FERMANAGH contractors Tracey Brothers has picked up one of the top accolades at the recent annual Plant & Civil Engineer Awards, for its work on the South West College’s Erne Campus in Enniskillen.
They were presented with the prestigious Construction Project of the Year award, sponsored by Sleator Plant, during a glittering ceremony, compered by television and radio sports presenter Adrian Logan, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in South Belfast.
Organised by Plant & Civil Engineer, 4SM (NI) Ltd, it was attended by hundreds of guests and leading figures from the plant, construction and quarry industries. With 17 separate categories, the event, making a welcome return after a two year absence because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is widely regarded as Ireland’s premier platform of recognition for those operating across all sectors of the industry.
With more than 60 years’ experience of construction, fit out and civil engineering works Tracey Brothers Ltd are now one of the major building contractors in Ireland, specialising in the construction and management of highly complex projects, like that on the Erne Campus.
This is an innovative and pioneering project which is officially the world’s first educational – and currently the largest – Passive House Premium rated. It is also the first building in the UK to achieve both Passivhaus ‘Premium’ and BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ accreditations. It has been recognised as one of 26 UN Centres of Excellence for High Performance Buildings in terms of sustainable innovation and design, ranking it alongside the Apple Campus 2 in California in recognition of both its highly efficient building fabric and the large amount of solar energy it generates
The Passivhaus ‘Premium’ certification ensures Campus occupants benefit from high thermal insulation qualities, thermal bridge free construction, air tightness, triple glazing, and heat recovery with the added benefit of reduced energy cost.
With a floor area of 7,167 m2, a building length of 200m constructed to a half-moon curvature, and four story elevation, the size and shape of the building were one of the many hurdles the project team had to overcome
The project, which was handed over in April 2021, features a 3200m2 array of PV panels that generates the majority of the electricity used by the building, with up to 50% of the energy produced being available to export at peak solar gain seasons.
“The Erne Campus now represents a glass ceiling broken for the standard of public buildings in the context of a climate emergency and is a catalyst for what can be achieved,” commented Dr Barry McCarron, Head of Business Development (SWC) and current Passivhaus Chairperson.
Tomas O’Leary, the Passivhaus Certifier for the project, added: “The campus sets a new standard for educational buildings across the globe in terms of energy efficiency, year-round comfort, and indoor air quality. It will act as a beacon and a source of inspiration for building designers everywhere in delivering on much-needed dramatic reductions in carbon emissions from the built environment.”
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