CHAIRMAN'S OVERRVIEW

Quality standards throughout the entries remain extremely high.

david

Even in the toughest conditions, businesses still realise the transformational possibilities that workspace can deliver for their staff and their profile: The winners of the BCO Awards 2011 demonstrate that a courageous approach to this can pay significant dividends.

The fact that the projects which qualified for the 2011 Awards commenced at a time of great uncertainty in the wider economy and in property specifically, is testament to the resilience and confidence of the office sector, ensuring that we have had another great year. Entry levels remained high across all categories and it was especially pleasing that exceptional projects continue to be commissioned from all sectors - both public and private.

Understanding and reflecting the surrounding environment, the Awards continue to evolve and recognise technological progress, market conditions and occupier demands. The quality, intelligence and originality of the buildings submitted illustrate the depth of the market and acceptance of the integrity and kudos of the BCO Awards.

Continuing the BCO's theme of 'year of the occupier' a new Award has been introduced this year, to recognise those previous regional and national winners which have best stood the 'test of time' by living up to or exceeding the original aspirations of those involved in the creation of the projects.

The overriding factor that makes a successful office building is its ability to provide a setting that demonstrates the ethos of the occupier and a workplace that allows staff to thrive. Occupiers will alter their working practices according to market conditions, consumer demand, technology improvements and straightforward fashion: The buildings which the BCO recognises as outstanding should be able to adapt to these shifts in demand and this new award will retrospectively highlight these achievements.

Understandably, environmental considerations in the provision of workspace are increasingly evident, including a wide variety of approaches to new - and old - technology to challenge the 'traditional' investment specification. In the past, pioneering work in this sphere has tended to be concentrated in new, bespoke, owner/occupied buildings but it is now increasingly evident in the speculative sector also, as developers seek to deliver a more flexible and responsive product for their customers.

Quality standards throughout the entries for 2011 remain extremely high, as the people who matter most - the occupiers - continue to demand value, ingenuity and innovation from our industry: which we continue to supply.

Overall this industry can be proud of how it has responded to the challenges it has faced: Those that have persevered and ultimately succeeded in this tough market have demonstrated that compromising on quality is not a sustainable option.