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New Build Award

The CABE New Build Award is the most hotly contested of the Built Environment Awards and this high level of competition reflects the fantastic contribution CABE members make in producing cutting-edge new buildings.


The winner in the New Build category is Gateshead Council and Groundwork, North East & Cumbria for Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre.


Russel Urwin, buildeng Northern Region Chairman receiving the New Build Award on behalf of Gateshead Council and Groundwork, North East & Cumbria for Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre


The new Heritage Centre is a part of the wider Land of Oak & Iron project by Groundwork North East & Cumbria which explores and celebrates industrial, cultural and national heritage of the Derwent Valley and the surrounding area.

The water wheel shaped design concept by Matthew Glover was inspired by the revolutionary iron works at ‘Old’ Winlaton Mill. This concept was chosen by local residents following a competition involving 35 post-graduate architecture students from Northumbria University.

The combination of reclaimed ground and surface water flood risk created a particular challenge in relation to the below groundwork. The selected solution was an in-situ reinforced concrete raft slab foundation laid on compacted granular base over the existing clay capping layer.

Modern Methods of Construction were employed utilising steel frame in combination with insulated timber frame panels and timber ‘warm roof’ construction. Untreated Western Red Cedar external cladding, aluminium framed double glazed unites, green roof and rusted mild steel fins/paddles form the building envelope.

The Heritage Centre puts local communities at the heart of the project, using local produce in the shop and the café, providing space for local businesses in the creative industries, and has become a heritage skills hub. Employment has been secured for 15 local people which is significantly above the number of roles originally expected and additional recruitment is ongoing.

Chartered Member Barry Ashley is the Gateshead Council Building Control Technical Manager. Mr Ashley and his colleagues from the council’s Building Control team were engaged from the early design stages to completion to ensure compliance on this challenging new build project.



Highly Commended goes to healycornelius design consultancy Ltd for Hawley Mews.

Hawley Mews is a residential development consisting of a terrace of 3, 2-bedroom mews houses completed in September 2018.

The goal was the delivery of a high-performance development which met the Local Planning Authority’s requirement for Code for Sustainable Homes – Level 4 and to also achieve a minimum EPC rating B through considered specification of materials and efficient equipment.

A sound test proved that the acoustic performance of the fabric exceeds Building Regulations requirements by 14 to 18 decibels.

As well as a tour and demonstration following purchase, all occupiers received an Operations and Maintenance Package consisting of as-built drawings, equipment specification sheets and operation and cleaning instructions to help them understand and operate their home efficiently and make the best use of the facilities.

Niall Healy and Michel O’Keeffe were ideally placed, as Chartered Building Engineers, to validate the skill and knowledge required to take on the project.

This project presented several technical and logistical challenge, but the outcome is a perfect representation of technical performance meeting an uncompromising aesthetic design, resulting in than outstanding example of the discipline through the careful management of the process and collaboration with the design team. 


Entry to the awards is currently open to an organisation, individual or project where there has been substantial involvement of a CABE member. The subject of the nomination for the award will have demonstrated a range of building engineering skills through invention, research, design, education or other related activity and has produced a leading edge, innovative and exemplary project which was completed in the previous year.