Big thank you from

Britain's greenest building - and it's here in Hillsborough

The Graham building in Hillsborough which has won the award as the UK's `greenest'

The Graham building in Hillsborough which has won the award as the UK's `greenest'

HILLSBOROUGH: A building in Hillsborough has beaten competition from elite contenders such as a multi-million pound Canary Wharf landmark opened by The Queen to be named the UK's number one green building.

The headquarters building of construction firm Graham won the Sustainability category of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors UK Awards at a grand final event in The Savoy, London, finishing ahead of dozens of prestigious projects from right across the UK.

It is the third year in four that a Northern Ireland project has won the Sustainability category of the RIGS UK Awards, following in the footsteps of The New Library at Queen's University Belfast in 2010 and The Orchard Building at Stranmillis University College in 2008.

The Graham building, which was completed in 2009, finished ahead of accounting giant KPMG's main London office, which houses 4,000 people and was described as a flagship example of a 21st century 'green' building when it was launched by The Queen last year.

The Graham headquarters building was designed by architect BDP on behalf of the company and was completed at a cost of £7.5million. Other firms involved in the construction included surveyors Bruce Shaw Partnership, and engineers Caldwell Consulting.

The company says on its website that its headquarters is: "built to the highest practicable environmental standards to reflect our underlying commitment in the Group to good design, sustainable construction and creating facilities with a reduced carbon footprint and low operating costs".

RICS Northern Ireland Director, Ben Collins, welcomed the win: "It is recognition of the skills of chartered surveyors and other property and construction professionals in Northern Ireland, and deserved reward for Graham for what is a fantastic construction project".

On the Grand final category winners, See Lian Ong, RICS President, said: The winners of the RICS Awards looked beyond the aesthetic role of property to create usable solutions that meet some of the most important challenges facing communities today. From sustainability and regeneration to social cohesion and conservation of the environment, their achievements are exemplified not only by the high regard in which they are held by industry, but also by the satisfaction and wellbeing derived by the communities in which their projects are located."

Ulster Star