Winner — Berkeley homes

Since the early 1970s the 2.44ha Ropetackle site in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, lay neglected. Today it is home to 180 households, a community centre and conference facilities, and has received an EcoHomes “excellent” rating. In fact, Ropetackle has been so successful that shops in the area have been refurbished and cafes and restaurants have opened, leading the local authority to conclude that Shoreham had been “turned around”. Besides this, Berkeley Homes ensured that annual carbon emissions per square metre are only 25kg and that 60% of materials came from within a 35-mile radius. It even scheduled its construction around the nesting period for wading birds on a neighbouring site of special scientific interest so as not to disturb them.

Runners up


The good life is alive and well and can be found in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The 35-home Springhill co-housing scheme comes complete with veg patch and chicken run, but it also has a rather Scandinavian twist with a three-storey common house where meals are cooked and shared three times a week. On top of this, the project has no cars and a club to bulk-buy organic food each week.

Jon Broome

Taking the opposite approach to the co-housing scheme, Jon Broome Architects was given the brief of creating secure private gardens on this social housing project in Woking, Surrey. It went much further than this however, with no PVCu used and super insulation. As a result, heating and water only cost £2 a week.

Royal Bank of Scotland

This is not simply a company headquarters: it is a whole new town. Employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland who work at its Gogarburn complex need never leave. It has a nursery for 70 kids, a conference centre with a 300-seat auditorium, a TV studio, a health centre, football pitches, a medical centre and a business school. Just in case you really can’t get enough of this, there are also 70 bedrooms.

Skanska Integrated Projects

If there was one organisation that you would think would take the plight of our feathered friends seriously it would be the RAF. And so it proved on this redevelopment of the barracks for 23 engineer Regiment (Air Assault) in Suffolk. In order to preserve the habitat for endangered species of nightjar and woodlark, contractor Skanska made sure it safely relocated an area of heather the size of a football pitch.

Willmott Dixon housing

The brief for this scheme for housing association Places for People was simple: get an “excellent” rating. Willmott Dixon set about this task by ensuring that all properties would emit 28kg of carbon per square metre per year and that each resident would use only 43 cubic metres of water annually. The scheme won its award and all at the cost of just £1600 extra a house.