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Conversion of an 1840’s linen building with a major contemporary extension within the Weavers Court business park in Belfast City Centre, providing flexible commercial, office and research space for small to medium size enterprises and start-up businesses.

The new building is the flagship within the heart of this Creative Industries development in Belfast providing 2000m2 of flexible space to both new and growing business with a focus on high-tech and TV/film industries whilst retaining key Belfast heritage associated with the weaving industry.

The new extension wraps around the original building increasing the net lettable area three-fold from the original building footprint. Foundations are formed of bottom driven piles supporting concrete beams and a suspended concrete ground floor slab – the piled solution was chosen for both its low noise and low vibration characteristics that avoided any disruption to nearby occupied recording studios and electronic research units.

The superstructure is primarily steel beams and columns with precast hollowcore floor slabs spanning between, providing a very adaptable floor plate. SIPS panels create the insulated coat around the structural frame giving exemplar low air permeability and energy use characteristics, with a combination of brickwork and zinc cladding to the architectural façade and roof.

The executive offices at roof level are formed in a lightweight SIPS box, allowing a further floor to be added to the original 1840’s building with no structural strengthening required.

The building design was developed and delivered in a BIM environment; collaboration and coordination with the Design Team was undertaken to BIM level 2. The BIM model was also used to produce material quantities that could be used for benchmarking the efficiency and ‘lean-ness’ of the design, whilst assisting the production of an accurate cost plan from the earliest project stages.