Co-operating in design - National University of Ireland, Galway
From 2006-2011 the National University of Ireland, Galway undertook the development of a New Engineering Building. This landmark project involved the development of a new facility to unite five engineering disciplines (previously spread across 13 locations) under one roof on campus. A key aspect for the university was that the building should act as a ‘Teaching Tool’ for engineering technologies and principles, delivering both value for money and value in ongoing benefits in terms of educational development. Design and construction were contracted separately for the project. The design team was procured through a competitive public procurement process, resulting in individual appointments for core design, project management, and cost management services. The main contractor was procured through OJEU public procurement, utilising the restrictive process.
The result is a world class example of innovative and sustainable design. The client has an exemplar building that provides a holistic 21 th century learning environment. This was achieved through a co-ordinated approach by the team across the whole project, with key team members and stakeholders involved as necessary to ensure successful delivery of the project. In regards to the building design, the University’s staff, building managers and end-user occupants were invited to engage with the design process, so that their specific requirements were integrated into the final design. The contractor also input into discussions on design and buildability to ensure the quality of the final building. A collaborative team approach resulted in the project being delivered on programme. Collaborative working practices such as co-ordinated communications protocols and an electronic document management system were utilised during the design and construction stage to ensure the latest information was available to relevant individuals.
This approach also led to cost savings and added value being realised across the project. The project also achieved a rating B1 in Ireland’s energy classification scheme (BER) through implementation of sustainable initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, a biomass boiler, and ground-source heat pumps.
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