Business news

Newry Innovation Centre awarded Highly Commended

Posted By:
Southern Regional College

7th Jul 2023

Southern Regional College’s (SRC) proposed new Innovation Centre on the site of the former Newry Sports Centre has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Most Innovative Public Sector Project’ in the 2023 Digital Construction Awards recognising excellence across the construction industry.

During the early concept design stage, innovative tools were used to automatically generate design solutions to assess their impact on energy use, cost and visual impact on Patrick Street. McAdam used Building Information Modelling (BIM) to create 3D versions of the design and incorporated virtual reality to enable a walk-through experience of the proposed design for SRC staff and students.  The project was also innovative in its management of information through the creation of an industry leading Project Dashboard which monitored the progress of the project regarding the scope of works, design and validation of information.

McAdam and SRC’s Estates team worked closely to produce a design that balances functionality with aesthetics whilst introducing drama and a sense of openness throughout.  On the ground floor, extensive glazing allows public interaction with the building’s interior, offering views of the robotics within the Engineering Faculty as well as open plan training spaces.  The first floor will host the Science Laboratories and a suite of ICT spaces along with a Student Social space.

The project is an exciting development for the Newry region.  The design is focused on ensuring the building remains sustainable and energy efficient, with multiple collaborative and breakout spaces encouraging networking and brainstorming.  However, at the heart of the project is the desire to make the building a place where students want to visit and learn.

Speaking about the project design, Chris Watson (Project Architect) and John Herron (Project Manager) commented:

“It is a massive compliment to be Highly Commended for the ‘Most Innovative Public Sector Project’ at the 2023 Digital Construction Awards alongside the wider Southern Regional College team.  With innovative collaboration between an architect and a client, anything can be achieved.  The project itself demonstrates how digital construction can help to create innovative design solutions that enhance local communities.” 

Peter Monaghan, at Southern Regional College further commented: 

“The Digital Construction Live Awards celebrate and recognise excellence across the Construction Industry.  SRC along with our Architects, McAdams Design Ltd. were awarded Highly Commended in the Category, Most Innovative Public Sector Project. The panel wanted to hear about exceptional adoption of technology and digital processes and how far nominees had pushed innovation on a project of this size and complexity.  We are delighted to have received this recognition and look forward to progressing the project to the next stage.” 


Pictured at the Digital Construction Award ceremony are staff from McAdam and Southern Regional College

Pictured (L-R): Martin Hare, Managing Director, McAdam; Marieanne Jerard, Graduate Project Manager, McAdam; Chris Watson, Project Architect, McAdam; Gary Young, Head of Estates, SRC; Sharon O’Hare, Quality and Process Manager, SRC and Peter Monaghan, BIM Change / Manager, SRC.