Structural Concrete Competition 2021

The competition offers a stimulating and fun challenge to students, while supporting the curricula of civil and structural engineering departments of UK universities. 

Benefits for students

  • Opportunity to present your work to prospective employers, some of whom are involved in setting and judging the competition.
  • Chance to enhance your portfolio for prospective employers. 
  • Gain familiarity with current design practises. 
  • Develop skills in communication, planning and project management, effective distribution of work and collaboration.
  • A chance to win up to £1250 for your team.

Because it is so flexible, Structural Concrete 2021 can easily be incorporated into existing university curricula, with content that reflects an independent project, a group project or a module assessment run over the first, second or both semesters of the academic year.

The challenge

The 2021 project is to design a civic centre comprising a library and council offices in a new garden town in the north west of England.

The client has requested bids from design-and-build contractors for the construction of the building and maintenance over the next 30 years. One of these contractors has commissioned an initial design for the new building at Porchester New Town, from a firm of consulting engineers. Entrants must respond as if they are the structural engineer responsible within the consultant’s team. 

Download competition brief

Judging criteria

Local level: 

The competition will operate at two levels. All submissions made at each university will first be judged locally by the academic tutor(s) involved with the project. The winning submission from each university should be entered for the national level of the competition by the tutor.

Only one entry from each university can go forward for final judging at a national level.

National level

The winning entry from each participating university will be judged at national level using the following generic assessment criteria:

  • Compliance with the project brief
  • Safety, function, stability and robustness
  • Material efficiency and sustainability
  • Buildability, constructability and maintainability
  • Speed of construction and cost effectiveness
  • Imagination, flair, aesthetic appreciation and innovation.

The awards

The winning entry from each university will receive a prize of £250. The winning entry will go forward to compete at national level.

The judges may decide on joint prizes in which case the above prize money will be divided up by the judging panel at its discretion. A detailed breakdown of the awards received can be found in the awards section of the brief

Key dates 2021

Please register your interest (see below) in the competition at any time. This will enable The Concrete Centre to keep in touch with you regarding key future dates and any supplementary information that may help you with your submission.

Entry forms must be submitted (via online form, post or email) by 4pm on Friday 11th June 2021 - at this stage you will be provided with a unique reference number to use on the final entry, which will ensure that the entries are anonymous at judging-stage.

The final entry, conforming to all of the stipulations listed in the 'Rules' section of the Brief, must be received by 4pm on Friday 9th July 2021.  

Entries must be sent by post as well as electronically )as a pdf) to

Watch the Structural Concrete Competition 2021 - Q&A webinar 

Hosted by the author of the brief and one of the judges of the Structural Concrete Competition, Jenny Burridge, this webinar aims to provide top tips and to answer specific questions ahead of the deadline dates for submission. 

Register your interest here for the Structural Concrete Competition 2021

To enter the competition the university academic tutor(s) should register the university’s intention to participate. 


“Also, I’d like to say a big thank you to yourself for putting the competition together. It’s been a great experience and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge working on its different aspects. Your efforts are much appreciated.” - Student, 2020 competition

“Many thanks for the opportunity, it was a really enjoyable and interesting project to work on.” - Student, 2020 competition

“I would like to thank you for organising the competition and for your effort. It was very interesting to see the Webinar today with all the submissions and I would like to send my congratulations to the winners. Thank you for your feedback to our submission. Students find this exercise very interesting and aligns well with our courses.” - Tutor, 2020 competition 

Competition Sponsor 

If you have any queries related to the entry process please email

Competition Sponsor

The competition is sponsored by Laing O’Rourke whose pursuit of engineering excellence is supported by their investment in innovative industry-leading precast concrete and offsite manufacturing facilities.