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Ceequal Logo.png
Assessment & Award Scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and works in public spaces
Purpose Sustainability assessment and awards
Headquarters London, Loughborough, Surbiton
Website http://www.ceequal.com

CEEQUAL, is the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and works in public spaces. It is promoted by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and a group of civil engineering organisations including CIRIA, CECA and ACE. CEEQUAL encourages and promotes the attainment of high economic, environmental and social performance in all forms of civil engineering through identifying and applying best practice. It aims to assist clients, designers and contractors to deliver improved sustainability performance and strategy in a project or contract, during specification, design and construction. The scheme rewards project and contract teams who go beyond the legal, environmental and social minima to achieve distinctive environmental and social performance in their work.[1]


CEEQUAL was developed by a team led by the ICE, with government financial support from the DETR and DTI Partners in Innovation schemes, and from the ICE's Research & Development Enabling Fund. The development of CEEQUAL was managed by Crane Environmental Ltd, and received support and participation from relevant government departments and agencies, professional and industry associations, and civil engineering consultants and contractors.

Following industry-wide consultation and trialling, the scheme was launched in September 2003 and the first eight Awards presented at the ICE.

Since then, CEEQUAL has become the UK industry scheme for assessing environmental and sustainability performance in civil engineering and public realm projects, and is now widely used by major civil engineering clients, designers and contractors. In June 2008 CEEQUAL was recognised by HM Government's report, Strategy for Sustainable Construction as an initiative helping to 'drive forward' the Government’s design agenda for civil engineering and infrastructure projects.[2] The total construction value of all projects assessed or in process of being assessed under CEEQUAL reached the £6 billion mark in autumn 2008. By 2015 the civil engineering value of work that has been or is currently being assessed exceeds £25 billion.[3]

How CEEQUAL Works[edit]

The scheme uses a points-scoring-based assessment, which is applicable to any civil engineering or public realm project. The scheme is made up of 200 questions within the CEEQUAL Manual relating to environmental and social aspects of a project such as the use of water, energy and land, impacts on ecology, landscape, neighbours, archaeology, as well as waste minimisation and management, and community relations and amenity. Awards are made to projects in which the clients, designers and constructors have gone beyond the legal and environmental minima, to achieve distinctive environmental standards of performance.

Project assessments are self-assessments carried out by an Assessor from within any part of a project team, or contracted in, who must have been trained by CEEQUAL. CEEQUAL also appoints a trained Verifier to the project, who is independent of the project team and acts to support the Assessor and provide validation of the completed assessment and subsequent Award. The first step involves the Assessor and Verifier agreeing which questions are not relevant to the project and should be scoped out. The project is then assessed against the remaining question set. The Assessor completes the assessment by gathering the appropriate supporting evidence and completing a Scoring Spreadsheet. This is then submitted to the Verifier, together with the supporting evidence, for review and approval. Once the Verifier is satisfied with the assessment, the Scoring Spreadsheet is submitted to CEEQUAL for ratification, and a CEEQUAL Award certificate is issued.[4]

There are several different CEEQUAL Award levels that a project can achieve, depending on the percentage number of points scored against the scoped-out question set. These are:

  • more than 25% - Pass
  • more than 40% - Good
  • more than 60% - Very Good
  • more than 75% - Excellent

Award Types[edit]

Five types of award can be applied:

  • Whole Project Award, which is normally applied for jointly by or on behalf of the client, designer and principal contractor(s)
  • Client & Design Award
  • Design Only Award, applied for by the principal designer(s) only
  • Construction Only Award, applied for by the principal contractor(s) only
  • Design & Build Award, applied for the designer(s) and constructor(s) of a project.

For larger or long-term projects an Interim (Client & Outline Design) Award is assessed en route to a final Whole Project Award.

The Manual[edit]

The CEEQUAL Assessment Manual for Projects contains the 200 questions that comprise the CEEQUAL scheme and against which projects are assessed. The Manual also contains background information and references, guidance on scoring and scoping out, and examples of what is considered appropriate evidence. The question set is split into the following 12 topic areas:

  • Project Management
  • Land Use
  • Landscape
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • The Historic Environment
  • Water Resources and the Water Environment
  • Energy and Carbon
  • Material Use
  • Waste Management
  • Transport
  • Effects on Neighbours
  • Relations with the Local Community and other Stakeholders

In November 2008, Version 4 of the CEEQUAL Manual was launched. This provided a significant update to previous versions, including new questions specifically targeting carbon emissions and whole-life-cycle carbon analysis.[5]

The CEEQUAL Manual should be read in conjunction with the Scheme Description and Process Handbook, which introduces the process of a CEEQUAL assessment and acts as a 'how to' guide for the Manual.

Projects Awarded[edit]

Some of the civil engineering projects to have achieved CEEQUAL Awards


Public Realm


River/Coastal Defence Structures


Water Supply & Sewerage


External links[edit]