Big salute to excellence at KPMG/Irish Independent property awards night
Judges were impressed with tenant-led approaches to housing regeneration
A social housing regeneration project was the overall winner of the 2019 KPMG Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards which was presented last Thursday night at an event in the Dublin Convention Centre attended by 1,000 people across the industry. Category awards were also presented for 11 projects selected from 160 entries.
The overall winner came as a surprise at a time when so much emphasis has been focused on private property development on greenfield sites. Ali Grehan, city architect with Dublin City Council, collected the award for the council's Dolphin House Regeneration project which is regenerating a 1950s residential complex that had been designated for demolition and redevelopment.
She said afterwards that it was "all about working with the existing community which was living in the estate while these buildings were going up and who had huge expectations about what their homes would be. It was great to meet their expectations and also to build to an astonishingly high standard because the homes are incredibly sustainable. They're near zero energy homes. By the time we finish the Dolphin development, it will be 600 new homes," she added.
The judges were also highly impressed with the community-based, tenant-led approaches to housing regeneration, ownership and management. In the first phase, 100 homes have been completed at a cost of €26m.
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The guest of honour at the awards, now in its fifth year, was Jim Gavin, manager of Dublin's All-Ireland winning football team. Congratulating the winners across all categories, he said that they will recognise that "if you look after the small things, the big things will look after themselves".
When asked about his recipe for the Dublin team's success, he said: "We have a high standard of performance that we always strive for and that's what drives us on. I always say to players at the start of the season we need to burn our trophies. Past success does not guarantee that you will win the competition again… There's always something to improve upon."
Jim Clery, head of real estate at KPMG, said: "The standard of applications for this year's awards demonstrate the continued progress of the industry, especially in the areas of innovation and technology, and I'd like to thank participants for taking the time to share their business developments and achievements over the past year... The industry needs to stand up for itself and ensure that it's recognised that it provides the grease that keeps the wheels of the economy moving."
Paul Muldoon, of INM, thanked the sponsors of the award, KPMG, PINERGY and Eugene F Collins Solicitors for their continued support. He also highlighted the role that patrons Hibernia REIT, Irish Life, Cosgrave Developments and Linesight played in the development of an educational aspect to the event - funding a doctorate in Property Research at Technological University Dublin (TUD). Dr Lorcan Sirr, of TUD, told the audience that the €90,000 funding would see a doctorate that will examine what makes a functional housing system.
Cairn, the housing developer, won the Excellence in Planning Award for private sector development at its Oak Park development in Naas, Co Kildare.
This was the second time that it has won this award and planning manager Aidan McLernon attributed its success to designs which were aimed not just at securing planning permission but at building communities.
And the winners are...
COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROJECT OF THE YEAR (civic projects over €1m)
Winner: Dublin City Council for Dolphin House Regeneration
COMMUNITY BENEFIT (local projects up to €1m)
Winner McCabe Architects for Rathmullan Pier
Winner: BAM Facilities Management Ireland Ltd for Schools PPP Programme — Bundle Four
DESIGN PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Carr Cotter Naessens/ Denis Byrne Architects for Gardens International
COMMERCIAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING (public sector)
Winner: Monaghan Co Council for Clones Renewal Scheme
Joint winners: McCabe Architects & Liberty Blue Estate Agents
CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: John Paul Construction
ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Rediscovery Centre for Ballymun Boiler House
PROP TECH INNOVATION AWARD
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING (private sector)
Winner: Cairn for Oak Park Naas
PROPERTY INVESTMENT/ FUND MANAGERS OF THE YEAR
Winner: Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) for IRISH LIFE Property - Investing for Better Futures