National University of Ireland Campus, Maynooth

Project Title National University of Ireland Campus, Maynooth
ClientNUI Maynooth
ArchitectScott Tallon Walker Architects
TPE Consulting Engineers ServicesCivil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical
Value$100 million
Completion Date2002


Project Description

National University of Ireland, Maynooth is one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence with approximately 8,400 registered students spread over 26 academic Departments which are organized into three Faculties: Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy; Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences.  In addition to the Bioscience Building and Humanities & Social Science Buildings, TPE Consulting Engineers have also completed other projects on the NUIM campus including the Callan Science Building, the Sports Hall & Restaurant and the Science Block.

TPE Consulting Engineers – Biosciences Building

The Faculty of Science & Engineering a offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to over 1,100 students across the full spectrum of scientific activity and is home to over 150 researchers.  TPE Consulting Engineers commenced working on the structural design of this building in 2000, working very closely with the design team to ensure a successful project.   After a series of design team meetings the most economical and practical structure was identified for this three-storey science building.  The main structural frame was constructed with an in-situ concrete frame coupled with a precast floor.  The choice of flat slab construction compliments the large volume of mechanical services requiring long clear runs to service the building.  This is a typical characteristic in all buildings housing science disciplines.   

The building is wing shaped in layout, designed with provision for extensions on both wings.  The main foyer houses a pedestrian cantilever link bridge at first floor level.  The building also incorporates a number of interesting glazing features including a high glazing wall panel to the rear of the foyer and a large glass house structure sitting on the concrete roof


TPE Consulting Engineers – Humanities & Social Science Building

The project is to provide a new 4000m2 research facility for interdisciplinary humanities, social science and science research comprising of a 3-storey concourse, cellular offices, seminar and conference rooms, imaging laboratory, GIS laboratory, post graduate study and computer rooms, undergraduate 350 seat Lecture Theatre and Exam Hall plus ancillary areas.  The building includes many innovative features such as a DALI lighting control system which will significantly improve the buildings performance, increase energy efficiency and enhance occupant comfort and satisfaction. 

A number of low energy design features underlie the design in delivering an excellent and comfortable building solution:

·                     Natural daylight control in the Atrium

·                     Natural ventilation system in Office Areas, Atrium and Concourse

·                     Efficient use of natural light to offset the use of artificial light

·                     Rain water use for toilet flushing (rainwater harvesting)

·                     Use of solar panels to provide heat source for DHW.

·                     Night cooling of the building by circulating cool outside air within the building

·                     Underfloor heating system in Atrium area and Concourse.

·                     High efficiency plant

·                     Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS)


The building will be a model of low energy design, and will deploy simple technology with a view to obtaining a BREEAM good rating. Natural ventilation and exposed ECOCEM concrete soffits will obviate the need for mechanical cooling in all rooms with the exception of rooms with specific heat loads. Heat recovery will be used on all ventilation systems and the domestic hot water will be provided by solar panels located on the northern lights of the concourse. 

Green roofs will be provided throughout, which will minimise water attenuation requirements and a rain water harvesting system will minimise the water demand of the building.