Civic Society Design Awards

The Civic Society Awards aim to recognise projects within the built environment that make a positive contribution through new developments and also the conservation/renovation of existing buildings or spaces within Kendal. They also recognise special projects that make a valuable improvement to the quality of life. This fits in with the Society’s aims of celebrating the new whilst preserving the best of the past.

There are basically three award categories, namely new development, restoration/conservation and special projects and projects that are built in the two years that are eligible for assessment.

Nominations are made throughout the year by the Society’s membership, and they are then assessed, by the Committee, at the start of the calendar year against a set of objective criteria. Each category includes some or all of the following criteria:-


There are two categories of award: DESIGN AWARD and HIGHLY COMMENDED and also a LETTER OF COMMENDATION can be awarded to projects which do not qualify for a full award.

Awards are made to those associated with successful projects, be it designers, clients or residents, at the Members’ Meeting held in March.

Design Award Scoring System

Relationships to surroundings and neighbourhood
  1. Lack of appropriate scale and contextual awareness.
  2. Scale appropriate for the site.
  3. Scale appropriate, contextual awareness and some quality in the relationship to neighbouring properties.
  4. In keeping with setting, scale appropriate to the site, acknowledges existing footpaths, roads.
  5. All qualities defined (i.e. scale, context, neighbourliness) of the highest order.
Value to Kendal
Consideration of urban design, economic and social factors
  1. Makes little or no contribution to Kendal's urban quality, nor makes any impact on economic or social factors.
  2. Makes some contribution to Kendal's urban quality but misses key economic and social opportunities.
  3. Makes a valuable contribution to Kendal's heritage and has some economic and social benefits.
  4. In keeping with setting, scale appropriate to the site, acknowledges existing footpaths, roads.
  5. A significant contribution to the enhancement of Kendal's heritage with demonstrable economic and social benefits.
External appearance and internal planning
  1. Ignores local urban design context and mocks historic narrative .
  2. Basic qualities evident in handling of proportion, which are in keeping with local vernacular and landscape.
  3. Above average use of scale, harmony and site features.
  4. Very good use of local aesthetic language and context.
  5. Exceptional design of both internal and external spaces making a positive contribution to the local environment.
Environmental impact
  1. Negative impact on environmental considerations and inappropriate use of unsustainable construction methods.
  2. Adequate response to the requirements of Building Regulation standards.
  3. Above average response to sustainability needs with some use of energy conservation measures.
  4. High standard of sustainable elements and a large range of innovative ideas in conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gases.
  5. Completely innovative and zero carbon footprint evident throughout the design.
Finished Quality
Finishes, detailing, use of local materials and workmanship
  1. Poor knowledge of local construction methods materials and workmanship.
  2. Rudimentary knowledge of local traditions and material use but poorly executed.
  3. Basic knowledge and application of good construction methodology.
  4. Advanced knowledge of materials, construction methods and workmanship of a high order.
  5. Highly innovative use of materials in keeping with the local traditions, exceptional workmanship and finishes throughout.
Elements of the project that encourage biodiversity
  1. No attempt to acknowledge the need for biodiversity within a development irrespective of site constraints or any protection of existing native species.
  2. Basic level of features that encourage biodiversity such as tree planting, but excessive areas of hard surfaces where biodiversity is discouraged.
  3. A good planting design and use of natural surface materials in lieu of 'concrete and extensive tarmac areas' . Biodiversity is encouraged.
  4. The introduction of indigenous plant material that encourages biodiversity and connectivity through green corridors and also bioswales to deal with flood potential. Some existing features retained.
  5. The positive introduction of features within the project that both encourages and protects existing biodiversity including measurable physical elements like swift boxes, connectivity through scheme using green corridors, use of native plant species, creative systems for the disposal of water and reducing flood risk e.g. ponds that use native aquatics. Nil use of pesticides as part of a biodiversity management plan.