Winners of CIBSE’s 2024 Building Performance Awards

York Guildhall, the 2024 Building Performance Champion, is an exemplary restoration of a historic landmark, which also provides a sustainable cultural hub for the city’s future generations

All the winners of the 2024 CIBSE Building Performance Awards

York Guildhall – SGA Consulting is CIBSE’s Building Performance Champion 2024. The project was praised by judges for being ‘an exemplar of how to breathe new life into a 15th-century building.’

The judges were impressed with how SGA Consulting’s refurbishment and extension of York Guildhall used an adjacent river to overcome issues, rather than seeing the waterway as an obstacle.

As well as winning the overall price the project also won Project of the Year in both Retrofit and Commercial and Offices categories.

Details of all the winners from the awards ceremony at Park Plaza hotel at Westminster Bridge, London are as follows:

Building Performance Champion
Project of the Year – Retrofit
Project of the Year – Commercial & Offices

Winner: York Guildhall – SGA Consulting

Building Performance Champion sponsored by Tamlite Lighting
Project of the Year Commercial and Offices sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems
Project of the Year Retrofit sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems

The 2024 Building Performance Champion ‘shows what can be achieved to deliver sustainable building refurbishment, minimise embodied carbon, and fulfil such a project with the most difficult site-access conditions’, said the judges.

Located in a congested area in York along the River Ouse, the Grade I, II, and II* listed Guildhall posed daunting logistical hurdles with its narrow archways onto a pedestrian street. Tasked with retaining and refurbishing existing structures while adding a sizeable office extension and a new restaurant, SGA Consulting embraced a proactive, innovative, and collaborative approach. Its strategy was to make use of  the unique building and site characteristics to achieve energy and carbon efficiencies.

SGA’s fabric-first approach, coupled with a water source heat pump and enhancements to the Victorian natural ventilation system, showcased adaptability and forward-thinking. A two-circuit reverse-cycle heat pump provides 110kW of simultaneous heating and cooling, yielding a remarkable 42% carbon savings compared to gas boilers. Underfloor heating and a boiler-fed trench heating system were implemented, earning acclaim for their integration of low and zero carbon systems.

The judges acknowledged the project’s distinction in revitalising a centuries-old structure amid regulatory, historic, and environmental constraints. As the industry grapples with the imperative of renovating existing buildings for net zero targets, the Guildhall stands to demonstrate the potential of sustainable refurbishment.

Engineer of the Year

Sponsored by Ideal Heating Commercial

Winner: Philip Draper, managing director, Twenty One Engineering

‘A true leader by example and a genuine practitioner of engineering leadership.’ This is how judges described Philip, praising his passion for development and growth. Running his own business for the past five years, he empowers his team to make difficult decisions in resolving issues for his clients. He is also an advocate for apprenticeships and, as CIBSE Patron and Fellow, Philip has sponsored several engineers. As vice-chair of the CIBSE HVAC group, he runs the CPD events every quarter, and has organised training days that focus on collaboration and innovation. He has an unwavering appetite to take on new applications and challenge the conventional.


Building Performance Consultancy (up to 50 employees):

Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric

Winner: Inkling

Judges singled out Inkling as ‘an influential node in industry, using collaboration as a means to advocate for positive change through the support network built from its work’. Founded in 2011,  Inkling is a building physics consultancy of only two permanent members of staff, however, its impact on championing the role and value of dynamic thermal modelling in improving building performance is significant. It has also established its blog as an influential place for industry discussion, spreading knowledge and understanding.


Building Performance Consultancy (51-300 employees):

Sponsored by Airflow Developments

Winner: XCO2

XCO2 demonstrates ‘leadership in delivery of exemplar professional services… fostering collaboration internally and across industry’, judges said when they named the company winner of this category. Dedicating a significant proportion of its effort to public and community projects, the consultancy has been a key contributor to the new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, to LETI and UK Green Building Council initiatives. Judges also praised the consultancy for its broad inclusivity plans within the practice.


Building Performance Consultancy (over 300 employees):

Sponsored by ABB

Winner: Hoare Lea

Judges praised Hoare Lea’s wide range of activities aimed at promoting climate action and improving the competence of engineers on net zero delivery. In particular, the company’s Pollinate programme stood out, which funds innovative cross-discipline project proposals from employees. The consultancy’s wide-ranging initiatives, such as the Origin platform and project-specific requirements for net zero metrics, demonstrate an impressive commitment to industry best practices, with a focus on knowledge-sharing and upskilling.


Facilities Management award

Sponsored by Gratte Brothers Group

Winner: Broadgate – British Land

British Land took the FM crown for its work across four buildings at Broadgate, in the City of London. The judges praised its strong engagement with building occupiers using real-time data, and highlighted its innovative financing mechanism for funding energy conservation measures. Whole building energy efficiency was improved by 33% across 1.3m ft2 of space in 2023 vs 2019. The company showed how it had overcome the challenges of carrying out improvements in operational buildings, with exceptional collaboration and knowledge sharing. It represents the active role that FM can play in the decarbonisation of buildings and energy management .


Learning and Development award

Sponsored by Automated Logic, A Carrier Company

Winner: Unlocking Potential: CSA’s Commissioning Management Training & Development – Commissioning Specialists Association

CSA’s research addressed a learning and development gap in commissioning, with potential industry-wide impact. It created the two-day Introduction to Commissioning Management (ITCM) course for M&E commissioning managers, covering all building services, working both individually and together. It improves CxMs’ core knowledge and provides tools to manage projects. CSA’s efforts to align ITCM framework with the relevant NVQ grades were commended. 



Sponsored by Borough Engineering Services

Winner: Decarbonisation via Data-Driven Collaboration – Smart Managed Solutions & Savills

Smart Managed Solutions & Savills’ winning submission impressed judges because it ‘demonstrated the art of the possible and where we all need to get to’. The company’s embrace of data analytical tools facilitated improved outcomes across seven properties in collaboration with Savills. Through initiatives such as Sentinll’s platform and internal analytics teams, substantial reductions in electricity, gas, and carbon emissions were achieved across, with 1,695,012kWh of electricity, 230,590m3 of gas, and 865,152kgCO2e of carbon savings.


Project of the Year – International

Sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems

Winner: Kyoto City Hall Annex Building – Nikken Sekkei 

Kyoto City Hall Annex Building stood out for its blend of traditional design principles and innovative solutions. Judges praised Nikken Sekkei’s integration of the new annex with the existing City Hall, its responsiveness to local geography and climate, and its energy responsibility linking system. The judges were impressed with the way it ‘cleverly linked responsibility for energy use to the building users’. The project achieved a 68% reduction in energy consumption compared with the baseline building, showcasing its commitment to sustainability.


Project of the Year – Leisure:

Sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems

Winner: Ravelin Sports Centre – Max Fordham 

Max Fordham’s project was hailed for its careful low carbon design and innovative technology integration to achieve a low-impact leisure centre with sports and swimming facilities. The project brief was to acheive Breeam Outstanding. Notable features at the centre include air source heat pumps, ceiling fans for cooling, and a photovoltaic array. With an annual energy consumption of 87 kWh·m-2, it surpasses efficiency targets, setting a new standard for leisure centres.


Project of the Year – Public Use

Sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems

Winner: Hackbridge Primary School – Introba/Architype

Hackbridge was commended for the very high quality of its construction and exceptional airtightness. It’s design fulfilled an ambitious brief to become the first UK Certified Passivhaus Plus school, aiming for net zero carbon in-use. With a focus on low carbon materials and innovative heating systems, the school achieved remarkable energy efficiency. The measured energy use intensity over the past year was 46 kWh·m-2 per year. Its upfront embodied carbon (405kg/CO2e/m2 including sequestration) is half that of a comparable school. 


Project of the Year – Residential

Sponsored by Crane Fluid Systems

Winner: Bryn Bragl – Hoare Lea

Hoare Lea’s Bryn Bragl scheme was hailed by judges as a leading example of sustainable housing innovation. Funded by the Welsh Government, it aims to be Wales’ first energy-positive social housing development, with its 14 homes generating more energy than they consume. Innovative features such as PV cell roofs, air source heat pumps, and Tesla batteries showcase its commitment to energy efficiency and resident wellbeing. Together, the homes have put more than 34,000kw/h back into the Grid, with residents paying bills of around £25 a month.


Best Digital Innovation

Winner: Decarbonomics – AtkinsRéalis

Decarbonomics stood out as the unanimous winner, with judges praising its ‘exceptional’, holistic approach to decarbonising the built environment. Decarbonomics helps owners and occupiers of buildings, of any scale, to understand how to deliver retrofit solutions and decarbonise their portfolio, integrating financial viability into strategies. It streamlines retrofit programmes, reducing time, costs, and resource requirements significantly. With notable success in reducing carbon emissions and operational costs, it is poised to drive substantial environmental change globally.


CIBSE Embodied Carbon Award

Sponsored by CMR

Winner: Whitecroft Lighting

Whitecroft’s cradle-to-cradle (C2C) approach to designing its products impressed the judges, as did its use of modularity to enable more efficient maintenance and reduce waste. It showcased efforts to reduce embodied carbon, exemplified by its Cascade Flex Vitality (CFV) luminaire, which boasts a 46% reduction over 40 years compared to standard panels. Using recycled materials and local suppliers, Whitecroft emphasises sustainability and circular economy principles, earning C2C accreditation and delivering industry CPDs on the topic. 


Product or Innovation of the Year – Air quality

Sponsored by CIBSE Patrons

Winner: Vent-Axia Sentinel Apex – Vent-Axia

Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Apex is developed with equal focus on operational performance and whole life costing, which shone through in the data. Manufactured locally in a low-energy facility, it aligns with the company’s low carbon manufacturing claims. The product provides excellent resources for correct application and sizing, featuring high-quality filtration to improve indoor air quality. Its energy-efficient design harnesses waste heat, achieving market-leading thermal efficiency and reducing energy loss through ventilation.


Product or Innovation of the Year – Thermal Comfort:

Winner: New Modular Highline 235 Fan Coil Range – Diffusion

Diffusion’s modularisation of its fan coil product impressed judges, who called it practical and customer-centric. The Highline range offers nearly 300,000 configurations, cutting energy use by matching precise performance needs. The design minimises materials, lowers carbon footprint, and supports reusability. High-efficiency EC motor and fan assemblies achieve low specific fan power and noise ratings. Judges praised the emphasis on testing in product development.


Product or Innovation of the Year – Wellbeing

Sponsored by Tamlite Lighting

Winner: Clarence System: Remote Water Monitoring – Angel Guard

Judges were impressed by Angel Guard’s innovative Clarence System, which not only conserves water but also prioritises water quality for user health. The system’s remote monitoring measures temperature, flow events, and biofilm, uploading data to its water management hub for processing and easy risk assessment. Offering continuous readings and secure remote access, it enables targeted testing and faster responses to water supply issues, saving up to  3.12 tonnes CO2 per installation per year and reducing water usage significantly.