Manchester Angel is the star of North West property ‘Oscars’ - MIDAS

Manchester Angel is the star of North West property ‘Oscars’

Forty two of the region’s most impressive property schemes battled for top honours at the 2013 RICS North West Awards on Thursday 9 May, where Manchester’s, One Angel Square won three awards including the overall title of Project of the Year.

Known as the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the prestigious contest held at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club celebrates inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors.

The impressive £100 million new headquarters for The Co-operative Group – One Angel Square – won the Commercial property accolade, as well as the Design & Innovation award before being crowned ‘Project of the Year’ in front of over 300 of the region’s property professionals.

One Angel Square is the largest commercial office building in the Manchester and has also achieved the highest scoring BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ office rating in the country, setting a new national benchmark in sustainable design within the commercial sector.

RICS judges said every aspect of the building has been constructed with sustainability at heart, with leading technologies utilised throughout including underground earth tubes that provide an amount of free heating and cooling. Powered by a pure plant oil-fed combined heat and power system, the building also utilises rapeseed oil grown on The Co-operative Group’s own farmland.

Commenting on the Project of the Year, Chair of the RICS North West judging panel, Jane Lathwood of GVA said: “One Angel Square is more than just a new head office. It is an iconic landmark that will enable The Cooperative Group to significantly reduce its operating costs, whilst increasing staff performance levels thanks to the building’s inspirational, innovative working environment.

“The flexibility of the building also presents expansion and sub-divisional possibilities that will continue to meet The Cooperative Group’s requirements long into the future.”

Winners in four of the categories (Building Conservation, Community Benefit, Design & Innovation and Regeneration) will now automatically be entered into the national RICS Awards. This means One Angel Square will compete against built projects from all over the UK later this year for a chance to gain national recognition.

One Angel Square wasn’t the only Manchester based scheme to be recognised on the night which was hosted by Architect and TV personality, George Clarke – best known for channel 4 series – The Restoration Man.

Fabrica – a BREEAM excellent rated, contemporary office building and 150 bedroom hotel in New Islington – was Highly Commended in the Regeneration category. RICS judges praised the scheme for improving and encouraging further investment in the local area and providing much needed Grade A office space.

Roman Catholic boys’ grammar school, St Ambrose College in Altrincham, was Highly Commended in the Design & Innovation category. RICS judges were impressed with the innovative design of the selective intake school which reflects the college’s religious ethos, ambitiously built in the shape of a Celtic cross, with space at its centre representing the ‘heart of the community.’

Meanwhile, Wigan’s new zero cost energy park – Armstrong Point – was Highly Commended in the Commercial property category. RICS judges said the scheme is an excellent example of how a building can significantly reduce a business’s carbon footprint, not to mention costly energy bills.

The winners of all seven individual categories are as follows:-

• Building Conservation – Florence Institute, Liverpool
• Commercial property – One Angel Square, Manchester
• Community Benefit – Trinity Methodist Church, Ellesmere Port
• Design & Innovation – One Angel Square, Manchester
• Regeneration – Stockbridge Village Regeneration, Knowsley
• Residential property – Pickmere Court, Crewe
• Tourism & Leisure – Orford Jubilee Park, Warrington

Mrs Lathwood adds: “Over the years, the RICS Awards have attracted some outstanding and exemplar entries, and despite the ongoing uncertainty of the economic climate, this year was no different. It just goes to show that the North West is certainly not short of talented property professionals as we continue to produce impressive built schemes that set the bar for other UK regions.

“The exceptional teams behind the winning and Highly Commended developments should all be extremely proud of themselves. These schemes have improved local areas and are encouraging more investment in the region which will certainly help boost our local economy.”

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