Medical Biology Centre Upward Extension, Queen’s University Belfast

Doran Consulting has provided a range of design advice services on various projects as part of  the redevelopment of the Health Sciences Campus at QUB. We were commissioned to provide design advice in relation to the construction of a link between the Medical Biology Centre tower block and a new teaching block and were subsequently commissioned to provide further services in relation to this later Design & Build contract for the upward extension and refurbishment of the existing Medical Biology Centre tower block and Anatomy building.

The works to the Anatomy building consisted of a vertical 6-storey extension on top of the existing 2-storey structure to provide additional ancillary and office accommodation. The existing 2-storey Anatomy building, for which Doran Consulting had originally provided structural engineering design services on its construction, was designed to permit the possibility of a future extension. The new steel framed extension was built on the roof of the Anatomy building adjacent to the existing Medical Biology Centre tower block and included break-ins to the tower for circulation at each of the six levels.  

The work was complicated by an extremely confined and restrictive site location with the existing Anatomy building surrounded on all sides by other buildings in close proximity. The need to keep the existing Anatomy building and the adjacent single storey library extension operational during the construction works further complicated matters and required the use of additional safety measures, including the use of a crash deck to protect the low level roof of the library extension.

The confined site prohibited the use of scaffolding leading to the development of a unitised glazing / cladding system as the façade to the 6-storey extension. Alteration and refurbishment work as part of the project required the removal of the existing façade concrete cladding panels from the MBC tower block within the envelope where the new Anatomy extension abuts to the tower, and some structural alterations and strengthening work within the first floor level of the original Anatomy 2-storey building.