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Restoration of one of the UK’s last seawater lidos wins big at the BCIA

Date
12 October 2023

The Jubilee Pool in Penzance, Cornwall, was crowned Project of the Year at the 2023 British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA).

Restoration of one of the UK’s last seawater lidos wins big at the BCIA
Jubilee Pool was also named one of the best public swimming pools in the world by the BBC in 2022. Image credit: ScottWhitbyStudio

A project to rejuvenate the UK’s largest seawater lido has won the top prize at this year’s British Construction Industry Awards.

The renovation of Jubilee Pool in Penzance, Cornwall, took home the Project of the Year Award at a ceremony in London.

One of the five remaining seawater lidos in the country, the pool holds significant community value.

To honour local needs, the design team engaged closely with the community to create a space that feels at home in Penzance.

After all, it was the community that came together to save the lido.

First, after an extreme storm damaged the pool in 2014, and then in 2017, when it faced being turned into a car park due to high running costs and lack of visitors.

The design team worked closely with the community. Image credit: ScottWhitbyStudio
The design team worked closely with the community. Image credit: ScottWhitbyStudio

Delivered by ScottWhitbyStudio, the rejuvenated pool marks its history by retaining existing Grade II listed structures where possible.

The addition of a low carbon geothermal well heats the water and maintains its temperature, making it the UK’s only heated seawater pool. This allows the pool to remain open year-round.

Apart from the accolades won on the night, Jubilee Pool was also named one of the best public swimming pools in the world by the BBC in 2022.

ICE Trustee Jonathan Spruce, who was the head judge for the awards, said the panel went with their heart over mind

“Yes, there is innovation, with the use of geothermal technology; yes, there is practicality and efficiency, in how the design incorporated enhanced flood defences for the town.

“But the standout attributes were the depth of community involvement (...), the social regeneration that has resulted from the project and the range of lessons that the industry can learn from it on how to deliver infrastructure that really does change lives.

“More than anything, everyone who saw this project during the judging process left asking ‘when can I go?’ - that in itself is the mark of a scheme that truly deserves the title of Project of the Year.”

Jubilee Pool was also named Cultural & Leisure Project of the Year and Place Making Initiative of the Year.

Going with the ‘FLOW’

The FLOW footbridge, a lightweight alternative to standard steel footbridges that’s cheaper and quicker to build, has taken home the Initiative of the Year Award at the BCIA.

Made from Fibre-Reinforced-Polymer, the first FLOW footbridge replaced a high-risk foot crossing in Shropshire.

Network Rail’s research and development team produced a more attractive footbridge that weighs less than half of its traditional counterpart, and costs around 40% less.

FLOW footbridge weighs less than half than the standard steel footbridge. Image credit: Network Rail
FLOW footbridge weighs less than half than the standard steel footbridge. Image credit: Network Rail

It incorporates hand-driven shallow foundations, a curved design and the use of fibre reinforced polymers, the fibers of which can be sourced from recycled and bio materials.

FLOW footbridge is the first railway footbridge to feature an in-built structural health monitoring system to track the impact of use and climate change in real time.

The structure requires minimal maintenance and has a design life of 120 years. Furthermore, it can be easily dismantled and relocated to react to changing needs.

Highlighting the footbridge’s adaptability, Spruce said: “This was a clear overall winner given the elegance of the solution, but also the ability for this type of structure to be adapted for use in a range of situations.

“Design and delivery was efficient in a situation and an industry that has often been criticised for its inefficiency, driven by a client that recognised a need to do things differently and that kept that at the forefront of its thinking right the way through the delivery of the scheme,” he said.

Spruce also commended the project’s outcomes and innovative approach.

He said: “It has obvious safety and societal benefits right across the transport network but achieves these in a way that embraces modern construction techniques and provides an outcome that is far more than simply functional.”

The project took home another two prizes:

  • the NIC Design Principles Award, which celebrates the National Infrastructure Commision’s Design Group principles of climate, people, place and value
  • the Productivity Initiative of the Year Award, sponsored by Mott MacDonald

The full list of winners of BCIA 2023

  • Commercial Property Project of the Year – Soho Place
  • Cultural & Leisure Project of the Year – ScottWhitbyStudio, Jubilee Pool
  • Environmental Project of the Year – Mill Fleam Pumping Station
  • Residential Project of the Year – Hill Street House
  • Transport Project of the Year – East Leeds Orbital Route
  • Upgrade & Renewal Project of the Year – Finsbury Park Access for All Scheme
  • Utility Project of the Year – The Greenway Trunk Sewer Diversion
  • Social Infrastructure Project of the Year – Wadham College
  • NIC Design Principles Award – Network Rail, Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Footbridge ‘FLOW’
  • Carbon Net Zero Initiative of the Year – Strategic Pipeline Alliance, Disruptive Carbon Reduction
  • Community Impact Initiative of the Year – Vinci Building, New Victoria Residential Development, Manchester
  • Digital Initiative of the Year – HLM Architects, eDigiT2Life Research & Development
  • Environment & Sustainability Initiative of the Year – C-Probe Systems, Low carbon resilient corrosion management of parking decks
  • Place Making Initiative of the Year – ScottWhitbyStudio, Jubilee Pool
  • Product Innovation of the Year – J-Strut, Prop Smarter
  • Productivity Initiative of the Year – Network Rail, Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Footbridge ‘FLOW’
  • Temporary Works Initiative of the Year – Riverlinx CJV (Ferrovial Construction, Bam Nuttall, SK Ecoplant), tunnel boring machine rotation for Silvertown Tunnels
  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing Initiative of the Year – Anglian Water, Aecom and Balfour Beatty, people operated plant managed service desk
  • Partnership Initiative of the Year – Zed Pods, Zed Pods & Mid Devon District Council
  • IPA’s Industry Innovation Champion – Brilliant Ideas, Brilliant Ideas
  • Initiative of the Year Award – Network Rail, Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Footbridge ‘FLOW’
  • Project of the Year Award – ScottWhitbyStudio, Jubilee Pool
  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE