The annual awards have become affectionately known as the region’s property Oscars, celebrating Yorkshire and Humber’s most inspirational built environment schemes. This year 46 property projects of all sizes and budgets – from all over the region - are in with a chance of gaining industry recognition, along with the teams behind them.
The University of Sheffield’s new £81m Diamond Building – which opened in September last year – is in the running for the Design through Innovation award. Part of the redevelopment of the faculty of engineering, the stunning building – complete with state-of-the-art facilities - supports the university’s ambition of becoming the UK’s leading engineering university and doubling the size of the Faculty of Engineering by 2021.
Yorkshire Water’s £23m Bio Energy Digestion Scheme in Blackburn Meadows has been shortlisted for the Infrastructure award for providing 800,000 people of the South Yorkshire region with an environmentally friendly waste facility which generates energy and reduces our carbon footprint. Yorkshire Water
Another project in Blackburn Meadows up for the Infrastructure award is the Biomass Power Plant which generates energy by converting locally sourced waste wood into electricity. Located on the site of the former cooling towers, it acts as a new landmark signalling a major gateway to the city.
Meanwhile Richmond Park and Oasis Academy in Don Valley have both been shortlisted for the Regeneration accolade.
The project to regenerate Richmond Park involved the refurbishment and redevelopment of over 400 run-down homes to create new contemporary family housing that is affordable to rent. The £24.5m scheme also improved the community’s infrastructure such as the pedestrian links to the roads and problematic alleyways. Upon completion of the works, residents’ satisfaction surveys were issued and an overall satisfaction score of 92.9% was achieved.
Oasis Academy Don Valley opened in September 2015 after an ambitious 44 week construction programme. The £16m community focused academy school - for children aged 2 -16 - has brought previously developed land back into use and is the first project of a bigger regeneration programme for the area, acting as a catalyst for future development.
Lastly, two new housing projects in Sheffield are up for the Residential award. The first phase of a scheme known as Project Maltravers has created a ‘new face’ and gateway for Wybourn through the delivery of 88 much-needed new family homes – 12 of which are bungalows - for affordable rent.
Meanwhile, Little Kelham - a development of 157 one to four bedroom low carbon homes in the Kelham Island area - provides residents with economic living thanks to their exceptional eco features including superior insulation. The homes are also digitally-enabled, allowing residents to control and monitor energy usage from a smartphone or tablet.
The RICS Yorkshire & Humber Awards have eight categories in total: Building Conservation, Commercial property, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation, Regeneration, Residential, Tourism & Leisure and Infrastructure.
There is also a highly esteemed Project of the Year title presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. Last year, the accolade was awarded to Network Rail’s new £35m York Campus for its combined, extensive Rail Operating Centre and pioneering Training Centre.
All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in October 2016, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.
Chair of the RICS Yorkshire & Humber Awards judging panel, Rob Hindle, Director at White Hindle & Partners (WHP Ltd) said: “The RICS Yorkshire & Humber Awards attract a significant volume of entries every year and this year is no different; our shortlist of inspiring schemes is testament to the talent and exceptional skills of our region’s property professionals.
“I am looking forward to the judging process as many of the shortlisted projects are not only pioneering in their design, but they are also having a hugely positive impact on their local areas.”
Property expert and TV presenter, Martin Roberts of BBC One’s property auction series, Homes Under the Hammer will host the 2016 RICS Yorkshire & Humber Awards on 13 May at The Majestic, Harrogate. Tickets can be booked online at Click here or direct from Amie Lunn email [email protected] or telephone 01924 229 308.