NUI Galway Engineering Building Wins Major Architectural Award

Jun 21 2012 Posted: 16:29 IST

The new Engineering Building at NUI Galway, designed by Taylor Architects/RMJM, has been voted Ireland’s favourite new building: it was the Public Choice in this year’s RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2012, which are announced later today at the RIAI annual awards ceremony.

The Public Choice Award is set up to raise awareness of architecture in Ireland. Since the shortlist of 34 projects was announced two weeks ago, the RIAI has received over 12,500 votes, over 40 % of which went to the NUI Galway Engineering Building.

Situated on the north campus, beside the Quincentennial Bridge, the immense glass, steel and zinc structure was officially opened in July 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. The 14,250m2 building is now home to 1,100 students and 110 staff. The building supports an emerging generation of engineers, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship, and reflects a new wave of technologies through the array of ecological building methods embodied in its design and construction.

The building has been designed to be an interactive teaching tool and operates as a ‘living laboratory’. Viewing panels have been created so that the students can literally peer into the foundations. Sections of the steel embedded in the cement walls for reinforcement can be seen. Also on show is an array of ‘green’ building methods which will help inform students about a raft of modern sustainable technologies.

Live data from numerous sensors measures the behaviour of the structure and its energy consumption, and is used as a teaching tool for structural engineering and building performance concepts. Pipes and ducting in corridors and rooms have been left exposed and labelled.

Speaking about the award, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Capital Projects, Keith Warnock, said: “We are delighted to receive the news that the Engineering Building is Ireland’s favourite new building. The design of this world-class teaching and research facility reflects the role of engineering in Ireland’s future. The building fulfils multiple roles, providing facilities for research and development, educating future generations and reinforcing the relationship between Galway City and the University. The ‘Public Vote’ award adds to the growing appreciation of the physical infrastructure at NUI Galway and reaffirms our confidence in the programme of campus development we are undertaking.”

The award also adds to the accolades for this innovative building, which was awarded the Sustainability Award at the 30th Irish Concrete Society Awards, recognising excellence in both design and construction in concrete.


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