Excellence in concrete design and construction was celebrated at this year’s Irish Concrete Society’s Awards.
The Irish Concrete Society’s Award event returned after a three-year absence. The awards recognise excellence in both design and construction in concrete and are adjudicated by a distinguished, independent jury of industry professionals. The main awards jury reviewed a total of 32 projects, nominated in three categories of main awards – Element, Infrastructure and Building.
There were also nine projects nominated for the 9th International Award, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. In addition, the winner of the annual Sean de Courcy Student Award was announced.
Irish Concrete Society
Speaking at the awards evening, Chair, Roger West stated:
“Tonight is one for celebrating, celebrating the “promotion of excellence in the use of concrete” in all its forms. The creativity and skill of the various parties in each and every one of our entries for awards tonight must be in synergy to be successful in winning one of our main award categories.
“No less deserving of our admiration are those companies that export our expertise and products as flagships of our industry’s recognised excellence on an international stage while concurrently supporting the local economy. This is reflected in the increasing importance of winning the International Award.”
Element Category and Overall Award:
- Skate Bowl and Plaza at Le Fanu, Ballyfermot, Dublin
Client: Dublin City Council
Project Architect: Relational Urbanism
Project Engineer: Robert Barry Consulting Engineers
Project Contractor: C&A Build & Civil
Major Supplier: Roadstone
The winner was chosen from a total of 13 element category entries and 32 entries for the overall award.
The jury commendation stated: “This community-led project borne out of an international design competition has been carefully designed and executed almost entirely in concrete to provide a fantastic amenity to the youth of Ballyfermot. An extensive public consultation process has resulted in a park that caters for a range of users of varying abilities, from BMX cyclists to scooter users and skateboarders.
The jury was extremely impressed by the smoothness of concrete surface achieved across the three-dimensional skate-BMX plaza, skate bowls and skate transition area, a critical requirement of a skate park brief.”
Infrastructure Category Award
- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, Co Wexford
Client: Transport Infrastructure Ireland / BAM PPP & Iridium
Project Engineers: Arup / Carlos Fernandez Casado S.L
Project Contractor: BAM Ireland in Joint Venture with Dragados
Major Suppliers: Banagher Precast Concrete / Roadstone
Chosen from a total of five projects entered, the jury commendation stated: “The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, Ireland’s longest bridge at 887m in length, pushes the boundaries of bridge engineering and concrete technology and is a testament to the engineering skills and expertise of the design team and contractors.
“This new dramatic crossing over the River Barrow not only greatly improves connectivity in the South-East region but also allows for the rejuvenation of the nearby town of New Ross.’
Building Category Award
- UCC Student Hub
Client: University College Cork
Project Architect: O’Donnell + Tuomey
Project Engineer: Horgan Lynch Consulting Engineers
Project Contractor: JJ Rhatigan / DPPS Contracts
Major Supplier: Kilsaran
Chosen from a total of 14 entries, the jury commendation stated: “The new student hub incorporates and refurbishes the 1850s Windle Building in the heart of the historic campus of UCC. A thickened wall of cellular rooms bends around the back of the original structure, enclosing an open hall for student activity.
“The jury was particularly impressed by the colour, consistency and quality of finish of the in-situ concrete elements throughout the entrance and central market hall. reception desk, bench, stairs, bridges and balconies are carefully formed in concrete and together with a richly textured red brick-paved floor and painted steel elements create a dynamic space for student gatherings and public meetings.”
- Techrete and Grafton Architects for ‘Paul Marshall Building, London School of Economics’
This award recognises Irish companies who export products or services off the island of Ireland. The award reflects the continued emphasis on export for Irish construction.
Chosen from a total of five entries. The jury commendation stated: ‘The judges were impressed with the quality of all the entries for this year’s Irish Concrete Society International Awards and consequently judging was difficult with a few projects scoring very highly.
“However, there can only be one winner, and the judges were unanimous in their choice; based on the complexity of the units used with interlocking panel geometry plus the high quality of finish, the jury has selected the Paul Marshall Building at the London School of Economics as this year’s International Concrete Award Winner.
“The creative and innovative approach to overcoming challenging joint details required to present a strong visual feature which defines the façade of this iconic London University Building was most impressive.
“Sustainability was introduced to the judging criteria this year. The commitment from manufacturers to meet the current market demands for attention to sustainability is essential, and we join with our winner in celebrating the achievement of all the entrants for their success in winning prestigious overseas projects.”
Sean de Courcy Student Award
This annual Sean de Courcy Student Award was given to the best final year project on a concrete-related topic from the engineering faculties of higher education institutes.
The winner was Aaron Lowe (Dublin Technological University) for his project “Simulating hydration of cement using PHREEQC.”