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The Green Construction Awards 2007

Change was in the air at last night's Green Construction Awards

The themes of transformation and inspiration were very much at the forefront at The Green Construction Awards, held last night at the Hurlingham Club in London.

Keynote speaker, Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project led a rousing call to arms for the construction industry to raise its head above the parapet and use its collective talents to drive the agenda on this issue.

“I think these awards in historical terms represent a systemic shift in the industry” said Smit, speaking after the event. “We are seeing green and sustainability concerns moving from the fringe into the mainstream, where they are becoming citizen values.”

Peter Willsher, marketing manager of Knauf Drywall, who won the Green Impact Award for
helping to create a new niche market with Futurepanel, a carbon-neutral plasterboard, also spoke of how sustainability was connecting with ordinary people in his company.

“The business believes in doing the right thing to facilitate change, people in the company care about this issue so it is not difficult to get them motivated to work on green initiatives,” said Willsher.

“Companies may feel that doesn’t pay in the short term, but it will bring business benefits down the line.”

This was a view echoed buy Sir Robert McAlpines’ Danny Bavington, who collected the Green Boot award given to the company that has made the greatest impact in green initiatives during the year.

“Construction companies need to be already working actively on green issues or else they won’t be competitive. The bottom line is it is good business,” said Bavington.

See next week's Construction News for an in-depth supplement on the Green Construction Awards.

Click on the box on the sustainability homepage to see the individual winners of each award and photos of the winning projects.