Paradise Park Children’s Centre in north London, Bridge Arts Centre in Glasgow and Dalby Forest visitor centre in North Yorkshire are among the 18 outstanding buildings shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.

Launching the competition this week, culture secretary Tessa Jowell said the shortlist showed how, through innovation in design and construction, everyday buildings could be made sustainable. Paradise Park, designed by DSDHA, features a vertical garden irrigated by rainwater. For the Bridge Arts Centre, Gareth Hoskins Architects designed a naturally ventilated auditorium for 650 people. The Dalby Forest visitor centre, by White Design, is clad in locally grown larch.