All four finalists in this new, Owens Corning-sponsored award showed impressive commitment to sustainability. But St George's brownfield experience gave it the edge
St George Regeneration
High-density brownfield development is at the heart of the government's housing strategy, so it's no wonder St George has won a lot of friends. All its developments are brownfield, some on sites that have been useless because of contamination for 30 years. With nine high-profile riverside developments under its belt, it can claim credit for the regeneration of 2 km of riverfront, 4220 new homes and the creation of 3000 long-term jobs. At Imperial Wharf, St George created 1665 homes, not to mention a 4 ha public park. In line with the recommendation of London mayor Ken Livingstone, 50% of the homes could be classified as affordable housing. The scheme is truly mixed-use and includes a rail station, health facilities, a creche, and 37,000 m2 of commercial space.

Laing Homes

Laing Homes claims an environmental heritage going back to the introduction of its first timber-frame house in 1978. Last year, this took the form of the BEST (Building to Enable a Sustainable Tomorrow) initiative. Its Langley Park project in Beckenham made full use of the initiative's aspirations. Recycling and reuse of crushed concrete cut the number of lorry journeys by 2400, 1000 tonnes of iron were recycled and 250 trees were planted.

Bennetts Associates

Architect Bennetts Associates has been a pioneer of sustainability for 13 years, and its flagship Wessex Water headquarters project was hailed by BRE as "the greenest office building ever". It is a model of how a sustainable development should work and received the highest ever score in the BREEAM 98 rating. Sustainability touches every part of the company, from high-tech techniques to reduce embodied energy to parking for cycles at the office.

Carillion Special Projects

Carillion Special Projects is the first construction company in the UK to adopt the set of simple environmental principles developed by Swedish organisation The Natural Step. These principles were showcased at the PFI Princess Margaret Hospital project in Swindon. Simply by planning in detail, transportation waste was reduced, much of the site waste was composted and waste plasterboard was returned to Lafarge for recycling.