AJ100 Best Use of Technology 2020 award winner announced


AJ100 Best Use of Technology 2020 award winner announced

HBERT, which HawkinsBrown developed with UCL, was designed as a free, easy-to-use embodied carbon measurement tool which would allow design teams to visualise and analyse the carbon emissions of various material options during the design process.

The tool, a Revit plug-in, currently uses free data from an Institution of Civil Engineers database, measuring the volume of all materials identified in the Revit model. Embodied carbon data is then applied to that material, broken down into life-cycle stages (product, construction, use stage and end-of-life) in line with British Standards.

HBERT aligns with RIBA and RICS guidance and has been downloaded over 430 times by more than 230 architecture practices and design professionals.

Students from 20 different universities have also downloaded the tool. Two of these are now using it in their curriculum.

Since its launch, HBERT has been further developed to analyse not only embodied carbon but whole-life carbon, and a working group has been gathering information from different practices to produce a shared database in order to provide benchmarks and lessons learnt.

The development of HBERT relied heavily on retrofit projects and the evidence is already showing the importance of retrofitting in terms of hitting net zero targets. ‘By placing the data front and centre, we have raised awareness of the importance of monitoring, measuring and reducing whole-life carbon on every project in the office,’ HawkinsBrown said in its submission.

The AJ100 judges agreed that this digital tool ‘stood out’ among a strong shortlist which included last year’s winner, Bryden Wood, with its Framework for Robotics and Automated Construction platform.

‘[HBERT] is socially aware, fulfils the environmental agenda and is the result of a long research project,’ one remarked.

Another said they were impressed that HawkinsBrown was using HBERT to examine previous, as well as current projects.

They added: ‘It seems to be a very attractive, usable bit of software, which has proven itself and has transformed  HawkinsBrown’s practice, almost organically.’

The jury also gave a highly commended to Cartwright Pickard, working in The Mackintosh School of Architecture, Cartwright Pickard, for the world’s first prototype 7D BIM model. The model helps decision-making by integrating whole-life cost and carbon estimation with BIM.

The winner of the AJ100 Best Use of Technology category was announced alongside the recipients of the AJ100 New Member of the Year and the Clients’ Choice awards on the second day of the virtual, week-long, free-to-watch AJ100 Festival, which runs until Friday (18 September).

View the full programme to register.

Winner and shortlist in full

  • [WINNER] HawkinsBrown
  • [HIGHLY COMMENDED] Cartwright Pickard
  • Bryden Wood
  • Atkins
  • Grimshaw

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