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dev Banc
28 June 2024
Built Environment

Design Company Picks up Double Honours at Education Sector Awards

A design, engineering and project management company has been recognised for delivering excellence and promoting innovation in the education sector in Wales.

Education Buildings Wales awarded AtkinsRéalis, which has offices in Cardiff, with Architectural Practice of the Year at its annual conference and awards event in Cardiff, based on projects such as Portfield School, Pembrokeshire; Willows School, Cardiff; Gower College, Cardiff & Vale College, Cardiff University and Swansea University – amongst others. It is an award which recognises architectural practices which have demonstrated excellence in delivering value and functionality with projects, whilst also promoting best practice in innovative design in the education sector.

AtkinsRéalis said its architecture team used its bespoke data analysis and in-house architectural design tools to support local authorities and education providers to take a holistic, user-centred approach to design – an approach which it said had provided added value in creating “exemplary and engaging buildings and places for learning in Wales”.

In addition, the award for Innovation in Delivering a Sustainable Education Facility went to the Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM) at Swansea University, which AtkinsRéalis delivered along with partners Kier Construction, Stride Treglown, Aecom and Gleeds. The award recognises innovation that has helped to deliver a sustainable education facility that promotes sustainable practises and behaviours by all users.

CISM is a new initiative bringing together semiconductor and advanced materials platforms to research and develop new technologies and products at Swansea University's Bay Campus. AtkinsRéalis’ Building Services and Process Engineering teams were appointed by Swansea University to work with the client stakeholder team to develop the brief, scheme content and detailed employer requirement throughout construction of the facility.

Helen Groves, architect director at AtkinsRéalis, said:

“Both of these awards represent great recognition for the team which is always working to innovate and push the limits of design and creativity to devise truly great buildings that meet our clients’ ambitions.

“As a business we have a clear mission to ensure our clients reach their net zero goals and that informs our sustainable by design approach, as well as the work we’re doing in decarbonising the built environment. We can see this in key projects in Wales such as the Schools Carbon Guidance that we have written for Cardiff Council and our Decarbonisation projects for Cardiff University.

“Of course on a personal level we’re over the moon to have won both awards against some really stiff competition on the night.”

Richard Bonner, market director for Buildings and Places at AtkinsRéalis added:

“This is a great win for the team and really puts our work on the map in this important sector. We talk about engineering a better future for our planet and its people and nowhere is that more resonant than in education.

“It’s a sector where we are seeing real growth and it’s based on the kind of projects that have been recognised by these awards, which truly deliver excellence and demonstrate the innovation that drives the growth of our business.”

The Education Buildings Wales event was attended by leading education professionals, key public sector influencers and all those involved in designing, delivering, refurbishing and supplying products/services for educational buildings. It is the only event of its kind dedicated to educational buildings in Wales, focussing on the funding, design, build, maintenance and management of schools, colleges, and universities.

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