Project Feature – Building the Future: BAM delivers Ireland’s Smartest Building

07 Jul 2017

Innovation and technology in motion at Cork’s One Albert Quay

From its inception, One Albert Quay was designed to demonstrate the latest developments in sustainability and energy efficiency. This mission statement informed every aspect of the construction process with BAM delivering innovative solutions, including energy saving insulation, rainwater collection, automatic power use management, and sustainably-sourced building materials.

BAM began work on One Albert Quay in September 2014 and the building was completed in February 2016, four months ahead of programme.

The project comprised the construction of a seven storey office block containing over 170,000ft2 of high quality, sustainable, ‘Grade A’ office space over a double level basement car park. The initial Contract included landlord works, but, owing to the success of the landlord Contract, additional fit-out Contracts were added to BAM’s scope. These included 75,000ft2 for Tyco, 15,000ft2 for PwC, 20,000ft2 for Arup, 3,500ft2 for Investec, 8,000ft2 for Ardmore Shipping, and 10,000ft2 for Malwarebytes.

“There were several specific challenges with the most notable being the construction of the double basement directly adjacent to the River Lee. The water level had to be continuously lowered within the sheet-pile box to allow the basement to be constructed. BAM also had to ensure that the water level outside was kept at a sufficiently high level to not have an impact on sensitive adjacent buildings,” said Pat Connolly, Contracts Manager with BAM.

“BAM engaged a specialist dewatering contractor who installed 15no deep wells with continuous monitoring and controls to carry out the dewatering. The dewatering was completed without any impact to the surrounding buildings. This was despite the fact BAM was pumping 12 million litres of water daily out of the basement. Furthermore, to ensure that the piling element of the works would not have impact on the neighbours or their building, BAM employed a silent vibration-less press piling system to press the sheet piles 13m into the ground,” Pat Connolly added.

A second challenge faced by BAM on the project was to accelerate the programme by 4 months to facilitate tenant early occupancy of the building.

“This was facilitated by changing the design to enable more fast track prefabricated methods, namely changing in-situ stair and lift cores to precast concrete and installing a steel and precast composite frame and unitised curtain walling,” Pat Connolly said.

“This allowed significant works to be completed off-site in parallel with the works that were being completed directly on site. The prefabricated installation works were further accelerated by working double daily shifts to complete the installation.”

One Albert Quay is Johnson Controls’ global headquarters. A newly constructed building on an existing brownfield site, it has been dubbed “Ireland’s smartest building”. Using smart, Internet of Things (IoT) technology, One Albert Quay offers forward-looking facilities for security, fire prevention, HVAC, building management, and facilities management.

Innovative, integrated technologies, which govern everything from security access systems to the menu of the in-house restaurant, are deployed across the building’s 170,000ft2. Making the most of the available data, the IoT systems work in conjunction with each other to provide employees and visitors with improved health and safety, streamlined building access and real-time updates on local traffic, parking spaces, lunch menus and room bookings.

One Albert Quay points to a smarter future in which connected devices and data gathering will revolutionise routine tasks and provide helpful efficiencies and services.

Prestige office buildings such as One Albert Quay help to boost Cork centre’s reputation as an international business hub, and the Grade A building has brought new opportunity and investment to the city.  Johnson Controls is on track to build a 500-person workforce and One Albert Quay also plays host to a number of major international companies including PwC, Investec, Arup Engineering, Malware Bytes, and Hortonworks.

“Johnson Controls’ unrivalled expertise in fire and security, along with their new breed of connected systems and IoT platforms, means that our building is both future proof and a pioneer in integrated systems,” Martin O’Brien, Project Manager at John Cleary Developers Group said. “Our tenants, a mixture of tech and financial companies, all feel like One Albert Quay is a perfect fit for their business needs.’’

Internally, the building’s advanced integration of a wide range of Tyco and Johnson Controls IoT solutions means that access management, CCTV, lifts, room booking, and payment systems are all linked to one another, which gives managers a single comprehensive view over the whole facility.

The building’s stairways, corridors and wider floors also have capabilities to provide information on employee health and flow through the building to help inform items such as restaurant meals based on accumulative activity levels. The restaurant operates a cashless system, providing transaction data to aid in the development of menu options. In addition, these information discovery practices allow management to ensure evacuation procedures are safe and effective and improve the use of office space throughout the building.

“The project is regarded by all involved from client, contractor, design team and tenants as being a real success story being delivered on budget, ahead of programme and to the highest quality,” Pat Connolly said. “One Albert Quay is seen as a stimulus and a catalyst for further developments on Cork’s docklands.”

One Albert Quay - BAM

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