Winners of the 2014 Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) Infinite Value Awards were announced late last week, with the top two honours united by their efforts in sustainability.

The Project of the Year title went to the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre constructed at Griffith University’s Nathan Campus in Brisbane. Submitted by Donald Cant Watts Corke and designed by Cox Rayner Architects, the centre is Australia’s first building relying entirely on photovoltaic arrays and hydrogen-hydride storage technologies to generate its power.

Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

The technology was originally conceived as a means of energising remote communities, and converts solar energy into hydrogen (as metal halides) which are then stored in fuel cells and deployed on demand. By way of this innovation, the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre operates entirely ‘off grid’, generating and storing enough energy to power all its activity from the sun, water and oxygen.

Director of Rider Levett Bucknall, Canberra, Fiona Doherty (left) won the night’s other biggest honour – the Professional of the Year Infinite Value Award.

Selected by the judges for her proactive approach to cost saving and efficiency, which is crucial for sustainable development, Doherty said it was very humbling to be recognised by her peers for the honour.

Winners from across the awards’ 11 categories were eligible for these top prizes, and include the Perth Arena, which took out the Architectural Excellence Award, and 8 Chifley Square, which won the Engineering Excellence honour.

Michael Manikas, CEO of the AIQS, praised this year’s winners, noting that the building and construction sector is one that constantly pushes boundaries.

“The AIQS Infinite Value awards are all about highlighting innovation in the sector and these winners really are a snapshot of the future and what is possible for the construction industry,” he said.

Full list of winners:

Project of the Year

Sir Samuel Griffith Centre – Donald Cant Watts Corke

Professional of the Year

Fiona Doherty – Rider Levett Bucknall

Architectural Excellence

Perth Arena – Ralph Beattie Bosworh

Engineering Excellence

8 Chifley Square – Mirvac

Future Leader

Irena Kuzman – MBMpl

Government Project

Gold Coast University Hospital – Lend Lease

Innovation Project

50 Martin Place – MBMpl

Lifetime Contribution

Mike O’Shea – MBMpl

Quantity Surveying Advocacy

Dr Peter Smith – University of Technology Sydney

Research & Teaching

Prof Craig Langston – Bond University

Sustainable/Green Project

Sir Samuel Griffith Centre – Donald Cant Watts Corke

Women in Construction

Fiona Doherty – Rider Levett Bucknall