The Australian Constructors Association and Engineers Australia have announced the winners of the 2020 and 2021 Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA), the peak annual award for major players in the Australian construction industry. 

The winners are: 

  • 2020: The New Museum for WA in Perth, constructed by Multiplex Constructions
  • 2021: The Zero Cost Energy Future in South Australia, constructed by Enerven. 

The awards were announced at a major online industry event held on 26 August. 

Due to COVID, the Australian Constructors Association and Engineers Australia made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 and 2021 Melbourne Gala Dinner for the Australian Construction Achievement Award, advising that 2020 and 2021 Award winners would be announced at the online event.

The Award is fiercely contested by the largest construction and engineering businesses operating in Australia, whose projects must first qualify to be finalists and then submit to the most rigorous assessment by an independent panel of experts. 

Australian Constructors Association President, Cathal O’Rourke, said these projects demonstrate that best-for-project outcomes are achieved when clients, contractors and the supply chain collaborate.

“A positive industry culture has the potential to make a good project great and the winners are proof of this,” Mr O’Rourke said.

CEO of Engineers Australia, Dr Bronwyn Evans AM, praised the finalists for their complexity and creativity. 

“Congratulations to all finalists for delivering such ambitious and innovative projects under such difficult circumstances, bringing together engineers from multiple technical backgrounds to deliver extraordinary constructions,” Ms Evans said.

Now in its 24th year, this premier construction industry Award has again been partnered by some of the major businesses connected with the industry including Caterpillar, Cbus, Holcim, Infra Build and Oracle Construction and Engineering. 

2020 winner

The New Museum for WA boasts seven new galleries, a 1,000 square metre special exhibitions gallery, dynamic and activated public spaces, and is set to become a landmark building for Western Australia.

A redevelopment of the existing WA Museum, the project included the design and construction of a new building that integrates with the existing heritage buildings, and heritage restoration works to the Old Gaol, Jubilee, Beaufort and Hackett Hall buildings. 

It also includes a Central Energy Plant (CEP) servicing the Perth Cultural Centre, and is expected to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions by around 30 per cent in the year after the new museum is operational.

The judges comments mentioned that Multiplex demonstrated a significant culture of de-engineering safety risk, which created a very safe working environment for all workers and stakeholders. 

The judges also focused on the project’s excellent cost control, particularly when asked for client changes. Stating that the design was in harmony with local surroundings and enhanced new construction with the historic buildings, including 85 per cent local content. 

The judges commentary commended the project, stating that innovation was strongly evident, and that the team and the 30 government stakeholders were cohesive, agreeing it was a fantastic outcome for the WA Museum. 

The other ACAA Finalists for 2020 were: 

  • Caulfield to Dandenong (CTD) Level Crossing Removal Project, Victoria by CTD Alliance 
  • Clarence Correctional Centre, Lavadia, New South Wales by John Holland 
  • Darlington Upgrade Project, Adelaide, South Australia by Gateway South
  • Newcastle Light Rail Fixed Instructure, Newcastle, New South Wales by Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd
  • Sydney Metro Northwest, Rouse Hill to Chatswood, New South Wales by Northwest Rapid Transit

2021 winner

Zero Cost Energy Future, SA, was delivered by Enerven, who engineered, procured, constructed and commissioned over 150MW of solar PV and 16MW/34MWh of energy storage across 33 South Australia water brownfield and greenfield sites, in metropolitan and regional areas of the state, in less than 24 months. 

This infrastructure delivery was part of SA Water’s program to see the energy they generate and export to the market, off-set the cost of the electricity they draw from the grid and network charges – to achieve a zero-net outcome. 

The judge’s comments mentioned that the project set a significant legacy for both the construction industry, but more importantly, major utilities like SAWater. 

The judges commended the project for developing both standards and a general methodology for delivering projects of this scale, providing the water industry with a pathway forward towards zero‐cost energy and materially.

The judges praised the project for reducing its carbon footprint, stating this is a significant societal outcome given it is a carbon intensive industry involving significant pumping and treatment.

The other ACAA Finalists for 2021 were: 

  • Bruce Highway Upgrade, Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway, New South Wales by Fulton Hogan Seymour Whyte Joint Venture
  • Pacific Highway Upgrade, Woolgoolga to Ballina Section 2A , Wells Crossing to Glenugie, NSW by ACCIONA
  • Australia 108 Melbourne, Victoria by Multiplex Constructions

The Award presentation and details about the finalists’ projects are available at 


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