Faithful+Gould’s Birmingham Office Savours Success at the RICS West Midlands Awards

Alison Ferry
Faithful+Gould’s Birmingham office is delighted to announce three wins for two of its projects at the West Midlands RICS Awards, where F+G's projects competed against 40 other property schemes.

University of Birmingham Chamberlain residences won in the best residential development category, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) won in best infrastructure project category and BIFoR went on to win overall Project of the Year. Both projects were for our client the University of Birmingham.

Regarded as the premier property and construction awards in the country, the West Midlands RICS Awards brings together the most innovative projects in the region to award the very best entries across eight categories. Our projects picked up the awards at the ceremony which took place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham on Thursday 18 May.

University of Birmingham Chamberlain is a new, contemporary high- and low-rise student development located in a prominent position at the top of the Vale Student Village, the scheme provides 726 student bedrooms comprising of self-contained studios and bedrooms with en-suite facilities. Each cluster, generally containing six rooms provides a communal kitchen/diner and living space.

Faithful+Gould have extensive experience of providing professional services in the delivery of high quality student accommodation, including University of Warwick, Sherbourne Residences Phase 1 and 2, Aston University, Lakeside residences and University of Bristol, Colstan Hall.

Our Birmingham office has a long history of delivering professional quantity surveying services to the University of Birmingham most recently via its framework, including Mason, Jarratt and Shackleton Hall re-developments.

The RICS judges said:"Chamberlain impressed throughout, scoring consistently across all categories. The design of the project was extremely positive, sympathetically responding to the neighbouring conservation through a striking modern design. Impact on the neighbouring community and future residents had also featured prominently by embracing the site’s levels and creating new views through to the listed park, The Vale. Finally, the environmental credentials were also excellent with a CHP solution which benefitted not only the development itself but also connected other residences within the campus."

BIFoR aims to be at the forefront of research for the University of Birmingham at its new Stafford site. The CO2 research facility located in remote historic woodland is the only one of its kind in the UK and will simulate the atmospheric conditions expected in 2070. Investigating the effects of climate change on existing mature woodlands, the facility comprises a series of cylindrical ring structures, reaching just above the tree canopy, with supporting pipes delivering CO2 in such a way that the woodland inside the ring is immersed in CO2.

The team from our Birmingham office provided quantity surveying services, and promoted a collaborative procurement process with a single specialist contractor to deliver a bespoke, yet competitively priced solution to design and build the FACE field facility, that will test the resilience of mature forest in a high carbon future.

The RICS judges said;“A project with a small physical footprint but with the potential for national and global importance. Intricately planned, sensitively executed, collaborating with Australia, US and Amazonian research to assess the impact of CO2 on our ‘Green Infrastructure’.
50% of our forest will have been affected in 50 years’ time and this project aims to provide the empirical evidence that could nudge political thought as CFC research did to repair ozone in the Antarctic.”

Faithful+Gould was represented by Simon Kendall, regional director and key account manager for the University of Birmingham. After picking up the award Simon said; "Having been involved from the earliest concept stages in both projects and knowing the efforts by both teams put into delivering high quality projects it is great to see those efforts recognised by our peers. It was a difficult task to get the market place to understand the reasoning behind the objectives of the BIFoR project and we were concerned that not having been part of the full journey that the judges might not ’get it’, however I am delighted to see that they totally did!"

Dan Holmes, project manager at University of Birmingham said “These awards acknowledge the significance of the project, and what the project team has achieved this was only possible through the collaboration, dedication and hard work of the project teams. Thanks go to Faithful+Gould for supporting us and nominating the projects for these prestigious awards. Looking forward to the RICS Finals in London in November" 

John Rawlinson, head of operations at Faithful+Gould Birmingham said of the win:"This is a fantastic effort by the team involved on both projects. Chamberlain Residences reinforces our position as the pre-eminent consultancy for student accommodation and residential schemes. BIFoR is a game-changing project which will have far reaching impact on design and use across the globe, now and for future generations. BIFoR is rightly a contender to win the RICS Project of the Year Award in November."

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