We were appointed by The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs to design & construct the new DAERA Headquarters, at the former Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly.
The new 5175m² building is a unique & simple, geometrical build, which respects & complements the character of the rural setting. It has been designed to modern, high specification office standards, having the flexibility to accommodate a changing work environment, currently accommodating 470 workstations.
Outstanding and detailed project management was key. We developed our relationship with the Client during the 18 week pre-construction period, which continued when we commenced on site. We invited them to every progress meeting, collaboratively worked with them and their design team to provide buildability solutions and carried out informal demonstrations and site walks.
With the Client’s intention of stimulating economic growth & investment in the Northwest, our design will certainty boost this. The concept for the design generated a sculptural form, with linear forms intersecting, inspired by vernacular farmyards layouts. The 15m deep floor plan provides functionality whilst allowing natural light & ventilation to penetrate the open plan areas. The contemporary, lightweight & transparent upper floors, framed by bronze cladding, symbolize the progressive nature of modern agriculture. The south facing atrium is both the heart of the internal space & the public face of the building. The high standard finish created a calm soft landing for the Client and end users.
Roles and responsibilities (including supply chain) were clearly defined at the outset and detailed to the Client and stakeholders to ensure smooth lines of communication and fast decision making. Costs were managed and controlled by our Commercial team, who worked with the Client’s QS to manage value engineering, ensuring final costs provided value for money. Detailed programmes were closely monitored and updated, resulting in the successful phased handover.
The building has been designed to be an exemplar in accessibility & sustainability, designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ & being the new benchmark standard for Universal Accessibility. We successfully designed & installed biomass heating, sedum roof & attenuation.
To reduce impact to the small Ballykelly village and prevent disruption, we utilized an adjacent entrance into the site & programmed the work to ensure access/egress roads were formed close to completion. As part of our ‘Next Generation’ initiative, we hosted site visits & competitions for the local primary school pupils, focusing on health & safety around building sites & promoting the industry to them.
The project was awarded the CEF Construction Excellence Commercial Project of the Year award, with judges commenting on the use of natural light, ventilation & internal space, along with the efficient management of significant changes during the pre-construction stage.