Queen’s Univeristy project wins top RICS Award

Queen’s Univeristy project wins top RICS Award

A Queen’s University research facility has been named Project of the Year at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2016, Northern Ireland.

The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, situated in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital, also won the Design Through Innovation award before being crowned Project of the Year at the annual awards which showcase and reward projects from across Northern Ireland.

The £32million institute is the latest phase in the configuration of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, and has been designed to enhance its internationally recognised excellence in education and research.

The 9,000m2 building provides accommodation for some 330 members of staff specialising in research into finding cures for eye diseases and diabetes, and the development of a global programme to aid understanding of the genetics of complex chronic diseases.

Alan Stitt, Director of the Centre for Experimental Medicine commented, “The open and free-flow design of the building offers a positive change in the working environment, which enhances the development of cross-disciplinary collaborations and interactions between peer research groups.”

The project’s design team consisted of Ostick & Williams, in association with Stantec architects; Turner & Townsend cost management surveyor; Albert Fry Associates as the structural and civil consultant; services and BREEAM consultant, White Young Green; O’Hare & McGovern as the main contractor; and Harvey Group as the MEP contractor.

The judges said, “This is a high-quality construction housing laboratories, offices and meeting rooms for this international research organisation. Innovatively, the building has been designed on an ‘inside-out’ basis which is conducive to collaborative working. The project is finished to a very high standard and the achievement of a BREEAM Excellent certification is laudable.”

The RICS Awards are made up of eight categories from Building Conservation to Tourism & Leisure and Infrastructure, and some of the country’s most popular new builds and recent restorations were in the spotlight at a ceremony in La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Belfast, on May 6.

Ben Collins, RICS Director, Northern Ireland, said, “The positive impact that innovative buildings, regenerated shared spaces and world-class tourist facilities have on the local economy and society cannot be overstated. Once again, we have seen some of the best new builds, infrastructure projects, community schemes, and restoration initiatives from the last few years take the spotlight at our annual awards, and we are delighted to be able to highlight the exceptional work of the surveyors and other property professionals behind the projects.”

RICS Awards Judging Chairman, Alistair Dunn, added, “This was a competitive year for the RICS Awards in Northern Ireland. Our judges were blown away by the standard of the entries which ranged from stately homes to family homes, cross-community projects and buildings that are making a difference in education, medicine and culture. The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute is a worthy winner for its breakthrough in innovation, helping emphasise Northern Ireland’s credentials as a hub for critical medical research.”

The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute and the other winners from the evening will now progress as finalists from the Northern Ireland region at the national RICS Awards gala evening in London later in the year.

Further information about the awards is available at www.rics.org/awards

For an insight into this year’s winners CLICK HERE

PROJECT OF THE YEAR
The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Belfast

BUILDING CONSERVATION
WINNER
Mount Stewart, Newtownards
HIGHLY COMMENDED
The Graduate Building, Queen’s University, Belfast

COMMERCIAL
WINNER
City Quays 1, Belfast
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Development at 19-21 Broad Street, Magherafelt

COMMUNITY BENEFIT
WINNER
SPACE (Shared Process and Community Engagement) People’s Park, Portadown
HIGHLY COMMENDED
SERC Performing Arts, Computing and Engineering Campus, Bangor

DESIGN THROUGH INNOVATION
WINNER
The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Belfast
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Grillagh Water House, Maghera

INFRASTRUCTURE
WINNER
Lagan Weir Footbridge, Belfast
HIGHLY COMMENDED
RNLI Life Boat Station, Carrybridge, Enniskillen

REGENERATION
WINNER
SPACE (Shared Process and Community Engagement) People’s Park, Portadown
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Refurbishment of Seaview Hall, Glenarm

RESIDENTIAL
WINNER
Blacksmith’s Cottage, Portrush
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Lime Court, Peter’s Hill, Belfast

TOURISM & LEISURE
WINNER
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena
HIGHLY COMMENDED
Schomberg House, Belfast

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