Best Paper Prizes

Each year ARCOM awards a number of sponsored prizes for best papers. This is an important recognition of the hard work the delegates have put into conducting much interesting research and developing the papers that publish those efforts. The awards all enjoy a £250 financial reward together with the certificate that honours the award.

ARCOM has a number of commemorative awards we give annually on surveying/project management (Paul Townsend Commemorative Award), innovation (Rod Howes Commemorative Award) and social impact/significance (David Langford Commemorative Award). The past members of our community ARCOM commemorates each made a significant contribution to the field.

Paul Townsend was a strong supporter of ARCOM and an industry representative on the ARCOM committee for many years. He became an academic at Sheffield Hallam later in his career. The ARCOM award was instituted to celebrate his contribution following his untimely death.

Rob Howes is one of the founders of ARCOM and our first chairman, a charming and eloquent man, who was one of the key members in our community for many years.

David Langford, ARCOM’s Honorary Life President, sadly passed away in 2010. He led many of the ARCOM’s activities especially in the 1980s and 1990s.

The professional institutions (CIOB and RICS) and publishers associated with ARCOM (Wiley Blackwell, Taylor and Francis and Emerald) also award prizes at the conference. Themes for these prizes include the best international paper, innovation and sustainability, best technical paper, best theoretically informed contribution, and research methodology.

Click on the links below to view the prize winners for each year.

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • Paul Townsend Commemorative Award for Surveying/Project Management

    Sidsel Katrine Ernstsen, Anja Maier, Laurids Rolighed Larsen and Christian Thuesen – “Is Construction Ripe for Disruption”
    This paper explores the notion of Disruption and examines the industry through a comparison with the healthcare industry. The authors have carefully directed our attention towards how and where this disruption could happen. This advances the debate in ARCOM about the purpose of project management and provides a future challenge. There are some interesting claims about productivity and cost which will stimulate new arguments.

    Rod Howes Commemorative Award for Innovation

    Peter Raisbeck and Loren Adams – “They’re Coming at You: Latent and Active Design Agency in a Robotic Design Studio”
    A challenging paper on the rise of robotics in the construction sector. The paper focuses on the way robotic theories and narratives have been incorporated into professional architect training and the types of agency with which it is associated. The paper stands out for its consideration of the role of both design itself and professional as a result of new technology.

    David Langford Commemorative Award for Social Impact/Significance

    Regine Grytnes, Dylan Tutt and Lars Peter Sønderbo Andersen – “Developing Safety Cooperation in Construction: Between Facilitating Independence and Tightening the Grip”
    A gripping paper that provides a strong theoretical and methodological basis for safety. It offers well integrated and insightful discussion about long-standing H&S issues, looking at the divide that has tended to hinder progress, and beautifully incorporates literature and empirical material together. The paper promotes an advancement of true safety in the spirit of the Langford award.

    CIOB Best International Paper

    Tara Brooks, Duga Ewuga, Lloyd Scott and John Spillane – “The Impact of Brexit on Cross-Border Trade by the Construction Sector in Ireland: An Exploratory Study”
    Borders are always a problem and this paper takes on the mighty challenge of the effect on the North-South divide in Ireland after Brexit. The paper presents a compelling argument and succeeds in having a dispassionate forward look into attitudes to the cross-border problem and the potential for Brexit to exacerbate existing tensions.

    CIOB CRI Best Paper for Innovation and Sustainability

    Nina Koch-Ørvad, Christian Thuesen, Christian Koch and Thomas Berker – “Murmuration as Metaphor for Sustainable Innovation Processes”
    This was an exciting, brave, original and difficult paper in many senses, which adopts a very specific conceptual approach in order to ask some big questions. It reflects on the normal views of Construction Innovation presenting and drawing on these theoretical roots. There are many new directions that follow from this paper, and it will be good to see the new practical approaches that result.

    Frontiers Award Best Technical Paper

    Amila Prasad Chandrasiri and Devindi Geekiyanage – “Real-Time Object Detection System for Building Energy Conservation: An IP Camera Based System”
    An unusual paper for ARCOM, but it forces us to reconsider environmental controls in buildings. The authors introduce a real-time object detection and tracking system based on IP CCTV camera which can recognise objects and people and use this information for smart controls for building energy conservation. It argues that the current sensor-based systems are unreliable and not capable of responding to the needs of multiple people and energy emitting objects.

    Taylor and Francis Best Theoretically Informed Paper

    Eloise Grove, Andrew Dainty, Tony Thorpe and Derek Thomson – “Becoming Collaborative: Enhancing the Understanding of Intra-Organisational Dynamics”
    This paper makes excellent use of the theory of institutional logic, presented in an excellent literature review alongside longitudinal data in order to produce a forceful conclusion on collaboration at project level. This is an superb example on how to use theory to inform and direct research and data analysis.

    Emerald Best Research Methodology Paper

    Clara Man Cheung, Rita Peihua Zhang, Mark Shu-Chien Hsu and Ran Wang – “The Influence of Safety Leadership, Social Support, and Psychological Capital on Construction Safety Climate”
    This paper creates an exciting debate between organisational, social and individual perspectives of safety in practice. It is a rare example of methodologically sound use of survey research design and data.


    RICS, Best Paper on Sustainability

    Daniella Troje – “Rhetorical Strategies to Diffuse Social Procurement in Construction”
    This paper overcame strong opposition to triumph because of its demonstration of the how important for successful practical interventions to understand the impact of different rhetorical strategies and how they can legitimise socially sustainable actions.


  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012