RICS Northern Ireland award winners

Eoin Kenny

Regional Marketing Manager

The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine Queen’s University Belfast (WWIEM) wins both the Project of the Year and Design Through Innovation awards at the 2016 RICS Northern Ireland awards.

The awards were presented to us for our work on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) at the RICS event in Belfast.

The WWIEM is an interdisciplinary research facility, the latest phase in the development of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at QUB and is designed to enhance its internationally recognised excellence in research. The new build, 7,320m2 GIA, 4 storey facility includes biomedical research laboratories, secondary laboratory space, office accommodation and cold storage.

Specific innovations included the inward looking design where laboratories and offices are organised around the central atrium, providing excellent visual links through the building and encouraging collaboration between the scientists.

Innovative technology has also been used in an inventive and visionary way. The building’s major services have been strategically moved to the perimeter, external to the labs, where a double skin façade containing all ductwork allows total adaptability in future layouts.

The extensive use of building information modelling (BIM) allowed for intricate design detailing and major fabrication off site, which was a key element of the delivery strategy on this very tight site reducing waste significantly.

RICS Awards Judge: “This is a high-quality building housing laboratories, offices and meeting rooms for this international research organisation. The building has been innovatively designed on an ‘inside-out’ basis, conducive to collaborative working. The building is finished to a very high standard”

Damien Toner, Director of Estates commented: “This landmark project underpins the University’s world class ambition and represents a strategically important addition to the estate portfolio. The open and free-flow design of the building offers a positive change in the working environment, which enhances the development of cross-disciplinary collaborations and interactions between peer research groups”

Colm Lavery, Director commented: “We are delighted that this project has won the award, we are very proud of our role in the Institute and of the relationship we were able to cultivate with Queen’s University Belfast while doing it. The Institute is a great testament to the role Queen’s place on research and innovation we, along with the wider design team are proud to have assisted in its delivery”