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SSDA Awards

Structural Steel Design Awards 2004

Mr David Upton, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers, presented the awards at the Savoy Hotel, London, on Tuesday 22 June 2004. There were four Awards including an industrial building award, four Commendations and one Certificate of Merit.

Tom Goldberg, President of the British Constructional Steelwork Association, welcomed the guests and thanked the members of the judging panel for all their work. His speech included: “There are, of course, many award ceremonies nowadays, but which of them matter? In my opinion, …the Structural Steel Design Awards …are more important to society than all the transient Oscars and Golden Globes – for we all have to live with our buildings and our environment through our lifetimes, and the significant buildings will outlive us…

“Today we are here to celebrate steelwork’s aesthetics and economies. Despite the wellpublicised steel price increases of the last eight months a current independent cost analysis, by Davis Langdon, shows that a typical multi-storey steel frame and foundations will cost about 30% less than the concrete frame alternative.

“Steelwork prices have stayed virtually unaltered for 20 years – a substantial fall in real terms. The recent increases of 35-40% in raw steel prices have changed that. But remember that 35% increase in raw steel costs means 15% increase in steel frame cost or 2-3% increase in total building cost.

“And because a typical multi-storey building in steel may have 65 kg/m² of steel but the concrete alternative anyway has 40 kg/m² of steel – our price advantage has not been significantly eroded. The Davis Langdon analysis gives a cost of £90/m² for the steel frame example, compared with £133/m2 for the concrete alternative.

“Steel is aesthetic, cost efficient, green, reliable, quality assured, fast and accurate, and safer through off-site production.”

He then introduced the Principal Guest: David Upton, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE), whose speech included: “The structural steel sector has indeed much to shout about, and today’s awards prove it. As a business organisation representing nearly 800 consultancy companies… ACE is well aware of the advantages and benefits of being able to specify a tried and tested product that offers key benefits to clients and end users alike. Steel construction offers such benefits…

“Congratulations to the teams involved in all of the award-winning projects. Working together, teamwork and collaboration is key to moving our industry forward and key to achieving successful outcomes for our clients.

“That teamwork is also good for industry and good for business. ACE welcomes the moves towards partnering and collaborative supply chain working in our industry. But partnership brings with it responsibilities. Responsibilities to treat each other with respect and to understand that each partner has to make the relationship work for it to be a profitable one…

“Events like the Structural Steel Design Awards help to remind decision makers and the wider public of the benefits of quality, sustainable and well thought-out engineering and construction solutions. These awards are about showing what we do, and promoting our successes. They are about raising the profile of, and celebrating the excellence of the fantastic industry in which we all work.”

Paul Lormor, the Corus Group Executive Director for Long Products, spoke next. His speech included: “As is always the case with the Structural Steel Design Awards, the winning projects demonstrate an excellence in design and construction that highlights the ability of structural steel to be successfully used on a wide range of projects with varying and often demanding requirements.

“These structures will all stand the test of time and are likely to be with us for many years. But we do live in an increasingly fast-changing world in which even great buildings can… outlive their usefulness.

“The flexible spaces that can be created by structural steel frames facilitate re-use and therefore significantly delay the need to demolish and rebuild. When there finally is a need to rebuild, steel is nearly 100% recyclable, …86% of the steel sections are recycled and 13% are reused in their existing form. Recycling rates for the other major construction materials are small by comparison. On that basis it is clear that steel really is the world’s most sustainable construction material…

“In the UK each year, 68% of the multi-storey buildings and over 95% of the single-storey buildings are framed in structural steel, and the reasons for that have not changed because of the increases in building material costs over the past six months”

Judging panel chairman Professor Patrick Dowling, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Surrey, and representative of the Institution of Structural Engineers, said: “The awards were launched to recognise the very best in the design and use of structural steel in construction, which all of these winners embody. Engineering excellence, innovation, attention to detail, economy and speed of construction are characteristics of these exemplary structures.”


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 steel predominantly sourced from Corus and be fabricated by a UK company or joint venture.


Professor P J Dowling CBE DL FREng FRS
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive, The University of Surrey
representing The Institution of Structural Engineers
Consultant to British Standards
representing The Institution of Civil Engineers
A J Pickett BSc MSc CEng MICE MIHT
representing The Highways Agency
A H Pillinger Bourne Steel Ltd
representing the Steelwork Contracting Industry
R G Booth MA(Cantab) MSc DipArch RIBA MRTPI
representing The Royal Institute of British Architects

David Upton, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers, (left)
discusses the Selfridges Structural Frame with Ed Clark of Arup.

David Upton, Chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers, (right) with
members of the project team for The Swansea Sail Bridge.

Project team for More London Plot 1.

Project team for VT Shipbuilding facility.

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