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O'Hare & McGovern

Queen's Staff Accommodation

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Project Info

  • Project Category:
  • Project Name:
    Queen's Staff Accommodation
  • Client:
    Queen’s University
  • Location:
    Windsor Park, Belfast, BT9 6FS, N.I.
  • Architect:
    White Ink Architects

Project Overview

This project involved the construction of a multi storey staff residential building which also featured offices, communal facilities and bicycle storage.

The works included the demolition of 2nr 4 storey existing accommodation blocks and the construction of 2nr 3 storey staff accommodation blocks with associated siteworks. The 2-3 bedroom apartments feature a kitchen, living area and bathroom.

We used traditional techniques to construct the reinforced concrete structures, Debugum roof and used specialist techniques for the brick curtain walling. 

Internally the accommodation units were finished to meet the Client’s requirements, with wooden floors, carpets, fitted kitchen and tiled bathrooms. The floors are floating timber floors on concrete to help reduce noise from one floor to another.  Specialist tests were carried out to ensure these were efficient.

The scheme was designed to incorporate high levels of thermal and sound insulation and uses whole house ventilation with heat recovery in combination with an low airtightness permeability of 3m3/hr/sq.m at 50Pa. 

The blocks were carefully located on the site to maximise the natural daylight into the principal rooms in each apartment and to create sunny courtyard gardens to the south of the site.

Existing trees on the site had to be retained therefore we adopted a method to protect the roots which involved digging around the roots by hand. Along with retaining the trees we installed bat boxes.

The brick curtain walling required additional resources due to the complexity of the installation, as the client did not want the lintel to be visible therefore the brickwork had to be suspended over windows and openings. We had to re-train staff members and sub-contractors to ensure the Bracket Support System for the hanging bricks was installed correctly.

An NIE sub-station was located on the site therefore we provided a dedicated route to the sub-station allowing NIE to have access to the cabinet within 8 minutes.  This was achieved via the CCTV monitoring system.

The accommodation units have high levels of insulations, low air leakage rates and PV panels which are linked and controlled by the Building Management System.

We implemented the criteria of the Considerate Constructors Scheme on this project in which we obtained a ‘Very Good’ rating, which showed OHMG’s commitment towards more considerate construction. 

Key Features

  • Site located in a residential tree-lined street within the Malone Road Conservation area
  • Located 1km from the University’s main site (10-15minute walk)
  • 42 self-contained, high quality staff apartments
  • Other facilities include; offices, communal facilities & a bicycle storage area
  • Provided temporary weathering during the construction of the third floor to enable the finishes to commence on the ground floor
  • Energy efficient apartments with appliances to ensure utility running costs are minimum
  • City Centre Location 
  • PV panels
  • Pedestrian ramps, drainage, car park & new access routes
  • Considerate Constructors Scheme