At the AIA’s 2016 National Awards the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre won the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture for ARM Architecture. It also was named National Commercial Master Builder of the Year for Kane Constructions Pty Ltd and the National Commercial / Industrial Construction Award $20M to $50M category at the 2016 MBA Awards.

“The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre is a significant new landmark for Geelong. The building’s distinctive spherical form belongs to the historical lineage of library domes, such as the grand reading room of the State Library of Victoria; although it’s more immediate reference is Johnstone Park and the cluster of adjoining heritage buildings including the Geelong Peace Memorial, Geelong Gallery and the nineteenth-century Geelong Town Hall. Extending ARM’s portfolio of challenging propositions, this iconic building has become a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the cultural precinct, much to the benefit of a city that has been faced with challenging economic times.”

(AIA jury citation)

Continuing our success, The School of Design at the University of Melbourne, won the 2016 AIRAH Award for Excellence in Sustainability with Umow Lai providing the highest level of sustainable design and Green Star services for this much admired building.

According to project leader Shane Esmore, Umow Lai’s Director of Sustainability, the architectural design, spatial arrangements and configurations provide an ideal environment for the next generation of architects, urban planners, ecologists, builders and landscape architects to lean to work in a connected way.

“Furthermore, the School of Design provides an exceptional example of a highly sustainable building that relies primarily on its passive performance and ability to act as a ‘Living Building’. It has achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating from an original 5 Star brief without needing to add renewable energy systems, cogeneration or the like,” Shane said.


Umow Lai projects were finalists in the MBA’s State awards. In Victoria, 150 Collins Street for ‘Best Sustainable Project’ for Grocon Constructions. In Queensland, for the University of Southern Queensland’s Education Gateways Building Education Facilities over $20Mcategory for the project’s construction partner, BADGE Constructions and the Aldi Distribution Centre for the Industrial Facilities category for Cockram Construction Limited.