ICF members Banagher Precast, Flood Precast, Kilsaran Concrete, Roadstone and Techrete were all winners at the Irish Concrete Society Awards evening held on March 25th in Dublin.

This was the 40th Annual Awards Evening which took place in the 50th Anniversary year of the Society. Adjudicated by a distinguished, independent jury of industry professionals, the awards recognise excellence in both design and construction in concrete. The event is always one of the highlights of the construction industry’s calendar.

The main awards jury reviewed a total of 30 projects nominated in three categories of Infrastructure, Element, and Building. There were also seven projects nominated for the 10th International Award, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. In addition, the winner of the biennial Sculpture Award and recipient of the annual Sean de Courcy Student Award were announced.

Building Category and Overall, Winner: Project Fitzwilliam, Dublin

Project Client: ESB

Major Suppliers: Roadstone / Techrete

Project Architects: Grafton Architects / O’Mahony Pike Architects

Project Engineer: O’Connor Sutton Cronin

Project Contractor: Admore Structures / P.J. Hegarty & Sons

Jury Quote:

‘More a city block than a project, a terrific addition to James Street East and a nod to the random familiarity of a Georgian street, behind the loadbearing brick of the third ESB building on this site, this project reveals high drama concrete slipform construction, structural gymnastics in hanging staircases and concrete Vierendeel trusses, and finesse in the design and location of strategic precast concrete façade elements. The design team, contractors and subcontractors have beautifully crafted the materials and spaces to make a great environment for people to work in. Detailing is crisp, tightly controlled and well executed, exploiting the contrast between fine precast and rougher in-situ concrete. Geometric precision of details like the use of longer precast fins on the south courtyard facades brings complexity and interest to simple classic elements.’

Infrastructure Category Winner: N22 Sullane and Laney River Bridges

Project Client: Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Major Suppliers: Banagher Precast Concrete / Roadstone

Project Designer: Barry Transportation

Project Engineers: Barry Transportation / Martin Heffernan Consulting / Mott McDonald

Project Contractor: Jons Civil Engineering – John Cradock JV

Jury Quote:

‘The two river bridges of Laney and Sullane are impressive examples of the use of both in-situ and precast concrete. The W19 beams of the Laney and Sullane River Bridges are the longest in Ireland and the UK for both single and two span prestressed bridge beam structures at 50m and 98m respectively – both achievements are fine feats of Engineering design and construction, while pushing the boundaries in the use of prestress concrete. This was achieved in an innovative manner by utilising the opportunities provided in the design code EC2 to maximise prestress concrete design efficiencies. Not only did this approach allow for longer span beams, it also allowed for significant savings in quantities of both concrete and steel. This is an excellent example of how investment in concrete design excellence results in material savings, which not only benefits the project budget, but also the environment.’

Infrastructure Category Highly Commended for Sustainability: Blanchardstown Main Drainage

Project Client: Irish Water

Major Suppliers: Kilsaran / Tracey Concrete

Project Designer / Engineer: ByrneLooby, An Ayesa Company

Project Contractor: Ward & Burke

Jury Quote:

The Blanchardstown project’s design and execution is about understanding the stresses and strains we are imposing on the planet with increasing urbanisation and population growth and makes an elegant solution which sustains us for the future. Flooding and saturation after intense rain have been problematic in this part of Dublin for many years. This economic and ingenious linked structure – three huge circular concrete tanks and kilometres of tunnelling to connect to existing infrastructure – attenuates storm water and manages the risk of untreated wastewater overflow into the river Tolka. This singular piece of infrastructure therefore protects vital habitats and ecosystems along the Tolka Valley and into Dublin Bay itself, giving us cleaner beaches and healthier seas.’

Element Category Winner: National Surf Centre, Strandhill, Co. Sligo

Project Client: Sligo County Council

Major Suppliers: Flood Precast

Project Architect: Keys and Monaghan Architects

Project Engineer: Taylor & Boyd

Project Contractor: Arken Construction

Jury Quote:

‘Proudly positioned adjacent to the crashing waves of the Atlantic, the striking building envelope includes perimeter walls of concrete panels. Critically these precast panels are designed and manufactured to be durable against exposure to the sea.

Their clear and flawless finish allow for the etchings to be enjoyed in great detail. Locally sourced aggregate along with reused and recycled material ensures the reduced carbon footprint of the concrete. The jury was particularly impressed by the quality, attention to detail and consistency of finish across all the concrete elements of this project. The exceptional execution of the exposed aggregate finish in the public plaza, the perfectly fitted and finished eco drains and footpaths and the contrast of the smooth and textured concrete finishes is very cohesive.

This is a flagship example of the use of precast concrete demonstrating the balance of beauty, strength, durability, and sustainability.’

 Winner of the 10th International Award: Techrete for Osiers Road, London, UK

This award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, recognises Irish companies who export product or service off the island of Ireland. The Award reflects the continued emphasis on export for Irish construction.

Project Client: Osiers Road, Wandsworth, London, UK

Irish Export Companies: Techrete

Jury Quote:

‘There were a few projects which scored very highly, and this presented the Judges with a challenging decision. However, after careful consideration they were unanimous in their final choice.

For overall excellence in design incorporating variety, complexity, and attention to detail to create a high-quality aesthetic façade the Jury chose to award the 10th Irish Concrete Society International Award to Techrete for their project at Osiers Road, Wandsworth, London. The innovative solutions in blending different materials and textures in carefully designed panels to create a rich sharp and intricate façade impressed the judges.’

 Winner of the Sculpture Award: ‘Bile Buadha’ by Niamh McCann

This biennial Award Scheme enables the Society to acknowledge the work of sculptors who use concrete as a medium of expression.

Jury Quote:

 ‘The selected work for the Irish Concrete Sculpture Award work is ambitious in its use of methodologies within concrete processes. This combined ambition with the conceptual integrity, creative artistic investment of process and thinking makes this Sculpture an excellent example of the diversity and value of the use of concrete within the field of Contemporary Sculpture.

The submission valued the practical concerns of materiality and conceptual criticality throughout the realisation of the Sculpture, from initial concept through the moulding, casting, colouring to realisation and siting the work.’

 Sean de Courcy Student Award

This is an annual award given to the best project on a concrete related topic from accredited masters and degree programmes in Civil and Structural engineering faculties of Higher Education Institutes on the island of Ireland. The award is named after the late Professor Sean de Courcy, an inspirational professor for many years at UCD, a former chairperson of the Irish Concrete Society, an author and historian of note.

Recipient: Méabh Childs (Trinity College Dublin)

Project Title: The role of notches in the bond behaviour of sustainable bamboo reinforced concrete.