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Best Cambridge buildings and contractors honoured at awards ceremony

News release from 28/03/2019

AWARDS were handed out this week to the best new construction projects, the most considerate building firms and the top construction professionals in Cambridge for the year.

An event at St Catharine’s College, organised by Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry (CFCI), saw a number of presentations for this year’s Cambridge Design and Construction Awards and Considerate Contractor Awards. In addition there were separate awards for individuals who have made a substantial difference to the built environment of Cambridge.

The Best New Building – Large (over £2 million construction costs) category saw commendations for Lot1, Eddington and the Dorothy Garrod Building at Newnham College.  The overall winner was Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. The judging panel especially liked its carefully designed interior spaces and the creativity in the use of brick for the exterior.

The winner of the Best New Building – Small (under £2 million construction costs) category was a residential property in Sedgwick Street. Judges said his is a well-designed scheme that had to overcome many constraints due to its location within the tightly developed streets in the Mill Road area. The approach to sustainability and energy use has resulted in an efficient and attractive addition to the streetscene.

For the first time, this year there were presentations for the Best New Landscape. Storey’s Field Centre and Lot A, both at Eddington received commendations for their approach to creating interesting outdoor spaces, but The Rising Path at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden was the winner.

This is an educational and landscape feature that was described by the judging panel as ‘an utter delight’ and fully meets its brief of creating a viewing platform for the garden’s systematic beds. The route up the path that rises gently to the viewing platform is an evolving journey that is as much part of the landscape as the important beds themselves.

In the Conservation, Alteration or Extension of an Existing Building category, there were two winners and two commendations. The first top prize went to the restoration of the Founder’s Entrance Hall lantern at the Fitzwilliam Museum - a project that sets a very high standard in conservation, appropriate to this important public building.

The other winner was 114 Mill Road which is a butcher’s shop on Mill Road, with residential accommodation to the rear accessed from Devonshire Road. The judges considered that the shop had been sympathetically restored and improved, with the residential extension to the rear making a positive addition to the street in terms of design and materials.

Commendations were for Bidwell House, which has had an extension and major refurbishment, and Cherry Hinton Hall which has seen improvements to the interior of the listed building and new buildings within its grounds.

Awards were also presented for Craftsmanship, and for Engineering and Sustainability. Both Storey’s Field Centre and the Dorothy Garrod Building, Newnham College, were judged winners of the Craftsmanship Awards for their innovative use of materials which has created two buildings that sit well in the streetscene.

For the Engineering and Sustainability Award, there were three schemes that stood out. Storey’s Field Centre, The Rising Path and Lot A at Eddington were all applauded for their approach to the engineering and sustainability of these schemes, but in different ways.

The philosophy behind the how the building needed to work drove the sustainability and engineering credentials of Storey’s Field Centre, while the innovative water management at Lot A in Eddington was described as an excellent example to set for other large scale developments. The lightness of touch with the detailing and aesthetics of The Rising Path shows how a modern structure can be successfully inserted into a sensitive area, according to judges. All of these were winners, with a commendation for the Sedgwick Street house for its ambition and delivery of good outcomes.

The Considerate Contractor Scheme Awards are presented annually to firms that have made significant efforts to minimise noise and disruption on building projects in the city, with due consideration for neighbours and members’ of the public in keeping sites safe, clean and accountable.

This year the top Considerate Contractor Award sponsored by builder’s merchants Ridgeons, in association with the CFCI, was presented to Kier for their work on a number of sites.

Their primary city development was at the North Range development OFF Bene’t Street in the city centre, where extensive works have taken place since 2016 on behalf of the University of Cambridge to carryout various refurbishment works, as well as the construction of a new three storey student services centre building.

Kier also had two large development sites at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Project Capella and Project Abcam) as well as the new Chemistry of Health building in Union Road.

Certificates of Excellence were awarded to Barnes Construction for their project at Corpus Christi College were new kitchens were formed and to SDC who constructed a new student accommodation building and Porter’s Lodge in Sidgwick Avenue on behalf of Newnham College.

The Cambridge City Council Works in Progress Award for ongoing projects of more than two years’ duration was presented to Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd for their housing development works undertaken at the Clay Farm development site in Trumpington.         

The Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce Award for contractors undertaking small to medium sized projects was presented to Cocksedge Building Contractors for their work on a housing development on Montreal Road. A  Certificate of Excellence in this category was awarded to Millcam Construction for their efforts in complying with the scheme at a number of projects in the city including at the Henry Martyn Hall, Market Street.

A number of individuals were also recognised for their work in the city. The Young Professional of the Year went to Isabel McTiffin, an engineer at Ramboll, and the Site Manager of the Year was awarded to Peter Armstrong of SDC Builders with runner-up Harry Mills of Millcam.

Buildings, firms or individuals can be recommended for the 2019 awards via the Cambridge City Council website  and and via the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry website

Stephen Kelly, Director of Planning and Economic Development, said: “These awards are a way of recognising and celebrating the ambition and endeavour of those who commission, and then deliver high quality developments across our city.

“From the owners who commission and pay for the projects, to the design team and the people who then construct the buildings with care and consideration, all of the award winners and nominees thoroughly deserve this recognition.”