Blog: Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Cambridge Central Mosque

11 June 2020

Sponsored by Waterloo Air Products

Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Cambridge Central Mosque (submitted by Faithful+Gould)

The Cambridge Central Mosque project involved bold collaboration. The scheme brought together a diverse team of cross-cultural, cross-faiths and multinational people - including Faithful+Gould - both within and outside the construction industry to build a modern, eco-friendly British Mosque for serving the communities of Cambridge and beyond.

The Cambridge Mosque helps forge stronger links between British and Islamic cultures. The city is now a more inclusive place to live and provides further evidence that it is better to build bridges to connect different cultures than create walls. The Mosque is also the greenest mosque in Europe.

The social impact of the Cambridge Mosque is important. The project links Islamic tradition to its English setting in historic Cambridge. It is noted for its innovative architecture and environmentally-friendly design. It provides a green space, enhances wellbeing, embraces the diversity of the local communities, and fosters neighbourly benevolence and peace. The Mosque can serve as a blueprint for what can be achieved by construction professionals through close collaboration and engagement with local communities.

In the volatile political backdrop, they knew the project would generate outside interest so they incorporated the need for deeper community engagement through a joined-up PR and communications plan. The contractor and design team issued regular bulletins to residents to inform of progress and disruption. Site visits were arranged for residents. Noise monitoring was implemented with disruption kept to a minimum within agreed times. A 24-hour time-lapse camera gave communities visibility via a video link featured in the local press. 

From a technical point of view, contractors were selected primarily based on their ability to deliver a high-quality building and willingness to collaboratively work with the design team. The contractor formed a trusted relationship with the design team and often challenged suggestions to see if elements could be delivered more timely and economically without compromising quality. This was gratefully received by both the client and design team. If problems were encountered, everyone worked together to overcome any issues.

Digital tools in more detail:

On this project, all team members had a digital mindset and were particularly proud to showcase how they have made BIM an integral part of their practices and processes and how this forms the basis for everything they do.

Collaborative working was enhanced through BIM Level 2. Whilst the original design was hand-drawn, BIM and other 3D computer modelling were used to translate the design into a buildable form, providing a seamless transition from hand sketches to the latest CAD technology and construction drawings. 

To ensure a collective approach to cost planning, they used CostX measurement platform. Its ability to generate quick, accurate measurements from scanned PDF and CAD drawings,  together with automatic BIM quantities from 3D/BIM models by the design team saved time and provided accurate data to the wider team and further strengthened collaboration and integrated working.


  • Already an architectural icon in Cambridge and testament to what the construction industry can achieve through collaboration.
  • The Cambridge Mosque is referred to as “the greenest mosque in Europe”. Its total energy rating per annum is 64.85 kWh / m2 including unregulated energy and PVs.
  • The Mosque carries a promise for more construction projects of this nature with positive and long-lasting societal and environmental benefits in the UK.

About the Integration & Collaborative Working Award: 

Collaborative working is central to the core values of Constructing Excellence and its drive for positive change in construction.  It is most likely to manifest in the delivery of specific projects, however those who can demonstrate a culture across a series or programme of projects show leadership in a sustained approach. Integration of the supply chain, the client and end users will normally lead to a better outcome satisfying all stakeholders.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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