Enthusiasm for the most prestigious prize in UK property has reached new highs despite challenging conditions for many property professionals with a record number of projects being submitted for the RICS Awards 2009.
Representing a full spectrum of organisations and projects worldwide, the 363 entrants range from small schemes built by the vision and persistence of one person, to multi-million budget, globally recognised developments. Entries have been submitted from universities, local and national governments, private sector developers and national bodies. In addition to the high volume of UK entries, projects from Australia, Spain, Belgium, France and Hungary have also been submitted.
RICS Awards 2009 consists of four categories: building conservation; regeneration; sustainability and community benefit. Community benefit has proved to be the most popular category this year, attracting 28 per cent of entries, closely followed by regeneration 26.68 per cent, building conservation 27 per cent and encouragingly, sustainability with 18.32% of total entries.
The awards celebrate the best new projects in the built environment and the 2009 winners will join a long line of inspirational building projects. Past winners include prestigious projects such as Kings Cross St Pancras, Oxford Castle Heritage Project, Kew Palace and Arsenal's Emirates stadium.
Projects will compete in UK regional heats and an international heat, with the best entrants in each region forming the shortlist for the grand final awards. Judging will take place during spring 2009 and will be followed by a series of regional ceremonies culminating in the final ceremony in London on Friday 16th October 2009 at the Honourable Artillery Company.
Louis Armstrong, CEO comments: "With a record number of entries this year the competition is even stronger. The 2008 awards raised the benchmark in all categories and this year's successful entrants will need to prove that their schemes demonstrate excellence within their specific category.
"RICS members are a vital link in delivering a low carbon built environment. Increasing economic return, sustaining the natural environment and protecting social values are not incompatible. The RICS awards provide a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this in action."