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Award Shortlist Showcases Best in Structural Engineering

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) reveals the 2021 Structural Awards Shortlist, featuring 53 outstanding projects worldwide.

Following a COVID-induced hiatus in 2020, the hotly anticipated 2021 programme returns bigger than ever, with a brace of new categories. Significantly, this iteration covers a two year period. As such, the judges had a more difficult time than ever with double the amount of entries to consider.

Encompassing a wide range of structural disciplines, each of the 13 categories highlights the prolific work of structural engineers globally, and the role they play as the ‘Guardians of public safety in the built environment’.

For the 2021, the UK put on a strong performance, with some of the world’s top practices demonstrating why the country is regarded as a centre of structural engineering excellence.

Further afield, from soaring modern skyscrapers and expansive stadia to highly-detailed restoration work on historic landmarks, the calibre of this year’s finalists is second to none. The 2021 shortlist highlights include:

  • Project: The All England Lawn Tennis Club No.1 Court Redevelopment, UK
  • Category: Long Span Structures // Finalist: Thornton Tomasetti
  • Project: Oregon Forest Science Complex, USA
  • Category: Zero Carbon // Finalist: Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
  • Project: Tiayuan Botanical Garden Domes, China
  • Category: Construction Innovation // Finalist: Structure Craft & Arcplus Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design and Research
  • Project: Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar Extension, Ireland
  • Category: Minimal Intervention // Finalist: Arup Consulting Engineers

Sustainable to the Core

Aside from placing a spotlight on professional excellence, the 2021 Awards has put sustainability at the heart of the judging process.

With the concerted, universal move to decarbonise society and the need to meet ambitious Net Zero 2050 targets, IStructE is acutely aware the structural engineering community has an integral role to play toward reducing emissions within the built environment. As such, it was decided to make ‘proof of sustainable practices’ a key requirement across all categories.

Further, many of the shortlisted projects show how the sector has embraced digital adoption, using advanced asset information management tools and cutting-edge BIM modelling to deliver precision and finesse.

Commenting on this year’s Awards, returning chair of the judges, Professor Tim Ibell says, “What a fantastic two-year bumper crop of shortlisted projects. Despite the pandemic, the sense of pride for our profession, which the Structural Awards always fosters, is alive and kicking and is well-reflected in this year’s shortlist.”

He continues, “Sustainability is a central focus for this year’s programme. The whole judging panel was incredibly impressed with the amount of amazing projects able to demonstrate wonderful, sustainability-related innovations. The need for eco-friendly design will continue to grow in judging priorities over the coming years, as we all grapple with the exciting, but considerable, decarbonisation challenge. This year’s shortlist reflects the very first steps in this move and, as always, provides inspiration for so many across global construction.”

Aside from sustainability, shortlisted entries were selected for excellence, creativity and inventiveness, as well as elegance and detailing.

The complete shortlist can be viewed at: with the winner announced at a gala awards dinner and ceremony, taking place on 5th November 2021 at The Brewery, London. Click here to book tickets.

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