St Pancras wins project of the year at the RICS 2008 awards

RICS Sustainability Award 2008

The Orchard, built within a scenic 18ha woodland site in Belfast, has won the RICS Sustainability Award 2008.

The development, situated within Stranmillis University College, is built on previously demolished prefabricated buildings in order to minimise the impact on the existing mature trees surrounding the site.

Numerous sustainable building technologies have been incorporated in the design, including the installation of biomass boilers, resulting in the project achieving a BREEAM rating of “very good”.

To ensure that the building remains as sustainable as possible the building performance will be monitored via the college’s existing software.

The Orchard wins green Oscar

In addition, graphic displays have been provided for each of the sustainable technologies as a method to educate Stranmillis Primary School and other local schools who can now experience at first hand how sustainable technologies work.

Simon Pott, chairman of judges, said: “The work by Stranmillis University College to adopt sustainable principles is truly reflected in The Orchard.

“This is good news for the short-term environmental impact.

“The University’s relationship with the local schools is ensuring that the next generation of children consider the implications of buildings and the environment.

“In addition to the overall category winner, the judges also commended Northumbria University Campus East and The Innovate Green Office in Yorkshire for achievements in sustainability.”

RICS Project of the Year Award

The refurbishment and extension of St Pancras International station as part of an £800m transformation has scooped the RICS Project of the Year Award.

The scheme to refurbish and develop the Grade 1 listed building has revitalised the station and the surrounding areas, with the development becoming a destination in its own right containing high quality retail, catering and consumer services.

St Pancras wins project of the year award

Key structural changes, in the form of a new flat roofed train shed, were an essential element of the project in order to accommodate the 400m long Eurostar trains and provide increased capacity for domestic services.

Significantly, RICS thought the project has underpinned widespread regeneration in the area by providing a major impetus for investment. High Speed 1 has provided the certainty needed for planning in the wider area to take place and the retail/catering in the station has acted as a ‘High Street’ for the local area resulting in attractive amenities for inward investment.

RICS Community Benefit Award

The Gateway, a Warrington development which houses voluntary and charitable agencies that provide social, educational, and administrative advice and services for the local community, won the RICS Community Benefit Award 2008.

The Gateway is the largest and most ambitious community resource centre project to date.

At the outset of the scheme, the primary objective was to unite the buildings into an efficiently planned flexible space around existing structural constraints. Out of a very confused multi-level assemblage of existing buildings, the design achieved a simple circulation strategy. The project has ensured that the Gateway is accessible, safe, functional and easy to use.

The project was implemented in two phases; phase one comprised the conversion and alteration work of the establishment centre, with phase two involving the renovation of the conference facility within the main hall.

RICS Regeneration Award

The £200m St Stephen’s retail-led scheme in Hull won the RICS Regeneration Award.

A retail-led mixed use scheme, St Stephen’s in Hull transformed a semi-derelict 40-acre city centre site that had been in decline for decades.

The area had become typified by surface car parks, low grade warehouses and dilapidated industrial premises.

As part of its range of benefits St Stephens has delivered a £20m public transport interchange which forms a state-of-the-art gateway to Hull.

The interchange has transformed the existing Grade II listed Paragon railway station and bus station into a facility which delivers 24,000 people to St Stephen’s door each day, and most importantly creating 2,500 new jobs.

RICS Building Conservation Award

Beeleigh Abbey, a former home of Sir John Gates – chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, scooped the RICS Building Conservation Award.

A Premonstratensian house, Grade I listed Beeleigh Abbey stands outside Maldon in Essex. Established in 1180, the Abbey comprising of church, cloister and outbuildings, was a typical monastic foundation of the period. By the 18th Century, these buildings had been reduced in size with only part of the rectory, outbuildings and a barn remaining – all being used as a farmhouse.

In 2000, a restoration programme was put in place to modernise and provide much needed structural repairs. The first step of the project was an initial assessment of the historical development and building fabrics to ensure that its unique character was not compromised in the course of the works.

The project team carefully endeavoured to limit the loss or erosion of historic fabric, and high quality traditional materials and products such as lime putty were used in the repairs to ensure this was achieved.

The level of detail undertaken is illustrated by the conservation of the trompe l’oeil painted decoration, by the artist Henry Bardon, in a bedroom in the 1624 wing.

The construction ‘Oscars’ were give at a gala event held at The Millennium Mayfair in London on 17 October.