Research, innovation, sustainability and enterprise all recognised at inaugural industry awards
Over a hundred industry and academic professionals gathered at the Park Plaza hotel in Leeds for the inaugural RISE awards (#RISEawards). Organised by the Leeds Sustainability Institute and the Centre for Knowledge Exchange at Leeds Beckett University and sponsored by Saint-Gobain UK, the awards celebrated the most pioneering sustainability research and development in the industry.
Presented by Professor Chris Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett, the awards brought industry and academic bodies together for the first time, to reward innovation across eight different categories representing the four key strands of the RISE Awards; Research, Innovation, Sustainability and Enterprise. In a change from the usual application process, entrants were encouraged to use their creativity and create a one to two page visual poster outlining their project, product or initiative.
Speaking about the awards, Professor Chris Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, said: “The construction industry faces a huge challenge to become more energy efficient and sustainable, reducing the built environment’s contribution to climate change. The RISE initiative has brought together leading construction partners, all with a keen desire to take the construction sector forward, forging a more sustainable and innovate industry. The level of creativity demonstrated in the entries to ensure products and buildings are successful in the field was exceptional. Those commended and whom have achieved a RISE award have set a high benchmark on which we can build.
“The strength and diversity of approaches to sustainable design and construction means there is much to build on. We have set our journey to become, not only a Centre for Knowledge Exchange at Leeds Beckett, but one of excellence where the potential that can be achieved through industry and academic engagement is recognised. Being part of the celebrations that recognise those pushing at the boundaries was an honour.”
Winners and those highly commended on the night were from a range of businesses; from architects to contractors to product designers and construction consultancies. Those who triumphed included Arc Building Solutions in the Field Research category for their innovative Eaves Insulator product, Leeds Environmental Design Associates in the Design, Innovation and Creativity category and BAM Construction who walked away with the behavioural change gong for their project addressing the energy performance gap on their builds. Innovative local developer CITU also picked up yet another award to add to their ever expanding trophy cabinet for their Little Kelham project, this time in the Sustainable Development category. Special awards were also given out on the night to Rockpanel, Yeme Architects and Saint-Gobain. Congratulations to all the winners.
The awards were a huge success and a fitting grand finale to the Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design (SEEDS) conference held at Leeds Beckett. This international conference explored how buildings and spaces are designed to reduce negative impacts on the environment, with keynote speakers, workshops and presentations focusing on how to address the balance between the built and the natural environment.
Tom Cox, Research and Development Manager at Saint-Gobain UK added: “Saint-Gobain UK was delighted to support the first ever SEEDS Conference and RISE awards with its vision to support and promote productive academic and industry research partnerships. Our team had an excellent evening which was a fitting celebration to two highly enjoyable days of learning, debate and discussion. We will continue to work closely with the forward-thinking team at Leeds Sustainability Institute in the future.”