DCU National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology

The NICB is a multidisciplinary centre of research in fundamental and applied Cellular Biotechnology, Molecular Cell Biology, Ocular diseases and Biological Chemistry.

Built on the DCU Campus, the NICB is a state of the art building which houses offices, laboratories with over 1,000sq.m of clean rooms and ancillary areas. The building comprises a five storey structural steel frame with a basement for plant and storage. The total area is approximately 6,000m2.

At the building’s core are a series of 12 clean rooms designed to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards to permit production of medicines for human use. The building occupies the end of a significant vista close to the main campus entrance and has been designed in tandem with a new student plaza and tree lined walkway. The clean rooms have a walk on ceiling to allow easy maintenance. The plan form is simple with north facing service labs and south facing office space, flanking the core clean rooms.

The sustainability principles utilized were focused on the sustainable planning of the building. The clean rooms and laboratories did not require natural light and were better placed in the centre of the plan protected from solar gain. The grouping of these facilities in the centre of the plan and the provision of the occupied working spaces on the exterior of the plan where natural light and ventilation were advantageous was a very sustainable decision. The glazed facades were protected from solar gain utilizing breis soleil shading. Grey water reuse for landscaping and attenuation of storm flows also reduced the environmental impact of the building.

The project was carried out on a live and operational campus.