University College Dublin – Leisure and learning complex


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This new 11,500 metre squared Student Learning Leisure & Sports Complex is a single building comprising drama theatre, debating chamber, radio pod, medical centre and commercial outlets. The building also includes fitness centre studios, gym equipment and a 50-metre FINA standard swimming pool with specialist Tepidarium area and changing facilities. The building is designed to a good BER rating. The building connects into the adjacent Sports Centre and Student Centre on either side and is located within a very busy part of the university campus.

This project has been procured in accordance with public procurement directives. The contract adopted was the new public works contract designed by the employer. Due to the complexities of the project the new public works contract necessitated tendering a number of works packages in advance of the main contract, which included glulaminate beams, movable pool boom and floors, pool water treatment, passenger lifts, roof, specialist seating, and curtain walling. All packaged then required co-ordination into the tender documentation for the main contractor.

The site is located within a very busy part of the Belfield Campus at University College Dublin, thus required careful planning to ensure safety of students, staff, the public and contractors’ staff. A site enabling works contract was undertaken to divert some of the campuses main services around the site. Connection into Universities existing services required careful planning from the onset of the project.

Works commenced on site by Walls Construction Ltd in late 2009 and completed early 2012.

AECOM provided project management, cost management & site monitoring. This project involved the complete cost reporting bringing all elements and cost centres of the project into our cost report, offering the Client a complete cost update on a monthly basis. AECOM assisted UCD with invoice allocation and financial management of the project and managed the procurement and delivery of client fit-out items.

The centre has its own combined heat and power plant and generates its own electricity, the excess of which is used by the university. It also has a rainwater harvesting system and water from a well on campus is used for the pool.

Main sustainability items are:

  • CHP
  • Rain Water Harvesting System
  • Grey Water Treatment/ Recycling Plant
  • Well Water Treatment/ Plant