Herald Property Awards - Honours that make a difference

Herald Property Awards - Honours that make a difference
BRIGHT IDEAS: Andrew McFarlane, consultant, DM Hall, presents the Affordable Housing Development of the Year award to Glasgow Housing Association for Croftfoot St Julie’s, Glasgow in 2015.

In 10 days from now, entries will close for this year’s Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2016 in association with Burness Paull, and the exhaustive process of reviewing each contender will get under way.

That means there’s still time yet to submit properties, developments, projects and professional teams for consideration by the expert team of judges in whose hands lie the final decisions on who this year’s winners will be.

There are 14 categories in total, covering everything from Best Apartment to Residential Sales Team of the Year, sponsored by Rettie, and each one will be given to the people and projects that have been shown to deliver above expectations, making a significant impact on the property industry in Scotland.

Last year's Affordable Housing Development of the Year, St Julie's

To triumph in these awards takes innovation, dedication and professionalism and Scott Peterkin, partner with Burness Paull and also a member of the judging panel, says it is only the exceptional that will succeed.

Thanks however to a buoyant construction market, he expects this year’s awards to throw up some worthy contenders particularly in the mid-market, buy-to-let sector and in the provision of student housing, a thriving area in recent years that shows no sign yet of running out of steam.

“There are lots of opportunities for house builders at the moment,” he says and he is hopeful that some of the best examples will come under the spotlight when the judges start making their site visits this summer.

Amongst the categories under consideration this year are three that share the responsibility of having a positive impact on the environments in which they are constructed.

Last year's Affordable Housing Development of the Year, St Julie's

These are some of the most high-profile building projects in the country, with implications on both a domestic and commercial level, and they include a category that is of prime importance to that sector of the market for whom finding the funds to buy or rent a home can prove to be a real struggle.

The Affordable Housing Development of the Year category is open to any registered social housing provider, charity, trust or public body in partnership with a local authority or a developer and covers both properties for rent and those designed for shared ownership.

Here the judges will be looking for evidence of how the development has impacted positively on the lives of local residents and contributed to the regeneration of the area and consideration will be given to the use of sustainable materials and building techniques as well as the development’s impact on the local environment.

This, above all the other categories in the awards, is a test of innovation and commitment to quality and an understanding of how good design can make a real impact on the lives of residents.

Another significant award is Development of the Year, which is supported by leading property magazine, Scotland’s Homes. Here there is no “one size fits all” solution to finding a winner and instead every aspect of the site, layout, design, range of house types and local amenities will be examined very closely. Judges will be looking for a development that has been carefully planned to make the most of its location, resulting in a pleasant and desirable place to live. In other words, does the scheme measure up as a cohesive community?

Of equal importance is the Commercial Project of the year category, which is sponsored by Burness Paull. The aim of here is to recognise a commercial property which meets the needs of its target market.

Open to projects of all sizes and scales, as well as both public and private sector companies and partnerships, this could be a new-build, renovation or fit-out project Entries should show innovative use of materials and building techniques as well as architectural design and consideration for green issues.

Entries will be judged on how well the property meets the needs of its target market along with the quality of design, layout, location, features, specification and energy efficiency.

Commercial properties are the ones that shape our civic landscape and their impact lasts for generations, so the only properties that will be in the running here are those that can truly deliver a long-lasting legacy.

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