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Innovation at forefront of winning projects at façade awards
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Innovation at forefront of winning projects at façade awards

09 Nov 23

Innovation, carbon saving, and refurbishment were at the forefront of the ground breaking projects showcased at the Façade 2023 Design and Engineering Awards.

The eight outstanding winning façade projects from across the world were notable in their similarities in striving to design high-performing buildings with real energy savings and consideration of whole-life and embodied carbon.

The Awards, run by the Society of Façade Engineering (SFE) and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), recognise excellence and achievements in façade engineering, raising the profile of, and drawing attention to the importance of this discipline.

The Parcels Building and Arup, Battersea Power Station and seele, WilkinsonEye and Buro Happold, Paddington Square and WSP, and The Black and White Building and Eckersley O’Callaghan were winners in the UK Project of the Year categories for Sustainability, Refurbishment, New Build and Innovation respectively. While the same international categories saw Bee’ah Headquarters and Buro Happold, Luxottica Digital Factory and Deerns Italia Spa, Google Bay View Campus and Arup, and Google Mass Timber 1 and Eckersley O'Callaghan taking the titles.

The iconic Battersea Power Station renovation was recognised for the enormous undertaking to transform the brick landmark, which included the reuse of the existing structures leading to the reuse of over 36,000 tons of CO2e of legacy carbon, around 20% of the total embodied carbon in the refurbished building.

The Black and White Building’s full timber construction, recognised in the innovation category, is unique in the London commercial office market, and achieved an A+ rating in the LETI criteria. The façade timber system was calculated as having an embodied carbon 40% lower than the equivalent aluminium system.

Further afield, exceptional design and performance were also apparent in the international winners. The Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, UAE, which was the last personal project of architect Zaha Hadid, achieved a BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum building. Its external glass-fibre reinforced concrete façade is designed and oriented to form an outer ‘shield’ to protect the building from the sun, and 90% of the materials used are regionally sourced and feature a high recycled content.

While the Google Bay View Campus, in California, USA, features curved bays clad with dragonscale photovoltaic shingles supplying roughly 40% of the building’s annual energy needs and has achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Chris Macey, Chair of Judges said: ‘The engineering innovations on display within these winning projects, together with the skills and talent of all those involved are testament to the essential contribution façade engineering plays to final building performance and outcome.’

Product of the Year – UK was won by AGC Europe, for Fineo, a coating on demand service allowing engineers to develop unique coated glass products for facades and windows tailored to their needs. With the International Product award going to Voltin, for their digital assessment system of a building exterior capable of detecting building defects.

Rocco Boselli, from Eckersley O’Callaghan was named Young Façade Engineer of the Year, beating 12 other young engineers to the title.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Dr Bill Wolmuth in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the façade industry. Dr Wolmuth has been a member of the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology Technical Committee for more than 25 years, and his knowledge on various aspects of façade engineering, specifically glass and façade testing are incomparable.

Emphasising the importance of sharing information and lessons learned in his acceptance speech, Wolmuth said:  ‘I encourage you all to pass on the lessons you learn in your work through any information feedback systems within your companies and through the SFE and CWCT.’

Chris Aspinal, vice-chair of the SFE was awarded a Presidential commendation from CIBSE President Adrian Catchpole. 

The Façade 2023 Design and Engineering Awards, sponsored by Reynaers, took place on 8 November at Hilton Park Lane, London.


The full list of winners:

Project of the Year – Sustainability UK: The Parcels Building, Arup
Highly commended: 69 Park Lane, Patrick Ryan Associates

Project of the Year – Sustainability International: Bee’ah Headquarters, Buro Happold

Project of the Year Refurbishment UK: Battersea Power Station Phase 2, seele, WilkinsonEyre and Buro Happold

Project of the Year Refurbishment – International:  - Luxottica Digital Factory, Deerns Italia Spa

Project of the Year – New Build UK: Paddington Square, WSP
Highly commended: The Broadway, Buro Happold

Project of the Year – New Build International: Google Bay View Campus, Arup
Highly commended: St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Thornton Tomasetti

Project of the Year – Innovation UK: Black and White Building, Eckersley O'Callaghan

Project of the Year – Innovation International: Google Mass Timber 1, Eckersley O'Callaghan
Highly commended: 54 Avenue Montaigne, Bellapart

Product of the Year UK: Fineo, AGC Europe

Product of the Year International: Voltin, Voltin

Young Façade Engineer of the Year: Rocco Boselli, Eckersley O’Callaghan

Dissertation of the Year: Robert Quintal, for his dissertation Evaluating the safety of monolithic toughened glass as an infill panel in a balustrade.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Bill Wolmuth

Presidential commendation: Chris Aspinal

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