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CIBSE Building Performance Awards: Proving the Possible
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CIBSE Building Performance Awards: Proving the Possible

02 Mar 23

This year’s Building Performance Awards demonstrate an inspiring range of solutions to the challenge of slowing climate change. Retrofitting existing homes to generate more power than they use; innovating to reduce embodied carbon in both products and buildings, and above all, collaborating, sharing and learning to accelerate the adoption of best practice.


The Building Performance Awards, run by the CIBSE, are the only awards to showcase the performance of buildings in use. The awards have gradually extended their remit to include product design and categories dedicated to the relatively new focus of embodied carbon.

The net zero agenda is clearly at the heart of this year’s awards programme, led by guest speaker Chris Skidmore, MP, who headed the Independent Net Zero Review and authored the resulting Mission Zero report.

One stand-out winner was The Low Carbon Built Environment Team of the Welsh School of architecture with its project to retrofit six homes to generate more energy than they use. Installed and measured over four years, this project provides ample evidence of the potential to convert older homes into safe, comfortable and modern energy positive dwellings.

Max Fordham LLP won the Project of the Year, non-domestic, category for its bold decision to adopt a Passivhaus design for student accommodation at Kings College Cambridge. The resulting building sits comfortably within surrounding architecture and has acted as a catalyst for the adoption of Passivhaus principles in the Cambridge area.

Products that actively contribute to a low-carbon future were singled out for attention: the iAirDoor from Wirth Research provides a solution for retail premises to replace the ubiquitous and inefficient “warm air curtain” with a system that creates an air pressure barrier to stop cold air from entering a warm building.

Turning to embodied carbon, NorDan UK took the product award for its predominantly timber-based window systems which minimize the carbon emitted during manufacture while still giving an exceptionally low U-Value and airtightness together with an extended lifespan.

Perhaps the most heartening categories of all, however, were the consultancy and engineering awards, demonstrating the commitment and passion across both large and small organisations: prepared to invest, experiment and demonstrate through their own business examples the solutions that can turn the tide on carbon emissions. Cundall, Carbon intelligence and XCO2 took the consultancy awards for large, medium and smaller consultancies respectively with Arup winning the consultancy category for embodied carbon.

Summing up the positive, future-thinking approach of engineers within the field, the judges observed of Stephen Hill, Winner of the Engineer of the Year category: “The enthusiasm was infectious and knowledge encyclopedic… winning this award will give Stephen a platform to deliver his message to more than three judges in a room in Balham on a wet Tuesday.” Stephen’s entry highlighted his focus on the operational performance of buildings and his commitment to leading change throughout his own organisation and its portfolio of clients.

The awards took place on 1 March 2023 at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge in the presence of a sell-out audience of 800 people.  Dr Hywel Davies, Chief Technical Officer of CIBSE and chair of this year’s judging panel said:  “The list of winners is a hugely inspiring demonstration of the practical and immediate impact than can be achieved through disciplined engineering principles and a determination to extend the art of the possible.

The full list of winners is:

Best Digital Innovation

Winner: Cloud-Based Smart Energy Management Platform (CBSEMP) Swire Properties

Sponsor: CIBSE Patrons

Building Performance Consultancy (over 300 employees)

Winner: Cundall

Sponsor: ABB

Building Performance Consultancy (51 -300 employees)

Winner: Carbon Intelligence – part of Accenture

Sponsor: Airflow

Building Performance Consultancy (up to 50 employees)

Winner: XCO2

Sponsor: Mitsubishi Electric

CIBSE Embodied Carbon Award – Consultants

Winner: Maria Benazzo, Arup

Sponsor: CMR

CIBSE Embodied Carbon Award – Manufacturers and Suppliers

Winner: NorDan UK

Sponsor: Buro Happold


Winner: Working together to deliver whole house energy system retrofits at scale: Low Carbon Built Environment Team, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Sponsor: Lochinvar

Engineer of the Year

Winner: Stephen Hill, Associate Director in the Buildings Sustainability Team, Arup

Sponsor: Ideal Heating Commercial

Facilities Management

Winner: Savills Portfolio - Smart Managed Solutions

Sponsor: Gratte Brothers Group

Learning and Development

Winner: Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design (AIRBODS) Loughborough University

Highly Commended: “Build Better Now” COP26 Virtual Pavilion, Aecom

Sponsor:  SfS – Smoke and Fire Safety

Product or Innovation of the Year – Air Quality

Winner: HVR Zero – Hybrid Ventilation with Heat Recovery – Monodraught

Product or Innovation of the Year – Thermal Comfort

Winner: iAirDoor – Wirth Research

Product or Innovation of the Year – Wellbeing


Sponsor: Tamlite Lighting

Project of the Year (non-domestic)

Winner: Cranmer Road, Kings College Cambridge, Max Fordham

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Project of the Year (domestic)

Winner: Towards Net Zero – Evidence from six whole house energy retrofits – Low Carbon Built Environment Team, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Highly Commended: Shepherds Barn - LEAP

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Building Performance Champion

Winner: Towards Net Zero – Working Together to deliver whole house energy system retrofits at scale: Low Carbon Built Environment Team, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Sponsor: Tamlite Lighting

Building Performance Champion

Highly Commended: Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design (AIRBODS) Loughborough University

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