Bernal Building, University of Limerick

  • Client: Plassey Campus Developments Ltd
  • Architect: RKD Architects
  • Value(€ million): €18.0M
  • Completion date: 2015
  • Awards: Irish Building Project of the Year at the Irish Building and Design Awards 2016

PUNCH were the designers for this innovative science and engineering building at the University of Limerick.  The building was constructed as part of the ground-breaking Bernal Project.

The building includes in excess of 7,200sq.m of accommodation including state of the art research laboratories, teaching spaces, common areas, a 200 seat lecture theatre and a range of other ancillary accommodations. The building is located on the south campus of the University of Limerick on a confined site posing a number of challenges for the design team.

To facilitate the development, the existing campus link road had to be re-aligned and a range of existing services including medium voltage electricity cables, gas and drainage had to be diverted. These works were undertaken as part of an enabling works contract in advance of the main contract so as to reduce main contract risk items.  The building is 4 stories and contains a roof level plantroom. The structural solution involves a combination of structural steel and in-situ concrete. The laboratory and offices wing, which are arranged around a regular grid, are constructed from an in-situ concrete frame. The principle architectural feature of the building is an obliquely orientated cube which houses the lecture theatre and cantilevers out over the main entrance.

The building has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating. The Analog Devices Building is one of the first educational buildings in ireland to be designed to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating and therefore is first in class from a sustainability and environmental perspective. The building was awarded Irish Building Project of the Year at the Irish Building and Design Awards 2016.

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