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Entries are assessed on their overall contribution to environmental sustainability. The following award criteria are provided as a guide for applicants and will be used as appropriate in assessing nominations. Please note the list of criteria is not exhaustive, and schemes are not required to meet every aspect within a category.

Most Sustainable Construction

This award category is for schemes that have made an exceptional contribution to environmental sustainability, throughout the whole lifecycle of the project, from the early planning stages, throughout construction, to the completed build and consideration of future uses.

Submissions are assessed on their contribution to the environmental sustainability agenda incorporating innovative construction and design, and recognition of national sustainability standards.

Judges will take the following aspects into account:

a)    Achievement of nationally recognised levels of sustainability

(e.g. BREEAM / Home Quality Mark / National technical standards for housing)

b)    Use of best practice construction management to minimise impacts on the environment

(i.e. registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme)

c)    Use of technological advances in construction to minimise impacts on the environment

d)    Use of lifecycle assessment tools within the design process

e)    Consideration of climate change projections and scenarios within the design process, recognition that buildings/spaces exist for numerous and varied climatic conditions throughout their operational life

f)     Considered climate change and adaptation within the open space strategy

(e.g. use of drought tolerant species)

g)    Use of energy modelling within the design process

h)    Reduced energy use/demand as far as practical through innovative design and materials

(e.g. orientation of buildings to maximise solar gain, improve thermal performance)

i)     Achievement of Energy Performance Ratings

(e.g. Energy Performance Certificates (all domestic and commercial buildings) /

Display Energy Certificate (DEC) (public buildings))

j)     Evidence that the gap between the design intent and the ‘as-built’ performance has been closed

It should be demonstrated that in-use energy consumption will be close to (or better than) the design predictions and that protocols such as soft landings (or equivalent) have been used to help achieve this objective.

k)    Use of building management systems for heating/cooling, ventilation and lighting

l)     Use of on-site renewable energy systems

(e.g. solar hot water, biomass, ground source heating and cooling, photovoltaic cells and wind power)

m)  Use of innovative design to provide passive cooling

(e.g. sustainable on-site/decentralised low carbon energy systems to reduce carbon emissions)

n)    Reduction of water use during occupancy of the development

(e.g. use of sub-meters and leak detection in non-residential buildings, installation of water saving devices, installation of rainwater harvesting and greywater systems)

o)    Use of non-potable water for irrigation of landscape areas

p)    Use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

q)    Installation of flood resilience measures

r)     Use of sustainable materials, including locally sourced materials where appropriate

s)    Use of materials/products that reduce the atmospheric impact of development

(e.g. zero ozone depleting material, materials which avoid substances that have a global warming potential (GWP) and which avoid the use of VOC’s and other toxic compounds)

t)     Consideration of, and built in flexibility for, future uses

u)    Design measures to reduce the impact of noise

(e.g. arrangement of sensitive areas away from areas of noise)

v)    Design measures to enable effective waste management during occupancy of the development

(e.g. provision of dedicated areas for recycling and waste storage)

w)   Measures to minimise disruption and disturbance to on-site species

x)    Access throughout the development for non-motorised modes of transport

y)    Consideration of access to local services, public transport and other sustainable modes of transport

Design Excellence

This award category is for new developments that demonstrate excellence in architectural design, build quality, landscaping and public and private space.

Submissions will be assessed on their design quality, creativity and original design, and how they complement the communities and landscapes in which they are situated.

Judges will take the following aspects into account:

a)    Excellence in architectural design, build quality, landscape and public and private space

b)    Creativity and originality in design

c)    Response to Hertfordshire’s distinctive local character

d)    Response to the built environment, landscape and topography of the local area in its layout, massing, scale, proportion and materials

e)    Creation of safe, well connected, integrated, permeable and accessible environment

f)     Creation of places with a distinctive character, with recognisable landmarks, a clear structure and where public and private spaces are well distinguished

g)    Provides a mix of tenure and building types, integrated within well planned public spaces to bring people together and provide opportunities for employment, recreation and leisure

h)    Building and street layout in larger schemes that prioritise pedestrians and enable a modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport

Retrofit for the Future

Judges will take the following aspects into account:

a)    Achievement of nationally recognised levels of sustainability

(e.g. BREEAM / Home Quality Mark / National technical standards for housing)

b)    Reduction in the environmental footprint and whole life cost of the building (including both operational and any structural alterations)

c)    Achievement of Energy Performance Ratings

(e.g. Energy Performance Certificates (all domestic and commercial buildings) /

Display Energy Certificate (DEC) (public buildings)

d)    Reduced energy use/demand as far as practical through innovative design and materials

(e.g. improvement of thermal performance)

e)    Introduction of building management systems for heating/cooling, ventilation and lighting

f)     Reduction of water use during  occupancy of the development

(e.g. use of sub-meters and leak detection in non-residential buildings, installation of water saving devices, installation of rainwater harvesting and greywater systems)

g)    The use of innovative and sustainable techniques

h)    Introduction of sustainable materials, including locally sourced materials where appropriate

i)     Introduction of materials/products that reduce the atmospheric impact of development

(i.e. zero ozone depleting material, materials which avoid substances that have a global warming potential (GWP) and which avoid the use of VOC’s and other toxic compounds)

j)     Contribution to the improvement of the building/development local setting and sense of place

k)    Evidence that retrofitting achieves greater environmental, social and economic benefits than demolition and rebuild

l)     Potential to repeat smaller projects at a larger scale

m)  Introduction of on-site renewable energy systems

(e.g. solar hot water, biomass, ground source heating and cooling, photovoltaic cells and wind power)

n)    Considered climate change and adaptation within ancillary open space

(e.g. introduction of drought tolerant species)

o)    Introduction of measures to enable effective waste management

(e.g. dedicated recycling and waste storage)

p)    Use of non-potable water for irrigation of landscape areas

q)    Introduction of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

r)     Installation of flood resilience measures

s)    Consideration of, and flexibility for, future uses

t)     Measures to reduce the impact of noise

(e.g. noise attenuation measures)

Project of the Year

For this award category the judges come together to reward a scheme from across the award categories that they feel deserves special recognition for its outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.

Judges will take into account aspects of the award criteria from across all of the award categories.