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International Recognition for the Regional Agricultural Centre


Beating competition from Luxembourg, Belgium and across Britain, Yorkshire’s Regional Agricultural Centre (RAC) has been commended in a prestigious international awards ceremony.

The 5.1m RAC, which is the headquarters for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, was shortlisted in the sustainability section of the 2010 RICS Awards. It is based at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

Simon Pott, Chair of the judging panel, described the building as remarkable and a project which comfortably meets the needs of the local agricultural industry while, fittingly, making the most of its natural surroundings to maximise energy efficiency and pioneer sustainability. The category recognised sustainability in design and operation, balancing the economic, environmental and social criteria of the project.

The nomination came after the building took the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Yorkshire Project of the Year title earlier this year.

Heather Parry, the Society’s Deputy Chief Executive said: To achieve recognition on an international stage is absolutely marvelous and is a real accolade for all that is truly great about Yorkshire. The competition in our category was fierce from projects with enormous budgets so to receive a commendation out of 16 incredible projects was amazing.  Our hope is that our building will encourage other organisations to build sustainably in the future.

Builders for the project were Houseman and Falshaw, the architects were P +HS Architects and the Derrick Kershaw Partnership were the quantity surveyors. Houseman and Falshaw managing director Stuart Falshaw said: “We are thrilled to have been involved in this ground-breaking project which has won so many accolades. Awareness of the need for sustainability in buildings has been growing in recent years and the Regional Agricultural Centre is a prime example of the way we need to approach this challenge. Our whole team found being involved in what was the first project of its type in Yorkshire, a very rewarding experience.”

The overall winner of the sustainability section was the New Library, Queens University, Belfast and the RAC was one of three projects to receive a commendation.

Background information: The Regional Agricultural Centre

The 5.1m building is the headquarters for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which is best known as the organiser of the annual agricultural show case, the Great Yorkshire Show. The Regional Agricultural Centre, with Fodder, its integral regional food shop and caf, opened at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate June 2009.

There are 21 environmentally-friendly features including sheeps wool insulation, a timber frame, rainwater harvesting, solar thermal roof panels, ground source heat pumps and a sedum roof. In addition the shopping trolleys in Fodder are made from recycled plastic bottles as are the colourful doors and fittings in the cloakrooms.

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