Award Categories

15 categories to demonstrate your commitment to excellence

Please register on the online portal to download the relevant entry form. This is not a commitment to enter but does mean that we can keep in contact with all those interested in our awards. You will be able to download the entry form and complete at your convenience.  You can then upload your entry from, photos and supporting logos at any time before the closing date.

There is widespread industry and government recognition that business, technical and craft skills apprenticeships alike are critical to business growth and long-term success.  Research has shown that the right people and skills are ten times more important to expansion than access to finance, and eight in ten managers believe apprentices are vital to their organisation’s expansion plans.

This award category aims to showcase organisations committed to creating a flourishing climate for high-quality apprenticeship programmes in the built environment sector.   Judges are looking for schemes developed by forward thinking employers that:

  1. Inspire and encourage people into the industry to construct and maintain the built environment.
  2. Actively and innovatively develop a sustainable workforce through apprenticeships.
  3. Provide a secure foundation for successful careers by equipping people with skills, knowledge and confidence.
  4. Have innovative infrastructure to support training in craft-based, professional and other design, construction and off-site skills.
  5. Demonstrate continuous training and development and structured monitoring linked to reward/incentivisation schemes.

Please note: the Apprenticeship Initiative is a special SECBE category and does not go through to the National Awards

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.  

Much waste in construction is driven through approach to risk across the supply chain and judges are looking for a construction client that has been actively involved in enabling the construction programme and developed strategies for encouraging and rewarding excellence. A winning approach will demonstrate a number of the following attributes:

  1. Clear and consistent leadership of the supply chain.
  2. A commitment to procurement based on quality, value and collaboration not just price.
  3. Real benefits for all parties, evidenced by objective measurement criteria such as KPIs.
  4. Tools deployed to integrate the project team and the supply chain.
  5. A positive impact on their organisation, the industry and the wider community and an approach which might be used elsewhere to support continuous improvement.

The conservation or rehabilitation of old or historic buildings and sites is often an important part of neighbourhood revitalisation, providing physical and psychological focus for the community and creating jobs and investment opportunities. Construction work that involves the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings requires great care and specialist skills and techniques. 

Judges will be looking for excellent outcomes and high standards in the repair, re-use and revitalisation of heritage sites and buildings in the region.

Exemplary projects will be able to demonstrate a number of the following attributes:

  1. Evidence of research and innovation to replace, repair and match traditional methods and materials encountered, together with the evaluation of alternative options.
  2. Choice of appropriate procurement that reflects the risks in such work.
  3. Application of well-considered and sympathetic technical solutions, both traditional and innovative.
  4. Delivery of customer satisfying quality and enduring outcomes.
  5. A clear commitment to the development of heritage skills and training opportunities to sustain heritage related works.

Digital Construction embraces BIM, GIS, Big Data and other evolving technological advancements.  Technology has transformed the world we live in and has potential to revolutionise the construction industry. This category rewards organisations, projects or initiatives that have adopted, advanced and achieved excellence in Digital Construction.

Judges will be looking for examples of how the adoption of collaborative digital processes has dramatically improved the planning, design, fabrication, construction and operation of built facilities or infrastructure:

Great examples of transformational digital construction will evidence:

  1. Integrated and collaborative teams, with early engagement of the supply chain.
  2. Sharing of information through common data environments and system integration.
  3. Innovative tools, methods and processes that capture, manipulate and exploit data across the entire
  4. project team and through the construction phase and into the in-use operational phase.
  5. Evidence of improved performance and better outcomes compared to traditional methods through submission of objective measurement data.
  6. Demonstrable benefits to stakeholders over the lifecycle of the asset.

G4C is a driving force for industry change, through the development and connection of future industry leaders. The award is open to a person with less than ten years of experience in the construction and built environment sector (typically less than 35 years of age).

Judges are looking for the person that best demonstrates a positive impact on their peers, their organisation and the wider industry, against current G4C priority areas of people development, sustainability and innovation.

Our winner will have shown potential to become an exemplary future leader, evidenced by a number of the following attributes:

  1. Being a leading thinker and champion for change.
  2. Ability to positively impact the behaviour of others.
  3. A collaborative approach to problem solving and delivery of outcomes.
  4. Creativity and ability to think differently, generate ideas and see them through to implementation.
  5. Ability to drive positive and sustained change for the benefit of their organisation, community and environment.

Health, Safety & Wellbeing is of paramount importance and a culture of ‘safety first’ is crucial to performance. Overarching health and safety risk management systems and effective health initiatives are fundamental to reducing or eliminating all types of incident and promoting health and well–being across the supply chain.

The winner may be able to demonstrate consideration of either project health & safety at the pre-construction and/or construction phases of a project or an organisational initiative impacting on multiple projects or their workforce.  Judges will be looking for an approach that demonstrates a number of the following attributes:

  1. An overarching health & safety management culture.
  2. Leadership and innovation leading to new health & safety schemes, tools, processes or actions which ensure protection and improvements occur.
  3. Clear strategies that provide sustainable and effective risk management.
  4. Workplace health and workplace safety considered in equal measure.
  5. Real benefits for all parties, evidenced by objective measurement criteria such as KPIs, AIR, AFR and RIDDOR performance.

Innovation is widely recognised as the critical factor for increased and sustained productivity and growth. It demonstrates an organisation’s confidence, capacity and appetite for improved performance and productivity gains. Innovation is most effective as a holistic approach that identifies both demand and ideas and is most successful when supported by collaboration between customers and the supply chain.

Judges are looking for an organisation or project that has developed and applied the most innovative approach to overcoming one or more construction challenges.  Winners may have developed a demonstrably new and different technique or process or may have harnessed emerging or existing technologies to create new or improved products, tools or services leading to better built outcomes.

The exemplar winner will show judges how they have:

  1. Defined the challenge, identified possible solutions and secured agreement from key stakeholders.
  2. Focused their outcomes on constructor needs and user or occupier benefits, leading to more work on subsequent projects.
  3. Been able to demonstrate improvements compared to previous or 3rd party performance through objective measurement data, such as KPIs.
  4. Created a solution that can be used or applied elsewhere in their organisation or their industry sector.
  5. Taken the lessons learned and the new best practice benchmark to the industry and shared them so others can benefit.

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.

The judges will be looking for entries where collaborative working has delivered outstanding results and significant benefits for the whole supply chain/partnership involved.  Submissions will demonstrate a number of the following attributes:

  1. Early involvement of the supply chain, client and end users - possibly underpinned by a soft landings approach.
  2. Selection of supply chain on quality and value not lowest cost.
  3. Common processes and tools to assist in collaborative working such as BIM and Lean.
  4. Modern commercial arrangements and fair payment.
  5. Evidence of improved results achieved through the collaborative approach and value engineering, and evidenced by performance measures (KPIs).

A number of factors are convening to make offsite construction a more attractive solution than ever before.  It can help address systemic failures including low productivity, low predictability, low margins, adversarial pricing, lack of culture for collaboration, limited R&D and investment in innovation and poor image.

A winning approach will demonstrate a number of the following attributes:

  1. A systematic approach to the implementation of offsite solutions that builds on platform-based approaches driving towards repeatability and standardisation.
  2. Demonstrates the potential of new and innovative approaches to drive better outcomes using manufacturing and digital technologies.
  3. Tangible benefits delivered by using an offsite approach over and above traditional methods including value against time, cost, quality.
  4. Contributed to the commercial demands of the client and sustained the needs of the local community.
  5. Provided a unique and innovative environment when benchmarked against other building solutions.
  6. Delivered additional USP's against traditional construction methods.

In the best companies, the customer drives everything. These companies really understand and then provide precisely what the end customer needs, when the customer needs it and at a price that reflects the product’s value to the customer. Activities which do not add value from the customer’s viewpoint can be classified as waste and eliminated.

The Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards identify and recognise organisations that have developed and implemented successful customer satisfaction strategies. Judges will be looking for companies that can demonstrate a number of the following attributes:

  1. Clear methodologies for identifying what is really important to their customers.
  2. Clear strategies to put the customer’s needs at the heart of their work.
  3. Systematic evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  4. Feedback used to shape and refine processes and inform sustained improvement.
  5. Sustainable growth, high customer retention, profitability and positive reputation.

Please note: Outstanding Customer Satisfaction is a special SECBE category and does not go through to the National Awards.

People are our greatest asset and this award recognises organisations that appreciate and nurture their workforce to ensure they maximise the value of everyone’s contribution to the business. By creating inclusive workplaces which support people of all abilities through training initiatives, education, mentoring, support networks and innovative programmes, companies can demonstrate a significant impact on the future of their businesses and the wider construction industry.

Judges are looking for an organisation that is leading edge in the way they support and develop their existing team and attract new entrants into the industry. Exemplary people developers will be to able show judges how they:

  1. Invest in training and reskilling or upskilling their workforce.
  2. Encourage new talent and entrants, possibly working in collaboration with other organisations.
  3. Encourage their employees and supply chain to be more aware of local communities, the environment and the image of the industry.
  4. Ensure diversity and inclusive policies are central to development planning and business strategy.
  5. Can evidence a development strategy with monitoring and measurement of achievement and effect.

Project of the Year delivers outstanding outcomes for all those involved in a construction project.  It showcases the benefits achieved through the application of many of the principles described in the other award categories.  Because of the diversity of potential projects, this category is split into two awards:  Building Project of the Year and Civils Project of the Year.

The winner is as likely to be an outstanding local project as a high-profile landmark, but whatever it is all parties will be proud of and inspired by it: the designers, constructors and clients. To impress the judges enough to win this award your entry will evidence an outstanding project that:

  1. Demonstrates great team working between the client and entire supply chain; employing collaborative working tools.
  2. Was delivered before the programmed completion date, below the approved cost plan and to quality exceeding expectation whilst delivering the highest of health and safety standards.
  3. Achieved the lowest environmental impacts.
  4. Delivered outstanding customer satisfaction and may have also received praise from other stakeholders.
  5. Demonstrates the highest levels of the application of best practice, innovation and technical achievement to overcome the project’s challenges.

SMEs are the backbone of the industry and are recognised by Constructing Excellence for their dominance of and contribution to the supply chain.  Department for Business Innovation and Skills suggest that 99.9% of UK construction contracting businesses are SMEs1 and some of the greatest innovation and best practice can be identified in this sector.

Judges are looking for an exemplary organisation, with 249 or less employees and with turnover less than €50 million. An outstanding SME will display a number of the following organisational attributes:

  1. Evidence of growth through engaging with and developing best practice in construction and organisational management.
  2. Investment made in employees, through training, growth and organisational culture.
  3. Action to improve their productivity and work smarter.
  4. Engagement with their supply chain, both upward to their clients and downwards to their suppliers, to add value to their involvement in projects.
  5. Development and performance targets in place and monitoring and management of performance to improve on their set goals.

1 (ref BIS UK CONSTRUCTION, An economic analysis of the sector JULY 2013).

High environmental and climate performance in construction aims to meet present day needs for housing, working environments and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come. It seeks to limit impact on the natural environment and demonstrate whole life sustainability. It is most effective when organisational culture, high design quality, technical innovation and transferability are abundant.

Judges are looking for projects or organisations whose achievements, in relation to the legacy their work leaves, demonstrate strong environmental performance in terms of carbon and other Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, in waste and water efficiency and in sustainable materials over the life of a project (including its ultimate decommissioning).

Exemplary environmental and climate performance will be evidenced by some of the following:

  1. Reduction in greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions through design and construction measures, leading to reductions both in the build and operational phases of assets and demonstrating progress towards net zero.
  2. Use of sustainable materials and achievement of waste, materials and water efficiency performance during construction, through design and construction innovation.
  3. Achievement of strong biodiversity performance.
  4. Economic feasibility and sustainable commercial viability with the above.
  5. Assets which evidence their environmental performance matching or exceeding the design modelling and ratings.
  6. Engagement across the project or organisation to achieve the above.
  7. Details on how the project or organisation is industry-leading on the above with good potential for transferability.

Judges are looking for an initiative, project or series of projects that has focused on the value of facilities in use and the outcomes for owners and users. Good facilities add value by enabling owners and/or users to live or work better in them.

Winners will demonstrate how whole life cost and value have been considered from the outset; combining capital costs of construction with maintenance, operational and occupiers’ costs.  The most important factor will have been the outcomes for the owners and users of the facilities, and these should have been a key driver throughout the design and construction process.

Entrants should be able to evidence the balance of expenditure between design, construction and operation, and must provide evidence or forecasts for improved outcomes for owners and/or users.  Such outcomes may be financial, social or environmental.

Winning exemplars of Value will demonstrate some of the following attributes:

  • Increased value for owners and/or users and better outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Value for owners and/or users a key driver throughout the design and construction process.
  • Supplier engagement to ensure value outcomes are understood and maintained.
  • Examples of where decisions were determined by future outcomes/benefits ahead of short-term considerations.
  • Performance data collected and compared against modelling/forecasts.

Outstanding Customer Satisfaction and Apprenticeship Initiative are specific to the London and South East region and therefore winners are not put forward to the  Constructing Excellence National Awards which take place in the Autumn.

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