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SSDA Awards

Structural Steel Design Awards 2002

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Steve Fareham, President of BCSA; Zara Lamont OBE, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Construction Clients; Chris Hollick, Executive Director of Corus Group plc; and Patrick Dowling CBE, Chairman of SCI at the Structural Steel Design Awards presentation

Ms Zara Lamont OBE, Chief Executive of the Federation of Construction Clients, presented the awards at the Savoy Hotel, London, on Thursday 20th June 2002. There were three Awards, four Certificates of Merit and two Commendations.

Introduced in 1969 and co-sponsored by Corus Group plc, The British Constructional Steelwork Association and The Steel Construction Institute, the Structural Steel Design Awards “recognise the high standards of structural and architectural design attainable in the use of steel and its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and innovation”. All entries must use predominantly British steel and be fabricated by a UK company or joint venture.

Chris Hollick’s Speech

Chris Hollick, Executive Director of Corus Group, welcomed the winners and guests. He said: “This is a key moment in the UK. I am not just referring to the World Cup, but to the opportunity we in the steel construction industry have to make a real difference for our product and our country. Many of the building blocks are in place. We have an excellent track record of achievement, we have good data accumulated over many years, we have good products and government wants to invest in the infrastructure in the UK. We are ready to go!…

“I started by mentioning the World Cup. In the past three years, the co-hosts Japan and Korea have built 20 excellent stadia for a fantastic tournament. All the stadia are beautiful, making extensive use of steel, and a number have had significant input from UK designers and engineers. They are making a major contribution to the quality of the whole event….

“We at Corus believe that good design is an important business differentiator. We believe that through our sponsorship of the Structural Steel Design Awards, the Colorcoat Building Awards, the Young Architect of the Year and the Student Design Awards we are playing our part in encouraging designers to think about how their creations impact on our lives and contribute to the quality of our future environment.

“The government’s plans to invest tens of billions of pounds in our transport, education and health infrastructure, will have a huge impact on both construction and design. It is a real opportunity for designers, to use their imagination and flair to create designs, which will be transformed into lasting structures symbolising the capabilities and future in the UK. When the huge task of implementation really starts, metal-based construction with its off-site manufacture of components, speed of build, safety, cleanliness and handsome buildings, will be right in the middle of it….

“Meanwhile, to keep developing our industry, we are revitalising the Corus Construction Centre to help catalyse this process and help our customers and partners. Nearly 1000 people per week make use of our Construction Centre through the new web site and our hotline service. If you haven’t done so give it a try!

“What I have tried to get across is my belief that we have excellent design, a material that is unparalleled in its adaptability and recyclability, that we can meet the world class standard for excellent structures and, in our industry, we have people who can make change happen.”

Zara Lamont’s Speech

He was followed by Zara Lamont, whose speech included:

“The elegance, functionality and sheer beauty and appeal of the projects on show really is breath taking.

“I would like to congratulate the steel industry on its development of the Safe Site Handover Certificate and their work with CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) on the Steel Erectors Passport. I urge you all to truly embrace and use these schemes. Health and safety is of vital importance to your clients and more and more they will be looking to differentiate between those they employ. One of the measures they will use is the adoption of schemes like these.

“The industry is changing and it has come a long way from when Sir Michael Latham issued his report in 1994, and Sir John Egan’s subsequent report Rethinking Construction four years ago. But we still have a long way to go before projects like the ones we are celebrating to-day become the norm. Before projects deliver client delight as standard….

Richard Barrett, Managing Director of Barrett Steel Buildingds Ltd, explains the construction process of TNT Fastrack, Magna Park, to Zara Lamont OBE

“Clients must truly understand what their needs and objectives for the project are. They must clearly articulate what functionality they require and what value means for them. Without these established at the outset of a project a client can never hope to achieve the best solution. It is for this reason that the Accelerating Change document puts such a high emphasis on the clients and their need to access good independent advice.

“As well as helping them to get the brief right, these advisers must help the client set the environment for the project. By this I mean ensuring that the team is procured in an integrated way. So we have teams who work together to achieve the project objectives. “Teams which are built on trust, honesty and open communication. Teams which bring all the key players to the table at the right time – early enough so they can contribute fully – before it is designed too far to allow them to contribute.

“Clients want to know that every member of the team which they are paying for is allowed to use the knowledge, skills and expertise they have to ensure the best, most efficient, and innovative use of their products and materials. “Clients are acutely aware of the knowledge and intellect held by the industries’ specialist contractors, suppliers and manufacturers, and want to know this is being captured and capitalised upon to bring them the best and most appropriate solution for their need. …

“You must raise your game, and work with others up and down the supply chain to demonstrate what added value you can bring to the table and why you should be involved from the outset. But remember you are only one service in the solution provision and it is the total solution that clients are interested in.

You must find ways of working with others to offer clients sustainable solutions which meet their business needs, which add value to their core business and for which you can offer them meaningful guarantees. You are right to celebrate what you have achieved, but you still have a long way to go.”

Prof. Dowling’s speech

Professor Patrick Dowling thanked Zara Lamont on behalf of the sponsors and said: “Over the last 25 years I have occupied an industrially-sponsored chair in steel construction. The job was to sell the advantages of our construction material to a whole new generation of designers.

“Over the past eight years I have been on exactly the other side of the counter. In my capacity as Vice-chancellor of the university I have been a construction client.

“As chairman of the Steel Construction Institute I am in a much more neutral position as I preside over a body which offers support and unbiased advice to both buyers and sellers. “But I think the position I prize most of all is that of Chairman of the judging panel for the Steel Design Awards, where I have been able to watch the improvement in the construction process within our industry, and there is an enormous amount for us to be very proud of. …

“If I think back over the time we have been teaching steel construction we could illustrate all steel’s advantages with today’s winners. The elegance of steel – the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Speed of construction – the almost unbelievable speed with which the Magna Park was constructed. The strength and security of steel – you can see that in the Falkirk Wheel. And if anyone doubts the innovation of our designers just look at the other projects in Rotherham and Leicester. All the things we told our young students were possible with steel are all demonstrated here today in the awards.

“We are proud of the position that has been reached but it could only have been possible by working in partnership with our suppliers, with Corus, with our fabricators, and with the BCSA, and we acknowledge gratefully their part in sponsoring the awards.”

The awards were then presented by Zara Lamont, and the proceedings were closed by Steve Fareham, President of the British Constructional Steelwork Association.

The Judges:

  • Professor Patrick Dowling CBE (Chairman) representing the Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Mr David Lazenby CBE representing the Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Mr Alan Pickett representing the Highways Agency
  • Mr Alan Pillinger Bourne Steel Ltd, representing the constructional steelwork industry
  • Mr Jamie Troughton representing the Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Mr Gerald West representing the Royal Institute of British Architects
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