Winner — Quietrevolution

Architect Marks Barfield was “hugely impressed” and Fairview New Homes thought it “an elegant source of renewable energy”. Our judges experienced similar sentiments when they saw the extraordinary vertical-axis design for Quietrevolution’s wind turbine. It has already won admirers across the globe with plans to use it in schemes from New York to Shanghai. The beautifully simple idea of flipping the traditional windmill design of wind turbines on its head has meant that the Q5, as it’s called, is perfectly suited for use in towns and city centres. It can also generate up to 10,000kWh a year no matter from what direction the wind is coming. It has quite simply, but quietly, blown the competition away.

Runners up

The greenhouse effect

Not satisfied with the capabilities offered by traditional glass and stone, The Greenhouse Effect has begun importing a product from Germany that it claims combines the best of both. Structuran Glass is certainly impressive. The product, which is made from recycled glass, has been used as wall cladding, kitchen worktops, sinks and even stairs.

HLM Architects

Unfairly or not, there always seems to be someone moaning about the PFI. However, in a move that is sure to delight chancellor Gordon Brown, here is an architect that has done something to solve the gripes. Like many of its peers, HLM was tried to deal with the problem of summer overheating caused by new insulation and energy targets in PFI projects. CoolWall is its solution and, if the tests are to be believed, it cuts the need for using air-conditioning.


In today’s world, time is money. But when it comes to sustainability, time can also be a tea break. According to environment consultancy Kotuku, its Cafe Van scheme has persuaded 310 builders in the south-east of England and across Wales to change the way they work on site to be more sustainable. It has done all of this by popping up at sites when workers are heading off for their tea breaks.

Lime Technology

Students across the country rejoice! Not only could you soon be living in halls of residence built from hemp, but Adnams Brewery is building its new distribution centre from the stuff. Wait, it gets better: a single house built using Lime Technology’s Hemcrete bricks will also reduce carbon emissions by 10 tonnes.

McBains Cooper

Ever thought that all the IT system in your office was good for was heating up the cupboard where the server was? Then you may well be on the same wavelength as McBains Cooper. It has built a heating system that adds the 100kW of heat generated by its client’s IT system to a network of 150, 98m-deep boreholes that heat and cool the new office project. As a result the scheme has been rated “excellent” by BRE.