Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation

On the Great Patrick Street Student Acommodation project, Irwin M&E brings the company’s experience home to complete another large M&E project in Northern Ireland

Irwin M&E enjoyed the opportunity to utilise the company’s experience in student accommodation on a project in Northern Ireland with this work at Great Patrick Street.

The mechanical, electrical and integrated FM specialist has worked on student accommodation projects in Great Britain but Great Patrick Street provided the first opportunity to demonstrate this a little closer to home. The impressive 474-bedroom student accommodation scheme at 28-30 Great Patrick Street in Belfast is part of an overall investment of £37million in the city. The design and build contract is worth £22million to Gilbert-Ash and the project has been developed by Olympian Homes and operated by Student Roost.

The new student accommodation has been finished to a high standard and, as well as the 474 bedrooms across 11 floors, the facility includes common areas, study rooms, a laundry and a gym. The rooms are in clusters of four to six bedrooms, with each cluster having shared kitchen and living space.

Chris Adams, Contracts Director at Irwin M&E, commented, “We enjoyed working closely on this challenging design and build project with the team at main contractor, Gilbert-Ash. After completing similar projects like this in Great Britain, it was great to be able to showcase that experience in Northern Ireland and I think it perfectly reflects the high standards that we bring to all our work.”

The focus of the M&E installation at Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation was energy efficiency. From an electrical perspective, a complete power and distribution solution was provided and service space was kept to a minimum by utilising a rising busbar system through the building to distribute power to each floor. LED lighting was installed throughout, with all public and circulation spaces controlled by automatic PIR detection. Full Category L1 fire alarm, disabled refuge, CCTV and door intercom systems were installed and commissioned for the safety and security of the students and staff.

TV and data distribution was provided to every en suite bedroom, studio and cluster kitchen, with HDMI provision also included within the studio rooms.

A full structured cabling system was provided throughout all core and circulation areas to allow the client’s I.T. provider to install a WIFI system, providing full coverage to the entire building.

Irwin M&E appointed Caldwell Consulting to work with the company on the design aspect. Chris added. “The co- operation on this venture was superb and meant that it ran smoothly. Everyone pulled in the same direction and it made all the difference, on what was a tight schedule, to get the project completed.”

Irwin M&E, Unit 4 Diviny Drive, Carn, Portadown, BT63 5WE
T: 028 3839 7990

Sub Contractors

WSM Datatech showcased the company’s ability to meet the specific requirements of large-scale projects by supplying lighting and electrical accessories to Irwin M&E for the Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation project.

The leading electrical wholesaler boasts a comprehensive product range and, for this project, WSM Datatech was able to utilise the company’s strong partnerships with market- leading manufacturers to deliver high quality solutions.

“We’re delighted to have played an integral role in this project,” John Auld, Branch Manager, explained. “We are experts at co-ordinating this type of work and worked closely with LED Group ROBUS and Scolmore to ensure we could deliver on time and keep Irwin M&E on track during a job that had significant time restrictions.”

The Scolmore products supplied for this project included the company’s Click® Mode® wiring accessory range. The modular design is a standard feature of the Mode® range, allowing designers and installers unprecedented flexibility in creating dedicated wiring solutions to deal specifically with virtually all wiring requirements.

The range has been well received since its launch over a decade ago and it was the combination of easy installation, flexibility and quality that made it the perfect choice for this student accommodation.

Importantly, the range of anthracite grey finished accessories complies with the current Part M Building Regulations, which was a necessity on this job.

The extensive range of solutions from LED Group ROBUS means the company is able to meet wide-ranging requirements, with WSM Datatech supplying the likes of Triumph, Eternity and Vulcan LEDs.

WSM Datatech, Unit 11-12, Duncrue Industrial Estate, Belfast, BT3 9BW
T: 0044 (0)28 9037 1888

The comprehensive portfolio of lighting products from LED Group ROBUS ensured that meeting the diverse lighting needs of the new Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation could be easily met.

Working alongside Like Architects and Irwin M&E, LED Group ROBUS was able to supply lighting solutions throughout the interior and exterior of the project.

Jim Bruce, Area Manager, said, “We are well versed in meeting the diverse needs of projects such as this and it was a pleasure to be working with Like Architects as well as Chris Adams and Tom Paul from Irwin M&E to ensure we could find the right lighting products to meet their expectations. We already have a long- standing relationship with Irwin M&E and have completed a number of projects with them in England.”

Some of the products that LED Group ROBUS supplied for this project include the Triumph LED downlight which was installed in the student bedrooms, Eternity downlights for the corridors and Vulcan corrosion proof lighting for the stairwells and underground area.

The Triumph LED downlights are suitable for use in offices, retail shops, reception areas, hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs and showrooms. The True ACtivate Driver-On-Board (DOB) mains operated technology provides dimmability, driver efficiency and reliability while the Chip- On-Board (COB) deliver superb light output, high efficacy and a long life.

The Eternity LED downlights come with a die cast aluminium housing with polycarbonate diffuser and it passes the 850oC glow wire test. The fast, simple and efficient installation features of this product also made it attractive for a project of this size. These features include the c/w driver and quick fix secondary connector as well as the fact that it comes prewired with 1.5m flex and a SWIFT 4 pin male/female plug & play connector with large terminals and integrated cable restraint.

This extensive range of Vulcan premium corrosion-proof fittings come with a 5-year warranty and a rated LED life of 50,000 hours. Providing the same mechanical performance as traditional corrosion proof fittings, Vulcan LEDs are one of the most efficient with efficacies up to 126lm/cctW that make energy savings of around 50% along with a long service life. This is without the high costs associated with traditional tube changes and labour.

LED Group ROBUS, Nangor Road, Dublin 12
T: (RoI) 01 709 9000 – (NI) 0800 973 220

Jim Bruce
T: 07889 867159
E: or E:

After working on the new Grand Central Hotel in Belfast, MGA Communication turned its expertise to accommodation of a different kind for this project.

The communication specialist provided the IP Infrastructure and TV/Satellite IRS communication solutions for all 474 bedrooms and within the communal areas to keep residents fully connected within this impressive new facility.

As recognised AV experts, the team at MGA Communication Ltd has worked on many prestigious projects across a wide range of sectors, not just in Northern Ireland but also across the UK and Ireland.

The scope of the company’s business is the supply, installation and commissioning of audio visual and communication systems, providing sales and technical support during the life cycle of the system(s) provided. This includes the design, delivery and management of both private and public sector projects.

Established in 1994, the company comprises a team of highly competent, trained and dedicated professionals, technical field staff and office support personnel, working together to provide top quality solutions for the company’s many customers.

MGA Communication Ltd, 55 Antrim Road, Ballynahinch, BT24 8AN
T: 0044 (0)28 9756 5614

Digital Fire & Security supplied a complete fire and security package for the new Great Patrick Student Accommodation project.

As a leading supplier of fire detection, security systems and associated products and systems in Northern Ireland, the company is expertly qualified to meet the needs of projects of this size.

The fire alarm system installed by Digtal Fire & Security incorporated five Protec 6500 Addressable Fire Alarm Control Panels to monitor and control over 1,000 addressable devices throughout the building. This was complemented by a Protec disabled refuge and disabled alarm system and a HikVision HD IP Network CCTV System.

As an independently- owned company, Digital Fire & Security has built a strong reputation for excellence and reliability, which is reflected in the high levels of repeat business and work gained through referrals.

The company’s services cover both new build and upgrade projects in the residential and commercial sectors and in addition to installation, Digital Fire & Security’s annual maintenance cover all installations; ensuring regular inspections to combat faults; and taking preventative measures.

Digital Fire & Security, Unit 27 Crescent Business Park, Lisburn, County Antrim, BT28 2GN
T: 0044 (0)28 9266 1555

KEW Electrical ensured that Irwin M&E had all the electrical products required to keep the Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation project running smoothly.

Meeting the general day-to- day electrical requirements of a project of this size required precise planning and co-ordination with Irwin M&E as well as regular deliveries to the Belfast site. This was particularly important given the strict time pressures the project team had to meet.

“From containment products to wiring and everything in between, we supplied an extensive range of electrical products to the team at Irwin M&E,” explained Alan Bingham, Assistant Manager at KEW Electrical, Belfast.

“We kept in regular contact with Irwin M&E and had a system in place for them to update orders and keep us informed with their requirements. Our vans made deliveries every day, sometimes multiple times, in order to keep the stock levels replenished.

“It built up to a substantial amount of work throughout the duration of the project and we’re delighted to have established such a strong working relationship with Irwin M&E and look forward to working with them in the future.”

The completion of the Great Patrick Street Student Accommodation adds to a number of high profile Belfast projects that KEW Electrical has been involved in this year, including the extension to the Holiday Inn Express and the new Grand Central Hotel. This success reflects the impressive capabilities of this award-winning electrical wholesaler, with KEW Electrical meeting the needs of this sizeable projects alongside the requirements of customers at the company’s busy trade counter.

“We work hard to build and maintain our stock levels and that is the reason behind our ability to meet the needs of all of our customers,” added Alan. “We are well positioned to deal with the pressures of large projects as well as helping smaller contractors complete their projects.”

KEW Electrical, 385 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 2LS
T: 0044 (0)28 9047 1727