Gold sponsors: Ficep UK Ltd | National Tube Stockholders and Cleveland Steel & Tubes |
Peddinghaus Corporation | voestalpine Metsec plc | Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd
Silver sponsors: Jack Tighe Ltd | Kaltenbach Limited | Tata Steel | Trimble Solutions (UK) Ltd
Bronze sponsors: AJN Steelstock Ltd | Barnshaw Section Benders Limited | British Steel | Hempel |
Joseph Ash Galvanizing | Jotun Paints | Sherwin-Williams | Tension Control Bolts Ltd |
Voortman Steel Machinery
SSDA will reflect
The Structural Steel Design Awards is now into its sixth decade and remains the ultimate recognition for
the best achievements in steel construction. Some stunning projects were on show at the 51st awards
ceremony in London, all of them worthy of the accolade of National Finalist.
Something that sets the SSDA apart, other than the high quality of the shortlist, is the stringent and
methodical judging process.
It starts with an intense ‘desk-top’ scrutiny of the written submissions. At least two judges, all of them
highly experienced architects or engineers, visit each shortlisted project - 20 of them this year - which is not
universal practice in awards judging. As well as looking at the quality of the design and finished project, the
judges ask the project team a range of questions. And they expect detailed answers!
By this stage, the judges are looking for reasons why a project would justify the accolade of an award,
and the bar is set very high indeed.
The range of sizes and types of projects chosen for awards is highly varied, as we see again this year with
Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium - selected as Project of the Year - at one end of the size scale and a seal
hide at the other.
There was great variety among the Award winners. In addition to Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium,
they included the slender design of a footbridge over the Thames at Taplow; a major regeneration at Coal
Drops Yard in King’s Cross, London, with a striking ‘kissing roof’; a new headquarters for a software company
in Sunderland exhibiting high quality in design and construction; and the retractable roof at Wimbledon’s
No 1 Court that was made possible by large, movable trusses installed to exacting tolerances.
All of these projects were made possible by steel; some would not have been possible at all using any
other material, others would not have been the vital additions to the built environment that they now are.
These projects are also made possible by the technology that designers and steelwork contractors can
use today. And the advance of the digital transformation underway across the construction industry means
the prospects for innovation in design and construction have never been more exciting.
The digital transformation means that a new vocabulary of terms like artificial intelligence, machine
learning, blockchain, internet of things and digital twins has to be learned, and ways of releasing the
potential that they create have to be developed.
As BCSA President Tim Outteridge says in his column this month, the constructional steelwork sector has
always been an early adopter in the take up of new technology, and is well placed to take full advantage of
the digital advances to come. We can expect to see the benefits of the digital transformation unfold in the
entries to the SSDA in future.
Nick Barrett - Editor
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