External view of the CRANN Centre at Trinity College Dublin.; External view of the CRANN Centre at Trinity College Dublin.;

CRANN Centre, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin

A world-leading centre for cutting-edge nanoscience research

Dublin’s Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), part of Trinity College, is one of the world’s leading nano research facilities. Its laboratories rank with only a handful of other facilities worldwide in terms of level of vibration isolation achieved.

The hi-tech science centre brings together researchers from several disciplines focusing on nano-materials, structures and devices; and seeks to promote industry partnerships to help commercialise research, while educating the next generation of nano scientists.

Nanotech research laboratories require extremely controlled physical environments: quiet acoustic facilities with exacting vibration isolation and thermal stability. The CRANN research centre contains a series of low vibration laboratories, which were isolated from the rest of the building structure. The building uses purpose-made isolation plinths to meet stringent vibration requirements.

For low vibration laboratories, services were designed to maintain stable temperatures to ensure fluctuations would not interfere with the results of experiments taking place within. By locating all plant either at roof level or in an adjacent building, the design maximised the separation between all rotating plant, such as ventilation and air-conditioning, and the laboratories at basement level.

A unique research lab in the heart of the city

Housed within CRANN’s Naughton Institute, the building’s upper floors contain a mix of laboratories and offices. Our mechanical and electrical team worked closely with the structural engineering team, in-house acoustics and vibration experts, as well as the architects; to develop the initial concept for the building all the way through to the final commissioning and handover of the building to Trinity College.

Nanotechnology is a growing field of research studying materials on a tiny scale (anything under 100 nanometres). Ireland is fast-becoming a leader in this growing field of research focused on microscopic-level technology. The advanced level of vibration isolation at Dublin’s CRANN centre aligns this research facility with only a handful of other laboratories worldwide.

The building was constructed on a very tight site bound by Pearse Street, Westland Row and the DART viaduct from Pearse Station. Funding for the purpose-built research centre came from a number of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, Trinity College Dublin, as well as other philanthropic donors.