Best building projects recognised at RICS awards

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation at High School Yards by Malcolm Fraser Architects. Pic: Greg Macvean
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation at High School Yards by Malcolm Fraser Architects. Pic: Greg Macvean
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Three outstanding building projects in the Capital have picked up gongs at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) annual awards held at the Sheraton Hotel tonight saw the Capital projects chosen from 49 short-listed entries.

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. Picture: Greg Macvean

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation was the best for ‘building conservation’, while Atria Edinburgh and EICC Expansion won in the ‘commercial’ section, and Gateway Apartments Student Accommodation won in the ‘residential’ category,

The event showcases the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation involved the transformation of the University of Edinburgh’s 18th century Old High School into a modern energy efficient teaching hub.

Chair of RICS Scotland judging panel, Laura Hall MRICS, described it as “a joint effort by the three universities in Edinburgh to create a world class facility.”

She also praised designers’ “sensitive approach to conservation” which went hand in hand with its environmental objectives.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation will now automatically be entered in to the UK RICS Awards Grand Final on October 17 at the Savoy Hotel in London where it will go head-to-head against projects from across the rest of the UK.

Meanwhile, Gateway Apartments Student Accommodation was praised for its “excellent use of a dilapidated site” and for “bringing a run-down property back into use”.

The project is made up of 170 bed high quality student accommodation development in a tenement block.

Of the Atria in Edinburgh and EICC expansion, Ms Hall said: “A brave decision to commit to the project by the local authority has provided what is now the only new A grade space available in the city centre, as well as a new conference facility that enables Edinburgh to compete on the world stage.”

Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, said: “This year RICS Scotland’s Awards have attracted over 50 outstanding and exemplar entries, despite the ongoing uncertainty of the economic climate.

“These projects demonstrate the quality of projects and talent of property professionals in Scotland as we continue to produce impressive built schemes.”

She added: “The RICS awards exemplify how property professionals with inspirational schemes, large and small, can transform our lives, our communities and our environment. I would like to congratulate all of the entries and in particular those selected as best in category and highly commended or commended.”

Knockando Woolmill, in the Spey Valley, received the coveted Project of the Year Award.

It also won the ‘community benefit’ award, which recognises projects which directly benefits the community.

Other winners included, the Dundee Waterfront, which took the accolade for the ‘infrastructure’ category and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow for the ‘tourism and leisure’ category.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com