Supporting the £18m medical research centre for Queen’s University Belfast

We have successfully completed our latest project with Queen’s University Belfast by playing an integral role in the delivery of a world-class medical research centre.

We managed costs on behalf of the University from inception to completion of the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine (WWIEM). A new four-storey building was constructed, which included 7,320m2 of biomedical research laboratories, secondary laboratory space, offices and cold storage.  It will provide accommodation for 330 members of staff who specialise in research into finding cures for chronic diseases.

The facility adjoins the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology on the site of the Belfast City Hospital. A seamless connection was achieved after 90 percent of the work was carried out at night time and weekends to allow research in the neighbouring laboratories to continue without interruption.

The project, which was built over two years and is valued at £18.7m, was one of the first and largest schemes in Northern Ireland where BIM – a process involving the generation and management of digital 3D modelling – was used.  The University also adapted ‘Soft Landings’ for this project and we assist in Stages 1 & 2 of this process.

We also completed several life cycle costing studies, helping the design team create a prime example of carbon reduction, with the aim of helping the University achieve its target of cutting CO2 emissions by 21 percent by 2020.

The design and contracting team for the project included Ostick & Williams, Albert Fry Associates and O’Hare McGovern.

Colm Lavery, Director, said: “We have a strong relationship with Queen’s University Belfast and were delighted to assist on such a complex flagship project.

“Our extensive experience in delivering services to higher education sector client’s such as Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and Grangegorman Development Agency means that we have an in depth understanding of our clients needs and how to assist them in achieving desired outcomes on campus development projects.

“We recognise that partnering with our clients at every stage of the investment and construction process is vital to offer them concrete cost alternatives and efficiencies, without compromising on quality.” 

Eamonn O’Hare, Managing Director of the main contractor O’Hare & McGovern, added: “There is no doubt that this is a world class facility.  As research centres go, there will be few to equal this one.

”The Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine is the product of two years of hard work by a group of dedicated individuals who embraced the scheme from day one to make it something very special.  It’s a landmark development of which we are all immensely proud.”