More than 500 leaders and innovators from across the construction sector gathered at the International Conference Centre, Birmingham, on October 19 for the Structural Timber Awards. The prestigious award ceremony truly made its mark on the timber industry rewarding outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK.
With over 200 outstanding submissions this year’s Structural Timber Award judges had an onerous job of shortlisting entries and reported that they were ‘overwhelmed’ with the high standard and variety within each category.
The awards were hosted by television personality and all round funny man Mark Durden-Smith who presented sixteen companies with a prestigious Structural Timber Award. All of the winning projects demonstrated innovation and all round excellence through the use of timber.
The big winner on the night was Sarah Wigglesworth Architects for their Mellor Primary School project, who scooped the Best Education Project and the acclaimed Judges Choice Award, which is presented to the highest scoring submission across all of the categories.
The award-winning project is an extension to the original Mellor Primary School in the form of a ‘tree house’ incorporating a cluster of pitched roof forms, all set on a deck extending out into the landscape. The core structural solution is timber used for its robust, low energy and sustainable properties which reflect the ‘Forest School’ activities and permit the extended building to blend seamlessly in its Green Belt setting. Tree like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally, making a visual connection between internal and external spaces. The new classroom and library enjoy views into the surrounding tree canopy.
One of the judges described the project as:
“An excellent scheme, an honest simple building, but importantly using the structure as a learning resource, with a high level of involvement from all in the successful completion.”
The head of the judging panel and Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association, Andrew Carpenter said of the night:
“I am proud to have played a part in the second year of the Structural Timber Awards. I have been blown away by the breadth and quality of entries that we have received. It is truly inspiring to see so much activity in the sector and to witness so many boundaries being pushed. The depth of expertise across all categories was impressive and the exceptional number of entries clearly demonstrates the upturn in the industry – placing the Structural Timber Awards as a high point in the construction calendar.”
The full list of award winners included:
Best Social Housing Project – Kingspan Timber Solutions, Dover District Council & Jenner, Castle Street, Dover
Best Private Housing Project – Urban Splash, hoUSe
Best Self Build Project– Milner Associates, Redevelopment of Wellington Lane
Best Education Project – Sarah Wigglesworth Architects Mellor Primary School
Best Healthcare Project – Foster + Partners, Maggie’s Centre
Best Commercial Project – B & K Structures & Rubner Holzbau, Pinewood Studios
Best Commercial Project – Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Alconbury Weald Club
Best Low Energy Project – Cygnum Timber Frame, The Enterprise Centre at The University of East Anglia
Engineer of the Year – Engenuiti, The Essex Business School
Architect of the Year – Foster + Partners, Maggie’s Centre
Client of the Year – GSK & University of Nottingham, GSK Laboratory
Contractor of the Year – Mace, Sky Central
Product Innovation Award – Smartroof, Smartroof Prism
Product Marketing Award – Innovaré Systems, iSpecifier
Pioneer Award –Arup, Use of Timber in Landmark Projects
Project of the Year – Gilbert & Goode, Green Build Hub
Judges Choice – Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Mellor Primary School
Best Use of SIPs – SIPCO, 40 Hill Road
Best Use of Solid Wood – B & K Structures, Engenuiti, Morgan Sindall & BDP, Essex Business School
Best Use of Timber Frame – Cygnum Timber Frame, The Enterprise Centre, The University of East Anglia
There has already been a large amount of attention focused on next year’s awards, which will be returning October 2017.
Please note that the Submission deadline for entries into the 2017 Structural Timber Awards is the 31 May 2017.