A run through how we came up with our list of the most influential figures

The criteria

• This is a list of eco-heroes that have influenced and affected the take-up of sustainable principles in the built environment, be that in design/architecture/construction and development. They could be practicing professionals or clients, authors, politicians academics or members of the community that have gone ahead and practiced sustainable principles

• Those on the list have to be alive. While they do not have to be working or operating in the UK they need to have exercised an influence on the green movement in the UK.

• Judges marked individuals that reached the Top 40 on three main qualities – their achievements, their influence and their inspiration

How we got the names

The Building editorial team initially came up with a list of names that we considered worthy of consideration. The judges were then encouraged to put forward their nominations which were added to the pot of green heroes. The list was divided into eight main categories of people: engineers, architects, contractors, consultants, product/technology developers, clients, thinkers/teachers and policy leaders. Five from each long list of categories were selected then scored on the criteria above.

The winners of each category automatically made it to the top ten and their weighted scores from the judges decided their positioning in the top 10.

Conflicts of interest: Some judges featured in consideration for the list itself or were employed by the same companies as people in the list. In that case they were banned from the discussion and the voting.

The judges

Dave Hampton, The Carbon Coach

Dave Hampton won the Sustainable Leadership Award at the inaugural Building Sustainability Awards in 2005. The self styled carbon coach is a Cambridge engineer and former GB rower and had a professional career greening the built environment before setting himself up as a carbon coach.

Andrew Kinsey, senior sustainability manager Bovis Lend Lease

Andrew Kinsey is the senior sustainability manager at Bovis Lend Lease in the UK. He recently joined the team working on the London 2012 Athletes Village in Stratford, East London. He is a chartered environmentalist and a registered environmental auditor with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. He developed the company environmental management system and he has been responsible for the company winning a number of industry awards for sustainable construction, including the the Most Considerate Constructor in 2007.

Mel Starrs, engineer and blogger

Mel Starrs is a sustainability engineer who blogs at www.melstarrs.com/elemental. A chartered engineer with CIBSE, she has worked in sustainability and low carbon building design for 10 years. She has practiced at consultancies in London and Leeds including Max Fordham and Partners, Halcrow Yolles and Faber Maunsell.

Tom Randall, Fulcrum and Sponge

Tom Randall is a director of Sponge, a network for built environment professionals with an interest in sustainable development, and an engineer with Fulcrum Consulting. His work for Sponge involves organising a range of informal events, including site visits, consultations events and debates, to enable members to develop their knowledge and contacts. At Fulcrum his work builds on five years' experience providing environmental design advice on projects, including Fulcrum's approach to energy efficiency through effective passive design measures.

Chair, Phil Clark, editorial director sustainability, Building

Phil Clark is Building's own sustainability guru. He is responsible for the sustainability pages and websites on Building, Building Design, Property Week, and Building Services Journal, and blogs at Zerochampion. He has also chaired countless seminars, roundtables and webinars on all things sustainable in the built environment.