best represented the expertise of the asset protection and repair industry.
  Structural Concrete Alliance 2014 Winner
Lafarge Tarmac - Gatwick North Terminal
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 2014 Winner is Lafarge Tarmac. The winning project for Gatwick Airport saw Lafarge Tarmac, Balfour Beatty and Landbuild construct new retail space at Gatwick North Terminal. The judges were impressed with how – despite the challenges of both the site and the project – Lafarge Tarmac met the project demands and delivered excellence in customer service.

There were a range of restrictions to take into account: noise, vibration, security, limited access, passenger safety and a site that needed to stay operational 24 hours a day.

To address the security standards of the airport authorities, Lafarge Tarmac provided a dedicated fleet and also had dedicated contacts at the plant and on site during the pours. This co-ordination, as well as technical support, ensured that standards, logistics and customer satisfaction were successfully achieved.
  BRMCA 2014 Winner
Getjar/Matthew Consultants - Fulham Riverside Development
PTA has received captivating submissions for its 2014 award, which proved the art of post-tensioning applications around the UK. A joint submission by Getjar and Matthew Consultants for Fulham Riverside Development has won the prestigious award for this year.
This project is a mixed retail and residential development which is being carried out in a number of phases due primarily to keeping the existing Sainsbury’s store on the site functioning as close to normal as possible until the new store is completed and occupied, whereupon the existing store will be demolished and the development will continue in that area.

The main elements of the works comprising Phase 1 include a large basement car park and a large ground-floor car park. Provision has been made for a mezzanine retail area at second floor level with a large podium transfer slab partly at third-, but mainly at fourth-, floor level. Above the podium there are three large residential blocks with two towers on the river frontage and lower level blocks behind.
  PTA 2014 Winner
William Mitchell - concrete sculptor and innovator
Born on 30 April 1925, William Mitchell is an English sculptor, artist and designer recognised for his use of colour, shape and texture in combinations intended to excite the viewer. Trained at the Royal College of Art, he is perhaps best known for his large-scale concrete murals and public works of art that peaked in popularity in the 1960s and 70s.

Public taste goes in cycles and recently there has been a revival of interest as the importance of his legacy is reappraised. The architectural revival in concrete façades, both internal and external, has made a contribution to this new popularity and so has cleaner atmospheres leading to cleaner façades. His three huge Minute Men sculptures at Salford University were listed in 2011, having been unveiled by Prince Philip in 1967.
British Precast Federation 2014 Winner

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For copies of the photos please click here