Today, the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) reveals the 2022 Structural Awards shortlist, featuring 41 outstanding projects globally.
In the UK, a host of diverse projects from across the country are recognised including: The Gramophone Works (London), Clifford's Tower (York) and the Tower of Light (Manchester).
2022 has seen a complete overhaul of entry criteria and judging categories, to better reflect the changing responsibilities and requirements of structural engineering worldwide. Furthermore, the changes have also been introduced to acknowledge societal expectations, such as waste reduction and better working conditions, and how the profession is responding to them.
Most significantly, the previous awards categories (such as ‘Tall or Slender Structures’ and ‘Long Span Structures’) have been removed entirely, to open the awards up to a richer and more diverse pool of projects.
Going further, the judging panel has then redefined great structural engineering by developing four ‘attributes’. These encompass social, environmental and technical values, opposed to measuring against types of structure.
In brief, these new societal attributes comprise: Planet (environmental impact), People (social value), Process (technical innovation) and Profession (collaboration and advocacy).
This new approach has encouraged a diverse array of entries from all corners of the world, ranging from national landmarks and gigantic expo spaces to cleverly-designed smaller structures and ingenious retrofit projects.
In all cases the selected submissions not only highlight the value of structural engineers as ‘Guardians of public safety in the built environment’, but now of sustainability, social value and structural elegance too.
Shortlisted entries can be nominated across multiple attributes, where applicable. Standalone highlights from each include:
Project: The Gramophone Works, London, UK
Category: Planet // Finalist: Heyne Tillett Steel
Project: Yuandang Bridge, Shanghai, China
Category: People // Finalist: T&D Architectural Science and Technology Co. Ltd
Project: Museum of the Home, London, UK
Category: Process // Finalist: Alan Baxter Ltd.
Project: Woolbedding Glasshouse, Midhurst, UK
Category: Profession // Finalist: Eckersley O’Callaghan
Greater Awareness & Responsibility
Whilst professional excellence remains a core objective for the 41 projects shortlisted, for the first time the Structural Awards will recognise the extent to which practices are translating ESG strategies and commitments into tangible actions.
As the parent body for the awards, IStructE is keen to showcase how the global engineering community is playing a central role to address significant societal and environmental challenges, whilst enhancing public life through a better built environment.
It is hoped these shortlisted projects, and eventual winners, will serve as an example of industry best practice, inspiring future work that has a positive environmental and social impact.
Commenting on this year’s awards, returning chair of the judges, Prof. Tim Ibell says, “Our profession has so much more to offer than achieving the longest, the tallest or the most slender structure. Our work applies outstanding Process so that our Profession is enhanced to look after our Planet, which supports its People. These four Ps symbolise our real achievements, and they form the basis of celebrating our contributions.
He continues, “The Structural Awards embrace all that is good about our profession, and what can be achieved when an individual project is seen through the lens of a global citizen. We have spectacular examples of creativity and flair in our shortlist, combined with extraordinary structural engineering expertise, leading to societal benefit while touching the Earth lightly. What a privilege to be able to see and judge such skill.”
The complete shortlist can be viewed here and the winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony, taking place on 11th November 2022 at The Brewery, London.