News Archive

RPS Secures National Landscape Architecture Award for Australian Urban Developments

31 August 2016

RPS Secures National Landscape Architecture Award for Australian Urban Developments


Riverside Green and Cairns Foreshore honoured by Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

Image credit: Jason Daley

Extensive collaboration was a key factor in the success of two major Queensland landscape architecture projects which have been named winners at the recent 2016 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) – Queensland Awards held in Brisbane.

RPS and Urban Play were awarded the Parks and Open Space Award of Excellence for their work on the new Riverside Green playground in Brisbane’s South Bank parklands while another successful RPS project, the Cairns Foreshore Redevelopment, took out the Tourism Landscape Architecture Award.

Andrew Green, RPS Regional Technical Director of Landscape Architecture said the success of both projects was underpinned by a strong collaboration between RPS, the clients and other consultants and professionals: “We are very proud to have our work on two exciting new Queensland destinations recognised by our peers in these prestigious industry awards. By working closely with our clients and other professionals, we were able to ensure the end results of the projects met and exceeded the expectations of the clients as well as the community. The overwhelming popularity of the new Riverside Green playground and Cityport South on the Cairns Foreshore is a testament of our success.”

Set within the heart of Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural precinct, Riverside Green playground is an iconic new family destination and replaces an older playground on the site. RPS was the landscape architect for the project and since its opening in October 2015, the innovative space continues to attract thousands of visitors every week. RPS collaborated with play consultant/lead consultant Urban Play and client City Parklands Services to create an innovative series of multi-level play precincts where play equipment blends seamlessly with shady gardens and seating.

AILA Awards judges made note of the range of experiences offered to both children and adults in a surprisingly small space and hailed the project as an outstanding collaboration between RPS, Urban Play and the client: “This playground demonstrates the vital role of landscape architects in the design of place-specific, integrated and challenging playgrounds, recognising play as fundamental to the life and culture of the landscape.”

The Cairns Foreshore Redevelopment has transformed a derelict but culturally-significant 2.6 hectare space into a vibrant and welcoming public waterfront area for locals and tourists. RPS was the project manager and lead consultant for the redevelopment, known as Cityport South, and collaborated extensively with the local community, State Government agencies, heritage and environmental consultants and the client, Ports North, to ensure the values of the site were sustained and enhanced.

Containing heritage-listed wharfs and trees significant to the site’s traditional owners, the Yidinjdji people, Mr Green said sensitive cultural heritage conservation was balanced with a need to produce a long-lasting revitalisation of the site. The project also utilised the latest surveying technology to determine the health of mature trees on the site. AILA Awards judges made note of the successful outcomes of the collaborative planning and design process used for the project saying: “This freshly activated piece in the Cairns foreshore puzzle is providing tourism benefits for the region, connecting visitors – and locals – with the cultural heritage of this landscape.”

RPS Releases First US-Approved Protected Species Observation Online Course

12 August 2016

RPS Releases First US-Approved Protected Species Observation Online Course


RPS creates first regulator-accepted online training program for PSOs

RPS Group has been the leader in providing Protected Species Observer (PSO) services around the world for over a decade and we are pleased to announce our release of the first online PSO training course accepted by a U.S government agency.

We continuously endeavor to find new ways to deliver top-quality training programs, and our latest development is the creation of an eLearning program. By providing our intensive PSO training course online, we have set the bar for all other training programs with respect to transparency and delivery of content.

The course content was developed and designed by RPS instructors from the PSO group whom are accepted as PSO Trainers by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The instructors collaborated with highly experienced PSOs, degreed biologists, educators, industry professionals, and government employees to create informative and challenging material. The development of the website was an internal collaboration between all three of RPS training groups, M├ętier, PIECE, and Nautilus, who worked together to both create the course and conduct rigorous, formal software testing to ensure functionality of all components.

Previously, our training structure was limited to a one-day, on-site course where students were provided with a large amount of information to process and retain all at once. Furthermore, the material that could be taught was restricted to that short timeframe. Transforming our training structure into an online course creates an autonomous learning environment, allowing students to better process and retain material, which results in better comprehension of the content and more proficient PSOs! We are also now able to include more in-depth material and present the content in a more stimulating format, including interactive games and quizzes, videos, and slideshows. This online format also makes the course accessible to a larger audience, while providing both a time and cost-effective way to train. Oil and Gas companies and seismic contractors can complete the program to further their understanding of the marine seismic regulatory environment, and marine biology students can sign up to acquire professional skills and make themselves more attractive to future employers, all from the comfort of their own homes.

We are proud to raise the standard for training in a challenging regulatory environment and continue to provide the excellent services that our clients have come to expect from us!

For more information visit

Multiple Awards for New Northern Ireland Health & Care Centre

10 August 2016

Multiple Awards for New Northern Ireland Health & Care Centre


RPS provides engineering and environmental consultancy for Banbridge centre.

Banbridge Health and Care Centre and the Linenbridge Day Centre have won the Royal Society of Ulster Architecture award for best public building over £3m and The Royal British Institute of Architecture (RIBA) Regional and National award.

Commissioned by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and completed in November, 2015, the Banbridge Health and Day Centre has been developed on the site of the former Banbridge Hospital adjacent to the existing Trust Polyclinic and GP Services.

The new £12.6m centre replaced three existing facilities– the Health Centre at Scarva Street, Banbridge Social Education Centre for adults with a learning disability and Copperfields which provides day care to adults with a physical disability.

The building was officially opened on 25th January 2016.

This multi-purpose centre combines a range of health services to cater for the community of Banbridge and the surrounding areas. From adult day care and community outpatient departments to therapy services for children, young people and mental health patients, the centre will be an important addition to the district’s current healthcare provision.

Close collaboration between our Structural, Civil, Fire Engineers and Environmental teams with the architectural team of Kennedy FitzGerald and Avanti ensured that the projects challenging technical and operational requirements were fully identified and understood. The result is a striking new building, optimised to meet the architectural and clients demands for modern healthcare provision. Banbridge CCTC is an exemplar healthcare building that continues to collect awards, not just in Northern Ireland and the UK, but has been highly commended at the first European Healthcare Design Awards last month.

Congratulating staff on this prestigious architectural recognition, Francis Rice, Chief Executive (Interim) for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Development of community services is key priority for the Southern Trust and since it opened in January, people of the Banbridge area are really benefitting from being able to access a range of services in a more accessible ‘one-stop’ environment.

“Our staff have always been totally dedicated to delivering the best possible care and we are delighted to now also be able to offer the highest standard of facilities. We are very proud of our new centre which took years of planning and hard work to realise, so are absolutely delighted that all of the commitment of staff, architects, engineers and contractors has been recognised and to know that the people of Banbridge have one of the best health centres in the UK.”

Current Awards

RSUA Award 2016 – Best Public Building over £3M

RIBA NI Regional Award 2016

RIBA National Award 2016 (now on the long list for the Sterling Prize)

RIAI Irish Architecture Awards Health Winner 2016

European Healthcare Design Awards 2016 – Highly Commended

Banbridge CTCC is the second Health Centre to be delivered by RPS as part of a framework agreement with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and builds on RPS expertise in the healthcare sector.

RPS open for business in New Zealand

08 August 2016

RPS open for business in New Zealand

RPS has further expanded its Australia Asia Pacific business by establishing a permanent presence in New Zealand.

RPS CEO John Tompson commented that the New Zealand operation, located in Wellington, will provide a permanent base to build a local team and service a growing list of clients.

“New Zealand has a large pipeline of construction projects across all segments of the property and infrastructure sectors, and we can now offer our broad range of expertise across the advisory, design and project delivery phases to NZ based clients”, he said.

RPS’ Project Management business, which has a headquarters in Canberra is leading the establishment of the office, which also coincides with the cities of Canberra and Wellington formalising a Sister City Agreement this month.

RPS is already advising NZ clients on challenges such as development of transport systems to meet projected need; and strategic planning of future residential growth areas.

RPS will offer all services in NZ including transaction advisory and project management. RPS’ full range of services is detailed here

RPS and Ecofys in NW Europe Offshore Grid Appraisal

04 August 2016

RPS and Ecofys in NW Europe Offshore Grid Appraisal

RPS and Ecofys have been tasked by the European Commission (DG ENERGY) to prepare an environmental baseline study of renewable energy sources, energy storage and a meshed electricity grid in the North and Irish Seas.

The study is particularly focused on opportunities for coordination between Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. The development of the offshore energy grid in the North and Irish Seas can play an important role in delivering on EU renewable energy and climate change commitments.

The study includes a Regional Plan which identifies opportunities for a meshed grid which if constructed, would connect clusters of wind farms to offshore hubs which would in turn connect to various countries and each other reducing the need for individual radial connections.

Two key aspects of the study are data collection and stakeholder engagement. RPS, using in-house GIS resources, has been engaged in accessing and compiling data registers and a data catalogue to support desktop research into the baseline conditions. The project team has also undertaken significant consultation with the target Member States to elicit feedback on the Regional Plan and the scope of the baseline study. This has included a workshop hosted by the project team in Brussels. Stakeholders have also been invited to leave feedback on the draft Scoping Report and different 2030 grid scenarios presented in support of the Regional Plan. To promote the stakeholder engagement and to provide a portal for information exchange, a project website BEAGINS (baseline environmental assessment for the grid in the Irish and North Seas) has been established.

The findings will be available online as a resource which can be used to inform developers about environmental assessments for this type of infrastructure and thereby enabling the early incorporation of environmental implications into future plans and projects.