The Engineering Facility, National University of Ireland designed by RMJM is located in Galway, Ireland. In an unusual twist, sections of the building’s foundations and structural engineering have been unveiled so that tutors may use them as reference points during lessons. Similarly a range of green treatments are on show for educational gain, such as large-scale rainwater harvesting systems, a biomass boiler, low-embodied energy materials such as zinc, grass roofing, and heat exchangers. This teaching and research facility is the largest of its kind in Ireland with 400 rooms to accommodate 1,100 students and 110 staff who will study a plethora of innovative engineering concepts and cutting edge technologies.
As a reflection of this forward-thinking approach, RMJM have included voided slab systems in their design, with the NUI’s Engineering Facility among the first buildings in the country to employ such technology. The ‘plastic bubbles’ within concrete slabs reduce the weight and quantity of concrete used in construction.