Judges for the British Construction Industry Awards were in Northern Ireland last week, inspecting the terrific arts centre by Glen Howells. As the judging party arrived, so did a squad of highly armed police, complete with sniffer dogs. The judges took this as a rather dramatic compliment - until they learned it was in honour of a visit by Ulster secretary Peter Mandelson. Competition for awards is intense, particularly in the buildings category. The awards dinner is in October.