As Ireland’s second oldest university, founded in 1795, Maynooth University (MU) currently has more than 8,800 students enrolled. The university has continually invested in its infrastructure, boasting some of Ireland’s most state-of-the-art academic and research facilities. As part of the recent €100 million building program undertaken, the client sought to provide high quality on-campus student accommodation. With a severe shortage of accommodation, both on-campus and in the wider Maynooth area, the university was under pressure to accommodate the large international student contingent. Linesight has an extensive background in delivering cost-effective student residential facilities, without compromising on space or quality.
Tailoring the solution to achieve optimal results
The Linesight team provided full Cost Management services throughout the project. Considerable effort went into picking the right design solution for the scheme, with numerous options appraised in order to produce a cost-effective, robust, aesthetic and sustainable outcome. Detailed cost studies were undertaken on alternative design solutions for the building structure and fabric – precast cross wall (plate floor, wide slab and hollowcore options), reinforced concrete, structural steel frame and deck with block infill, and various combinations of these. Then benchmark studies were carried out on cost per bed-space and area efficiency, to ensure that the result was consistent with best practice.
Furthermore, as Maynooth University is a public body, the project was procured using the Public Works contracts. It was decided that an Employer Designed route would be the best-fit solution for the client, as it ensured control over the design integrity of the building, coupled with the financial benefit of optimum design decisions.
Due to the urgent requirement for accommodation, a phasing strategy was agreed with MU and the contract was structured to permit the phased handover of units on a block-by-block basis, spanning several months. The first handover occurred in August 2016 – in time for the new academic year. The second handover occurred in October 2016 and the final phase in January 2017.
- The architecture is a stand-out feature with this development, with a minimal material palette
- There is an emphasis on exposed structure, from the exposed concrete and surface mounted services, to brick constituting the primary façade element
- The exposed structure also fed into the M&E strategy of the building – thermal mass
Sustainable and efficient
- The units are highly efficient and low energy
- The structure is highly insulated and practically airtight due to its monolithic construction
- LED low energy lighting throughout
- Centralized boiler house with CHP