Building Performance Awards showcase UK expertise

The worldwide influence of the Chartered Institution of Building Services (CIBSE) is celebrated at this year’s CIBSE Building Performance Awards with international schemes scooping four out of five of the Project of the Year categories.

A spectacular example is The House at Cornell Tech, New York, winner of the Public Use category. Buro Happold designed the building services for this 26 storey student accommodation building which, on completion, was the tallest and largest Passive House certified building in the world.

Now in its 14th year the Building Performance Awards is the only scheme to celebrate the proven performance of projects and products in use alongside outstanding engineering consultancies.

Other international projects recognized at this year’s virtual event on 25 February were: the Amorepacific HQ in Seoul with Arup (Commercial/Industrial), the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s Energy Retrofit Project with grfn (Retrofit) and DaiyaGate Ikebukuro in Tokyo with NIKKEN SEKKEI (International).

The Building Performance Champion of Champions award went to global engineering and consultancy practice Buro Happold. Its commitment to excellence in building performance is evidenced by winning Building Performance Consultancy of the Year (over 300 employees); Learning and Development; and Project of the Year – Public Use Award categories.

The international theme was evident in other award winners. Carbon Intelligence, for example, won the Building Performance Consultancy Award (51-300 employees) for its work helping global organisations achieve their sustainability, energy and carbon reduction goals. The judges were impressed with the collaborative nature of its approach to working with its clients.

Naked Energy was the winner of the Product Innovation – Thermal Comfort Award with its solar vacuum tubes that generate both solar electricity and solar hot water. Its VirtuPVT tube impressed the judges with its total efficiency of 80%, making it the highest energy-density solar technology in the world. The units can deliver heat up to 70℃ for space heating or hot water while simultaneously producing electricity.

Given the focus COVID-19 has placed on the creation of healthy, well ventilated workspaces, one of the most topical winners was Cundall in the Product or Innovation – Wellbeing Award category. The consultant won with its newly developed toolkit that makes the business case for investing in workplace design based on how it can increase wellbeing and productivity to ultimately save on overall business operating costs.

In addition to its wins in the Building Performance Awards, Buro Happold was also recognised in the new COVID-19 Achievement Awards, launched in 2021 by CIBSE in association with CIBSE Journal. These awards were created to recognise the work undertaken by building services professionals and the wider supply chain in helping combat the effects of COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of safe and healthy solutions for the built environment.

Buro Happold won for its work with using modelling to optimise the capacity of teaching spaces in UK and Irish universities. Others recognised in the COVID-19 Achievement Awards were: Hoare Lea; Ridge and Partners; BDP and RSP; and Services Design Solution. All four won for their involvement in the rapid delivery of the UK’s NHS Nightingale Hospitals.

Such was the achievement of quickly delivering COVID-19 hospitals in extraordinary circumstances, the judges decided not to single out any one particular entry. “I wouldn’t put any clear blue sky between any of them,’ said judge Ed Wealend, head of research and innovation at Cundall. ‘All the shortlisted entries put in really long hours and they all turned around something pretty incredible in a short period of time. They all deserve the same amount of credit.”


The 2021 CIBSE Building Performance Award winners in full are:


Building Performance Consultancy (up to 50 employees)

Lawler Consulting


Building Performance Consultancy (51–300 employees)

Carbon Intelligence


Building Performance Consultancy (over 300 employees)

Sponsored by ABB

Buro Happold



OR Consulting Engineers


Facilities Management

Sponsored by:  Gratte Brothers

Winner: London South Bank University


Learning and Development

Sponsored by: Exyte Hargreaves

University College London and Buro Happold


Product or Innovation – Thermal Comfort

Naked Energy


Product or Innovation – Wellbeing

Sponsored by: Tamlite Lighting



Project of the Year – Commercial/Industrial

Amorepacific HQ, Seoul, South Korea designed by Arup


Project of the Year – International

DaiyaGate Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan designed by NIKKEN SEKKEI


Project of the Year – Public Use 

The House at Cornell Tech, New York designed by Buro Happold


Project of the Year – Residential

Sponsored by: Mitsubishi Electric 

Max Fordham House designed by Max Fordham


Project of the Year – Retrofit 

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy Energy Retrofit Project designed by grfm


Building Performance Engineer of the Year

Sponsored by: Ideal Heating

Winner Aleksandra Sasha Krstanovic


The Covid-19 Achievement Award recognised:

  • Buro Happold for its work with using modelling to optimise the capacity of teaching spaces in UK and Irish universities
  • BDP and RSP for their collaborative approach to the design and engineering of NHS Nightingale, London
  • Hoare Lea for its work on MEP design of seven Nightingale Hospitals
  • Ridge and Partners for its role in delivering NHS Nightingale Bristol
  • Services Design Solution for its building services design for NHS Nightingale Exeter.


For more information about the awards, visit the Building Performance Awards website:

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