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Project of the Year (£10m-£30m): Winner

Arup Associates with Mace – Believe in Better building

In a hotly contested category with several innovative projects on show, it was Arup and Mace’s work on Sky’s £25m Believe in Better building in west London that impressed the judges the most.

Home to the Sky Academy, the building took just under 10 months to complete and was built with the next generation in mind. The development features a number of classrooms on the bottom floor, with offices and a restaurant on the upper levels.

Arup was appointed as architect on the build in October 2013, with Mace joining the project as main contractor a month later.

The judges commented on the fact that “everyone had pulled together” to achieve something “very sophisticated”, noting the close collaboration and commitment from the client, Sky.

The building features a lightweight timber frame, which aided the speed of construction and provided sustainability benefits. Offsite construction was used to reduce costs and provide less disruption to the busy Sky complex.

Level 2 BIM was used by the developer to further reduce the project’s duration, allowing all parties to navigate the “remarkably tight programme”.

“This is a combination of the client getting stuck in and an innovative solution; what Arup and Mace have done helps to move the industry on just that little bit more”

Judges’ comment

The use of timber cut foundation loads by 13 per cent, with the substructure concrete using cement replacement and 100 per cent recycled aggregate to reduce embodied carbon by 37 per cent. 

The project included extensive community engagement and trained 144 people – with 56 now working with Mace on a follow-up project. Safety initiatives led to zero RIDDORs and the team won a Gold Award at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards.

The project was completed on time and on budget, with Arup commenting that it was the “safest site” they’d ever worked on. The efficiency of the timber frame was such that Sky has adopted a similar technique on other projects, including its nearby health and fitness centre and a new office building now in development.

The judges were impressed by the level of innovation on the project and the fact it was the first open-plan, timber-frame commercial development in the UK. They also singled out the continued engagement of Sky, combined with a high level of collaboration throughout the project, for particular praise.

Highly commended: VolkerFitzpatrick – M1 junction 10A grade separation

The judges felt VolkerFitzpatrick’s “highly complicated” work on a stretch of road linking to Luton Airport deserved a high commendation, as it showcased a different type of project – “an industry service rather than a new build”, as the panel put it.

Volker carried out improvement works on the motorway spur road, creating a dual-grade separated junction to cut journey times and ease congestion close to the airport.

The judges recognised the best practice techniques employed alongside clear evidence of engagement with stakeholders that identified and resolved issues as they arose.  The panel also commended the close collaboration between a number of different stakeholders across the work.


  • Galliford Try Building – 7-8 St James’s Square, London
  • GF Tomlinson – Heart of the Campus development, Nottingham Trent University
  • ISG – The Whitworth, Manchester
  • J Murphy & Sons – Farnworth Tunnel
  • Kier – Midland Goods Shed
  • McAleer & Rushe – Unite, Angel Lane, Stratford
  • Meps in collaboration with MWH Treatment – Frankley WTW
  • Taziker Industrial – Royal Albert Bridge

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