Award Categories

See our 2024 Awards Categories

Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2024 Entries are now closed.

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Construction clients have an important role to play in transforming the way the industry operates. How and when projects come to market significantly impacts the ability of the construction industry to provide innovative, whole life value-for-money solutions. 

We are looking for a construction client that has been actively involved in delivering the construction programme and developed strategies for encouraging and rewarding excellence. It goes without saying we expect a culture of collaboration and transparency to be at the heart of how the client operates and empowers the wider team. 

Judges are looking for clients that demonstrate:

  • Effective leadership
  • Fair and prompt payment to all involved (at every level)
  • A drive for continuous improvement.
  • Commitment to building with the future in mind.
  • Effective communication.
  • A procurement strategy that puts fairness and transparency at its heart.
  • Decision-making based on quality rather than price.
  • Support those involved to bring their best ideas and enable collaboration on every level.

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The Regeneration and Retrofit Award aims to highlight projects or programmes that apply the Constructing Excellence principles to deliver better outcomes for an existing asset, which may include historic/heritage sites. These principles include procurement, innovation, collaboration, culture/people, productivity, client satisfaction, HS&W and Digital. Applicants must demonstrate how they achieve improved outcomes against these principles.  

Judges are looking for projects or programmes that demonstrate: 

  • Successful delivery of client / community goals and expectations.
  • Improved performance of the existing asset.
  • Collaborative practices within the delivery process.
  • Use of digital through the project.
  • Employment of innovative techniques.
  • Measured impact of the solutions and end result.

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Digital Construction embraces BIM, GIS, Big Data and other evolving technological advancements, now particularly AI / Machine Learning (ML). Technology has transformed the world we live in and critical to revolutionise the construction industry. This category rewards organisations, projects or initiatives that have excelled by embracing Digital Construction and/or AI/ML.

Judges will be looking for examples of how using collaborative digital processes and/or using AI/ML has dramatically improved the planning, procurement, design, fabrication, construction and operation of built facilities or infrastructure.

Great examples of transformational digital construction will evidence:

  • Sharing of information through common data environments and system integration.
  • Using AI to increase productivity and performance at any stage – marketing, bidding, procurement, design, risk assessment (commercial, safety, etc.), carbon impact assessments, life cycle forecasts, waste reduction, remote building inspections, training or anything else…
  • Innovative tools, methods and processes that capture, manipulate and exploit data across the entire project team and through the construction phase and into the in-use operational phase.
  • Improved performance and better outcomes compared to traditional methods – providing objective measurement data.
  • Demonstrable benefits to stakeholders over the lifecycle of the asset.

Please note: Digital & AI is a special SECBE only category and does not go through to the National Awards.

The Infrastructure Project of the Year category celebrates inspirational projects that deliver outstanding outcomes. We are looking for projects that exemplify the Constructing Excellence principles, which fully align with the collaborative work we are undertaking with the Construction Leadership Council. Projects should demonstrate the successful implementation of better ways of working and so help to provide a template for others to learn from.

Judges are looking for projects that demonstrate:

  • Commercial practices that reward and incentivise the supply chain through collaborative procurement and delivery and fair payment practices.
  • High levels of productivity and a rigorous approach to measuring performance.
  • A robust digital strategy, embedded within the project.
  • A positive culture that embodies respect for people and an excellent approach to health safety and wellbeing.
  • High levels of sustainability including demonstrable actions to cut carbon.
  • Strong commitment to social value.
  • Excellent levels of client satisfaction, delivering against client outcomes and expectations.

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  Generation 4 Change (G4C) is the young professional voice of the UK built environment industry and a driving force for change. The Future Leader Award celebrates the younger generation of construction and seeks to showcase the hard work and leadership of these up-and-coming professionals. This should be a person with less than ten years of experience in the industry (typically less than 30 years of age). 

Judges are looking for entries that demonstrate:

  • Active engagement within the construction industry.
  • A positive impact on their peers, their organisation and the wider industry.
  • A proven track record of driving change- how is the individual is pushing boundaries and shaping construction?
  • Examples of strong leadership characteristics- inspirational, influential, collaborative and visionary.
  • A clear focus for the future, both within their own career and development and for the industry as a whole. 

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All of us, within the construction industry and beyond, have a responsibility to deliver Climate Action. It is a key driver behind many innovative tools, techniques and processes and impacts everything we do.

Constructing Excellence would like to celebrate those projects or organisations that seek to deliver a positive impact, or a reduced negative impact, on the natural environment and demonstrate whole life sustainability in their approach to construction. Successful applicants will exemplify the use of organisational culture, high-quality design, effective procurement practices and innovative tools and techniques to provide improved environmental performance and outcomes.  

Judges are looking for organisations, projects or initiatives that demonstrate: 

  • Readiness and progress to move towards zero emission vehicles and onsite plant.
  • Commitment to reducing waste and transport to sites via improved logistics and MMC.
  • Use of low carbon manufacture, transport, heating, lighting, or processing solutions.
  • Measurements or metrics to evaluate carbon and enable informed decision-making for carbon reduction.
  • Use of circular economy.
  • Use of innovation to reduce impact on the natural environment or enable positive environmental outcomes.
  • Support of the development of low carbon materials and solutions.

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The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Award aims to celebrate social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are looking for organisations or projects that demonstrate the greatest environmental and social impact or approach to generating such. Applicants must also exemplify effective governance structures and practices. 

Judges are looking for organisations, projects or initiatives that demonstrate:

  • Impact on environmental factors: commitment to tackling climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, waste management, and natural resource conservation.
  • Impact on social factors: Positive impact on society such as labour practices, human rights, community relations, customer satisfaction, and product safety.
  • Impact on governance factors: effective management structure, board diversity, executive compensation, shareholder rights, and business ethics.
  • Overall sustainability and ethical impact through ESG ratings and metrics.
  • ESG investment: procuring or investing in organisations that meet ESG criteria, with the aim of generating financial returns while also having a positive impact on society and the environment.
  • ESG reporting: ESG performance and sustainability practices, to meet regulatory requirements.

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Construction and the built environment play a huge role in underpinning our society and economy. To unlock better societal outcomes, we need to take an informed view of value and not simply make decisions based on cost. 

Clients need to work with their stakeholders to consider how to unlock wider benefits throughout the construction project and the lifetime of the asset. Tools such as the Value Toolkit enable clients and design teams to take a more informed view of value across four capitals - Produced, Natural, Social and Human. 

Whilst value can mean something different to everyone, what it shouldn’t be is solely focused on cost. We are seeking projects that clearly demonstrate value-based decision making and the benefits in can bring. 

Judges are looking for projects that demonstrate:

  • A robust approach to defining value with buy-in from stakeholders leading to a clear definition of the outcomes and values the project is seeking to achieve.
  • A delivery team empowered to come up with the right solutions to deliver those outcomes.
  • Successful delivery against the outcomes and value the client wanted.

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Innovation more than invention is critical to every sector to deliver outstanding results, break through productivity barriers and address our customers, communities and global needs. Our sector solves problems every day, yet rarely are we systemic in our organisations and projects to drive and embed a culture for innovation in our teams or our supply chain partners. 

Successful applicants will demonstrate how they foster a culture for innovation and  systematically solve quantified problems with new or repurposed tools and techniques used by other sectors or organisations - to deliver quantified better productivity, profitability, sustainability or any other critical element  with the use of an innovative product or approach that can/will be repeatedly used within the organisation or wider sector. 

Judges are looking for organisations, projects or initiatives that demonstrate:

  • Proven improvement in outcome through innovation.
  • Clear ambitions, strategies and action plans which intentionally drive positive change.
  • Progressive procurement policies to enable and reward supply chain innovation.
  • Outreach programmes that actively seek out different approaches from very different sectors with the intent to find better solutions or processes.
  • Clear evidence of action taken, and results achieved, that show a positive significant step change in performance compared to previous years and most others in the sector.

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Integration and collaborative working are key to overcoming challenges, managing risk and delivering better outcomes. We are looking for projects and practices that exemplify this approach with evidence of how all parties have been engaged, from clients to contractors and all across the supply chain. Applicants must demonstrate the benefits that have been achieved through a collaborative and integrated working. 

Judges are looking for projects or initiatives that demonstrate:

  • Better decision making through effective collaboration.
  • Use of collaboration to overcome challenges and manage risk.
  • Use of collaborative delivery models.
  • Early supply chain involvement.
  • Clear supply chain strategy and good supply chain management.
  • Fair supply chain practices.
  • Prompt payments.

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Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) are critical to transforming how we deliver construction projects and create a more productive and sustainable construction industry. MMC is a wide term covering Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), offsite manufacturing and progressive onsite techniques that visibly deliver significant improvements in productivity, efficiency, safety, carbon and quality.  

MMC and DfMA are more attractive solutions than ever before as deliver enhanced outcomes including: 

  • Better quality assets and better outcomes – with greater certainty and less risk
  • Faster and more predictable project and programme delivery
  • Better sector productivity and reduced capital and whole life costs
  • Drives sector innovation and better risk management
  • Drives out waste and associated carbon, better achieving net-zero targets
  • Supports/enables a more diverse and equitable workforce
  • Developing world-beating skills, techniques and products.

Please note: MMC is a special SECBE only category and does not go through to the National Awards.

The Residential Project of the Year category celebrates inspirational projects that deliver outstanding outcomes. We are looking for projects that exemplify the Constructing Excellence principles, which fully align with the collaborative work we are undertaking with the Construction Leadership Council. Projects must demonstrate the successful implementation of better ways of working and so help to provide a template for others to learn from. 

Judges are looking for projects that demonstrate:

  • Commercial practices that reward and incentivise the supply chain through collaborative procurement and delivery and fair payment practices.
  • High levels of productivity and a rigorous approach to measuring performance.
  • A robust digital strategy, embedded within the project.
  • A positive culture that embodies respect for people and an excellent approach to health safety and wellbeing.
  • High levels of sustainability including demonstrable actions to cut carbon.
  • Strong commitment to social value.
  • A drive to change the culture of the industry.
  • Adherence to the principles of the Building Safety Act and implementation of the Golden Thread
  • Excellent levels of client satisfaction, delivering against client outcomes and expectations

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“Our people are our greatest asset” - so attracting, motivating, supporting, developing and retaining the most diverse of human talent to our organisations and the sector is critical to ensure we totally understand and meet our customers' and wider communities’ needs. Strong constructive cultures, effective leadership, health & wellbeing, and psychological safety at every level are vital to ensuring we positively challenge and continuously improve, as is Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and ensuring functional competence through progression pathways and continuing professional development. 

Judges are looking for organisations, projects or initiatives that demonstrate:

  • Clear strategies.
  • Effective implementation of plans.
  • Clear evidence of success. Measures are likely to include staff motivation scores and retention data, time and cost invested in people development plans (in-house activities, external programmes or other) at all levels of the organisation or project.
  • Community engagement activity that attracts the most talented people to our sector’s diverse roles.

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The UK government definition of Small to Medium Enterprises encompasses; micro (less than 10 employees and an annual turnover under €2 million), small (less than 50 employees and an annual turnover under €10 million) and medium-sized (less than 250 employees and an annual turnover under €50 million) businesses. 

SMEs are a core part of the supply chain and are the backbone of the construction industry. Constructing Excellence are seeking to showcase examples of organisations that embody best practise. Applicants should model the Constructing Excellence principles of procurement, innovation, collaboration, culture/people, productivity, client satisfaction, HS&W, Digital. 

Judges are looking for organisations that demonstrate:

  • Continual professional development i.e. training, developing competence, pathways to progression, leaderships & successor development.
  • A culture of inclusivity, psychological safety and mental health support.
  • A safety-first culture, with the correct culture, systems and processes in place.
  • Good staff retention and team satisfaction - recognised as being a good place to work.
  • Commitment to addressing the skills shortage - actively encouraging diverse new entrants to the industry and nurturing emerging talent.
  • Financial sustainability with a future focus and strategy.
  • Engagement with the community, providing support and getting involved with events and initiatives.

The Building Project of the Year category celebrates inspirational projects that deliver outstanding outcomes. We are looking for projects that exemplify the Constructing Excellence principles, which fully align with the collaborative work we are undertaking with the Construction Leadership Council. Projects should demonstrate the successful implementation of better ways of working and so help to provide a template for others to learn from. 

Judges are looking for projects that demonstrate:

  • Commercial practices that reward and incentivise the supply chain through collaborative procurement and delivery, and fair payment practices.
  • High levels of productivity and a rigorous approach to measuring performance.
  • A robust digital strategy, embedded within the project.
  • A positive culture that embodies respect for people and an excellent approach to health safety and wellbeing.
  • High levels of sustainability including demonstrable actions to cut carbon.
  • Strong commitment to social value.
  • A drive to change the culture of the industry.
  • Adherence to the principles of the Building Safety Act and implementation of the Golden Thread.
  • Excellent levels of client satisfaction, delivering against client outcomes and expectations.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Judging Interviews for the Awards 2024 take place on 1st & 2nd May 2024
29 March 2024

More about this event

Recent Blog Posts

The Importance of SMEs in Construction
03 March 2024
Simon Newton, SECBE Board member and Joint Managing Director at Darke & Taylor, delves into the issues SMEs face and provides valuable guidance for SMEs on how to survive and thrive. Simon also looks further and calls on the sector to support SMEs.
Read More