The Strule Arts Centre, Omagh

Doran Consulting was appointed to the design team of this prestigious project following an open competition. The Arts Centre is situated at the rear of the old town hall, on a site which slopes down to the River Strule.

The main feature of the complex is a large multi-purpose auditorium which seats 600. Extensive ancillary accommodation includes a cinema, dance studio, print workshops, photographic studio, recording studio, rehearsal rooms, riverside restaurant and bar, exhibition gallery and social spaces.

The structure is predominantly of reinforced concrete, incorporating major retaining walls, but with large virendeel girders spanning the main auditorium. The design of the centre includes various features to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility. Besides the standard measures to facilitate carbon reduction, the building boasts a rainwater harvesting system, a photo voltaic system and a solar water heating system. Rainwater from the buildings roofs is collected in a separate drainage system which flows via a leaf filter to a 27,500 litre storage tank. Rainwater from the tank is pumped to tanks in the roof and is used for flushing of the toilets in the building.

At the rear of the main auditorium, roof lights face in a south west direction at an angle of 30 degrees to the horizontal. 90 Sanyo HIP200 NHEI solar panels are fitted to these rooflights harvesting 17kWP of electricity for use in the running of the facility. To the south east of the building on a lean-to roof, two banks of 3 solar water heating units were installed. Each consists of 30 thermomax evacuated solar collector tubes. The system has a total heat collection capacity of 13,098kWh. The scheme also includes a new pedestrian/ cycle bridge across the River Strule, providing a direct link between the Arts Centre and the new Omagh College of Further Education.