DCU School of Chemical Sciences

This project represented a major extension to DCU’s existing Science facilities. This bespoke 3-storey over basement facility provided for extensive new laboratory and research areas in conjunction with administration and teaching accommodation. The site fronts onto Collins’ Avenue and has a considerable fall across the footprint of the building. A major drain diversion was necessary to clear the footprint for foundation construction.

The building is highly serviced and a concrete flat slab construction was utilised to provide clear runs for services. O’Connor Sutton Cronin worked closely with the design team to achieve the complex services/structure integration. The administration and teaching accommodation is separated from the laboratory areas by a central atrium space containing a concrete scissor staircase and enclosed with an inflatable ‘Vectra Foil’ roof.

The natural shape of the site was taken advantage of to provide cost effective basement accommodation in an undercroft area. A suspended precast ground floor was adapted for economy and the entire footprint below the laboratory areas was eventually converted to provide habitable accommodation.