Milewater Service Centre, Duncrue Street, Belfast

Doran Consulting was appointed as Lead Consultant, Project Manager, Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, Traffic Engineers and Site Supervisor to deliver the Milewater Service Centre at Duncrue Street in Belfast Harbour.

The Milewater Service Centre is a purpose built facility to service, maintain and repair the fleet of Glider (Belfast Rapid Transit) vehicles and other Translink buses.  The eco-hybrid Glider vehicles are high capacity articulated buses and are considerably larger than standard buses requiring larger facilities and specialist equipment. Our services included feasibility assessments, design through RIBA Stages 1-4 and preparation of contract documents in line with NEC3 Engineering & Construction Contract.

The project required demolition and site preparation over 9.1 acres to accommodate all building works as well as bus parking facilities, new entrance/exits on Duncrue Street and staff car parks.  The proximity to Belfast Harbour indicated the site was within the 1 in 200yr tidal flood level while PRA survey results indicated contamination from oil and heavy metals. We proposed finished floor levels (FFL) be set at 4.2mAOD which allowed for a freeboard above flood level of 0.6m and a potential increase in flood level of 0.4m due to climate change. This also minimised removal of cut ‘contaminated’ materials with majority of earthworks consisting of engineered fill materials thus negating costly disposal.

The main building comprises offices, meeting rooms and staff facilities (11,600m2) across three floors and sits alongside engineering garages and workshops, bus washing facilities, parking for 145 buses and 191 staff car parking spaces.  Our designs for Phase 1 bus wash & refuel facilities proposed a single storey, single span steel portal frame building supported on reinforced concrete ground beams spanning onto pile caps & loads transferred into piles to sound bearing since this model ensured future adaptability.  

We proposed a rainwater harvesting system for the site so that storm water could be recycled & used in the bus washing facility. We took the decision to segregate surface water run-off and the roof run-off, leading to the design of two separate drainage networks. Only the roof run-off would discharge into the rainwater harvesting tank to be used in the bus washing operation. This greatly reduced the build-up of silt within the rainwater harvesting tank & in turn reduced the maintenance required to run the harvesting system efficiently.

In 2019 this project was highly commended by the judges in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Infrastructure Award category.