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2024 Building Performance Winners

Congratulations to all our Building Performance Award Winners for 2024

Sponsor: Ideal Heating Commercial


Philip Draper, Managing Director -  Twenty One Engineering

‘A true leader by example and a genuine practitioner of engineering leadership.’

That was how the judges described Philip Draper when they named him 2024 Building Performance Engineer of the Year.

The Managing Director of Twenty One Engineering ‘clearly has a passion for the development and growth of engineering’, the judges continued, and ‘stood out for his creativity and practical delivery of innovation’.

Draper has run his own business for five years, and was nominated for the award by Mary-Ann Clarke, regional director at AECOM , with supporting nominations by Tara Whitaker, Industry Placement Adviser, Chelmsford College, and Michael Egan, Business Development Manager – Corporate Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric Europe.

In her statement, Clarke described how Draper ‘empowers his team to make difficult decisions when it comes to resolving day-to-day issues for his clients’, and prides himself on ensuring his staff are trained to deal with whatever the industry has to throw at them.

He is an advocate for apprenticeships, and spends time supporting, mentoring and teaching them, Clarke added – a fact supported by Whitaker, who wrote: ‘Phil is passionate about developing young engineers and the talent pipeline for the future… and always delivers against commitments made.’

He gives of his time to speak to prospective students and their parents about careers in engineering, Whitaker said, and his enthusiasm to encourage learners into engineering is praiseworthy.

A CIBSE Patron and Fellow, Draper has also sponsored several engineers into CIBSE at all levels, focusing on skills that will enable them to maximise their abilities and advising them on routes to improving their knowledge.

As vice-chair of the CIBSE HVAC group, he runs the CPD events every quarter, and has organised training days for his clients and staff that focus on collaboration and innovation.

An early adopter of specifying heat pumps, Draper used his strong client relationships to push forward retrofitting heat pumps as a pilot trial, the results of which have benefited the industry as a whole. He is always keen to share his lessons learned.

‘Having worked in building services for more than 14 years, it has been refreshing to meet an engineer such as Phil,’ said Egan in his statement. ‘He has an unwavering appetite to take on applications that others have avoided and challenge the conventional. Phil also recognises that introducing manufacturers early into designs allows both parties to share insights.’

The judges said the best entries in this category embraced knowledge sharing and had a true willingness to develop others. They also simplicity and innovation over complexity and cost, and showed clear ability to collaborate.

Sponsor: Borough Engineering Services

Decarbonisation via Data-Driven Collaboration – Smart Managed Solutions & Savills


‘This entry is demonstrating the art of the possible and where we all need to get to,’ said the judges of Smart Managed Solutions & Savills winning submission.

They praised the company for embracing data analytical tools that create a catalyst for true collaborative working, resulting in improved outcomes.

The entry showed a strength and depth of collaboration developed over a five-year period, the judges added, including extracurricular social engagements to build partnerships between organisations.

The company took a data-focused approach to facilities management (FM) across seven properties that it maintains in collaboration with Savills, to try to achieve its three main goals:

  • Adopt technology for a new data-led service delivery
  • Reduce carbon emissions in the shared portfolio
  • Create better environments for building occupiers.

Opting to use Sentinll’s data-led FM platform, Smart Managed Solutions also established an internal analytics team, and funnelled substantial financial resources into the initial deployment of its data-led service, to demonstrate environmental and costs savings and get buy-in from stakeholders.

Substantial results have been achieved, with 1,695,012kWh of electricity, 230,590m3 of gas, and 865,152kgCO2e of carbon savings across the portfolio.

A continuous improvement process has been established, and knowledge is disseminated among the partnership through the data analytics team, as well as by inclusive staffing and e-learning through Smart Academy. Collaboration is also cultivated through shared social initiatives, such as cyclothons, mud runs and sport days.

Savills is set to implement data-driven maintenance across 100 sites in the next two years, and Smart Manage Solutions is committed to deploying this solution for all its contracts. As a result, the initial partnership will significantly influence carbon-reduction programmes and the adoption of data-driven maintenance practices across the industry.

Use of data analytics to support collaboration and decision-making across teams was a clear emerging theme among entries to this category, said the judges. Strong entries demonstrated a breadth of collaboration, illustrating the industry’s recognition of its importance in achieving optimal outcomes.

Sponsor: Airflow Developments



Multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy XCO2 demonstrates ‘leadership in delivery of exemplar professional services… fostering collaboration internally and across industry’.

That was the conclusion of the judges who named it as the winner of this Consultancy of the Year award.

XCO2, which has offices in London and Singapore, was also praised for sharing its wide-reaching knowledge of building performance generously.

The consultancy has been a key contributor to the new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, and has submitted embodied carbon information to improve the robustness of the standard. It also contributes to LETI and UK Green Building Council initiatives, and has produced CPDs on the implications of new standards for housing associations, local authorities and design teams.

XCO2 dedicates a significant proportion of its effort to public and community projects, and is particularly active in pro bono or discounted work, including for charities in the UK and abroad.

It collaborated with PAC Architects on the net zero Hemis Monastic School development in the Indian Himalayas, for which it used environmental modelling techniques from day one, to shape the design and drive up energy performance. It has also integrated low carbon building services into the scheme through regular workshops. 

XCO2 believes sustainable design must become an asset for local communities, and worked with Haworth Tompkins, Hill, and Waltham Forest Council to design Wood Street Library – a new 67 affordable home scheme – to the most ambitious targets within the limits of a social housing budget.

The award judges also praised the consultancy for its broad inclusivity plans within the practice. Women make up nearly half of the company, with 25% of the female staff in senior positions, and more than 35% of XCO2’s workforce is made up of people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Sponsor: Gratte Brothers Group

Broadgate – British Land


In a strong category this year, British Land took the Facilities Management crown for its work across four buildings at Broadgate, in the City of London.

The judges praised its strong engagement with building occupiers using real-time data, and highlighted its innovative financing mechanism for funding energy conservation measures. British Land’s comprehensive data set proved real-life savings and there was very positive client feedback.

The winner also showed how it had overcome the challenges of carrying out improvements in operational buildings, and the judges commended its collaboration and knowledge sharing.

British Land improved whole building energy efficiency by 33% across 1.3m ft2 of space in 2023 vs 2019 – including all consumption across common parts, shared services and occupier demises. Savings in 2023 alone included 3,000+ tonnes of carbon and £4.1m.

While occupancy in the four buildings rose from 17% to 73% between 2021 and 2023, energy intensity fell 5% over the same period. Helpdesk complaints about temperatures also reduced to almost zero, reflecting improved user comfort and satisfaction.

British Land’s innovative Transition Vehicle, launched in 2020, is funded by a £60 per tonne internal levy on embodied carbon in development. It has financed £3.9m of investment in LED projects since 2019, with a return on investment within three years on average, and £5m more is planned.

Through early engagement and data sharing, occupiers of the various Broadgate buildings agreed interventions such as:

  • Integrating its BMS into British Land’s landlord system to prevent unnecessary heating and cooling
  • Installing sensors for live temperature and CO2 data
  • Retrofitting air source heat pumps (ASHPs).

British Land has also partnered with experts to test, develop and rollout solutions. These have included Daikin, to develop its 4-pipe ASHP system to heat and cool independently, and Mitsubishi, to pioneer its ASHP for domestic hot water.

The judges said it was really promising to see FM taking an active role in the decarbonisation of buildings and energy management. All the entries demonstrated the positive impact that FMs can have when they engage with building users.

Sponsor: CMR

Whitecroft Lighting


Whitecroft Lightings cradle-to-cradle (C2C) approach to designing its products impressed the judges, as did its use of modularity to enable more efficient maintenance of products and reduce waste.

The manufacturer provided clear evidence of its efforts to reduce embodied carbon in its products, the judges added. For example, Whitecroft Lighting’s Cascade Flex Vitality (CFV) flat panel luminaire now contains 67% less plastic and includes a replaceable central cartridge that can be refurbished and reused multiple times.

The manufacturer has calculated that the CFV delivers a 46% embodied carbon reduction over a 40-year life span compared with a standard 600x600 recessed flat panel.

Whitecroft Lighting is also working with its supply chain to reduce upfront embodied carbon by increasing use of recycled materials and, where possible, working with local suppliers. The pods for the CFV, for instance, are made in Oldham, less than five miles from its factory, reducing transportation miles.

It has also launched Vitality Relight, which seeks to reduce waste and emissions by reusing existing building materials and infrastructure.

Whitecroft Lightings Vitality was the first light fitting in the UK to be C2C accredited, and this certification delivered data that allowed Whitecroft Lighting to develop its first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). It now has EPDs for seven of the eight products in its Vitality range.

The judges also commended Whitecroft Lighting for its engagement activities within the industry. Its two CIBSE-accredited CPDs on the circular economy have been delivered to 250-300 customers over the past three years, and the company has recently published its updated sustainability guide, Lighting solutions to meet your sustainability ambitions.

Whitecroft Lighting has collaborated with the Society of Light and Lighting and CIBSE on TM66, and is a member of The LCA Incubator Project, as well as a task group member for BS8887-221 Remanufacture of luminaires.

Circularity principles and awareness of end-of-life associated emissions were key themes of this year’s entries. Efforts by manufacturers to understand the supply chain and provide accreditation for their products impressed the judges, who were complimentary about the overall standard of submissions.



EGG Lighting

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Kyoto City Hall Annex Building – Nikken Sekkei


Use of traditional design principles and a range of innovative solutions to enhance building performance swayed the judges to name Kyoto City Hall Annex Building as the international project of the year.

They liked the way Nikken Sekkei integrated the new annex with the existing City Hall, its vision in relation to local geographic and climatic conditions, and the way in which the scheme works as an exemplar to residents of the city.

The judges were also impressed with the way in which the winner ‘cleverly linked responsibility for energy use to the building users’. By visualising and comparing the energy consumption of each zone, every office worker can more accurately recognise the current status of their office area and link this to energy-saving action.

Kyoto City Hall was constructed in around 1930, and its buildings are of historical and architectural value. The new annex was required to achieve thorough energy conservation in what is a world-renowned eco-city.

The winner combined a range of innovative solutions to enhance building performance including: wooden water tanks made from locally sourced wood; well water for heating and cooling; corrugated ducts, radial air conditioning; and solar thermal heating and hot water. It also maintained courtyard-type green spaces within the building to enhance natural ventilation and daylighting, to support occupant comfort.

Monitoring and control was introduced, not only of energy, but also of factors affecting indoor comfort, such as thermal environment and air quality.

Energy consumption in 2020 reduced by approximately 68% compared with the baseline building. Actual primary energy consumption (Jan-Dec 2020, exc. electrical outlets) was 397MJ/m2/year.

Entries to this category covered range of very different buildings each with their own local challenges. The importance of wellness as an integral part of each building’s performance was an emerging theme, the judges noted, as was an increasing awareness of dealing with climate change impacts at design stage.

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Hackbridge Primary School – Introba/Architype


Hackbridge Primary School triumphed in a strong category, with the judges commending the very high quality of its construction and exceptional airtightness.

Introba and Architype delivered to an ambitious and stringent client brief, to create the first UK Certified Passivhaus Plus school. The team proposed Passivhaus Plus to deliver net zero carbon in-use, plus a low carbon material palette throughout to minimise upfront emissions.

Whole life cycle carbon studies informed the majority timber-based palette, while wood-fibre and recycled newspaper insulation was used throughout the building envelope, with timber composite windows and chestnut cladding. Internally, there is birch-faced plywood in corridors and classrooms, and the floors are naturally polished 70% recycled ground granulated blast-furnace slag concrete.

Reduced heating demand was aided by a ground source heat pump and interseasonal store, to provide free heating and cooling all year.

From an original A+ Energy Performance Certificate, the school’s measured energy use intensity over the past year was 46 kWh·m⁻² per year. Its upfront embodied carbon (405kg/CO2e/m2 including sequestration) is half that of a comparable school.

The team has continued to work with the school to monitor and optimise operational energy as part of an informal soft landings programme. While the Covid-19 pandemic hindered the goal of net zero operational in-use status during the initial settling-in period, the team is on track to achieve this by the end of 2023. To date:

  • Energy use has decreased by 10,000kWh/year from its peak use
  • Energy generation has increased by 40,000kWh/year from its lowest yield
  • Monitoring has identified and ensured the replacement of a faulty heat buffer vessel and three PV inverters that failed.

Monitoring continues to inform improvements and optimisation, and the team shares these in industry lessons-learned talks.

The judges said the shortlisted projects all showed the importance of having a clear and detailed brief, and how inspired teams deliver imaginative solutions, ensuring high-quality builds. The entries also highlighted the importance of monitoring and fine-tuning once a building is in use.

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

York Guildhall – SGA Consulting


Adopting a pro-active, innovative and collaborative approach to overcoming significant challenges helped SGA Consulting win Project of the Year – Retrofit for the York Guildhall, which also won Project of the Year – Commercial and Offices.

The Grade I, II and II* listed Guildhall complex is located in a very congested part of York, right next to the River Ouse, and is difficult to access because there are only narrow archways onto a pedestrian street. SGA Consulting’s brief was to retain and refurbish most of the existing buildings, and construct a large extension for additional office space and a new (separate) restaurant, making everything as low energy and sustainable as possible.

Its design strategy used the opportunities offered by the building and the site to deliver energy and carbon savings. A fabric-first approach was adopted, complemented by a water source heat pump, and the original Victorian natural ventilation system was enhanced. The judges praised SGA Consulting’s use of the river as a transport route and as a resource for the building services, which they said showed flexibility in thinking and a willingness to implement different concepts.

A 2-circuit reverse-cycle heat pump provides approximately 110kW of simultaneous heating and cooling, and offers a carbon saving of 42% compared with using a gas boiler. Underfloor heating was installed within the Guildhall to maximise the area and effectiveness of the heat emitter. This was not able to provide all the heat to the Guildhall, however, because of heat loss through its listed walls and windows, so boiler-fed trench heating was also installed for peak winter months.

The judges said this type of mixed use shows the way forward in how to use low and zero carbon systems to heat old buildings.

There was a variety of entries to this category, addressing a range of challenges, from site and heritage constraints to engineering complexities. They demonstrate that the same level of attention to building performance can be given to retrofits as new builds, the judges said. 

Projects are also getting better at considering the needs and wants of occupiers, as well as the aims of the developers or owners, they added.

Sponsor: Tamlite Lighting

Clarence System: Remote Water Monitoring – Angel Guard


Angel Guard’s ‘completely innovative approach to water use and quality’ impressed the judges, who said its Clarence System was ‘not just saving water, but also focusing on water quality to benefit the health and wellbeing of users’.

The company’s entry provided tangible evidence of the innovation’s benefits in healthcare environments, but the judges said they could also see it having far wider use.

The Clarence system is a remote water monitoring system that measures water temperature, flow events and biofilm simultaneously. It uploads data to Angel Guard's water management hub, Seraph Protect, which processes it, produces reports, and gives an easy-to-read risk indicator.

Readings are given out almost every second, and can be accessed securely and remotely, 24/7, allowing for more targeted testing and quicker responses to issues in the water supply. Ready availability of readings also allows for the verification of proper chemical dosing amounts and thermal flushing.

In addition, the system helps reduce CO2e, as maintenance staff do not need to make as many journeys to record data manually. Angel Guard has calculated that the Clarence system could save up to 3.12 tonnes of CO2 per installation per year.

Continuous remote water monitoring also reduces the need for flush testing, saving building operators time and water. Angel Guard estimates that in a large hospital – which may have 4,000 outlets requiring about 1,428 litres of water per outlet per year – this could save nearly 5 million litres of water a year.

There are two Clarence system models: the C-1 and the O-1. The pipework used in the C-1 model is made from copper, picked for its antimicrobial properties, as well as being 100% recyclable. The C-1 and O-1 models are both made from recyclable plastic.

This category attracted a strong entry, from a wide range of very different products, which gave the judges lots to think about. They found it interesting how technology was eminent in each of the innovation entries.



GEM Smart - GEM Environmental Building Services

Sponsor: Tamlite Lighting

York Guildhall – SGA Consulting


The 2024 Building Performance Champion ‘shows what can be achieved to deliver sustainable building refurbishment, minimise embodied carbon, and fulfil such a project with the most difficult site-access conditions’, said the judges.

York Guildhall – having already been named Project of the Year: Retrofit and Project of the Year: Commercial and Offices – was crowned overall Building Performance Champion in what the judges declared to be an ‘even more keenly contested than usual’.

The Grade I, II and II* listed Guildhall complex is located in a very congested part of the city of York, right next to the River Ouse, with only narrow archways onto a pedestrian street.

SGA Consulting’s brief was to retain and refurbish most of the existing buildings, and construct a large extension for additional office space and a new (separate) restaurant, making everything as low energy and sustainable as possible.

It had to adopt a pro-active, innovative and collaborative approach to overcome significant challenges, and its design strategy was to make use of the opportunities offered by the building and its site to deliver energy and carbon savings.

SGA Consulting took a fabric-first approach, complemented by a water source heat pump, and the original Victorian natural ventilation system was enhanced. It used the river as a transport route and as a resource for the building services, showing flexibility in thinking and a willingness to implement different concepts.

Approximately 110kW of simultaneous heating and cooling is provided to the building by a 2-circuit reverse-cycle heat pump, which offers a carbon saving of 42% compared with using a gas boiler.

Underfloor heating has been installed within the Guildhall to maximise the area and effectiveness of the heat emitter. This is unable to provide all the heat to the building, however, because of heat loss through its listed walls and windows, so a boiler-fed trench heating system was also installed for the peak winter months. Such mixed use won praise for being an example of how to use low and zero carbon systems to heat old buildings.

The Building Performance Awards judges debated the merits of several entries before choosing York Guildhall as the Building Performance Champion. ‘On the one hand we have outstanding new-build projects, showing what can be achieved from scratch,’ they said. ‘On the other we have the York Guildhall project, refurbishing a centuries-old building for modern use, with all the challenges of planning, listed building status and being right next to the River Ouse.’

With the many challenges the industry faces to renovate millions of existing buildings in the UK to achieve net zero, the Guildhall shows what can be done amid all the constraints, the judges added.

Decarbonomics – AtkinsRéalis


The judges were nearly unanimous in selecting Decarbonomics as the winner of this award, from a shortlist of entries that they described as ‘exceptional’.

 AtkinsRéalis’s innovation ‘is more than an engineering tool’, the judges said: ‘it is a holistic view of the built environment and beyond, including financial viability’. They recognised its ‘sheer potential… to decarbonise our environment by driving change where change needs to happen’.

Decarbonomics helps owners and occupiers of buildings, of any scale, to understand how to deliver retrofit solutions and decarbonise their portfolio. It has three stages:

  • Benchmark – visualising the baseline carbon at an enterprise level
  • Roadmap – automated creation of the optimised net zero pathway
  • Deliver – live project management and tracking of implementation against the roadmap.

This approach has enabled Decarbonomics to drive down the time, resource and costs typically associated with the early phases of any retrofit programme. With just 20 live commissions it has:

  • Accurately assessed around 3,000 buildings, reducing requirements for building surveys
  • Reduced net zero delivery time by more than 60% through automation
  • Identified more than £1.54bn worth of operational cost savings per year
  • Qualified more than 123,000 tonnes of operational carbon savings
  • Overseen more than £324m of capital expenditure.

Decarbonomics has been deployed to assess the existing carbon and energy baseline for 21 buildings in Loudoun County, in the US. It will then generate a roadmap of interventions to help the county – which is home to many high energy-consuming buildings, including data centres – to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. To date, a reduction of more than 40% in annual utility costs has been identified, equivalent to 1,325tCO2e in carbon savings. Decarbonomics’ optimum net zero pathway predicts carbon neutrality can be achieved five years ahead of schedule.

The judges noted that decarbonisation was a general theme of this award category, often with ways of visualising large data sets. Moves towards machine learning were evident, and this will probably lead on to artificial intelligence entries (a category that may judge itself!).



Pollination - Ladybug Tools

Sponsor: Mitsubishi Electric



In a strong category, the judges singled out Inkling as ‘an organisation punching well above its weight’. It is, they added, ‘an influential node in industry, using collaboration as a means to advocate for positive change through the support network built from its work’.

Founded in 2011, Inkling is a building physics consultancy with only two permanent members of staff – but its impact on championing the role and value of dynamic thermal modelling in improving building performance has been significant.

The judges praised its blog as ‘an influential place for industry discussion, covering many current industrial affairs’, and said Inkling was ‘incredibly prolific in spreading understanding and knowledge across the industry’.

Inkling has contributed to CIBSE TM59, TM54 and AM11 (peer review), and to LETI’s Climate Emergency Design Guide, and was lead author of LETI’s Operational Energy Modelling Guide. It has also co-written other industry publications, including ones for the Good Homes Alliance and the Future Homes Hub.

Inkling’s ‘highly collaborative approach’ with industry, academia, industry bodies, trade associations, and other consultancies is what drives its innovation, noted the judges.

The consultancy has invested in training for partner Dr Claire Das Bhaumik to become one of only 11 Independent Design Review Panel members for NABERS UK, while Inkling’s other partner, Susie Diamond, has developed expertise in assessing overheating risk in buildings. She was awarded the CIBSE bronze medal for her contributions to the building services industry at the 2023 Technical Symposium in Glasgow.

Both partners are long-serving members of the CIBSE Technical Symposium scientific committee and act as peer reviewers for BSERT.

The judges noted that the best consultancies in this category showed commitment to collaboration, knowledge sharing, and progressing the profession. Training and development is also gaining in importance, as is the wellbeing of staff.

In addition, the best consultancies are taking the initiative with outreach work, and have developed innovative diversity and inclusion policies that will contribute to a more representative profession.

Sponsor: ABB

Hoare Lea


‘Hoare Lea showed a clear direction towards net zero in its work, and a desire to take clients with them on this path. The testimonials given show the benefit and effectiveness of this approach.’

That was the view of the award judges, who praised the consultancy’s wide range of activities aimed at promoting climate action and improving the competence of engineers on net zero delivery.

Of particular note, they said, was Hoare Lea’s Pollinate programme, which provides funding for any employee to develop innovation proposals, particularly cross-discipline ones. Winning teams are given the time and resources to conduct research, develop any spin-off ideas, and disseminate the results across the firm, wider industry, and even interested parties outside the built environment.

New ideas and technologies are tested at Hoare Lea’s London offices, which have operated as a living laboratory since 2016.

The consultancy provided other examples of firm-wide initiatives – including its in-house Origin platform, which brings together data from all parts of a team throughout a project life-cycle – plus action on individual projects. This includes the requirement to complete a net zero carbon metrics dashboard and to seek in-use energy performance data for all projects.

The judges said Hoare Lea showed impressive commitment to the industry with its willingness to promote best practice across platforms and organisations. It also has well-developed processes to ensure employee development, they added, with good use of mentoring and links to the Engineering Council.

This category showed significant change from previous years, the judges noted. Companies are increasingly embracing the climate challenge, with more extensive initiatives to share knowledge –  internally and externally – upskill staff, and advocate for action with their clients.

There is more use of post-occupancy evaluation, and a trend for creating in-house tools that support the design of net zero buildings and the setting of objectives, plus tracking performance throughout a project’s life-cycle. 

Engagement with the wider industry to spread good practice was very evident and to be applauded, the judges said, as were the many diversity programmes aimed at developing previously under-represented sections of the workforce.

Sponsor: Automated Logic, A Carrier Company

Unlocking Potential: CSA’s Commissioning Management Training & Development – Commissioning Specialists Association


The judges said the winning entry had identified a clear gap in learning and development in commissioning. They also felt the training would have great impact beyond the course, into the wider industry, and raise standards and increase resource in this vital area.

Recognising that there was a lack of training for M&E commissioning managers (CxM), the Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA) brought together a panel of experienced professionals to create a two-day Introduction to Commissioning Management (ITCM) course.

During the development of the ITCM, the CSA produced more than 30 CxM documents, and peer reviews were undertaken once the course framework was complete.

CxMs manage the transition of buildings from pre-construction stage through initial occupation and post-handover, so the course covers every building service individually and all building services working together. It improves CxMs’ core knowledge and gives them the tools to better manage projects.

The course is also delivered to designers, consultants and main contractors, allowing them to understand the requirements of the CxMs with which they engage and the tools/trackers that they should expect as a minimum standard on projects.

While the CSA expected there to be demand in the UK, it immediately had requests for the course to be made available in the Middle East, the Americas, and beyond. To keep up with this demand, it created a specific online course, and training is rolled out multiple times each year. There is also now an Advanced Commissioning Management course.                

In addition, the CSA team has worked alongside BESA/SKILLcard to align the ITCM framework with relevant NVQ grades. This means CxMs can now apply for the correct SKILLcard for CxM grades from trainee to senior commissioning manager.

The judges noted that shortlisted entries had a strong theme of knowledge transfer from experts in their field through peer-to-peer learning. Stronger entries also demonstrated the industry-wide impact of this knowledge sharing, particularly in areas that have the most influence on building performance.

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

York Guildhall – SGA Consulting

‘An exemplar of how to breathe new life into a 15th-century building.’

According to the award judges, the most impressive part of SGA Consulting’s refurbishment and extension of York Guildhall was the way in which it used an adjacent river to overcome issues, rather than seeing the waterway as an obstacle.

The Grade I, II and II* listed Guildhall complex is located in a very congested part of York, and is difficult to access because there are only narrow archways onto a pedestrian street.

SGA Consulting’s brief was to retain and refurbish most of the existing buildings, and construct a large extension for additional office space and a new (separate) restaurant, making everything as low energy and sustainable as possible.

The Guildhall forms one of the key tourist views in York, so the new element had to be sensitive to its surroundings, and planners wanted noise or visual nuisance to neighbours kept to a minimum.

With the River Ouse right next to (and sometimes inside) the building, SGA Consulting adopted a complex logistics plan to transport heavier equipment and materials via the waterway, using a crane, barges and temporary pontoons.

It also harnessed the water for heating and cooling the Guildhall, while mitigating its threat by introducing flood doors and accepting that, at times, the building will flood because of climate change.

In addition, the project team uncovered and refurbished a Victorian natural ventilation system, incorporating it into the finished scheme.

SGA Consulting’s collaborative approach with the local authority and planners – as well as impressive feedback from users of the building since it opened – convinced the judges that York Guildhall was a worthy winner of Project of the Year.

They described all of the entries to this category as ‘really impressive’, and they were encouraged to see that ‘building performance of refurbishments is being taken seriously’. All of the shortlisted entries showed ‘increased understanding of climate impacts, alongside good, robust building performance data’, the judges added.

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Ravelin Sports Centre – Max Fordham


Max Fordham’s project impressed the award judges with its careful, low carbon design and application of technology to achieve a low-impact leisure centre with sports and swimming facilities. 

The consultancy included a good embodied carbon assessment at an early stage, and building features were optimised according to space, with glazing where it counts for views in and out.

Alternative methods of servicing were considered, to provide comfort with less intensive energy requirements, while water use has been minimised through recovery of wastewater from the pool.

The new Ravelin Sports Centre was the first project of a campus-wide masterplan for the University of Portsmouth, and has been fully occupied since 1 September 2022. The brief, set in 2016, was to achieve BREEAM Outstanding – a UK first for a standalone leisure centre.

The building’s form, orientation, space adjacencies, glazing areas and ventilation openings were designed to maximise wellbeing and passive environmental control, and to reduce heat loss. Its low carbon design features include:

  • High-efficiency air source heat pumps
  • Cooling from large ceiling fans
  • Low-energy pool filtration system
  • 1,000m2 photovoltaic array
  • Design coordination and offsite manufacture
  • Controls optimisation and fine-tuning.

The all-electric building’s energy consumption is 87 kWh·m⁻² per year, less than half the target figure of 218 kWh·m⁻² per year, and one-tenth of the energy demand of an equivalent typical leisure centre. Carbon emissions will fall further with the decarbonization of the UK Grid.

An embodied carbon analysis was carried out during RIBA Stage 3 to generate discussion with the design team about ways to minimise embodied carbon. Flexible space use allowed for a small building footprint with less material use, and the envelope can be recycled or re-used easily at the end of the building’s life.

The building achieved a Display Energy Certificate A rating, and is monitored and fine-tuned using feedback from visitors and staff.

Entries to this category featured a wide range of uses with very different briefs, the judges noted, with servicing methods from passive to highly complex. Performance aspirations varied, with delivery of the building’s purpose a priority, they added.

Sponsor: Crane Fluid Systems

Bryn Bragl – Hoare Lea


‘A leading example of innovation in the realm of sustainable housing.’ That was how the judges described Hoare Lea’s winning Bryn Bragl scheme, which, they added, ‘will help drive insight into realistic performance, addressing the performance gap to produce energy-positive buildings’.

Bryn Bragl is a pioneering residential development of 14 properties, supported and part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Innovative Homes Programme. The aim was to deliver the first energy-positive social housing scheme in Wales – that is, the homes have to generate more energy than they need, putting the excess back in to the National Grid.

To this end, each of the 14 homes has an array of innovative engineering systems, optimised to be as efficient as possible. These include:

  • Roofs made from large panels of photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • Heating and hot water provided by an innovative combined air source heat pump and ventilation system
  • Tesla batteries fitted in cupboards to store electricity generated by the PV cells
  • Walls made from structured insulated panels that contain a thick layer of insulation for higher levels of heat retention
  • Key equipment capable of being remotely monitored and adjusted to enable fine-tuning
  • A wall-mounted screen showing energy use in the home, for use by residents.

Together, the 14 homes have put more than 34,000kw/h back into the Grid. This is roughly the total yearly electricity use for around nine average-use homes in the UK.

Most residents have bills of around £25 a month and some should actually be paid money in 2022. The reduction in monthly spend, paired with the attention given to health and wellbeing, has created truly contemporary homes where people can thrive, knowing they are having a positive impact on the planet.

Sponsor: CIBSE Patrons

Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex – Vent-Axia


Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Apex was developed from the outset with equal consideration to operational performance and whole life costing, the award judges noted, and this shows in the data available for the product.

Local sourcing and manufacturing in a low-energy facility delivers on Vent-Axia’s low carbon manufacturing claims, and the judges also praised the company for providing excellent resources – including BIM, TM65 and sizing information – to help with correct application and sizing.

Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Apex supplies fresh, healthy, filtered air to improve indoor air quality (IAQ), removing pollutants such as moisture, carbon dioxide and external fumes.

It features ePM10 50% extract and ePM1 70% supply filters (M5/F7 equivalent) as standard. Despite high filtration, however, careful selection of filter media – and use of the latest motors and impellers, with better than IE5 efficiency – mean the Apex maintains extremely low specific fan power and class-leading ultra-low sound levels.

The Apex harnesses waste heat to ensure energy is not squandered, but rather reused, and it achieves market-leading 93% thermal efficiency. This means the heating and cooling energy lost through ventilation can be reduced by up to 25% compared with a 73% efficient heat exchanger in both heating and cooling seasons.

Designed for a wide range of applications, the Apex comes in five sizes, delivering airflows up to 4,000m3/h. A new advanced control system provides on board, in-room and app-based control, and a full range of wired and wireless communication sensors are available.

The Apex is designed to have a low embodied carbon footprint, and Vent-Axia has used the CIBSE TM65 data-collection methodology to compile accurate, detailed embodied carbon information for its product, working from a component level.

Manufactured in the UK, the supply chain is as short as possible, and each component of the Apex can be removed and replaced. It can also be easily repurposed or recycled at the end of its life.

The judges noted that the emphasis of many of the entries to this category was leveraging physics to optimise product design and meet construction or operational efficiency targets.

New Modular Highline 235 Fan Coil Range – Diffusion


Diffusion’s modularisation of its fan coil product impressed the judges, who said it was ‘a practical, well thought through design’ that delivered on customer feedback. 

Thorough research and testing has developed a product that considers whole life costing through the use of TM65 and local sourcing to reduce transport miles, the judges added. Energy, acoustics, performance, and the flexibility modularisation brings to deployment and onsite repairs have also been considered.

Working closely with customers, Diffusion researched every UK fan coil on the market to assess how it could improve the design to meet the changing needs of the industry.

As a result, its Highline range has been increased to a newly designed range of eight, the modularity of which now allows almost 300,000 configurations. This means customers can select a unit that exactly matches their performance requirements rather than having to over-specify, ensuring the lowest energy consumption.

 At design stage, the emphasis was on using fewer materials, reducing the volume of materials transported, minimising carbon footprint, and lowering running costs per unit size.

British designed and manufactured with a short supply chain, 70% of Diffusion’s FCUs are transported less than 24 miles to end users in London, keeping carbon emissions to a minimum. The modular, configurable design means building owners can reuse the FCUs by repositioning them. 

Highline's high-efficiency EC motor and fan assemblies provide improved specific fan power as low as 0.14 WᐧL⁻¹ᐧs⁻¹, while noise ratings are as low as NR25

Diffusion uses its in-house test facility to offer volumetric, acoustic and thermal performance testing, and customers can watch their chosen products being tested and certified. Customers can also input their building's design parameters into Diffusion’s software to select the ideal FCU for their required temperature and flowrate. This includes data on correct heat exchanger selection.

The judges said the range of innovations among entries this year showed that innovation doesn’t need to be ‘epic’ to be influential and beneficial. They also illustrated the importance of product testing.

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