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Steel girders

Nominated by Wayne Hemingway.

Steel has been the greatest advance in construction because of the spans it can reach.

It's given us the ultimate luxury in buildings – unencumbered space.

It's also given me the house I always wanted with the spans we always wanted – a 27m long living room up in the trees with massive windows.

You could never do that with traditional materials. Because it's open plan we can shift furniture around and my son can play cricket if he wants to.

We've even got a climbing wall at one end where the wall is 6m high. It's like loft living in the countryside. It might look like a warehouse on an industrial estate from the outside, but it's nothing like that on the inside. Steel also looks good when it's exposed and afterwards can be easily recycled, so it's sustainable. I like tried and tested materials and that's what you've got with steel.

Fashion designer Wayne Hemingway founded the Red or Dead fashion label which won the British Fashion Council’s Streetstyle Designer of the Year Award for an unprecedented 3 consecutive years from 1996 onwards.

He now specializes in affordable and social design, including masterplanning and designing housing projects. The highest profile project is, The Staiths South Bank, a 800 property mass market housing project on Tyneside for Taylor Wimpey Homes.