Sustainable design awards 2015

Sustainable Design Awards

The Argyll and Bute Design Awards recognise, promote and celebrate examples of exceptional design quality across the council area and provide a means of raising awareness of good design and established examples on the ground.   

This is the third staging of the awards, following events in 2010 and 2012.

The winners of the 2015/16 Sustainable Design Awards have now been announced!

See the winners of the 2015/16 Sustainable Design Awards

See the winners of the 2012 Design Awards

Read the Sustainable Design Guides documents


The 2015 awards will consider development projects that have a Building (Scotland) Act 2003 Completion Certificate dated between 1st January 2012 and 30th June 2015. 

They are only open to completed developments.

Who can enter?


This includes rented social landlords, consultants, agents, private building owners, community groups, developers, public agencies and voluntary organisations.


The judges will make recommendations on awards under the following four categories:

  • New build residential (single or small scale): This category is fornew build dwellings of up to five.
  • New build large scale residential development: Fornew builddwellings of over five. Place making skills will be a critical element as well as master planning principles, high standard of design and evidence that the location, orientation of the buildings and the design of the surrounding space form a critical component of the design brief. It is also important to show how people have priority.  
  • New build non-residential: This category covers commercial, community/public and industrial buildings.
  • Redevelopment or refurbishment of an existing building: This category is for the best examples of buildings brought back to life, demonstrating excellence restoration.

Sustainability will be a theme which will run through all the four categories of awards.

Submissions must clearly demonstrate an actual long-term positive environmental impact, or the probability of it.

Awards and commendation

As well as actual awards, we will also be giving commendations as appropriate to both the quality and the scale of the development


The awards will be judged by:

  • The council’s Head of Planning and Regulatory Services
  • The building standards manager
  • The development policy manager
  • Councillor David Kinniburgh (Chair of Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee)
  • Councillor Alex McNaughton (Vice-Chair of Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee)

Judges who have a connection with any entry will not be allowed to vote on that entry.

Judging Criteria

Each of the four criteria will be scored out of 25, providing a total score out 100 which will then be used to shortlist the entries.

The shortlisted entries will then receive a site visit to help inform the final judging process which will take place in November 2015 following which an awards ceremony will be held to announce the winners in January 2016.

The bullet point guidance notes provided under the four criteria below are intended to act as themes that the judges will be assessing the applications against. It is possible that not all the themes under each criteria will be appropriate to each development and this will be taken into account within the assessment, although applicants should always be careful to justify approaches not taken where applicable. Applicants may also wish to put forward additional information under themes not mentioned if they feel that it will help justify the sustainable design of their development.


  • How the design (siting, form, materials etc.) is informed by its surroundings and how it fits within its urban or rural setting
  • Any physical regeneration / enhancement of site surroundings compared to pre-development
  • Justification of Design: clearly articulated design approach justifying  understanding of site and setting


  • Carbon reduction – demonstrate use of fabric first approach, renewable technology, carbon reduction
  • Reduced Resource Demand:  demonstrate efficiency and sustainability in use of materials and construction methods: low embodied energy, pre-fabrication, local sourcing, water use reduction etc.
  • Protection or enhancement of biodiversity
  • Standard reached under Scottish Building Standards Section 7: Sustainability for Building Regulations
  • Justification of Design: demonstration of an actual long-term positive environmental impact, or the probability of it. 


  • Local Workforce and skills investment
  • Originality of innovation – e.g. use of new technologies, materials or technologies as pilot projects not previously used in Argyll and Bute
  • Low Cost design, delivering affordability for local population
  • Community Interest – Demonstrating that development has achieved benefits for the community, including equal opportunities.


  • The quality of the design and of the workmanship displayed in the final build
  • The attention to detail demonstrated in the finished development
  • Justification of Design: clearly articulated design approach justifying the solution


The deadline for entries was Wednesday 30th September 2015

On completion of the site visits, the judges will finalise their recommendations on the winning entries which will be put before members of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee.



Full details on how to enter can be found on the entry form which can be completed online or by post using the downloadable form available in Word or PDF format.

See further guidance for applicants.