High Performance Centre, University of Ulster, Upgrade Works

Doran Consulting has been commissioned to provide a range of civil and structural engineering design services in relation to several phases of work carried out at the Sport’s Institute of NI’s High Performance Centre which is part of the University of Ulster in Jordanstown. The centre specialises in the development and training of Northern Ireland’s elite athletes competing in a range of Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports.

We were commissioned to provide civil and structural engineering services on the initial phases of the development. The centre was equipped with a wide range of indoor facilities including a 60m sport track, a physiotherapy suite, a health suite complete with sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room, a high specification sports science facility, one of the largest strength and conditioning suites in Ireland, an indoor 3G synthetic pitch and 2 sports halls, one with retractable spectator seating for 360, a gymnasium, 2 squash courts with viewing galleries, changing facilities and a seminar room. Work in relation to the provision of outdoor facilities included the upgrading and provision of sand mattress playing pitches for rugby, football and Gaelic games, a water-based synthetic hockey pitch and an outdoor sprint track.

We have also been commissioned to provide a range of services in relation to more recent phases of development at the High Performance Centre which have included an upgrade of an existing grass training area to a sand mattress surface pitch and the associated sub-surface drainage works; the upgrade of an existing grass Gaelic games pitch to a sand mattress surface with sub-surface drainage together with the provision of floodlighting and ball stop fencing.

An existing synthetic sand filled hockey pitch has also been refurbished, which has involved the removal of the existing synthetic pitch surface. In this case, the existing pre-fabricated shock pad was retained for re-use following in-situ testing which deemed it was suitable for re-use with the proposed replacement synthetic carpet. The pitch was resurfaced with a long pile, rubber filled synthetic 3G carpet suitable for soccer and general training and the pitch design allows it to be used as a single 11-a-side pitch or as 3 x 5-a-side pitches.

The latest phase of works also included the upgrade of the floodlighting to one of the pitches and associated works to upgrade the controls for all pitch floodlighting.