A Strength and Conditioning Facility designed by an interdisciplinary BDP team has completed on Limerick Institute of Technology’s Thurles campus. BDP was architect, environmental engineer and civil and structural engineer for the €3.2m project.
The 900 sqm new facility is an international standard teaching and training lab which allows LIT to deliver innovative new courses and set new standards in the practical delivery of this growing and popular profession.
The spaces are conceived as lab space with teaching spaces connected by windows that overlook the training area so that exercise can be observed from above. A comprehensive range of equipment enables qualified staff to direct and manage a growing programme of practical training, coaching and conditioning for students, athletes and those involved in fitness and wellness.
The design concept for the Strength & Conditioning Facility has evolved as simple form – legible from a distance: the main road and the racecourse. The simple form relates to an Irish countryside vernacular at this distance, with its setting on the edge of the fields north of the main campus buildings.
The building form can be read as a utility building, a farm building, or an industrial factory – a factory outputting knowledge. To reinforce the vernacular the building is simply detailed using only two external materials.
The typology is enhanced through the use of metal cladding, and the entrances are articulated with cut-outs from the solid form lined with translucent panels of polycarbonate which act as beacons at night. Internally materials are simple and robust following the factory aesthetic with resin floors and exposed concrete blocks.
The compact building form offers a low surface area to volume ratio that minimises fabric loss and simplifies air leakage detailing achieving a 4.8 m3/h/m3 e50Pa. Advanced lighting controls have been designed to maximise the benefits of the excellent daylight levels achieved in all occupied spaces.
The building is orientated to accept early morning solar gain to the hall to reduce the heating load. Solar control measures have been added to the south facade to eliminate glare and avoid overheating in the late afternoon. A combination of high and low level windows is used throughout the building for an effective natural ventilation strategy. High level louvres at the rear of the hall facilitate an effective cross-ventilation strategy that avoids overheating throughout the year.
While the facility will have the most up-to-date equipment for training and teaching, the added value will be the emphasis on applied research for undergraduate and post-graduate students.
Research science in S&C and physical activity which has an applied and practical value will be the focus of the programme of research. This will add to the body of knowledge that already exists and will help mark the new facility as a leading research hub in the S&C world.” Source by BDP.
Location: Limerick, UK
Building Service Engineers: BDP
Project Manager: AECOM
Quantity Surveyor: AECOM
Main Contractor: Manley Costruction
Area: 900 sqm
Cost: € 3,2 milion
Photographs: Kate-Bowe O’Brien, Courtesy of BDP