A Sporting Legacy and Breaking New Ground – Hilson Moran’s 2023 in Review

A message from our Managing Director, Tony Morris.

Looking back to this time last year, people from across the world had been inspired by one of the most exciting FIFA World Cups in memory – all taking place across stadiums that we were proud to help design and shape. We are delighted to be carrying this sporting legacy into 2023 and beyond with one of our first highlights for the year – a new national Stadium for Serbia, working with FIA and sbp schlaich bergermann partner to create new memories and inspire the next sporting generation.

Closer to home, our influence on the London skyline continues to grow, with planning achievements for 55 Bishopsgate with Stanhope, 1 Appold Street with British Land, the topping out of 20 Ropemaker Street and the completion of the BREEAM Outstanding YY London office building in Canary Wharf. Progress also continued at pace on the 1 Broadgate site (with over a year of progress captured in this fantastic timelapse from Sir Robert McAlpine)

Our capability in the North of England went from strength to strength, with our Manchester office leading on a diverse portfolio of work, from planning approval for brand new Earlestown and St Helens masterplans with English Cities Fund, to breaking ground for Citylabs 4.0 – the latest in the high tech life sciences development from Bruntwood.

2023 also stood out as a banner year for some exceptional award winning projects, all made possible through the collaboration and communication of hard working project teams and forward thinking clients. The BCO judges picked Sycamore House for national recognition, winning the refurbished/recycled workplace award and beating a huge number of entries from across the country. Hanover was also chosen as a national winner by RIBA, a new masterplan for London that took is the cumulation of 15 years of hard work.

Elsewhere our impact on the planning process was recognised at both the Planning Awards and The Building London Planning Awards, with our important work for the City of London on their Carbon Options Guide shortlisted. See the full list of our 2023 award winners here.

2023 seemed to be the year where industry events and conferences burst back into life, and it was inspiring to see so many connections old and new at the BCO Conference in Dublin, UKREiiF in Leeds, and across conferences covering healthy buildings, stadium design and so much more. We also welcomed FOOTPRINT+ back for a second year, with developers, architects, clients and friends descending once again on the sunny Brighton seafront. We sponsored the retrofit agenda stage to help guide the conversation around retrofit and reuse – driving these important discussions forward in what is becoming a crucial industry event.

Perhaps even more exciting for us, was the chance to host our own events again. These included bringing back our legendary Ride with the Pros Cycle Sportive in July, with brave amateurs setting off from our Farnborough office in the company of pro team DAS-Handsling. Our Manchester office also hosted the first Hackathon since the pandemic began, challenging teams comprising our industry peers to imagine a sustainable future for the city – with some inspiring results. It was so great to see people and make connections in person once again, and we hope you will be joining us next year!

We continue to be so proud of our fantastic staff – our greatest asset – who celebrated a number of incredible personal achievements this year. These included Tony Mayo, who was recognised by BSI with a Distinguished Service Certificate, only awarded to members who have left a long standing contribution to technical standards in the UK. Justin Williams, whose diligent work for our client LGIM earned him their Consultancy Services Partner of the Year. Tom Reade and Julia Macchi, shortlisted for the Interact Rising Start and CIBSE Building Simulation Award respectively. Francesca Prestinoni, selected as one of a very small group of UKGBC future leaders. And finally Caterina Mangia, who expanded our service offering by becoming a Certified Passivhaus Designer – an essential skill for building the energy efficient buildings we so badly require.

We are always encouraged when we look to the next generation of future engineers and designers, and are proud to work with two universities in particular to recognise and celebrate student success. This year we awarded the Hilson Moran prize to students at the University Westminster, and the Hilson Moran Low Energy prize to Vishnu Koram Paramb at the University of Loughborough.

As we move into 2024, our company purpose of ‘helping to secure a future for the planet and its people through our work in the built environment’ has never been more important. In December this year, we were proud to join over 350 industry leaders in signing World Green Building Council’s Open Letter to political leaders and policymakers at COP28 UAE, demonstrating the critical role of the built environment in tackling climate change.

COP28 has now drawn to a close but the future remains uncertain. What is clear, however, is that it will continue to be up to all of us, our peers, industry leaders and clients to commit to meaningful, sustainable change for the built environment, providing innovative design and engineering for the world we dream of.

As is Hilson Moran tradition, in lieu of Christmas cards we a proud to donate to our chosen charity the Thames Rivers Trust. In a year in which we have helped to shine a light on the dramatic impact of water on our developments, we believe the trust is doing some fantastic work protecting our waterways and natural habitats, along the Thames and around the country.

We wish a very Happy Christmas and restful New Year to those of you who celebrate, and we can’t wait to reveal some big news and one or two surprises that will be heading your way in early 2024 – stay posted.

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