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2022 Winners

We are thrilled to reveal this year's winners - the best of the best in the built environment

Browse the below categories to uncover the award winners

Building Performance Consultancy (up to 50 employees)

Sponsored by: 

This award recognises the consultancy that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the delivery of buildings with high levels of measured building performance and user satisfaction throughout their operating life.
Net zero can be a difficult goal for consultancies to work towards but, in the past two years, XCO2 has risen to the challenge and put its core values of relationship-building, equality, creativity and teamwork into practice.
Judges said ‘XCO2 kept the low carbon ambition at the heart of everything… a model for repeat success.’
The team has done an admirable job of reaching its goals during the pandemic – viewing it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle – and has made considerable strides in its ongoing zero carbon schemes, including the Eden North project in Morecambe.
The Consultancy of the Year Award takes into account performance in the areas of collaboration, innovation, knowledge transfer, client feedback and staff investment. Thanks to its already strong focus on teamwork and relationship building, XCO2 has delivered in all of these areas – despite the problems posed by the pandemic – adapting its robust methods of employee and client communication to an online environment without losing sight of its core values.
The company’s external knowledge-sharing efforts have also been commendable, especially its engagement with universities, careers fairs and global industry talks.
In the past two years, XCO2 has made a considerable effort to ensure commissioning, handover and evaluation processes are as efficient as possible. It has achieved this primarily through enthusiastic use of post-occupancy evaluations, which has helped it establish an airtight system of communication and knowledge-sharing for turning its net zero ambition into reality.
The judges were particularly impressed by XCO2’s level of commitment to net zero and how it has kept eliminating carbon output at the heart of everything it does, rather than just using it to attract ‘green credentials’.
Every new project or idea is underpinned by the zero carbon ambition – from its efficient and low-waste refurbishment of the Forest School primary department, which now benefits from enhanced shading and hybrid ventilation, to its innovative approach to end-of-life strategies.
XCO2 has proven itself to be a truly forward-thinking company with an exemplary approach to the net zero goal. With more than 100 active projects on the go, its post-pandemic future looks exceptionally bright.

Building Performance Consultancy (51-300 employees)

Max Fordham
Sponsored by: 

This Award recognises the consultancy that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to delivering buildings that have high levels of measured building performance and user satisfaction throughout their operating life. This category includes UK based or international building services consultancies with 51-300 staff employed across all job roles.
The judges described the winning entry from Max Fordham as an ‘impressive passionate submission, with honest real-life data on completed projects’ that showed ‘substantial engagement with peers and industry.’
The panel said the firm ‘showed a true commitment to building performance’ and that it had ‘a real focus on soft landings methodology and introducing post-occupancy monitoring on every project’, demonstrating a practical commitment to learning from their projects.
Max Fordham’s approach uses lessons learnt from post-occupancy evaluation (POE) and occupant feedback from previous projects to try to continually improve designs and their resulting performance.
The practice has set up a process to collect energy data on every project, with the engineer on the project engaging with the client at key stages post-completion for two years. The aim is to empower engineers to be advocates for the people that will ultimately use and manage the buildings the firm creates.
For buildings that are not Soft Landings projects, where aftercare is delivered as standard, the practice offers POE services that include performance monitoring and building performance optimisation.
Max Fordham has an internal ‘MF: Net Zero’ task group that has implemented a net zero carbon design service, which aligns with the UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Framework, and has been integrated as part of its core engineering service. All five of its offices are net zero carbon for operational energy.
In late 2020, Max Fordham launched the, a free and open resource to help navigate the process of achieving net zero carbon, sharing the latest research and knowledge about net zero carbon, as well as giving a platform to others in the industry to share their knowledge and tools.
The judges were impressed with Max Fordham’s efforts concerning equality, diversity and inclusion, which the company has demonstrated through its investment in interview training, unconscious bias sessions, female peer-to-peer mentoring and inclusion networks for BAME and LGBT+ staff.
The commitment to inclusivity in the workplace, along with its willingness to refine and improve its methodologies, makes it an ideal candidate for this award.

Building Performance Consultancy (over 300 employees)

Buro Happold
Sponsored by: 

This award recognises the consultancy that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to delivering buildings that have high levels of measured building performance and user satisfaction throughout their operating life.
Buro Happold has achieved a great deal over the past two years. In April 2021, it reached its goal of becoming a net zero carbon organisation and it is the first of 14 companies selected as Business Champions for the Construction Leadership Council’s collaborative industry change programme CO2nstructZero.
While the standard of entries to this category was very high this year, Buro Happold’s continued innovation and commitment to inclusion and diversity made it a real standout candidate for the Consultancy of the Year Award.
The judges were impressed by Buro Happold’s versatility and by its ability to deliver consistently good results across the range of application questions. As well as being a net zero carbon organisation with globally certified health and safety standards, it has shown exemplary standards of inclusion in the workplace, promoting in-house networks for women, LGBTQ+ employees and those who identify as disabled or neurodivergent, and offering maternity pay above statutory requirements.
Buro Happold’s tools for evaluation, carbon output measuring and data collection are of a high calibre, and – along with Royal London Asset Management – it has become a trusted adviser to several clients for organisational standards of commissioning and performance evaluation.
Its influence is also visible on an international level. Buro Happold’s Los Angeles office has become a central focus of the net zero City Hall East project in Santa Monica, while its Hong Kong team is set to take part in the Hong Kong Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero Ideas Competition.

The judges were impressed by Buro Happold’s versatility and by its ability to deliver consistently good results across the range of application questions. As well as being a net zero carbon organisation with globally certified health and safety standards, it has shown exemplary standards of inclusion in the workplace, promoting in-house networks for women, LGBTQ+ employees and those who identify as disabled or neurodivergent, and offering maternity pay above statutory requirements.
Even in the challenging context of the pandemic, Buro Happold has managed to establish itself as a world-leading consultancy, and is sure to achieve even more in the future.


Echo Court – FairHeat
Sponsored by: 

This award recognises and celebrates examples of collaborative working that have delivered outstanding outcomes on single or multiple new-build, refurbishment, design or maintenance projects. It rewards the use of integrated processes that deliver outstanding measured building performance in terms of user satisfaction and comfort, energy and carbon, health and wellbeing, and whole-life value.

‘Collaboration is about disrupting the normal way of doing things and changing how things are behaving. FairHeat and the other contributing teams have shown the judges that they have found the true spirit of collaboration, with the client and with the contractor.’

The Echo Court heat network development project – a collaboration between independent heat specialist consultancy FairHeat, the Hill design and surveying group, and engineers from Imex – has been exceptional.
Building an efficient heat network for a residential scheme as large as Echo Court (116 new apartments) is no easy task, but FairHeat rose to the challenge with a truly collaborative approach that capitalised on the strengths of every party involved.
None of this could have been achieved without the high levels of team spirit and perseverance that have been demonstrated by all parties. FairHeat’s industry-leading practices and design processes, combined with Imex’s technical expertise and the rigorous goal-setting process put forward by Origin and the Hill Group, have led to a heat network that now operates within all nationwide performance and heat-loss requirements – a rare achievement in the UK.
All parties showed willingness to try new strategies and processes even while under significant time and budgetary pressures, and quality monitoring was rigorously maintained throughout the design and construction processes.
FairHeat established itself early on as the driving force behind the operation, using its own commissioning, monitoring and handover tools to track progress and provide feedback. And through remote monitoring, Origin Housing was able to maintain full control over how it wanted the scheme to perform.
This method of collaboration has been so successful that the Imex team has continued to use the methods introduced to it by FairHeat, even adopting the rigorous dwelling commission process into its own standard approach.
FairHeat has led a high-calibre building performance collaboration that has resulted in Echo Court residents saving around £160 per year at 2021 prices as well as reducing the scheme’s carbon emissions by 72 tonnes per year – an excellent achievement all around.

Facilities Management

Legal & General Investment Management TBPE – Hoare Lea
Sponsored by: 

This category recognises and celebrates the achievements of a facilities management team or project, whether in-house or outsourced, that delivers outstanding building performance from an individual building, a site with several buildings or a portfolio of assets.

Hoare Lea and Legal & General Investment Management’s (LGIM’s) fresh approach to facilitating communication between landlords and engineers made it a clear standout among entries in the Facilities Management Award.

The judges were looking for an entry that went above and beyond standard facilities management practices, improving building performance and challenging the status quo.

The winning facilities management project began with a vision to revitalise relationships between building owners, tenants, property managers and contractors, and, in turn, reach higher levels of tenant and landlord satisfaction. This would require a different, more proactive approach to building performance consultancy.

In collaboration with Hilson Moran, Hoare Lea appointed a technical building performance engineer (TBPE) within each building’s FM team. They provide engineering expertise when required, thereby bridging the gap between landlords and technical teams. The vision took shape in 2019 and, since then, it has gone from strength to strength, with TBPEs being appointed in approximately 60 buildings in 2020.

The award judges were especially impressed with how information was shared between different parties within the LGIM-TBPE network, and how this encouraged a planning approach that connected the processes of design, commissioning and construction.

Hoare Lea and Hilson Moran addressed issues relating to communication and consistency of output between different engineers, largely by developing strong relationships between the core team members of each company. Regular discussions between those on all sides of the FM process allowed the project to respond promptly to issues facing the building sector, including the impact of COVID-19 and the drive to net zero carbon.
The TBPE initiative has innovation at its core and several new techniques and approaches were developed to ensure it worked as smoothly as possible, with core team members acting as a hub for transferring knowledge and ideas. Most of these new techniques centred on performance and quality tracking, including a new building performance log (BPL) – completed monthly by TBPEs – and a red/amber/green system assigned to buildings based on data gathered in the BPL.

As a result of this new approach to quality tracking, employee satisfaction remained consistently high and the project has enjoyed continued success throughout 2020-21. The judges described the project as ‘true facilities management work’ and applauded the team’s drive to improve the building performance sector – a commendable achievement all around. 

Learning and Development

BEEP Student Camp – Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (Indo-Swiss BEEP), Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Govt. of India, Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation
Sponsored by:  
This award recognises and celebrates organisations that demonstrate how their learning and development initiative has improved the understanding of building performance within an organisation and/or the wider built environment. It includes applied research initiatives from academia.

The Indo-Swiss BEEP student camp is an annual, hands-on educational camp, aimed at nurturing the next generation of sustainable building design professionals in India. It was initiated by the Indian government’s Ministry of Power and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland.

The camp was originally conceptualised as an immersive workshop, and the first two camps were held in person in 2017 and 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic posed a daunting set of challenges to the organisers, who were faced with adapting a camp centred on group projects and hands-on design exercises for an online learning environment.

The Indo-Swiss BEEP took these challenges in its stride and the end result was an outstanding educational experience with a high level of attendee satisfaction. In the context of the pandemic, this is a commendable achievement.

Sustainability and environmental protection are central to the camp’s ethos, and the judges were impressed with Indo-Swiss BEEP’s ability to not only address these issues, but also to weave them into the educational programming of the event.

This was achieved using a threefold course structure involving interpersonal skills sessions, pre-recorded technical learning modules chosen by the attendees, and an ongoing group exercise aimed at replicating the experience of integrated multidisciplinary design.

The meticulous scheduling of the camp allowed students to gain a full understanding of how their skills from engineering and architectural design could be combined to create energy-efficient, sustainable buildings, using educational techniques that would be impossible in a university or college setting.

An equally outstanding aspect of the camp was its seamless integration of current affairs in India within the already-established educational model. Issues addressed included reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thermal comfort, and passive building design. This fits in perfectly with Indo-Swiss BEEP’s goal of building a new generation of forward-thinking, environmentally aware engineers who can tackle India’s climate challenges head-on.

The feedback from BEEP camp alumni has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average rating of 4.2-4.3 out of 5 stars, and the organisers’ ability to address this feedback in subsequent years demonstrates the wider impact that the camp has had and will continue to have in the long term.

‘The whole initiative is outstanding, engaging young minds at an exciting time for the industry,’ the judges said. ‘This programme is giving participants the skills to deliver high-quality, sustainable design solutions in their everyday working lives.’

Product or Innovation - Wellbeing

Eco-Duo – Water Kinetics
Sponsored by: 

Eco-Duo is the world’s first and only pipe-within-a-pipe recirculation system that is guaranteed to keep hot water hot and cold water cold, which is essential for controlling the spread of water-borne pathogens and biofilm.
Unlike traditional systems, Eco-Duo brings the circulating water right up to the point of use, eliminating dead legs in the system and resolving one of the main causes of water-borne pathogens.
The Eco-Duo potable water system impressed the award judges, who commended Water Kinetics for including a robust whole-life carbon-saving calculation for the product, detailed results of in-use performance testing, and clear guidance on its operation and maintenance. They said it was ‘A novel, innovative product that addresses a real-life challenge robustly.’
Eco-Duo reduces energy costs by around 50% and halves the amount of pipework and fittings needed, as well as the time and cost of installation.
Installation is very simple, and virtually the same as existing copper-press systems. The only difference is the pushing together of the inner pipes before the outer fitting is pressed in the normal way.
An innovative new confluence tee enables connection to any pump, heater or cooler, while a commissioning fitting is also available that allows the system to be balanced. A unique continuous isolation valve keeps system recirculation going even when the valve is in the off position.
A single Eco-Duo fitting can save 2.27 tonnes of carbon over the lifetime of a building (30 years), which equates to more than 6,800 tonnes per building on average and 2.4 million tonnes in the UK alone.
The system is also environmentally friendly: 60% of materials used in the product are recyclable, with 90% recyclable at end of life, while all packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and can be 100% recycled upon disposal – a first for the industry.
All Eco-Duo fittings can be thermally and chemically disinfected and are guaranteed for 25 years.

Product or Innovation - Air Quality

UV-C Upper Air Disinfection Luminaires – Signify

This award recognises products or innovations that make a significant contribution to the wellbeing element of building performance, such as solutions in the fields of lighting, acoustics, air quality, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Judges called Signify’s Philips UV-C upper-air disinfection luminaires ‘a thoroughly thought through and researched product that addresses the current need to disinfect indoor air.’
They commended the company’s novel application of existing technologies to address the threat from COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens and the comprehensive information it provided on the operation and maintenance of the product.
The judges praised the level of research and development documented in the application, the use of independent studies to verify safety and efficacy, and the provision of information on actual in-use performance.
Signify’s upper-air UV-C luminaires can be ceiling- or wall-mounted, and installed with basic on/off control or linked to time clocks.
In a laboratory test conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis, they inactivated 99.99% of Sars-Cov-2 – the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease – in the air of a room within 10 minutes; at 20 minutes, the virus was below detectable levels. In addition, all bacteria and pathogens tested to date have responded to UV-C.
Signify’s upper-air luminaires can provide the equivalent of up to 30 air changes per hour. To achieve equivalent air changes using a traditional HVAC strategy would typically cost 10 times more, while HEPA filters can be up to three times more expensive than UV-C equivalents.
As the Sygnify units have no moving or active parts, ongoing maintenance is fairly basic, with an annual lamp change (9,000hrs) the only planned activity.
Signify is accredited with many sustainability bodies – including the Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta, CDP, EcoVadis and is on the Dow Jones Sustainability index. It also claims to use 100% renewable energy to power its operations and says it is 100% carbon neutral in all its operations (as of 2020).

Project of the Year - Healthcare

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – AECOM
Sponsored by: 

This award recognises and celebrates buildings that most effectively demonstrate high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, as well as the work and dedication of the project team. Projects had to have been completed between 1 June 2018 and 31 August 2020.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is a £162m, 110-bedroom specialist cancer hospital in central Liverpool. The brief was to design a visually striking facility that creates a positive, uplifting environment centred on patient and staff needs.
The BREEAM Excellent design integrated modern methods of construction (MMC) and standardisation to maximise the building’s flexibility and adaptability. It also helped to reduce material wastage, as well as the number of onsite trades required.
The centre’s strong connection to the external environment is achieved through a glazed curtain walling system, atriums and courtyard spaces, which maximise natural lighting to patient areas and offer views across the city. Patients are able to enjoy fresh air within a Winter Garden, located at basement level, and outdoor terraces accessed from inpatient wards and chemotherapy suite.
Cancer patients can be sensitive to light and temperature, as well as to room air movement. So Aecom has worked hard to ensure the building’s façade systems give good levels of natural light and reduce glare without compromising thermal comfort. Patients and staff can control the internal environment to suit individual needs through local temperature and light-dimming controls.
The cancer centre incorporates a naturally ventilated entrance area, circulation spaces and basement waiting areas, where air is introduced through glazed roof lights at the head of a central courtyard and atrium.
Energy and carbon saving measures identified to date relate to reducing the internal space temperature within spaces that incorporate active chilled beam systems, and reviewing the operating hours of the site’s combined heat and power plant.
Vertically stacked plantrooms ensure HVAC plant is located near to the departments it serves, maximising the MMC potential and future adaptability. Such ‘plant towers’ have significant benefits, including increased accessibility for maintenance, a reduction in materials and embodied carbon, increased controllability, and reduced operational carbon, energy and running costs.
Aecom has developed key performance indicators for operational energy (kWh·m⁻² per year) and embodied carbon (900kgCO2e/m²), and advocated integrating plant towers that are made off site, to achieve net zero carbon targets.

Project of the Year - Retail/Leisure

McDonald's Global Flagship - Buena Vista - Net Zero Energy – Cyclone Energy Group
Sponsored by: 

This award recognises and celebrates buildings that most effectively demonstrate high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, as well as the work and dedication of the project team. Projects had to have been completed between 1 June 2018 and 31 August 2020.

McDonald’s at Walt Disney World in Florida is believed to be the world’s first net zero quick-service restaurant.
With an emphasis on people’s experience, the designers created a large veranda for outdoor dining, covered by custom-built glass with amorphous silicon photovoltaic (aSi PV) cells and high-volume low-velocity fans, which operate based on temperature and humidity conditions to maintain thermal comfort.

While aSi PV panels are not widely used, they are outperforming predicted electricity production by more than 200%, and the remainder of the roof is covered with 350W monocrystalline photovoltaic cells. Unusually, the restaurant is all-electric (no gas for cooking or heating), and the solar PV system is sized to power the entire peak load of the building.

The building has many other features not common to McDonalds' or other retail restaurant brands. Most notably, its three cooking stations have a never-before-used control system that allows them to go into stand-by operation, resulting in substantial energy savings on equipment that consumes 66% of the building’s annual energy.

The interior has operable windows for natural ventilation – which operate automatically based on condition readings from an onsite weather station – and all-LED lighting. There is also a VRF HVAC system, energy recovery for the kitchen make-up air, daylight harvesting controls, stand-alone solar PV parking lot lights, permeable pavers, a living facade and interactive features, including a McDonald's logo lit by customers riding a stationary bike that generates power.

A customised systems manual was created to help managers navigate troubleshooting and contact the correct help lines.

The design energy model for the new restaurant estimated 666,000kWh of energy consumption annually and 705,000kWh of renewable energy production, and the project’s goal was for it to be net zero energy after 12 consecutive months in operation. Modelling using the data collected to date indicates a building that will consistently be net-positive every year.

Project of the Year - Public Use

St John's College, Oxford, Library and Study Centre – Max Fordham
Sponsored by:  

This award recognises and celebrates buildings that most effectively demonstrate high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, as well as the work and dedication of the project team. Projects had to have been completed between 1 June 2018 and 31 August 2020.

The brief was to explore options for a new carbon-neutral study centre and archive within a historic part of St John’s College, Oxford.
The building’s concrete frame – which is clad in stone, with sills, copings and weatherings in harder-wearing limestone – made up a significant proportion of the project’s embodied carbon. However, this and the exposed thermal mass help reduce peak temperatures and provide a stable internal environment. 
The all-electric MEP design includes a ground source heat pump (GSHP) served by closed-loop boreholes located beneath the President’s garden, paired with a large photovoltaic (PV) array on the flat and pitched roofs.
Daylighting has been maximised by roof lights, clerestory glazing and slot windows, and natural ventilation to the main library spaces is by a mix of windows and louvres. The building management system (BMS) controls and modulates these openings based on occupancy levels and internal temperatures, monitored by sensors, although manual overrides are provided for library staff.
Ventilation louvres integrated into the façade also supply air at low level within the main reading space, ensuring increased airflow rates and improved summer comfort.
The aftercare team was given remote access to the BMS to log and monitor performance data, while occupant feedback was collected from the head librarian, who represented building users in aftercare meetings. This information was all used to optimise internal conditions for the health and wellbeing of students and to prevent overheating.
Temperatures in winter have generally been kept between 19°C and 21°C in the main library spaces, but slightly warmer temperatures are preferred in the librarian offices. The first floor is significantly warmer than the ground floor because of much higher solar gains and lower thermal mass. During aftercare monitoring, the first floor has only gone above 28°C three times, and the ground-floor reading room has not risen above 24°C.
Monitoring of the GSHP is ongoing, with the first year demonstrating a coefficient of performance of 3.6.
Although the archive room in the basement has some mechanical ventilation and dehumidification when needed, it is largely passive and controls temperatures and relative humidity without the need for intensive servicing.

The judges commented that the project team ‘didn’t just engage with the net zero ambition as some smoke screen to attract ‘green credentials’ but kept the low carbon ambition at the heart of everything. The very detailed performance modelling has transferred this theme into the operation of the building so the low carbon ambition is also shared by those occupying the building. Getting occupants onboard with the operation and performance of a building is vital for all our success.”

This project provides an example that can be seen and used by others as an exemplar of how buildings can be designed and then constantly tuned to ensure they continue to perform.

Building Performance Engineer of the Year

Mike Burton, Director – AECOM
Sponsored by: 

This award recognises and rewards the contributions of practicing building services engineers to creating and maintaining a sustainable built environment. It celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the science, art and practice of building services engineering in 2018-20.

Mike Burton was selected for this year’s Building Performance Engineer of the Year award because his passion, high level of knowledge and uniquely his holistic approach to building projects make him a shining example in the field of engineering.

Mike is a director, a chartered engineer and a CIBSE Fellow, with more than 30 years of sustainable design experience and 250 engineers under his direction.

His achievements over the past four years, with Aecom and as an individual, have been commendable, but his work in 2020 was especially outstanding. From his completion of the award-winning BBC Wales headquarters – a highly innovative, community-centred space – to his extensive work on the Institute of Physics headquarters in London, Mike’s portfolio that year demonstrates his trailblazing approach to building performance.

Throughout all his projects, Mike has strived to bring in a fresh new wave of sustainable engineering. He has a multifaceted, yet holistic, approach to reducing buildings’ environmental impact, which includes a focus on: integrated supply chains; refurbishment over replacement; local community engagement; and, most importantly, looking at sustainability as a standard to apply to the whole building rather than just as a box to tick.

Mike’s recent contributions to building services engineering go far beyond the design and construction processes. He has written and reviewed multiple leading industry publications, including the 2019 RIBA Future Office book and the 2019 BCO Guide to the Specification of Offices.

The first in his family to attend university, Mike is committed to fostering equality and early career support in the engineering profession. The judges were impressed with his sustained efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the industry, including school visits, a mentoring programme for female engineers – which won the 2021 Women in Communications Engineering Mentorship Award – and his extensive work with the University of Nottingham Industrial and Advisory Board to improve course content and student industry links.

‘The depth of knowledge and experience Mike showed was commendable,’ the judges said. ‘He spoke so passionately of his work with new entrants into the industry… he has great pride in his profession.’

Embodied Carbon

Michael Lonsdale Group

This award recognises exceptional contributions to understanding and reducing embodied carbon in building services. Embodied carbon is increasingly acknowledged as a major contributor to carbon emissions and must be addressed alongside operational carbon to meet net zero carbon goals.
In the last two years the Michael J Lonsdale Group (MLG) has acted as champions of the embodied carbon model in the building services contracting sector, paving the way for other companies to think critically about their own carbon impacts.
Its innovative approach to measuring, tracking and analysing embodied carbon figures, as well as its commitment to external knowledge-sharing on the subject, makes the company a standout candidate for this award.
Efficient data processing is a crucial aspect of embodied carbon reduction and the MLG Group has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring its methodologies are well adapted to new requirements.
MLG has devised an internal Embodied Carbon Questionnaire to extract data for products without an Environmental Product Declaration and have been proactive in encouraging collaboration to better understand and recommend building services systems with reference to embodied carbon.
A database of lower embodied carbon materials and systems in comparison to their traditional counterparts is also in progress, with the data already being used to provide recommendations during projects where appropriate.
MLG’s meticulous approach to collecting data means it is well-placed to share its knowledge on embodied carbon with the rest of the building performance sector. It works collaboratively with clients to bring embodied carbon reduction to the forefront of its goals and use its social media presence to weave it into its image as a company.
In 2020 MLG published three separate articles on sustainability in the construction performance sector written by its services director, and in connection with Earth Day 2021 it has worked to promote the company’s formal Net Zero Carbon Strategy on its social media channels.
MLG has been exemplary in its commitment to filling the gaps in the industry’s knowledge of embodied carbon reduction. It is sure to make a real difference in the coming years.

Building Performance Champion

St John's College, Oxford, Library and Study Centre – Max Fordham
Sponsored by: 

This exemplar university project fully deserves the Building Performance Champion title and is another feather in the cap for Max Fordham.
Judges were impressed by its well-considered approach to carbon neutral design and praised the detailed whole-life carbon analysis, attention to aftercare and its focus on occupant comfort.
At the heart of the carbon neutral energy strategy is a large photovoltaic array and ground source heat pump; it provides heating for the whole building and cooling for the server and archive workroom.
A natural ventilation system controlled by the BMS provides summer cooling and ensures excellent indoor air quality and comfortable temperatures. Manual overrides allow library staff to control the windows themselves, if they wish.
Judges praised the attempt to assess the embodied carbon of potential materials even though there was no set definition at the time. The building is clad in stone, which has a low embodied carbon, while sills and copings are in harder-wearing limestone.
The concrete frame makes up a significant portion of the building’s embodied energy but its thermal mass has the benefit of reducing peak temperatures and helps provide a stable internal environment.
Max Fordham used the latest tools and calculation methodologies to ensure optimal comfort and building efficiency. CIBSE’s TM54 enabled the project team to estimate operational energy at the design stage, while the TM52 methodology, predicting overheating, ensured the building will be resilient in the face of future climate change.
Many of the aspects of the Soft Landings framework have been adopted, including monitoring of energy performance and the internal environment after handover. This ensured that the systems controlling the ground source heat pump, lighting and natural ventilation could be optimised once the building was occupied.
The attention to detail and the aspiration for a carbon neutral building has been borne out by the building’s performance. It is well within RIBA’s interim 2025 operation performance target of 75 kWh/m2/yr.