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Sustainable Project of the Year: Winner

Morgan Sindall – The Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia

Morgan Sindall’s Enterprise Centre was the real stand-out project for the judges within this year’s Sustainable Project shortlist.

From design through to construction, it was clear that sustainability was at the heart of everything the contractor did and this was reflected in an outstanding final project.

Having been given an extremely challenging and highly technical brief, Morgan Sindall demonstrated its commitment to ensuring the development benefited the local supply chain and local material suppliers.

From the sourcing of local wood from nearby Thetford forest to the use of 25-year-old reclaimed oak from a local timber yard, the contractor went to great lengths to boost the local economy.

More than 200 local jobs were created and for every £1 spent, £1.24 was injected back into local industry.

From foundations to facades, the judges described the Enterprise Centre as clearly one of the greenest projects ever delivered in the UK, underlined by the achievement of both Passivhaus and a BREAAM Outstanding rating of 90 per cent.

“A great project with a challenging brief for Morgan Sindall, which has really thought about how to get local suppliers on board”

Judges’ comment

The project recycled 100 per cent of the sand it used in the concrete, lab desks installed 50 years ago were repurposed for the building’s exterior, and even recycled newspapers were applied as insulation for the building.

The project was close to 100 per cent waste-free, with only 0.6 per cent of the building’s waste being sent to landfill.

This commitment to recycled materials was coupled with the innovative techniques applied on the project, which the panel recognised for their contributions to reducing emissions throughout the lifecycle of the building.

Successfully deploying local thatchers to wrap the buildings with locally sourced straw also drew high praise.

The work was carried out to exceptional health and safety standards, with tens of thousands of worker-hours undertaken without accident.

Despite the level of innovation on this project and the scope for possible complications, the centre kept to its £11.6m budget and completed ahead of schedule.

The judges said this was particularly impressive in the university sector, where a large number of stakeholders needed to be accommodated and satisfied.

Morgan Sindall pushed the boundaries of sustainable delivery, the judges added, resulting in a truly outstanding project.

Highly commended: Lendlease – Cobalt Place

The judges described Cobalt Place as a legacy project proving that CLT could be a crucial material of the future.

Using this sustainable and easily constructible material on a project of this size was bound to interest developers, the panel added.

Lendlease’s commitment to sustainability did not stop at construction, with a 25 per cent reduction in carbon and water use forecast for the life of the building.

The fact this was completed in 12 months and accident-free also drew commendation.

The judges said Cobalt Place represented a fine example of social sustainability, creating a lasting legacy by creating local jobs as well as leaving behind a new school.


  • Arup Associates with Mace – Believe in Better Building 
  • Bam Nuttall – Wallasea Wild Coast Project Phase I
  • CNIM Clugston (Leeds) – Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility
  • John Sisk & Son – 7 Air Street
  • South Tyneside Council, Northumbrian Water, MWH, Esh Construction – Fellgate Surface Water Management
  • Willmott Dixon Interiors – The University of Brighton, Cockcroft Building 
  • WRW Construction – Burry Port Community Primary School

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