Structural Concrete 2018 Competition Winners Announced

7 Sep 2018

The Concrete Centre’s annual student competition, in partnership with Laing O’Rourke has been won by a team from the University of East London. The 2018 competition brief for teams of engineering students was to design a new office building with a basement car park in a city centre in the North West of England.
The winners were announced at a prize-giving ceremony at The Concrete Centre’s autumn seminar held at the Institution of Structural Engineers on the 5th September. The winners were also invited to a celebratory dinner hosted by the competition sponsor Laing O’Rourke with guests including the competition’s judging panel of Roger Hewitt, Arcadis (chairman of the judges); Sam Wong, Careys Construction; Eva Soto Perez, Laing O’Rourke ; Sarah Fray, University College London and Jenny Burridge of The Concrete Centre.
The 2018 competition attracted entries from across UK schools of engineering and three prizes were awarded. 
  • First Prize: University of East London
  • Runner-up: Imperial College 
  • Sustainability: University of Leeds
The competition brief was to design a new office building including six storeys of office space and basement car parking in a city centre in the North West of England. Jenny Burridge, judge and head of structural engineering at The Concrete Centre said “The project this year was a fairly straightforward office building, but the elliptical shape meant there were some interesting problems for the students to tackle. The other challenge was to fit a number of car parking spaces in the basement. The judges were pleased by the level of design knowledge shown in the entries and that several of the teams had investigated innovative concrete construction to incorporate into the project.”

University of East London students managed to impress the judges with a well thought out design solution described by the judges as having an innovative approach with good consideration of construction sequence. Their submission also had a good sustainability strategy with green roof, solar power and waterproofing considered. 

The runner-up was Imperial College. The judges’ feedback on this submission was that it had an interesting and well researched option for a voided flat slab that allowed long spans and used high strength concrete for the columns, which reduced the size of the columns significantly.

The sustainability prize was awarded to The University of Leeds student Felix Rogers. This entry was praised for being a clear sustainability report which applied thermal mass to reduce the energy consumption, together with ground source heat pumps using the piles. The project also had an interesting use of the columns as ducts for fresh air. 

The brief for the next competition “Structural Concrete 2019” was also launched at the event and is for a new laboratory building. More information can be found at