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Atkins wins AJ100 Best Use of Technology award

Awards aj100 201710
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Wellbriefing, an interactive tool to test worker happiness, has led Atkins to scoop the AJ100 Best Use of Technology award

It didn’t need last month’s survey of leading office designers to underline the growing importance of ‘wellbeing’ as a driver in today’s development world.

However, pinning down and quantifying this notion of worker happiness – and ensuring it is not merely given lip-service and subsequently lost in delivery – is a more difficult trick to pull off.

Yet Atkins has managed to achieve this with a clever, original and interactive engagement tool called Wellbriefing. The digital kit captures the needs and aspirations of a building’s users in nine separate categories. This data is then used to create the brief and test the designs of the proposed building to see if it they really are human-centric. It can also plot how changes, for instance through value engineering, will impact on the workforce – a new weapon in the armoury of architects that will allow them to defend key elements of a design. As judge Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield said: ‘Wellbriefing makes the invisible visible.’

The jury was also keen to recognise the ingenuity and potential of Foster + Partners’ new low-fi, low-cost tool to monitor and visualise local noise patterns. Powered by a Raspberry Pi computer, these basic recorders are already being used by the practice to inform its ‘masterplanning of smart cities’.

Highly commended

  • Foster + Partners


  • Foster + Partners
  • Make Architects
  • PDP London
  • PLP Architecture
  • Scott Brownrigg


  • David Edge, associate director and virtual and visualisation leader, Arup
  • Julia Barfield, co-founder, Marks Barfield Architects
  • Mike Fairbrass, creative consultant, author and modelmaker 
  • Richard Waite, news editor, AJ

AJ100 Best Use of Technology sponsored by




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