Project Description

The BioSciences Institute at University College Cork is a 7,000m2 state of the art research and teaching facility serving a number of the Life-Science schools within University College Cork including Medicine, Anatomy, Food Science, Biochemistry and Biotechnology. The building is designed such that each floor accommodates a specific research department and is organised into a zone of offices along the east façade and laboratories on the west side of the facility. The glazed west façade serving the laboratories has been designed to form an integrated part of the building’s passive ventilation system.

The development also accommodates a small restaurant facility for University wide usage and takes advantage of the sloping site to provide car-parking in a naturally ventilated semi-basement.

MWP was appointed as the Civil/Structural Engineers for the project. The structural design incorporated flat slab concrete floor construction such that there were no downstands to hinder the passage of services. Each floor was compartmented because of use by different users. The building was part piled, part supported with pad foundations on the underlying karstic limestone rock because of the varying depths of rock. MWP designed a later extension which cantilevers over a large existing trunk sewer and enables perimeter access around the building. A contiguous piled wall was designed to provide protection to the existing sewer and allows for excavating the sewer at any future stage without adversely affecting the building. On-site inspections included vibration monitoring of the existing building during the piling operation, monitoring the noise pollution during the works because of the nearby Hospital and UCC users.