The relocation of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) head offices to a rural location stemmed from a commitment to distribute public sector jobs in Northern Ireland.
The £1.6m Design & Build project involved the demolition of the existing agriculture education building at CAFRE Loughry Campus and the construction of a new office headquarters building for DARD Rivers Agency over a 13-month period.
The 1100m2 building is of steel frame construction, with zinc wall panelling, part stone walling and with curtain walling to the gable walls. This external facade of the building is completed with black aluminium windows and doors and smooth white render to give a contemporary look to the building.
Internally there is raised access to conceal all electrical cabling, and the building is fitted to a high specification to create 85 workstations, offices, a boardroom, feature staircase and kitchen/staff facilities.
Following appointment, QMAC Construction was responsible for the adoption, development, and completion of the design for the whole of the Works, the co-ordination of the design and issue of the production drawings, and construction of the building through to completion. This also included responsibility for discussions and liaison with the Planning Service, Building Control, and Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for all aspects of the design and finishes.
The client required the building to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and incorporate a biomass boiler, rainwater harvesting and a PV array within the specification. To achieve this rating, the construction management team worked closely with the design team to ensure maximum contributions and credits were achieved to fulfil the BREEAM requirements.
This project was highlighted as a BIM pilot scheme therefore a model was provided once the contract had been awarded and a Stage 6 / LOD 6 model was required upon completion.
To read about the official opening, click here.
To read more about the project on the Department of Finance’s website, click here.