Medical School, University of Limerick

  • Client: Grafton Architects
  • Architect: Plassey Campus Developments
  • Value(€ million): €9.9m
  • Completion date: 2012
  • PUNCH services: Civil, Structural

The Graduate Medical School at the University of Limerick is located on the University North Campus. The building is four storeys in height and houses numerous laboratories, seminar rooms, a lecture theatre, cafeteria and offices.

The stone clad building is constructed as an in-situ concrete monolithic frame, thereby accommodating the unsymmetrical geometry of the building and maximising flexibility for services. Suspended floors are predominantly in-situ reinforced concrete flat slabs supported on in-situ reinforced concrete columns which are supported off an integrated arrangement of ground beams and pile caps. The ground beams and pile caps are supported on cast in-situ reinforced concrete piles which transmit the building and occupancy loads to suitable bearing strata through a combination of pile shaft friction and end bearing resistance.

The main lecture theatre steps below the ground level forming a semi basement which necessitated carefully detailing to eliminate to possible ingress of ground water.

A holistic approach was adopted in all aspects of the building design in order to satisfy the design brief. The result is a building which offers a great environment for its occupants while minimising the environmental footprint of the building.

Sustainability was to the forefront in all aspects of the design. All concrete used in the construction of the building superstructure incorporates a high percentage of Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag (GGBS) which replaces Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) on a one for one basis.

Other sustainable design features include orientation of the ‘fin’ shaped columns on the south side to maximise the capture of light and shadow into the building. Furthermore the building has been designed to minimise cooling and heating loads. The envelope has been carefully detailed to limit thermal bridges and to minimise un-controlled air leakage.

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