Lisa Pasquale from consultancy Six Cylinder externallink has been named as a rising star of the built environment.

The Rising Star Award was created by the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) externallink and PRP externallink in memory of Mel Starrs, a prominent built environment practitioner and associate director at PRP, who died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 39.

Mel was a prolific blogger who made it her mission to take apart policy and regulation, and campaign both online and off for a genuine sustainable future for the built environment.

Her legacy lives on in these awards that are designed to recognise communication and innovation around the topic of sustainability in the built environment and demonstrate how sustainability is integral to both the professional and personal life of a swathe of built environment talent.

This year’s event, the fourth, was held back in March, and saw Lisa recognised for her work producing a practical methodology for de-risking large-scale retrofit, which is used as the risk management toolkit for the Greater London Authority’s RE:NEW programme externallink.

Accepting her accolade Lisa paid tribute to the tenacity of Mel Starrs.

"I met Mel about 5 years ago at a talk she gave about the complexity of the policy and guidance landscape in the UK construction industry. I respected her willingness to openly challenge the status quo, and her drive to find a better way forward. I hope I can use this opportunity to raise awareness of certain shortfalls in our industry and influence practices to improve performance outcomes for the built environment and construction sectors, and the people they serve”, said.

Runner up Christina Houlgrave, of Skanska’s environmental team, recognised the need to be able to talk to stakeholders in financial terms so created a model which monetises Skanska’s value to society, leading to the creation of a board level Accounting for Sustainability award. 

Lisa and Christina were both included in the group of  shortlisted finalists, whittled down from a shortlist of over 60 nominees and, as Andrew Mellor, partner at PRP explains, it was hard work choosing this year’s winner.

"This year saw the largest number of nominations, and the most diverse in terms of discipline, all of which were of exceptionally high calibre. The shortlist was incredibly strong, but Lisa Pasquale's work really stood out and she is a worthy winner. It is fantastic to see the good work all of these individuals are doing to drive change in sustainability in the construction industry.”

This year’s finalists included a property lawyer, a property manager, an economist, a building performance evaluator, an architect and an ecologist and were:

  • Lisa Pasquale from Six Cylinder

  • Christina Houlgrave from Skanska

  • Ben Farnell from Baker & McKenzie, who developed a Global Sustainability Index that compares and ranks country’s legal frameworks according to sustainability criteria
  • Mark Siddall from  LEAP (Low Energy Architectural Practice), who is is committed to tackling the building performance gap by making data publicly available

  • Morgan Taylor from  Greengage Environmental who established a 15-year ecological monitory scheme for Lendlease’s Elephant Park development in Southwark, London

  • Carol Wakelin, environmental manager at Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough, who gathered the first overall environmental impact of a shopping centre environment through her tenant engagement programme. 

Read more about the finalists courtesy of Su Butcher, from Just Practicing, who formed part of the judging panel. externallink

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The calibre of the nominees paints a bright future for sustainability in the built environment, driven by passionate individuals who have the communications and business skills needed to tackle issues that it’s all too easy to write off as ‘too difficult’. The UK-GBC is committed to championing future leaders, supporting them to challenge us all so that we don't become complacent to complex sustainability challenges.”