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Fit Out Awards

Judges & Judging

An independent panel of recognised and expert judges, representing Ireland's fit out industry, will determine the winners of the Fit Out Awards.

Our focus is to deliver a balanced judging assessment from industry leaders who will bring their extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to the judging process ensuring that the winning entries are truly outstanding and worthy of receiving a Fit Out Award.

The panel is carefully selected to ensure the Awards judging process is fair and objective. The judges are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case that entry will be reallocated. The integrity of this process lies at the very heart of all that we do.

We recognise and respect the sensitive nature of the information submitted in the entries. Submissions are not disclosed or discussed outside the judging process. We do not publish the names of companies, organisations or individuals that have not been shortlisted for an Award, nor will we reproduce any information from your entry unless prior permission is given.

A comprehensive judging process has been put together to decide the worthy winners of the Fit Out Awards:

Judging Process

  1. After the closing date for receiving submissions all entries will be sent for the first round of review.
  2. Entries will be carefully scrutinised with the best selected to go forward to the shortlist for each category.
  3. The shortlist of finalists will be published on the Awards website.
  4. Judges are divided into a minimum of two panels, ensuring any potential conflict is avoided.
  5. The judges will score each of the entries allocated to them against a predetermined set of scores.
  6. Scores are then collected and collated, with the entrant receiving the highest overall score being declared the winner of that category.
  7. The winners will be revealed at the annual awards ceremony.

The judge's decision is final and no correspondence, telephone, email or communication of any kind will be entered into in relation to decisions reached.

 The 2017 Judging Panel

The winners of this year's Fit Out Awards will be decided by an independent panel of distinguished industry leaders.


Ann Marie Aguilar - Director of UK/EMEA Client Relations for the WELL Faculty at the IWBI

 Ann Marie Aguilar - Director of UK/EMEA Client Relations, the WELL Faculty at the International WELL Building Institute

As Director of UK/EMEA Client Relations for the WELL Faculty at the IWBI, Ann Marie provides strategic direction for the growth of the WELL Building Standard, supporting "Early Adopters", communicating client experience and supporting the alignment of country specific sustainability rating tools.

Ann Marie also works as an Associate Director at Arup Associates (London).  Her focus is on improving human experience in the built environment and the opportunities to instil "Wellness in the Workplace".

She was the first WELL Accredited Professional (AP) from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) outside the U.S., and is a passionate advocate of regenerative sustainability and the impact of space design on human behaviour and performance. 

Ann Marie has 18 years of project management, marketing and sustainable design experience with Architects in the UK, USA, ME and other locations around the world. She has extensive experience in LEED/WELL Certifications, material deconstruction and material reuse processes. Her current project focus is on bringing health and wellbeing strategies to the forefront of integrated design – so that they are delivered as a seamless overarching framework.

Angela Connolly - President, Interiors Association, Founder, Conbu Interior Design

 Angela Connolly - President of the Interiors Association, Director Conbu Interior Design

Angela Connolly was elected President of the Interiors Association in 2014. The Interiors Association is Ireland’s leading professional organisation of accredited Interior Designers, Interior Architects and Trade Suppliers. Angela’s presidential role involves strategic business planning, marketing and communications, education and membership promotion.

Angela established Conbu Interior Design in 2008 after qualifying, with distinction, in interior design from Dublin Institute of Design. Angela works in the high end residential sector as well as commercial market. Angela works closely with architects, developers and private clients. Angela has an extensive business background, is an experienced and qualified project manager and is a member of Dublin Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DDFAS).


Vanessa Brady OBE - President & Founder, Society of British & International Design

Vanessa Brady OBE - President & Founder, Society of British & International Design

Dr Vanessa Brady OBE is an international multi-award winning interior designer, Business Consultant and Founder of the Society of British and International Design with over thirty years’ experience in B2B procurement and post analysis of the design profession. She has been acknowledged for a number of high level business and design achievement awards; such as the 2013 Woman in the City, Woman of Achievement Award for the Built Environment and in 2014 was awarded an OBE for her services to the design industry and UK economy.

In 2015, she also received an honorary degree titled Doctor of Design from Southampton Solent University, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the interior design industry.

Andrew Bradley - Managing Director, Bradley Brand & Design

Andrew Bradley - Founder, Bradley Brand

Andrew is founder of Bradley Brand, one of Ireland’s first dedicated brand agencies. He specialises in working with owner managed companies to assist them realised the commercial potential of a strong brand in delivering a competitive advantage and customer loyalty. He believes that a business’s reputation is build on customer experience. Brand defines it. Design creates it.

Andrew has extensive experience managing multidisciplinary design teams to deliver a wide range of design solutions from creating new brand identities, to retail environments, to online strategies. Clients include Applegreen, Colourtrend Paint, Haven Pharmacy, Keelings, Kilsaran, Medicare First Aid, MHL Hotel Collection, Renova Retrofit, SuperValu, Waterford Stanley and Weir & Sons.

Throughout his career, Andrew has been an active member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and was President from 2013 to 2015. He led the team to establish the IDI’s Design Enterprise Skillnet and chairs this training initiative. He is currently a Mentor to LEO DLR. In 2017 he was a Ministerial appointment to the Board Member of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.

Alan Crawford - Managing Director, Crawford Partnership Architects & Interior Designers

Alan Crawford - Founding Partner, Crawford Partnership

Alan Crawford is the founding partner of Crawford Partnership, which was established in 1997 as a design led architecture and interior design practice, with offices in London and Lima, Peru. Prior to setting up Crawford Partnership, Alan was a partner in a London based practice, and spent 7 years working in the Middle East on many challenging projects. Alan is an Honorary Professor of Architecture at Ricardo Palma University, Lima, Peru, and in May 2017 was elected as Chairman of RIBA North London Branch.

Today, Crawford Partnership continues to enjoy an interesting and diverse workload that ranges from bespoke residential new build contemporary homes and sensitive refurbishment and renovations to existing properties, with many that are Listed Buildings or in Conservation Areas, and with an increasing number of office and commercial fit out projects. Over the years, Crawford Partnership has established a growing reputation for innovative design solutions and in 2007, were included in the *WALLPAPER Design Magazine Architects Directory as “One of 101 of the world’s most exciting new architects”. Alan continues to be involved in judging of design awards, and as well as being invited this year onto the judging panel for The Irish Construction Industry Awards, he has again been invited as a judge on both The Designer KB Awards, and also The LEAF International Design Awards.

 Keith Somers - Head of Design, Staycity Aparthotels

Keith Somers -  Head of Design, Staycity Aparthotels

With over 10 years’ experience in commercial interiors, Keith spent his early years focused on delivering best in class interior fitouts for a wide array of clients including PayPal, eBay, Google, 51-54 Pearse Street, Bord Gais and KPMG.

He now leads the design team at Staycity and is tasked with steering the group in becoming more design focused whilst also designing the next generation of properties. Placing the guest at the core of all decisions is key to enabling great design – aiming to exceed the needs of our guests whilst retaining all operational requirements.

Keith has also led the design + brand creation of Staycity’s new offering – WILDE Aparthotels by Staycity.

Staycity is one of Europe’s leading aparthotel operators with an estate totalling over 4,500 (pipeline & operating) and on target to achieve its aim of 15,000 apartments by 2022.

Creativity, innovation, design excellence and the pursuit of quality underpin my approach - irrespective of the scale of the project in hand.

Aidan McGovern - Chartered Engineer, Office of Public Works

Aidan McGovern - Chartered Engineer, Office of Public Works

Aidan McGovern qualified as an engineer in the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street. He joined the public sector as a design engineer with the Office of Public Works in 2001. He is currently serving as head of maintenance and compliance in the Mechanical and Electrical Section within OPW. In 2013 Aidan completed a Masters in the University of Salford, Manchester specialising in the area of Mechanical and Electrical Quantity Surveying. He is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland. Aidan has extensive fit-out and refurbishment experience. OPW have one of the largest and most diverse property portfolios. They manage over 2,000 buildings spread over 1,700 properties throughout the country. Aidan is on the leadership group of Lean Construction Ireland and a member of the Asset Management oversight board for the Irish Prison Service.

John O’Regan - Director, AECOM

John O’Regan - Director, AECOM

John is the Head of the Project and Cost Management service for AECOM in Ireland. Johns heads up a team of over 80 staff across five offices in Ireland. Following a number of years in London John has worked with AECOM (previously Davis Langdon) in the Irish construction industry for over 20 years. He is a chartered Quantity Surveyor and a Project Manager. 

John experience ranges from the delivery of headquarters buildings for International FDI clients to large scale public sector and PPP projects. John is focused on playing a strategic role establishing the conditions for success are in place from the outset of each project. Then ensuring that the appropriate project controls and relationships are implemented for effective delivery. AECOM have over 600 people across the island of Ireland and provide the full range of multi-disciplinary project services.

Kay Sargent - Director of WorkPlace, HOK

Kay Sargent - Director of Workplace, HOK 

Kay Sargent brings over 30 years of experience in the interiors industry. Her work has taken her tomultiple continents where she has worked with Fortune 500 companies on their global real estate strategies and designed workplaces of the future. Kay specializes in helping companies identify their unique organizational DNA and requirements, align their space with their business goals, develop the workplace of the future and deliver it across their global portfolio.

Kay is a Senior Principal and Director of WorkPlace for Strategic Accounts at HOK, the world’s largest global architectural firm. Kay was recently elected to serve on the CoreNet Global Board and currently serves on the National ASID Foundation Board, the Material ConneXion Advisory Council, and the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design. She has also served on the International Boards of IIDA, ASID, NCQLP and NCIDQ. She is an active member of IFMA and co-founder of the IFMA Workplace Evoluntionaries, WE, community. Kay speaks regularly at CoreNet, IFMA and other industry events globally and has twice been honored with the ‘Luminary Award’ from CoreNet Global for being one of the top rated speakers and was the “Top Rated Presenter” at the Tradeline’s 2015 Space Strategies conference. Kay was recently selected as a ‘POWER WOMEN’ by Bisnow and is a networker and mentor to many in the industry, and as such is a Founding member of the DC Chapter of Upward.

Darragh Canning - MEP Commercial Director, Arup

Darragh Canning - MEP Commercial Director, Arup

Darragh is a Chartered Engineer, with over 21-years’ experience in the construction industry, having graduated from DIT Bolton Street in Building Services Engineering in 1996.

With project experience across 4 continents, he has designed and project-managed a large range of projects across multiple sectors to successful completion. Darragh leads the commercial team in Arup Ireland where the Dublin office MEP team now stands at 65, with over 100 in Ireland, and in-house specialists in lighting, controls, digital/ICT (WiredScore), security, wellness (WELL) and sustainability. Arup’s knowledge of the best international practice and local project delivery is also helping to realise innovative, high-performance working spaces.

His current project work includes Miesian Plaza Commercial Offices, Boland’s Quay Development, and the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort.

Darragh has a reputation for technical excellence and is focused on the project life-cycle, from concept to completion, and O&M considerations across the building’s life post-handover, where he sees BIM as an increasingly efficient tool to support the journey.

Darragh sits on the ACEI MEP Committee where one of the current tasks is updating the Engineers Ireland ME2000 Conditions of Engagement.

Emer Tubridy - Design Department Head, Blackrock Further Education Institute

 emer_tubridy_for_website_868_04Emer Tubridy graduated with honours from the School of Architecture, University College Dublin and began her career with the renowned Paris architectural firm Henri et Bruno Gaudin. As a Project Architect at Gaudin Architects Emer co-designed and managed a number of award-winning projects including and the renovation of the  Stade Sébastien Charléty and the Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet. Emer returned to Ireland to take up a lecturing post in Blackrock Further Education Institute where she became Head of the Department of Design. As an Educator and Head of Department Emer  has been instrumental in commissioning, developing, and co-ordinating programmes in interior design, landscape design,  jewellery design, graphic design and arts administration.

Denise O'Connor - Founder & MD, Optimise Design


Denise holds a degree in architecture from Richview School of architecture in UCD. After graduating she moved to London where she worked on residential, healthcare and office schemes including the award-winning headquarters for Holiday Extras for which she was project architect at Walker and Martin. In 2005 she returned to Dublin and set up architecture and interior design consultancy Optimise Design.

Denise is an architecture and interiors columnist for the Irish Times and a monthly contributor for HOUZZ. She was a presenter for the first series of RTE’s ‘The Design Doctors’. She is also the creator and name behind the successful paint collection for Dulux called Signature Collection.

JP Kennedy - Managing Director, TileStyle

 jp_kennedy_for_website_002_217JP Kennedy, Managing Director of TileStyle, has over 20 years’ experience within the retail and construction related industries within Ireland and the UK. TileStyle is a dynamic family owned business and is one of Ireland’s driving forces within the Tile, Wood Flooring and Bathroom sectors. Here, JP leads and supports a highly experienced team of professionals together with developing and shaping the strategic direction of the company. JP is also Managing Director of Focus Ceramics (UK) and Vice Chairperson of Retail Excellence Ireland. JP lives with his wife Sandy in Co. Wicklow.

 Edel Nicholson - Head of Marketing, Colourtrend

Edel Nicholson - Head of Marketing, Colourtrend

Edel has over 15 years’ experience working in the Retail and Interiors Industries in Ireland, UK and Middle East. She is Head of Marketing for Colourtrend, Ireland’s largest Irish-owned and operated, leading -edge paint company.

Through her role in Colourtrend, Edel and her team continually invite designers to keep the brand up to date and on trend by predicting and creating colours and palettes, from classic to contemporary and from neutral to vibrant.

Prior to her role in Colourtrend, Edel was Marketing Manager for Kilkenny based Merlyn Showering and Marketing Manager for the HeatMerchants Group, which includes the Tubs and Tiles, Brooks and HeatMerchants brands.

 Paul Carney - Managing Director, Forbo Ireland 

Paul Carney - Managing Director, Forbo Flooring

Paul is MD of Forbo Ireland and has over 25 years’ experience in the commercial flooring business in Ireland. Forbo Ireland is the sales and marketing office for Forbo Flooring Systems, head office is based in Switzerland.

Forbo Flooring Systems is a global player in high-quality commercial and residential floor coverings. We focus on environmentally friendly, functional and design-oriented floors.

Forbo manufacture many leading brands such as Marmoleum, Flotex, Surestep, Tessera and Westbond Carpet tiles.

 Greg Hayden - CEO, Ethos Engineering

 Greg Hayden - CEO, Ethos Engineering

Greg Hayden is the CEO of one of Ireland’s largest M&E consultancies, Ethos Engineering. Ethos Engineering employ over 80 engineers, with experience across a variety of sectors, including largescale Commercial Developments, Corporate Fit Outs, Healthcare, Life Science and Mission Critical Projects amongst others.

Greg recently won Association of Consulting Engineers ‘European CEO of the Year’ award for 2016/2017. In its drive for excellence in Services Delivery, under Greg’s stewardship, Ethos Engineering won the ‘Fit Out Professional Consultancy of the Year’ award in 2014, and the Irish Construction Industry award for ‘Consultancy of the Year’ three years in a row, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Ethos has also won the CIBSE ‘Employer of the Year, 2015’ Award, Medium category for Britain and Ireland and has been shortlisted for this award again in 2017.

Greg is a Chartered Engineer with the Irish accreditation body Engineers Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).  His qualifications include: Honours degree in Building Services & Energy Engineering from Southbank University London; MBA from University College Dublin; Pharmaceutical Engineering Advanced Training in the University of Manchester; and he is one of only eleven Accredited Tier Designers in Ireland with the Uptime Institute. Greg is also a founder member of both the Irish Green Building Council and the European M&E network, First Q, set up to share ideas and best practice in design across Europe.  This network now has twelve members employing over 2,500 staff. Greg is also the Honorary Treasurer of the ACEI.



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