The judging process for the awards usually takes place in three stages:
- Initially all entries are judged in each category by the full panel. In order to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure complete impartiality, panel members that submit a project absent themselves from judging entries in that category, either for the duration of the judging, or until such time as that project is eliminated from the competition.
- A shortlist is drawn up of projects that are felt to be worthy of a site visit which will take place in late May/ Early June: With projects submitted from all over Scotland, the panel may decide to view entries at a great distance with a smaller sub-group of panel members (minimum of three judges).
- Following the tour of the shortlisted projects the panel meets under the chairmanship of the annual guest chair to decide winners in each category. These winning projects will receive the Saltire Awards in their respective categories. All winning projects will automatically be considered for the Saltire Medal.
Criteria projects will be judged on:
- 1. Contribution to Place/Placemaking – incorporating:
- Making or improving public spaces
- Creating desirable living environments
- 2. Social Value – incorporating:
- Template for others – beneficial, replicable exemplar
- Delivery Mechanism/Process
- Meeting Need
- Socially valuable innovation ( e.g. energy efficiency, new construction technique, new models for living, etc)
- 3. Architectural/Design Merit - Design Realisation – incorporating:
- Meets functional challenge
- Meets technical challenge
- 4. Joy
- Is Scotland a better place because this project exists?
- Does the designer’s/client’s achievement deserve to be recognised?
Winners will then be announced at the Awards ceremony.
The Annual Chair, Saltire Medal and Innovation in Housing Award
The annual chair is an individual of high professional and/or public standing, who has either a close involvement or active interest in the housing and design industries. This will enable the awards to be a vehicle for this individual to pass comment on the state of Scotland’s housing and neighbourhoods. This will assist the awards in continuing to be the principal litmus test for the character of Scotland’s housing stock and forum for the national housing debate. The chair acts as a non-submitting auditor and external observer of the panel’s judging process, thus ensuring transparency in this process and allowing other panel members to submit to the scheme whilst avoiding conflicts of interest.
The Annual chair is also accompanied by The Saltire Medal - an overall award and cash prize, the recipient of which will be chosen by the Annual Chair alone.
In 2010 the annual guest chair was occupied in its inaugural year by John McAslan. In 2011 we are extremely pleased to welcome Malcolm Fraser to the role of Annual Chair of the Saltire Society Housing Design Awards Panel. Malcolm is a Scottish Architect of highest profile and repute, and has been a supporter of the awards and their aims and objectives for many years. We are delighted he has agreed to become only the second Annual Chair in the Awards history.
The Saltire Society is also proud to introduce a new award this year – the Innovation in Housing Award, sponsored by the Scottish Government. This new initiative is designed to identify original thinking in housing design in Scotland and can be in any aspect of the subject, whether in ways of breaking down traditional distinctions between public and private sector development; ways of effectively increasing the number of housing completions per annum; improvements to the procurement process that can speed up delivery of new homes and/or make the process more cost efficient whilst maintaining high standards of design and construction; ways of encouraging – and improving – the self build sector; finding ways to reduce the carbon cost of the country’s existing housing stock; and ways of improving the quality and consistency of design and of promoting its benefits for sustainability and placemaking. The list here is not exhaustive and applications will be judged on their overall merit and potential impact in improving housing quality in Scotland. The Award is intended to complement the Scottish Government’s vision for future housing policy and to put forward new ideas for debate and possible implementation – whether by the public or the private sector. Whilst anticipating future developments, the Award does not preclude applications based on already-completed projects that demonstrate genuine innovation with potential for wider application in housing throughout Scotland.
Conflicts of Interest
In order to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure complete impartiality, panel members that submit a project absent themselves from judging entries in that category, either for the duration of the judging, or until such time as that project is eliminated from the competition by the rest of the panel. This process is audited by both the Annual Chair and Official Observer.