UK Green Building Council

Rising Star of 2014 revealed

Date released: 
5 Mar 2014

Last year, UK-GBC, along with PRP, launched the Rising Star Award, which honours a member of the built environment community based in the UK who has driven change and innovation around sustainability. Tonight, in a ceremony as part of UK-GBC and Ecobuild joint Birthday celebrations, we were pleased to announce Phil Birch, Sweett Group as the winner of the Rising Star Award 2014.

Phil impressed the judges by demonstrating the ability to find the common ground between sustainability, social and commercial considerations, and communicate with a technical and non-technical audience.

He engages with a number of groups such as the Green Construction Board and UK-GBC, and has produced a wide range of articles, publications, impact assessments, guidance documents and technical tools that act as a catalyst for change by promoting sustainability in a way that makes it easy for business to digest.

Also well deserved congratulations to Steve Cook, Willmott Dixon Re-Thinking Ltd who was highly commended by the judges. Steve first joined the construction industry as a carpenter, and is passionate about the whole life impact of building materials and leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

He chairs the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) materials task group, and provides technical advice and support to a wide range of flagship sustainability projects. He also shares his ideas with over 800 followers on Twitter.

Well done to the other finalists: Martin Brown, Fairsnape; Wilf Meynell, Wilf Meynell/Studio Bark and Carolina Passos-Anishetty, BAM Construct UK Ltd who all provided some great examples of how and why they have served as a catalyst for change in relation to sustainability in the UK building industry. Finalists were also asked to produce a short video with the guidelines ‘If you had 1 minute to talk to the industry what would you challenge them to change?’

Thanks also to our judges: Victoria Kate Burrows, PRP; Su Butcher, Just Practising; Cat Hirst, UK-GBC; Andrew Kinsey, Mace Group (last year’s winner); Tom Lane, Building Magazine and Andrew Mellor, PRP.

You can view their videos and read more about the finalists on Mel’s blog here and on Su’s blog here.

About the award

The award was set up in memory of Mel Starrs, a prominent built environment practitioner and Associate Director at PRP with a passion for sustainability, who passed away in July 2012. Mel created her Elemental blog in 2006 to share her ideas and thinking about sustainability in the built environment. 

Over 6 years Mel wrote passionately on a wide range of subjects, from Engineering and Science to Economics and Policy, leaving a legacy of writings and thoughts that have inspired numerous like-minded professionals from the building industry to use social media for communicating ideas on green buildings and sustainability to a wider audience. You can read Mel’s blog here.

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