Sixteen of Wales’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the RICS Awards 2018 last week, where Swansea’s Active Classroom – an innovative project at Swansea University’s Bay Campus – took the overall, esteemed ‘RICS Project of the Year, Wales’ title.
Held at the Radisson Blu Cardiff on the evening of Wednesday 23 May, the annual RICS Awards, Wales celebrated inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors across eight category awards.
The winners of the eight individual categories – announced by host, news broadcaster, Lucy Owen, in front of local property professionals – are as follows:
- Building Conservation – Yr Ysgwrn, Gwynedd
- Commercial – Zip World’s Adventure Terminal, Bethesda
- Community Benefit – Old Oak Housing Co-operative, Carmarthen
- Design through Innovation – The Active Classroom, Swansea
- Infrastructure – RNLI Llandudno Lifeboat Station, Llandudno
- Regeneration – The Jennings, Porthcawl
- Residential – Leonard Charles House, Swansea
- Tourism & Leisure – St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff
In addition, Highly Commended – Carmarthen Velodrome Project, Carmarthen, was Highly Commended in the Community Benefit category.
The highly acclaimed ‘RICS Project of the Year, Wales’ accolade is presented to the category winner that demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.
The title went to the Swansea’s Active Classroom, which also scooped the Design through Innovation accolade on the night. The Active Classroom is a full-scale building demonstration project, located at Swansea University's £450 million Bay Campus. It was created to demonstrate the latest renewable energy technologies being developed there and contains a laboratory and classroom used for teaching students.
The project was created by SPECIFIC which is led by Swansea University, with strategic partners including Akzo Nobel, NSG Pilkington, Tata Steel, Cardiff University, and a wide range of business and academic partners.
RICS Judges praised the team behind the Active Classroom – including Faithful+Gould, Swansea University (SPECIFIC), and Kier Construction – for creating “one of those rare projects that embodies the concept of innovation”.
The Judges said that The Active Classroom “offers a clear path to the future of construction and power generation in the same package”.
Chair of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, Wales, Phil Johns, said:
“The Active Classroom is a pioneering project that points a way forward for domestic and commercial construction and has the potential to drive significant, positive change in the construction industry that could have benefits around the world.”
All of this year’s winners are testament to the successful collaboration of the talented teams behind them. Together, their complimentary skills and exceptional vision has not only created some remarkable built schemes which Wales can be immensely proud of, but they are also having a profoundly positive impact on their local communities.”
All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in London later this year, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.