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St Sidwell’s Point construction team win host of top industry awards

Published: 30 September 2022

St Sidwell’s Point construction team win host of top industry awards St Sidwell’s Point

The team behind the construction of Exeter’s pioneering new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point have been honoured for their work at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

Joe O’Connell, of Kier, was named the winner of the Public and Leisure category at this year’s Chartered Institute of Building’s prestigious CIOB Awards.

Joe O’Connell

He was also selected as the coveted Construction Manager of the Year.

Joe’s project team at St Sidwell’s Point were also winners on the night in the Team of the Year category, as a result of the technical excellence, pioneering approach and collaboration, and upskilling of the local supply chain.

The judges heard St Sidwell’s Point, which opened in April this year, is the first ultra-low carbon leisure centre in the UK.

Its design means energy costs are around 70 per cent less than a more traditional leisure centre.

The CIOB judges singled out Joe for his management of the large-scale project in a challenging city centre location.

Joe was commended by the judges for his “effective, highly organised and enthusiastic leadership” in delivering St Sidwell’s Point.

Speaking after the awards, he said: “It is a huge privilege just to be shortlisted and to be invited here this evening at these prestigious awards. This is all about the team and I was the leader of a quite extraordinary group of individuals at St Sidwell’s Point.

“We recognised right from the outset that this was a once-in-a-lifetime project and the collaboration across the client, consultants and supply chain was exceptional.

“To be stood on stage collecting awards three times is amazing, I’m thrilled. This is a real career highlight for me.”

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “St Sidwell’s Point has continued to win awards since it opened, so these latest accolades for its construction excellent come as no surprise.

“I am absolutely delighted for the team at Kier, under the management of Joe O’Connell, to receive this honour for creating the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre here in Exeter.

“St Sidwell’s Point has proved hugely popular with residents since it opened - it really is a top quality facility and a fantastic addition to our leisure offer in Exeter.”

The CIOB Awards, formerly the Construction Manager of the Year Awards, started in 1978 and celebrate the individuals behind construction projects of all sizes including residential buildings as well as those used for education, business, healthcare and leisure.

Caroline Gumble, CEO at CIOB, said: “I’ve been impressed with the high standards of all this year’s finalists, but Joe is very much a worthy winner of the Construction Manager of the Year Award.

“He has demonstrated strong leadership to deliver a large project, which will provide social and health benefits to thousands of people in and around Exeter for years to come. Our congratulations go to him on a job very well done.”

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