Exterior of the UCD Science Centre; Exterior of the UCD Science Centre;

UCD Science Centre, Dublin

UCD’s science district features collaborative science education and research space

The new science centre in University College Dublin (UCD) provides a vision for science in the 21st century by linking education, research and innovation to develop life enhancing products, services, policies and solutions to global problems.

The project includes a new laboratory space, and also the refurbishment of existing buildings in the science district, to include state of the art learning space, cutting edge research laboratories, specialised research institutes and a Discover Science space to engage the general public.

Sustainability was key when designing the new building, resulting in it becoming the first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated scientific building in the educational sector in Ireland.

A lasting collaborative bond

Arup's involvement in the UCD science district dates back to 1960 when the original buildings were designed. 50 years later in 2010, Arup was again appointed to provide structural, infrastructural and specialist vibration consultancy to design a major upgrade to the facility.

The development provides a modern, safe and bright science facility enabling the highest quality of teaching and training and will attract the highest level students, graduates and staff in the fields of science and engineering.

UCD Science North and West © RKD Architects

Due for completion in 2026, the third and final phase of the project (Science North and West) involves reimagining approximately 23,000m2 of space.

We are providing comprehensive services including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical, vibration, wind analysis and BREEAM advisory to create a top-notch research and working environment that facilitates active, blended and self-directed learning.

Remaining operative during the refurbishment

Keeping the existing teaching and research facilities operational throughout construction has been an important aspect of each phase in redeveloping the centre. Throughout the development, Arup worked in close proximity to highly sensitive research equipment such as NMRs (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy).

Arup also carried out a building strategy, including the installation of sensitive vibration monitoring equipment, and the mitigation and minimisation of the disruption to the day-to-day life of the adjacent active laboratory spaces during construction.

A comprehensive refurbishment

The first phase, completed in February 2011, involved the refurbishment and extension of the existing science chemistry block which houses cutting edge nanotechnology laboratories, teaching, offices and support space along with generic lab space.

The second phase was completed in September 2013 and it included the refurbishment of the existing lecture theatre block which is linked by a large atrium space to 20,000m2 of new build laboratory space.