Winners of architectural technology awards rewarded for sustainability

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) has announced the winners of its annual AT Awards. Presented by the President, Kevin Crawford PCIAT, on 20 October, the Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in architectural technology for both students and practitioners.

The 2023 winners are:

The Chartered Architectural Technologist of the Year

Winner: Craig O’Halloran FCIAT

O’Halloran has been blazing a trail for the discipline of architectural technology in the United States since 2016. Although the discipline of architectural technology is not formally recognised in the US, this has not stopped O’Halloran from gaining a significant role in projects, his firm and in the industry. His point of view through the architectural technology lens has allowed him to lead clients through transformational change in all his work. 

The Emerging Talent in the Technology of Architecture

Winner: Rosie Thirlwell ACIAT

Thirlwell has had a significant impact and unwavering passion in the field of architectural technology. In just six years, she has made remarkable strides, ascending from a trainee to a senior architectural technologist. Thirlwell’s influence is evident not only in her impressive project portfolio, which includes the successful refurbishment of Newcastle Civic Centre and Britannia Leisure Centre, but also in her commitment to collaboration and sustainability.

The Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology | Small to medium

Winner: Irish Life Sciences, Mel McGerr FCIAT, MMA Architects 

Irish Life Sciences building

Redefining construction through adaptive reuse, the Irish Life Sciences Global HQ is a prime example of excellence in architectural technology. The design seamlessly integrates state-of-the-art facilities within the original 1990s structure, balancing economic viability and sustainability through thoughtful material selection setting a high standard for responsible development and significant carbon reduction. An impressive range of sustainability measures has been integrated from the repurposing and re-use of existing materials to the extensive use of PV arrays and thermodynamic solar panels.

Highly Commended: Holly Hall Barn, JDDK Architects

This comprehensive rural barn conversion with access via a single car laneway posed many challenges to the design team. The conversion of an outdated property into modern home with greatly improved thermal efficiency was the main focus of this project. A fine attention to detail with thermal modelling and a detailed focus on PSI values was the driving force behind this sustainable design. Innovative structural solutions involving existing stone buttresses and new metal tie rods have been sensitively designed into the original 1860 barn’s structure. 

Commended: Plot 9, Caxton, PiP Architecture

This ambitious new rural self-build residential project applies slick minimalist detailing to contemporary materials and building technologies to provide a two-storey traditional barn inspired home. With its choice of materials reflecting the vernacular and the need for a relatively simple assembly, this project clearly meets the brief with design choices that make for a visually interesting and stimulating structure. 

The Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology | Medium to large

Winner: Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar Expansion, RDK Architects

The Gravity Bar roof top

This new roof top expansion to the existing gravity bar is this year’s outstanding winner for the medium to large category. The sympathetic modification of the current structure is sustainable in terms of energy, history and culture and should be applauded. It is an exemplary illustration of integrating a new structure with an existing functioning building. With fantastic technical detailing, the project showcased excellent buildability and assembly techniques which allowed the expansion of the Gravity Bar whilst keeping the Guinness Storehouse fully operational. 

Highly Commended: Specialist Veterinary Referral Hospital, Sheerin Bettle Architecture

This project successfully navigated challenges posed by the sloping topography and planning restrictions in a conservation area, with the buildings carefully designed to replace existing structures and incorporated traditional agricultural forms while using modern and energy-efficient construction methods.

Commended: Blythe Rose, Paul Burton of A P Architecture Ltd

This state-of-the-art new build care home has been designed to enhance the lives of those living with progressive brain conditions that affect memory and thinking skills. The Judges were very impressed with the integration of modern solutions to both improve the patient and staff experience and consideration of the setting and surroundings.

The Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology | Large to mega

Winner: Mildenhall Hub, Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd

Mildenhall Hub

The Hub reflects the client’s aspiration for a multi-user facility with sustainability and efficient operation. This is a unique project that offered a regeneration opportunity to the area by supporting the growth of businesses. Mildenhall Hub is an excellent use of procedure and software to ensure issues of buildability (clash detection, design modelling) and assembly can be captured within the budgetary constraints. This was plainly a very complex project and recognition is given to the design teams handle on bringing everything together into a successfully constructed building.

Highly Commended: Sutton Rose, Paul Burton of A P Architecture Ltd

Transforming a former adult education facility into a modern community facility can be challenging but this exemplary project includes a care home, assisted living apartments and community facilities. The design of the home and the technologies introduced allows individuals to lead happy and fulfilled lives through very thorough design and great attention to detail.

Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology | Project
This recognises outstanding design achievement in Architectural Technology based upon a university/college assignment. The winner was The Hide Centre of Environmental Safeguarding, by Callum Matthew Craske, Nottingham Trent University

The Sirocco Quays: Multi-Generational Residential Scheme by Jack Buckley ACIAT, Ulster University was highly commended and The Hex Building by Dylan O’Connor, South East Technological University was commended.

The Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology Report which recognises outstanding research was won by Jack Buckley ACIAT from Ulster University with  Saif Wasim from Ulster University highly commended and Jack Fleming, from Atlantic Technological University commended.

The President’s Medal

The President’s Medal recognises and celebrates an extraordinary distinction or exceptional contribution to architectural technology and the profession. It is awarded once in any one Presidential term.

Winner: Gary Mees PPCIAT MCIAT

Gary Mees

Mees is the second recipient of the President’s Medal and received it for his roel as change-maker and key industry influencer. One of Mees’s key achievements has been his position within the advisory committee CONIAC (Construction Industry Advisory Committee) and his role as vice-chair of the Keeping Place with Change Group which has developed and instilled the embedding of CDM within the sector. Mees has and still, sits on many adviser groups to the Scottish Government and building standards and is contacted regularly when the Building Standards Division are looking for an expert in architectural technology within the built environment.

All the Awards, Finalists and Winners are featured at and in the autumn issue of AT Journal. The Awards reopen on 5 February 2024.

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