Organised by New Civil Engineer Magazine, and held in association with ICE and the Architects Journal, the British Construction Industry Awards seek to recognise and reward excellence in project delivery. Now in their 29th year, the Awards were announced at a gala dinner last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. They provide an opportunity for British industry to demonstrate how civil engineers shape our world. All nominees' projects are judged by senior industry clients and peers, providing a way to showcase engineering excellence.
Perhaps the most prestigious award of the night is the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award which recognises publicly-funded projects that demonstrate innovative and productive construction, deliver value for money and bring real change for their communities.
This year's award went to the forward-thinking project team at Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust who have constructed a new medical facility to provide top-quality healthcare in an environment designed to enhance patient recovery. The Trust consulted patients and their families on the design of the hospital. Almost 1,000 children contributed to the consultation process by drawing pictures to share their vision for what the hospital should look like.
Also known as the 'hospital under the hill', the structure follows the contours of the existing landscape, with grass from Liverpool's surrounding Springfield Park curving up and over the building. The hospital treats 275,000 patients a year and 75 per cent of children have their own room with pull out beds, offering more dignity and privacy to visiting families. All patients have easy access to relaxation areas including a giant indoor tree-house, play desks and fish tanks.
The £250 million purpose-built hospital was built by British engineering firm Laing O'Rourke and designed by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. The majority of the workforce were local to the area, adding a sense of pride felt by the team who knew how the project would benefit young lives. The project supported 80 apprenticeships and 1,800 hours of work experience for local students.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Ben Gummer said:
"Alder Hey is a great example of how to transform public services in an innovative and cost effective way. Engaging the community in the design and using local apprentices to support the construction will ensure the hospital will continue to be at the heart of the community for generations to come."
Professor Tim Broyd, ICE Vice President and BCIA judge commented:
"This is public building at its very best. The innovative, ground breaking project involved the true integration of engineering and architecture, relying on a huge amount of collaboration between the partners involved.
"Alder Hey Children's Foundation Trust did an excellent job in engaging and consulting patients past and present in defining the needs of the building. The final design embraces its parkland setting, providing light, views and privacy to all sides, whilst allowing nature and relaxation into the building. This will make a fundamental difference to the lives of the children and families who rely on this building every day.