The Association of Consulting Structural Engineers (ACSE) NSW have announced the winners of the 2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, with Taylor Thomson Whitting’s Richard Green taking home the Gold Achievement prize for his contribution to the development of the profession.

Held at the CBD hotel in Sydney, the program aims to recognise and celebrate the role of NSW-based structural engineers and their contribution to the built environment in the state, Australia, and around the world. It is the only event in the country that judges specifically on the structural excellence of a building.

The judges for this year are Brian Uy, Professor and Director CIES sch-civil Environmental eng. UNSW, Joe Agius, the outgoing President of the Australian Institute of Architects – NSW, and Michael Jaroszewicz, Director and past president of ACSE NSW.

The winners are:

Large building – Robert Bird – One Central Park

Photography by Simon Wood

According to Jaroszewicz, the project demonstrated “excellence and creativity in structural engineering design” with innovative solutions that meet a number of key challenges. This includes One Central Park's cantilevered 'sky garden' structure and “eccentrically-supported reflector array” that extends a total of 45m from the building façade.

Other notable innovations are the heliostat system which reflects light into the podium; a precinct-wide thermal plant providing sustainable energy to the precinct; and a blackwater treatment plant capable of harvesting and re-using water through the site. The building's façade, which supports the world's tallest vertical garden, was also praised.

Commendation – Taylor Thomson Whitting – Chatswood interchange

Image: TTW

Medium building – Taylor Thomson Whitting – Bankstown library 

TTW worked closely with the client and architects FJMT to deal with various site constraints, with the judges particularly impressed with their use of steel branches and 3D finite element analysis for the design of the library’s roof and façade.

“The load carrying capability of the mullion system was particularly innovative,” said Brian Uy. “The project has also set a new bench mark in sustainable design through the adaptive re-use and materials salvage strategy including structural timber, precast concrete, existing piled foundations, orchestra pit, and many architectural features.”                                                             

Commendation – Hyder – 400 George street

Small building – Hyder – Port Arthur

Image: Port Arthur

The judges were impressed with Hyder's role in replacing an old and structurally ineffective support system on this world heritage listed site, saying the project demonstrated “how the resolution of structural remedial details when using a combination of modern day repair systems and materials in a dilapidated structure can result in overall renewed structural integrity”.

Commendation – Partridge Structural – Ramsgate AV

Special/Unusual projects – Hyder – Sydney town hall clock

Hyder played a significant role in the seismic strengthening of one of Sydney’s iconic heritage structures, working closely with the City of Sydney and their design review panel. Its role included responsibility and care for the historic fabric of the building, and protection of Council staff and the general public who continued to use the building through the works.

The judges particularly praised the engineers’ use of BIM techniques to develop the structural model, and cast stainless steel for the construction of the vierendeel cage solution.

Commendation – Aecom – Dr Chau Chak Wing Business School

Image: AECOM

Small practice award – Cantilever

Cantilever Consulting Engineers is a small NSW practice that encompassed all the attributes the judges were looking for. These include:

  • Continued excellence in Structural Engineering.
  • Safety of the community through their engineering solutions
  • Collaboration with other consultants, client and builders
  • Continued professional and personal development and learning
  • Sustainable design solutions minimising structural intrusion, inbuilt flexibility and adaptability
  • Flexibility in design across a number of different building categories.

Gold achievement award – Richard Green, TaylorThomsonWhitting

One of the preeminent structural engineers in Australia, Green has contributed significantly to the development of the engineering profession through leadership of the ACSE, Association of Consulting Engineers Australia (ACEA), and Council of the Built Environment Design Professionals (BEDP). Throughout his career he also maintained an ongoing role in Apex, then Rotary, and acted as the Emergency Architects Australia’s patron.

Some of Green’s award winning projects include the Ravenswood School for Girls (NSW), Australian War Memorial Eastern Precinct (ACT), Surry Hills Library and Community Centre (NSW), and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NSW).