A monthly exploration into the world of sustainability in the built environment with commentary and input from UCEM’s Vice Chancellor and academics.
UCEM Property Awards 2020 – Our Alumni of the Year nominees: Jodie Ronan
Posted on: 6 October, 2020
We will be hosting the 33rd UCEM Property Awards on Thursday, 15 October. Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to hold this in person but we will be sharing videos and announcements throughout the day on our social media channels to celebrate the achievements of our nominees and winners.
The event will see a sixth person receive our Alumni of the Year Award since it was added to the Property Awards in 2015.
The Alumni of the Year Award goes to a former UCEM student who has made an outstanding contribution in their early career towards creating a better Built Environment.
In the lead-up to 15 October, we will be profiling each of the nominees for this Award. So far, we have profiled Jonathan Bayfield, Michelle Dobson, Shane Jones and Vincent Chan, and the fifth nominee we feature is Ronan Group Real Estate Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jodie Ronan.
Jodie was awarded a Distinction from UCEM’s MSc Surveying – Real Estate programme in 2017, having obtained a First Class Honours in her undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Business and Law at UCD, Dublin. Jodie then completed her MSc Finance at Smurfit Business School Dublin, for which she was awarded a scholarship.
Jodie has worked for Ronan Group Real Estate, a real estate developer based in Dublin, Ireland, since 2008 and has been Chief Operating Officer since 2012. Jodie led the funding and purchase process of a prime site in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which was formerly the HQ of one of Ireland’s leading banks, AIB. This is currently under construction, comprising a 360,000 sq ft office scheme, which is pre-let to Facebook as their new European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) HQ.
Jodie acts as a director of a Central Bank of Ireland regulated ICAV (Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle) fund which holds this asset, thus in her duties as ICAV Director and COO of Ronan Group she works closely on this exciting project. The scheme is due for completion in Quarter 4 2021. Regarding sustainability credentials, the aim is to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum accreditation, which is the highest level of sustainability achievable.
Jodie led the funding and purchase process of a prime site in the Dublin Docklands, where Ronan Group are currently constructing a 500,000 sq ft office scheme, which is pre-let to Salesforce as their new Dublin HQ. This scheme is due for completion later this year. This project is also aiming for LEED Platinum accreditation and will be Salesforce’s most sustainable building globally, which will be an incredible achievement for Ronan Group and Salesforce. Jodie works closely to this project as shareholder of the asset and COO.
Ronan Group have been championing sustainable development for 35 years, long before it was expected of developers; from the Convention Centre Dublin (the first carbon-neutral convention centre in the world) to sustainable forestry, to Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, and Europe’s largest off-shore wind-farm. Ronan Group are proud to have been part of Ireland leading the world in that regard – because it is the right thing to do.
With the new Facebook and Salesforce HQs, Ronan Group aim to create beacons of sustainability, world-class exemplars that will further cement Dublin’s place as a city of innovation and energy, the capital of European tech, and one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Jodie’s dissertation topic was ‘The feasibility of Passive House Standard as a building standard in Ireland’. Jodie is passionate about sustainability and creating a better Built Environment and is currently applying for planning permission to build her own family home to Passive House Standard.
Reacting to her Alumni of the Year nomination, Jodie said: “UCEM is the foremost place in the UK for educating real estate professionals. To be shortlisted for Alumni of the Year given the calibre of my UCEM peers is a great honour.”
Reflecting on her time studying with UCEM, she added: “The key draw to UCEM for me was that my studies could be flexible around my work commitments. I have a very onerous job so the fact that UCEM’s programme could be completed in my own time was extremely helpful.
“I did not have to worry about missing lectures due to work commitments. I found the experience of supported online education very positive. The VLE system works well – all core learning materials are on the VLE at the start of each module so you can check what topics you will be studying when, easily access the reading resources, and see when assignments and exams are scheduled which allowed me to plan accordingly.
“The support from the Tutors and the online student support function was very good – when I wrote on the VLE, they always wrote back with comprehensive feedback in a timely manner. For example, I needed an extension on an assignment due to work commitments and the Tutor accommodated me with this request which enhanced my student experience.
“The UCEM MSc Real Estate programme was very beneficial as it included many topics which relate to my current job and thus greatly furthered my knowledge base.”
What’s next? “Ronan Group has always been a pioneer in sustainability, long before sustainability was a watchword in the industry,” Jodie said. “I hope to spearhead our continued efforts to push the boundaries in this regard, and to oversee delivery of the greenest and most sustainable buildings not just in our immediate market, but globally.
“Furthermore, having long since established ourselves as market leaders in ‘hardware’ – i.e. delivering the best quality buildings – I want to spearhead our emergence as market leaders in ‘software’ – i.e. smart buildings that leverage the best of proptech.”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and best of luck with the Awards and Ronan Group’s continued sustainability journey, Jodie!