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2016 Awards Winners

The annual presentation of The Concrete Society's coveted Awards for Excellence in Concrete took place on 17th November 2016 at the The Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Please click here to view the complete 2016 shortlisted entries, click here for the 2016 guest list.

Next year's event is scheduled for 16th November 2017 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, if you want to be part of the Awards' experience please contact Sue Courtney either by email or 01276 607170.

Lee Tunnel, Beckton, London
The project consists of 5 shafts with the diaphragm walls, the deepest undertaken in the UK at 90m. A 7m diameter 7km long tunnel connects the shafts. This project pushed technical boundaries of what is possible with self-compacting concrete and steel fibre reinforcement in both the slip-formed tunnel lining and innovative slipformed shafts.
Judges' Comments:

  This project pushed the technical boundaries of what is possible with concrete. The steel-fibre-reinforced concrete for the slipformed tunnel secondary lining took 18 months to develop, and in excess of 2000m3 of trial mixes. Concrete was the only realistic material choice for the scheme, but it has been used well and with important innovations.
  The project featured highly technical concretes, demanding placement conditions and innovative structural solutions.
  As befits its purpose, the concrete structures are all underground and not seen by the public, but nevertheless the visual quality and finish of the concrete shafts is high; it blends in well with Beckton STW.
  The shafts were initially formed using 90m-deep diaphragm walls (the deepest in the UK). Rather than a conventionally reinforced liner, a slipformed chimney was constructed using fibre-reinforced concrete (the largest pour of its kind in Europe) in each shaft.
  The use of fibre-reinforced concrete and the design of the shafts saved money by reducing the amount of conventional reinforcement required and substantially reducing the construction programme.

Lee Tunnel, Beckton, London Lee Tunnel, Beckton, London Lee Tunnel, Beckton, London
Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford
The exposed concrete atrium is a structural engineering marvel with a complex geometry coupled with the elegance required to realise the architectural vision of space and light. Exposed curved structural concrete staircases provide the links across floor whilst adding to the fluid architecture of the spaces.
Judges' Comments:

  This is a new build on an old site in the middle of historic Oxford colleges. The rear elevation harmonises with the adjacent new buildings and the front is a statement of modern architecture. Externally, it is a very impressive building, and fits in well with the surround. Internally, it is impressive with all major elements in visual concrete. There is a lot of exposed good-quality concrete on every floor.
  The non-rectilinear shapes within the building lend itself to the use of concrete. No two floors are the same, with different layouts and floor-to-ceiling heights. Load transfer through the ever changing shapes would not have been possible with other structural materials.
  The finish achieved is to a very good standard; it is a true depiction of how concrete should be. The ever-changing ‘floating’ curved walkway works its way up from the atria up to level 5. The production of sharp arises and a smooth top surface to the stair balustrades is a statement of the workmanship – achieving this finish is difficult and has been well thought out and achieved.
  The quality of the complex finished article is a bold statement to prospective clients.
  Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford
Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford
Cockcroft Building, Brighton University
A striking example of 1960’s architecture. Repurposing this academic building has admirably demonstrated the longevity of concrete. Capitalising on its innovative column-free construction and exposing the concrete structure has achieved exceptional sustainability results. This refurbishment illustrates that well maintained concrete structures can continue well after their predicted design life.
Judges' Comments:

  The repurposing of this visually striking 1960s building is testament to the durability and longevity of concrete. It fulfils the requirement to provide a variety of new agile workspaces for learning alongside office accommodation for academics.
  The building illustrates that well-maintained concrete structures can continue to be used well after their predicted design life. Even the use of high alumina cement in the precast beams and a substantial fire causing considerable damage to some of the concrete have failed to limit the potential of this building. The high thermal mass of concrete has been exploited in this renovation.
  Innovative original structure with the precast mullions acting with the ring beams to form structural walls, which support post-tensioned precast bridge beams leading to a column-free interior. Despite conversion of the HAC beams, they were found to be satisfactory and without the need for strengthening. Structural lift core walls were punched through and then strengthened to allow the lift doors to be moved vertically.
  The current condition of the building is testament to the good-quality workmanship during the original construction. The 1960s finish, while not originally intended to be exposed to view, merely needing some patch repairs and painting in order to provide a visually acceptable finish.
  Overall, it is far more sustainable to repurpose an existing building than to demolish and rebuild.
  Cockcroft Building, Brighton University
Cockcroft Building, Brighton University Cockcroft Building, Brighton University
Motel One, Manchester
The 330 bed hotel for Motel One faces Manchester’s Piccadilly Station. Making extensive use of off-site concrete manufacturing technologies, the clean volumes and elemental forms of the acid-etched Portland Stone coloured pre-cast concrete facades provide a calm backdrop to the adjacent Grade 2* listed London Road Fire Station.
Judges' Comments:

  Complementing the surroundings was of major concern to the architect; a difficult task considering Manchester has many styles of building brick to glass cladding from all periods. However, an elegant modern functional façade has been achieved, which has variations in height, echoes of the traditional buildings’ window proportions and sight lines linked to the surrounding buildings.
  The units above first-floor in-situ flat slab are load bearing. Choice of a precast solution as opposed to steel or concrete frame with cladding was critical to the programme schedule and finish quality.
  Precast units are ‘natural colour’ relying on cement and Cornish sand for pigmentation. Acid etching provides a fine texture and enhances the appearance. There is remarkably consistent shade and colour with surfaces sealed at factory against weathering. Internally, the walls are good enough to paint, apply paper or thin sprayed plaster.
  Consistent colour and shade throughout, which can be a problem with precast units. The quality of the acid-etched façade and the smoothness of the internal faces are excellent. The quality of the finish is the outstanding aspect of this structure.
  Motel One, Manchester
Motel One, Manchester Motel One, Manchester
Outhouse, Forest of Dean
Outhouse is a bespoke home constructed from exposed cast in-situ concrete and demonstrates how concrete can be integral to achieving a contextual, sensitive and environmentally responsible home. Exposed concrete floors, walls and roof provide a blank canvas for the owners art collection.
Judges' Comments:

  Concrete might not have been first choice for a domestic environment but as both occupiers have studios that produce large-scale works of art it creates a stunning environment for living/working areas. The design incorporates large wall areas to showcase the collection of artwork, sculptures and artefacts and the blank concrete walls had cast-in recesses to hang the artwork.
  The exterior is designed in shape and contour to fit with the natural sloping landscape and the roof camouflaged by a wildflower meadow seeded on the top. Little of the house is visible from distance or close by and it works well in harmony with the area. Close up, the appearance of the varying concrete finishes to walls, floors and ceilings work well throughout the design.
  The project is a testimony to the versatility of concrete. Exterior edging beams were cast on-site. Decorative flooring and in-situ coloured concrete walls contribute to the appearance. Surface finishes vary deliberately depending on the aspect from blank walls to exterior finishes to creative external paving within the imprinted concrete and match the nature of the building. While this appears accidental there has been considerable thought and effort gone into the design of each element of the building and the appropriate finish for that area. The whole concept and design is unusual and attractive.
  Outhouse, Forest of Dean
Outhouse, Forest of Dean Outhouse, Forest of Dean
Pont Briwet Viaduct, Gwynedd
The Pont Briwet viaduct is an integral, seven span, concrete road /rail crossing in Gwynedd. At 136m it is the longest bridge of its kind in the UK. Set in an area of natural beauty, use of concrete allowed a form that sweeps gracefully across the Dwyryd estuary blending seamlessly with its surroundings.
Judges' Comments:

  This is a very impressive structure, which replaces the old timber railway and single-lane toll road structure. It is a seven-span in-situ/precast structure in which concrete provides the necessary resistance in the exposed location.
  The viaduct is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and with its simple elegant lines and minimal depth compliments the natural surrounding which would not be possible with a steel alternative. Attention has been given to the boat shape of the cross-heads so they mimic the impression associated with tidal flows. One side of the rail deck has an in-situ natural stone effect visible from the estuary, while the other side is dry stone walling to reflect the backdrop of the slate outcrops. Both the aesthetics and robustness against shipping collisions is provided by the use of concrete.
  The crossheads are sculptured and the ability of concrete to be moulded in complex shapes ideally suited this application.
  The visible thin section crossheads, ‘U’ beams, piers, edging and rock armour backfill to the abutments blend excellent together. All visual aspects have been carefully thought through. This is a very impressive structure ticking all the boxes.
  Pont Briwet Viaduct, Gwynedd
Pont Briwet Viaduct, Gwynedd Pont Briwet Viaduct, Gwynedd

Principal Judges:
Ian Firth, Senior Vice president Institution of Structural Engineers
Stephen Hodder, Past President of RIBA
Tim Broyd, Senior Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
Mark Hodson, Regional Chair RIBA, Yorkshire
Concrete Society Judges:
Kathy Calverley, Managing Director, The Concrete Society
Richard Day, Head of Technical Services, The Concrete Society
Neil Crook, Senior Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society
Ian Heritage, Senior Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society
Richard Barnes, Senior Advisory Engineer, The Concrete Society

The Structural Concrete Alliance
Repair & Refurbishment Award Winner:  National Grid PLC’s Isle of Grain site near Rochester, Kent
  CCL (GB) provided a solution to replace the existing restrainment system to the outside of the concrete bund walls surrounding the liquid gas steel tanks on the site. The 50,000m3 capacity tanks, originally commissioned in 1981, are each surrounded by a reinforced concrete bund wall to provide secondary containment in the event of a rupture of the steel tank.
  Each bund wall is 19.5m high × 63.04m diameter with a thickness ranging from 470 to 520mm and is externally wrapped with 14 preloaded multi-wire bands in horizontal rebates to provide restraint. The strands are then overlaid with a sprayed concrete system to provide corrosion protection.
  The bespoke solution involved the design of special anchors capable of restraining bursting forces of 223 tonnes per anchor and included the safe detensioning of the existing wire from around the bund wall, using a post-tensioned assisted strap restrainment system.
  Structural Concrete Alliance
Excellence in Customer Service Award Winner: Walthamstow Blockade
The British Ready-Mixed Concrete Association Award for Excellence in Customer Service recognises ready-mixed concrete companies who provide a high-quality, efficient and professional service. Ten nominations were received in 2016 and the winners were presented at The Concrete Society Awards Dinner.
The 2016 winner is Hanson for the Walthamstow Blockade project. Track Partnership, a strategic alliance between London Underground and Balfour Beatty Rail, accepted the challenge to deliver the renewal of the Walthamstow Crossover in 2014. The scheme was the first time a low-vibration trackform (LVT) had been installed in the underground system. To facilitate this upgrade, a concrete slab of approximately 275m3 was placed 500m from the point of discharge. This had to be laid to falls, require minimal compaction and flow easily around rebates designed to incorporate the new LVT track.   BRMCA
MPA British Precast
Creativity in Concrete Award Winner: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), a London-based architecture practice, is committed to making satisfying buildings that are beautiful and enjoyable to use. With an international portfolio, the company is recognised for its impressive work and strategic take on architectural design. British Precast Federation