Blog: SECBE Awards 2023 Finalist London Borough of Southwark (submitted by Faithful + Gould)

22 March 2023

Client of the Year sponsored by Perega

London Borough of Southwark (submitted by Faithful + Gould) 

Client of the Year Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 finalist

The London Borough of Southwark (LBS) is a vibrant district of London, that supports its local, diverse and engaged community with a plethora of fantastic schools, libraries, parks and other varied community facilities and initiatives.

Over the last year or so, LBS has delivered a construction programme of £708m, which is the largest of any local authority in the UK.

To achieve a fairer, greener, and safer future for its communities, LBS is

• building 11,000 new no gas council homes

• regenerating three major housing estates (Tustin Estate, Elephant & Castle and Canada Water)

• retrofitting council-managed assets to achieve operational Net Zero Carbon (NZC)

• building new inclusive learning schools and nurseries

• building new leisure centre /sports centre

• building new adult social care facilities and health centres.

LBS is focused on collaborating with supply chain to achieve quality outcomes which make lasting positive impacts on local communities. Testament to this is the recognition received by SILS3, a recently completed inclusive learning school for pupil referrals in Peckham, which in 2022 won the RIBA London Award, RIBA National Award and London Majors Award.

In 2023, the council will complete a pioneering new social emotional and mental health school, which has been built using modular construction, achieving NZC in both operation and construction (embodied carbon). Southwark Council is also the first local authority in the UK to have schools sign up to and agreement not to exclude pupils.

In 2022, Southwark became founding partners of a new life sciences innovation district for London (SC1). This has earmarked huge development across Southwark (in Peckham and Denmark Hill) creating a district that will be truly life-changing in terms of innovation and health equity, while solidifying London as one of the best global life science hubs.

LBS is leading the way for local authorities throughout the UK on construction supply chain, particularly on EDI, environment, and social value.

ED&I - LBS has introduced Black on Board, a governance training programme designed to train and mentor BAME staff to take-up board positions. In 2022, LBS recruited 14 new apprentices from BAME backgrounds in planning, building control, housing, and systems support. LBS’s Architects’ Design Services framework has resulted in the addition of seven black-led architects’ practices, four of which were black, female-led practices).

Environment – LBS is creating blueprints for other local authorities to learn from, such as utilising modular construction to reduce embodied carbon, rolling out green technologies (2,175 heat pumps installed so far to social housing), constructing no gas homes and building schools that are net zero in terms of both operation and embodied carbon. The council is constructing a low-carbon heat network expected to deliver 11,100 tonnes of carbon savings each year and has one of the most ambitious on-site carbon reduction planning policies in the UK.

Social Value - LBS has launched a Construction Skills Centre in partnership with the council’s supply chain to provide training and employment opportunities for residents and in turn supporting the industry with attracting new and diverse talent. Since opening, the skills centre has trained more than 10,000 people and helped to create more than 3,000 construction jobs, contributing more than £40 million in social value for Southwark’s local economy.

Key achievements:

  • LBS is a leading authority in ensuring that the performance of their construction supply chain supports and benefits the local community and the wider industry – both through the scale of variety of LBS’s development programme, providing the construction industry with a place to test innovation, develop construction skills, and create best practice for other clients to follow. Through LBS’s significant financial influence, the council is ensuring the construction supply chain are acting on ED&I, environmental performance, and social value, which will only benefit wider industry and communities.

  • LBS is recognised for delivering high-quality and award-winning outcomes – winning the 2022 RIBA London Award, 2022 National RIBA Award and Mayors Award (SILS 3) is testament to the high-quality and value focussed outcomes that LBS is achieving and the aspirational and innovative environment that LBS is fostering for the construction supply chain.

  • LBS’s development programme is visibly and tangibly improving the lives of local communities – LBS has set benchmarks for successful community-led design development and has acted at scale to tackle the challenges of the borough through improvements to the built environment. LBS is tackling the affordable housing crisis, supporting young people with mental health and education, decarbonising at pace, creating thriving neighbourhoods, improving health and wellbeing of residents, and creating extensive economic opportunity for local communities. LBS are particularly proud of the success of the construction skills centre which has trained 10,000 people and created 3,000 jobs in the construction industry.

Find more about the London Borough of Southwark (LBS)



Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 Ceremony on Thurs 29th June 2023.

About the Client of the Year Award (sponsored by Perega):  

Construction clients have an important role to play in transforming the way the industry operates.  How projects come to market has a significant impact on the ability of the construction industry to provide innovative, whole life value-for-money solutions. More info

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 finalists here

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