McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast

The McClay Library on College Park is a new library facility on the QUB campus which houses a range of reference materials primarily for Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering, Physical Sciences and Law, alongside state-of-the-art study facilities including a language centre, study workstations and an auditorium.

Doran Consulting were commissioned to provide civil and structural engineering design advice for this building, which had to be constructed in phases to meet the requirements of a very complex site which had three existing buildings, two of which could only be demolished when their new accommodation was available within the new building.

To achieve this, we initially built one third of the new building on a part of the site that was free before decanting the existing mathematics block and central computer facilities into this section of the building allowing clearance of the remainder of the site to enable the new facilities to be fully constructed. The structure comprises a 3-storey framed building with basement plantrooms.  

The building was awarded a “Very Good” BREEAM rating, which we achieved by working closely with the design team to develop a building form, including an internal atrium, that allowed natural ventilation.

A tight deadline was in place for the library facilities to be finished, fully stocked with books and ready to open for use. The facilities were in fact ready before the deadline and well within budget, as effective cost control measures were observed during the project.