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    RPS Construction Manager gives Evidence to Oireachtas Joint Committee on CIRI Bill

    13 October 2017

    RPS Construction Manager gives Evidence to Oireachtas Joint Committee on CIRI Bill

    Cormac Bradley, RPS Construction Manager and Executive Board Member of Engineers Ireland addressed the Oireachtas (Houses of Parliament) Joint Committee on the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) Bill last week.

    CIRI is a voluntary register of competent builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons, administered by the Construction Industry Federation. It was established as a result of the consultation process on the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BC(A)R). The CIRI Bill would replace the voluntary register with a mandatory statutory register.

    Cormac attended the hearing with Engineers Ireland Director General, Caroline Spillane to outline Engineers Ireland’s support for the Bill, which they believe would promote a greater commitment to compliance with building regulations. This, they maintained, would promote greater safety and quality for the consumer and the wider public.

    The hearing was also attended by representatives of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), who similarly support the idea of a statutory register.

    As a representative of Engineers Ireland, Cormac was involved in the original BC(A)R consultation process and a member of the Working Group that developed the suite of Ancillary Certificates. He is a recognised industry expert on BC(A)R and recently addressed a conference in Dublin on the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations & Key Implications for the Assigned Certifier. His current Assigned Certifier roles include pharmaceutical, commercial and healthcare projects.

    Contact:
    Cormac Bradley
    E: cormac.bradley@rpsgroup.com

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    Children’s Cardiac Catheterisation Unit & Orthopaedic Theatre Shortlisted for Engineering Project of the Year 2017

    09 October 2017

    Children’s Cardiac Catheterisation Unit & Orthopaedic Theatre Shortlisted for Engineering Project of the Year 2017

    The Cardiac Catheterisation Unit & Orthopaedic Theatre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) in Dublin has been shortlisted by Engineers Ireland for Engineering Project of the Year 2017. This award will be the subject of a public vote over the next month.

    The new facility is the only fully equipped paediatric cardiology service on the island of Ireland to diagnose and treat children with heart defects. The hybrid design allows the laboratory to be rapidly turned into a cardiac theatre thus permitting more complex interventions such as open heart surgery. The combination of catheterisation and operating facilities allows interventional cardiologists and surgeons to treat a child during a single procedure. This type of treatment can lead to faster recovery times, less tissue damage and reduced scarring. This is especially beneficial for newborns because it is less traumatic than traditional approaches. The new orthopaedic theatre complete with an ultra-clean ventilation system also doubles as part of the national action plan to reduce the number of patients on waiting lists for scoliosis treatment surgery. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to progressively curve sideways and therefore requires early intervention in children.

    The design build project was delivered on time and within budget through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) by an interdisciplinary project team including RPS as Mechanical and Electrical Consulting Engineers.

    Clancy was awarded the Design Build contract for the replacement of the existing OLCHC cardiac catheterisation laboratory in a live hospital environment. The project involved an extension to the operating theatre block to accommodate a hybrid cardiac catheterisation laboratory and ancillary facilities at first floor, suspended over an existing car park, a roof-top plant room and a link bridge. After construction had commenced, the project was extended to include an orthopaedic theatre at the same elevated level as the new catheterisation laboratory and the existing operating theatres.

    The national importance of the project combined with the highly complex spatial limitations created an opportunity for innovative solutions and creative thinking. Using BIM as a combined project tool, facility design was carried out in a Federated BIM Level 2 Model. The project team created a digital prototype of the building and facilitated simultaneous rather than sequential integration of engineered systems (M&E), structural and architectural disciplines. This resulted in great precision and efficiency and enabled successful compression of the construction window.

    Particular innovations in mechanical and electrical design were achieved on this project. Air distribution and thermal control were of particular importance given the age profile of the patients being treated and the air distribution pattern is critical to the hospital’s infection control department. The complexity and volume of medical equipment in the catheterisation laboratory required 3D modelling of all equipment and highly detailed design in both plan and elevation to ensure that the scanner rails, lighting and medical pendant positions, both in use and parked, would not interfere with the air distribution patterns. The design of the air conditioning system provided for indirect heat recovery from air being discharged.

    Key complexities arose from undertaking a construction contract within a live operational hospital where all the activities are patient centric. The site management team were uncompromising in implementing all the required health and safety protocols. In terms of healthcare asset creation and management this is a critical new national facility, planned, designed and constructed in the most efficient and cost effective manner to meet current acute hospital care for children.

    To vote for your Engineering Project of the Year, follow the link below and choose your favourite project before 27th October: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5JXXHYD

    Contact:
    Andrew Mulhall
    E: andrew.mulhall@rpsgroup.com

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    Innovation Key to Low Carbon Gas Networks

    18 September 2017

    Innovation Key to Low Carbon Gas Networks

    The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) held their first ever conference in Ireland this week.

    Conference Chairs Liam Nolan GNI, Brian Ó Gallachóir UCC and PJ Rudden RPS with IGEM President Sheila Lauchlan (Image: SON Photographic Ltd)
    Speakers at the IGEM Innovation Session: Alex Webb SGN, Chris Clarke Wales & West Utilities, Dan Sadlier Northern Gas Networks, Thomas Thorkildsen FLEX LNG Management, Henry Smyth Ervia / GNI and Chair PJ Rudden RPS (Image: SON Photographic Ltd)

    The Future of Gas Infrastructure in Ireland conference was sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland and supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE), Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) the Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG) and Engineers Ireland. The conference was attended by gas professionals from across Ireland and the UK. The conference concentrated on the future of gas infrastructure and how innovation will be the key to low carbon gas networks.

    The keynote address was delivered by IGEM President Sheila Lauchlan on the lessons learned to date during the UK’s transition to a low carbon future. Speakers included representatives from Gas Networks Ireland, the Commission for Energy Regulation and UK utilities including SGN, Northern Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities, Cadent and Northumbria Water. RPS Director PJ Rudden chaired the afternoon session on Innovation.

    The conference looked at the role of gas and its associated infrastructure in the future energy mix of Ireland from now to 2050 and beyond. Building on the Irish Government’s Energy White Paper ‘Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future’, topics explored included the of low carbon gases, their injection into the existing network and the effects of variable gas quality on the supply chain. A host of case study projects from across Ireland and the UK were covered including CNG refuelling stations, biogas, floating LNG and hydrogen networks.

    Welcoming IGEM to Ireland, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment Denis Naughten T.D. said “Gas is an important transition fuel in Ireland’s efforts to decarbonise our economy and achieve the targets we have set ourselves in domestic energy policy and with respect to our international obligations. Energy infrastructure – what is appropriate and how to implement it – is a key feature of current energy policy. This conference is very timely as we consider these issues... both here in Ireland and in the UK and further afield, in implementing safe, efficient and innovative gas supply solutions to energy demand issues.”

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden
    E: pj.rudden@rpsgroup.com

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     First National Mitigation Plan on Climate Change Published

    01 August 2017

    First National Mitigation Plan on Climate Change Published

    The first National Mitigation Plan on climate change was published on the 19th July this year and represents a huge initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve the level of decarbonisation required and transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. This is a very important first step by this Government in what will be a long journey with many different and complex elements to consider along the way.

    RPS carried out the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment of the National Mitigation Plan on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment. The Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment were critical inputs to the development of the plan. Both documents ensured that environmental concerns were integrated into the decision-making and implementation process at both sectoral and national level.

    Some of the proposals within the plan include:

    To reduce motorway speed limits from 120km/h to 110km/h for cars and from 90km/h to 80 km/h for heavy goods vehicles

    Decarbonising Electricity Generation

    Electrification of the rail line to Balbriggan

    Further incentives for low-emission vehicles (including electric vehicles)

    Continuation of Agricultural Decarbonisation Measures

    To support this ongoing work, the Plan includes over 100 individual actions for various Ministers and public bodies to take forward as we move to implementation of what will be a living document. Importantly, the Government recognises that this first Plan does not provide a complete roadmap to achieve the 2050 objective, but begins the process of development of medium to long term mitigation choices for the next and future decades.

    Contact:
    Paul Chadwick
    E: paul.chadwick@rpsgroup.com

    Contact:
    Ashling Cronin
    E: ashling.cronin@rpsgroup.com

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    Haulbowline Island East Tip Remediation Works to Commence

    25 July 2017

    Haulbowline Island East Tip Remediation Works to Commence

    The transformation of the East Tip, Haulbowline Island, Cork into a new Recreational Park Amenity has reached a significant project milestone. The contract for the East Tip Remediation Works was signed on Monday 10th July. This contract appoints a consortium led by PJ Hegarty & Sons Ltd to complete the works over an 18 month works programme.

    Haulbowline Island was the location of Ireland’s only steelworks which operated between 1939 and 2001. From the early 1960s, waste from the steel production process was deposited on an area of reclaimed foreshore, which became known as the ‘East Tip’. The East Tip is predominantly comprised of stockpiles of waste slag and mill scale throughout the 9 hectare site. The overall Haubowline Island Remediation Project represents a €61m investment by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, through their agent Cork County Council.

    Photomontage of proposed Haulbowline Island Recreational Park

    RPS has played a pivotal role in the progression of the project which initially included the preparation of an EIS, waste licence application and planning application for the remediation of East Tip. Remedial works began in 2014 with the repair of the bridges to the island and the upgrading of the access road. Most recently, RPS has managed the advance works contracts (including demolition, site clearance and preparatory works) and the procurement process for the main remediation works. The main remediation works, to be completed under an NEC form of contract, will deliver an innovative and sustainable design solution through re-profiling of the site, construction of a perimeter engineered structure around the East Tip and installation of engineered capping and surface water drainage systems.

    Speaking at the signing of the contract, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D said ‘I am very pleased to be here today for the contract signing for these crucial works to remediate the East Tip site at Haulbowline Island. This phase of works marks the start of a significant period of construction activity on the island and a major step towards the transformation of the East Tip into a great asset for the communities and other stakeholders located around Cork Harbour and beyond.’

    Contact:
    Brendan Brice
    E: brendan.brice@rpsgroup.com

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    EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol Event

    04 July 2017

    EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol Event

    RPS Technical Director Warren Phelan spoke at the recent European Commission event on the publication of the new EU Construction & Demolition Waste (CDW) Management Protocol. The event was organised by DG Grow and held in the European Commission Offices in Dublin.

    He discussed the ‘Current Position and Challenges in the Construction and Demolition Industry in Ireland’ and spoke about the radical change in the construction industry during his time which saw unprecedented growth and then a severe recession for the country and the sector and recovery in recent years. The profile of construction and demolition waste arising mirrored the market during this period, reaching highs of almost 18 million tonnes in 2007 and falling to 3 million tonnes by 2012.

    Based on volume, construction and demolition (C&D) waste is the largest waste stream in the EU. Proper management of C&D waste and recycled materials (including the correct handling of hazardous waste) can have major benefits in terms of sustainability. It can also provide major benefits for the EU construction and recycling industry, as it boosts demand for C&D recycled materials. A large proportion (over 80%) of C&D waste is recyclable but the average recovery rate for the EU28 is below 50%.

    Warren’s presentation touched on the vulnerabilities around the management of CDW which currently exist in Ireland. In the last 12 months the early closure of two facilities in the Greater Dublin Area left building & civil contractors with no outlet for significant quantities of soil wastes. Thousands of tonnes of processed recycled aggregates are unable to be used in the market due to a lack of ‘end of waste’ criteria from the EU. Such barriers must be addressed if a viable recycling industry in the market is to take hold.

    In his synopsis Warren called for a National CDW Plan to be put in place to co-ordinate the many policy measures, regulatory requirements and initiatives and provide the sector with clear direction.

    Summary of the Protocol:

    To turn the challenge of CDW into an economic, environmental and social opportunity, experts from the industry and the European Commission have drawn up the ‘EU Construction and Waste Demolition Protocol’.

    The overall aim of this Protocol is to increase confidence in the C&D waste management process and trust in the quality of C&D recycled materials. This will be achieved by:

    Improved waste identification, source separation and collection

    Improved waste logistics

    Improved waste processing

    Quality management

    Appropriate policy and framework conditions

    http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8985

    Contact:
    Warren Phelan
    E: warren.phelan@rpsgroup.com

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    European Green Capital Award 2019 & European Green Leaf Award 2018 Announced

    09 June 2017

    European Green Capital Award 2019 & European Green Leaf Award 2018 Announced

    The Norwegian city of Oslo has won the European Green Capital Award for 2019. Two cities were awarded the title of European Green Leaf 2018, the Belgian city of Leuven and the Swedish city of Växjö. These prestigious titles were awarded by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, in Germany last week.

    The European Green Capital Award and the European Green Leaf Award recognise a city's commitment to a better urban environment. Cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply for the European Green Capital Award whereas the European Green Leaf Award is open to cities of between 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants. As Secretariat for both awards, RPS manages the competition across the 28 Member States on behalf of the European Commission (DG Environment).

    European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr Karmenu Vella presenting the 2019 European Green Capital Award to Oslo’s Governing Mayor, Mr Raymond Johansen (Image: Rupert Oberhäuser)

    Winning cities must demonstrate well-established records of high environmental standards and a commitment to setting ambitious goals for future environmental progress, underpinned by the practical application of sustainable development. The awards have a particular focus on green growth and job creation. Winners act as ambassadors to inspire other cities and to promote best practices in pursuit of sustainable urban development. Oslo impressed the jury by working systematically to re-open waterways with 3,000 re-opened so far. Leuven focused on climate change and introduced actions to achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, whereas Växjö demonstrated strong leadership in sustainable development.

    Commissioner Vella presenting the 2018 European Green Leaf Award to Leuven’s Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohamed Ridouani and Växjö (Sweden) Mayor, Ms Anna Tenje (Image: Rupert Oberhäuser)

    Commissioner Vella said “I am delighted to be awarding the tenth European Green Capital Award and the fourth and fifth European Green Leaf Awards. More than two thirds of Europeans live in our cities and towns. The European Green Capital award shows us that cities can grow in size while keeping their green hearts beating. Good urban planning grows each time one city inspires another - that is the secret of the Green Capital Award.”

    Since the launch of the awards in 2008, ten cities have now won the European Green Capital Award: Stockholm (2010), Hamburg (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013), Copenhagen (2014), Bristol (2015), Ljubljana (2016), Essen (2017), Nijmegen (2018) and Oslo (2019).

    Five cities have now won a European Green Leaf award. In 2015 – the first year of the competition – Mollèt del Valles (Spain) and Torres Vedras (Portugal) received the award, followed by Galway (2017). The European Green Leaf Award 2018 goes to the cities of Leuven and Växjö.

    RPS manages the delivery of the two competitions as well as public awareness aspects. The competitions are annual events with the call for applications launching each May and the winning cities announced the following year in June.

    Contact:
    Louise Connolly
    E: louise.connolly@rpsgroup.com

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    New EPA Guides on Reuse and Waste Resource Exchange

    18 May 2017

    New EPA Guides on Reuse and Waste Resource Exchange

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released two guides to coincide with the launch of the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun by Minister for Communications, Climate and Environment, Denis Naughten TD. The guides were developed to support Ireland’s reuse culture and through research studies funded by the EPA.

    The reuse sector has grown steadily in Ireland in recent years, providing employment opportunities and developing a market place where a range of items from business and community throughout the public and private sector can be traded and exchanged in creative and imaginative ways. These guides help to highlight best practice and identify opportunities that the reuse sector provides to help extend the useful economic life of many items.

    From left to right: Dr. Sarah Miller (CEO Rediscovery Centre), Louise Connolly (RPS Report Author), Dr. Alice Wemaere (EPA Research Manager), Denis Naughten TD (Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment), Dr. Dorothy Stewart (EPA Project Manager) and Olivier Gaillot (RPS Report Author)

    One of the reports, entitled ‘A Review of Waste/Resource Exchange Systems and Good Practice Guide’, aims to encourage exchange on a wider scale. It offers businesses and other interested parties practical advice about setting up and implementing a waste/resource exchange system, including best practice guidelines.

    Louise Connolly, RPS, author of the Review Report, said:

    “A waste/resource exchange system enables the reuse or exchange of items that would otherwise become waste and potentially be sent to landfills. The aim of the good practice guide is to demonstrate how new and existing waste/resource exchange organisations can be set up and operated to the highest standards”

    The other guide, ‘Material Reuse Good Practice’ provides householders with the information necessary to identify items that have potential for reuse and recycling rather than replacement. Members of the reuse community in Ireland contributed to the project by sharing their knowledge and experience via surveys and interviews and by participating in workshops.

    Growth in the Reuse sector offers benefits for economy, society and the environment. Reuse brings together two areas, namely reuse and waste management to find ways to extend the useful life of items and in doing so prevent waste that will need to be managed/ disposed. Although Ireland’s recycling rate of 34% exceeds the EU28 average of 28%, there are opportunities to increase the level of Reuse to reduce the amount of waste going to overburdened and fewer landfills and the need for further resources to make more new products.

    Europe is moving from being a linear economy using a take – make – dispose model towards becoming a circular economy where resources are kept in use for as long as possible. This maximises value from resources whilst in use, and recovers and regenerates products and materials at the end of each service life. Waste/Resource exchange systems are an evolving concept that support and deliver on the goals of the circular economy therefore it is important that a framework is in place in the form of a good practice guide and supporting factsheets to demonstrate how new and existing organisations can be set up and operate to the highest standards and to assist those engaging with waste/resource exchanges to do so in an informed and compliant manner.

    The study identified a number of barriers to waste/resource exchanges many of which are addressed in the good practice guide. Additional recommendations outlined in the final report focus on: the simplification of legislation and reduction of red tape, support on access to materials, promotion and awareness of existing supports, review of funding structures to facilitate long term strategy and planning, use of instruments/incentives/tools/templates to encourage reuse and waste resource exchange, a sectoral approach to (Business to Business) B2B waste/resource exchange and engagement with industry representative bodies and awareness support to B2B raw material selection/consideration.

    Contact:
    Louise Connolly
    E: louise.connolly@rpsgroup.com

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    GMIT & RPS Win Excellence in Education and Training Award

    10 May 2017

    GMIT & RPS Win Excellence in Education and Training Award

    GMIT and RPS were awarded the Excellence in Education and Training Award at the Irish Construction Industry Awards last night for “A Collaborative Academia-Industry Approach to Developing a Higher Education Programme in Building Information Modelling”.

    Willie Madden (RPS), Mark Costello (RPS), Gerard Nicholson (GMIT) and Dr. Mark Kelly (GMIT)

    The development, piloting and delivery of the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM (Level 8) used an innovative educational approach informed by GMIT-RPS collaboration. A reciprocal learning framework was developed to merge industry best practice and feedback, curriculum innovation and evidence-based research into a set of learning resources for the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM. The learning environment encourages students to work as co-producers of knowledge to continuously improve the programme and address the interdisciplinary nature of BIM.

    To date over 80 RPS staff have undertaken modules on this new programme. Five people from our Galway office were the first to graduate from the course last November. Mark Costello, Lisa Haverty, Desmond Keane, David McHugh and Agnieszka Niedziela all graduated with honours.

    Des Keane, Agnieszka Niedziela, David McHugh, Willie Madden, Lisa Haverty, Mark Costello

    BIM focuses on creating a collaborative working environment, which places a digital model at the epicentre of the design, construction and operational process. This shared knowledge resource aims to form a reliable basis for decision-making during the life cycle of a project from earliest conception to ultimate end-of -life. BIM processes enable team members to explore a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it is built, helping to deliver projects faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact.

    Contact:
    Mark Costello
    E: mark.costello@rpsgroup.com

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    GMIT & RPS Shortlisted for Excellence in Education and Training Award

    07 April 2017

    GMIT & RPS Shortlisted for Excellence in Education and Training Award

    GMIT / RPS have been shortlisted in the Irish Construction Industry Awards – Excellence in Education and Training Category for “A Collaborative Academia-Industry Approach to Developing a Higher Education Programme in Building Information Modelling”. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, 9th May.

    The international construction sector is undergoing significant change and with this, a new set of skills and competences are required for built environment-related graduates. One of the key drivers over the past few years has been the introduction of BIM and its focus on creating a collaborative working environment, which places a digital model at the epicentre of the design, construction and operational process. This shared knowledge resource aims to form a reliable basis for decision-making during the life cycle of a project from earliest conception to ultimate end-of -life. BIM processes will enable team members to explore a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it is built, helping to deliver projects faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact.

    Recent BIM developments in the UK have challenged the construction sector to review their business models and practices to move away from adversarial relationships to collaborative ones and to identify cost reduction and innovation opportunities within the supply chain to provide better value for money. This led to a mandate that fully collaborative 3D Building Information Modelling (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) be an industry requirement by April 2016. The Irish Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) has recently prepared a position paper for the purposes of inviting responses from industry. The position paper titled ‘A Public Sector BIM Adoption Strategy’ outlines the context and rationale for the adoption of BIM in Ireland and puts forward a proposed timeline for adoption.

    The development, piloting and delivering of the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM (Level 8) utilised an innovative pedagogical approach informed by GMIT-RPS collaboration. A reciprocal learning framework was developed to merge industry best practice and feedback, curriculum innovation and evidence-based research into a set of learning resources for the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM. The learning environment encourages students to work as co-producers of knowledge to continuously improve the programme and address the interdisciplinary nature of BIM. To date over 80 RPS staff have undertaken modules on this new programme.

    Contact:
    Mark Costello
    E: mark.costello@rpsgroup.com

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    ACEI Excellence Award Win for Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Crumlin Children’s Hospital

    03 April 2017

    ACEI Excellence Award Win for Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Crumlin Children’s Hospital

    The new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and Orthopaedic Theatre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin won the ACEI Design Excellence Award 2017 for Mechanical & Electrical Projects (Medium). The award was presented at the ACEI Awards Dinner on Friday 31st March.

    Left to right: Richard Crowe (ACEI President), Andrew Mulhall (RPS), Padraic Brennan (RPS) Sineád Hughes (MOLA Architecture), Ian Smillie (Clancy Construction) and Niall Donohoe (RPS). Image: Colm Mahady

    This €5.6m state-of-the-art laboratory is the only fully equipped paediatric cardiology service on the island of Ireland. It allows cardiologists to treat young children with heart defects by performing catheter-based procedures and if necessary, surgeons to perform open-heart surgery. It minimises risks of infection and provides more timely access to critical interventions.

    The project consists of a three-storey development measuring 545 sq m and the third floor is an internal plantroom. A link bridge was constructed to join the new facility with the existing theatre block. Construction work was carried out in a live hospital campus adjacent to the existing operating theatres.

    The RPS Dublin building services team were appointed as the contractor’s mechanical and electrical consulting engineer, and designed the mechanical and electrical services for the new facility. This involved careful phasing of works and meticulous attention to detail to ensure the continuity of critical services in a live hospital environment during construction. The mechanical and electrical design was carried out in a Federated BIM Level 2 model. The project was delivered on time and within budget in 2016 through the use of building information modelling (BIM) by our multidisciplinary project team.

     
     

    The complexity and volume of medical equipment to be installed in the catheterisation laboratory necessitated 3D modelling of all equipment to ensure it does not interfere with the air distribution patterns, which were critical to the hospital and their infection control department.

    The successful completion of the design build project on time and within budget was a very efficient use of capital investment to create essential health infrastructure for the nation’s children.

    Contact:
    Gerry Cullen
    E: gerry.cullen@rpsgroup.com

    Andrew Mulhall
    E: andrew.mulhall@rpsgroup.com

     

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    SEA & AA for Second Cycle River Basin Management Plan

    31 March 2017

    SEA & AA for Second Cycle River Basin Management Plan

    RPS has been appointed by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to assist with the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the 2nd Cycle River Basin Management Plan [RBMP].

    This 2nd Cycle RBMP aims to build on the progress made during the 1st Cycle Plans and it will set out Ireland’s approach to protecting and restoring the water environment as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), 2000/60/EC. The RBMP will cover the period from 2018 to 2022.

    In the first cycle, measures included licensing of urban waste water discharges and associated investment in urban waste water treatment and the implementation of the Nitrates Action Programme (through the Good Agricultural Practice Regulations S.I. 31 of 2014). However, it has been acknowledged that the development and implementation of supporting measures during the first cycle was not sufficiently progressed and changes were needed to effect the kind of outcomes needed to achieve the objectives of the WFD. These changes relate to governance and administration of measures, a better knowledge base for focussed investment and realistic levels of ambition tied to available resources.

    The SEA and AA for the second cycle RBMP process commenced in early 2016 and a key milestone was the completion of the SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement which were put on public display in February 2017 alongside the Draft 2nd Cycle RBMP. The three documents are available at: http://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-quality/river-basin-management-plans/public-consultation-draft-river-basin-management

    The RPS SEA and AA teams evaluated the Draft RBMP and the likely significant effects on the environment. Our reports set out measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and as far as possible offset any significant adverse effects on the environment likely to be caused by implementing the RBMP.

    Submissions in respect of the Draft RBMP are invited from the public by Thursday, 31st August 2017.

    Contact:
    Dr. Antonia Gaughran
    E: antonia.gaughran@rpsgroup.com

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    Galway City Launched as European Green Leaf 2017

    16 March 2017

    Galway City Launched as European Green Leaf 2017

    Galway was officially launched as the 2017 European Green Leaf at a conferring ceremony at City Hall recently.

    The European Green Leaf Award is an initiative of the European Commission and was launched in 2015 building on the success of the European Green Capital Award. The Green Leaf competition is aimed at smaller cities with 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants that show a strong commitment to green growth, sustainable urban environment and ambitious plans for the future.

    Galway is the first Irish city to receive this title. It was awarded to two cities in 2015, the Spanish city of Mollet del Vallès and the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras.

    RPS was reappointed by the EU Commission in October 2016 as Secretariat for European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards to manage the awards in terms of technical assessment and communications.

    From left to right: Louise Connolly, Barry Walsh, Serena Byrne, Brenda McEvoy (all RPS), Ben Caspar and Joanna Drake (EU Commission), Cllr. Noel Larkin (Galway City Council Mayor), Nicole Wanders-Wengler (EU Commission), PJ Rudden (RPS) and Brendan McGrath (CEO Galway City Council)
    Image: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

    Speaking at the event, Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General DG Environment said that Galway can become an ‘ambassador for change in Europe’. She commended Galway’s application and success in winning the Green Leaf Award for having highlighted a sustainable approach, holistic methods, strategic goals and adopting a long term approach.

    “European Green Leaf not only celebrates our past environmental achievements, but also challenges our city to continually improve the quality of life of our citizens and reduce our impact on the global environment,” said Dr. Sharon Carroll, Project Co-ordinator for Galway’s Green Leaf 2017 programme. “Galway city has always led the way with environmental initiatives, from our progressive waste management practices to our active education and awareness programmes. The European Green Leaf jury recognised the potential of Galway city to act as a green ambassador and to promote the concepts of sustainable cities and sustainable communities throughout Europe.”

    A series of projects and events will be delivered as part of Galway City's European Green leaf year and more information is available on the Galway City Council website here. Galway is also designated a European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and European Capital of Culture 2020.

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden
    E: pj.rudden@rpsgroup.com

    Louise Connolly
    E: louise.connolly@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS BIM Director Awarded BRE Academy Fellowship

    24 February 2017

    RPS BIM Director Awarded BRE Academy Fellowship

    Mark Costello has been awarded BRE Academy Fellowship. This is “the highest level of BRE Academy membership awarded upon recognition of significant activity within the industry. Fellowship is awarded to those who have demonstrated an extremely high level of success or achievement in their chosen field. As leaders in their fields, Fellows will have undertaken notable projects or have made a special contribution to their profession”.

    In 2009, RPS identified BIM as a key industry development. Mark established a BIM committee and piloted BIM within RPS. He has been instrumental in providing a new approach to BIM education and training in Ireland. He has collaborated with local academic institutions to develop suitable BIM training programmes to enable upskilling. Mark is co-author of a number of research papers on the subject of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

    Collaboration between RPS and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has resulted in the development of an industry orientated Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM (Level 8 on the National Framework) to train designers to meet Level 2 BIM requirements. Over 60 RPS staff are currently registered on this training programme.

    RPS also achieved Level 2 BIM Business Systems Certification from BRE Global in January 2016, recognising our ability to deliver projects in a BIM Level 2 environment for our clients. The certification assesses the BIM policy and capability of the business as defined within PAS 1192-2:2013 and PAS 91 as well as assessing the ability of the business to meet the requirements of an employer to carry out a BIM capability assessment. In the UK, centrally procured public sector projects require the implementation of BIM at Level 2 since April 2016.

    The BRE Academy is the leading international provider of blended learning training and education programmes for professionals and employers. It is the lifelong learning extension of BRE, a world leading multi-disciplinary building science based company, whose mission is to improve the built environment through research and knowledge generation.

    Contact:
    Mark Costello
    E: mark.costello@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Ecologist Contributes to Royal Irish Academy Proceedings

    22 February 2017

    RPS Ecologist Contributes to Royal Irish Academy Proceedings

    Image: Royal Irish Academy

    Caroline Wynne, RPS Senior Freshwater Ecologist has co-edited a special issue of Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy on the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC).

    The Water Framework Directive (WFD) has provided a structure for integrated water resource management across the European Union over the last fifteen years. Here in Ireland, our implementation of this directive has been underpinned by a substantial body of scientific research on water body classification, characterisation and management.

    In recent years, a sizeable body of further research underpinning implementation of the WFD has been undertaken, much of it funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). RPS is involved in many aspects of this research working with EPA Catchment Unit and the Ecological Monitoring Unit.

    The Biology and Environment Special Issue on the WFD presents diverse research that draws on learning from the first cycle of Water Framework Directive (WFD) river basin management planning and develops an evidence base and new tools for decision-making that are informing the second planning cycle. It will be officially launched at this year's ENVIRON conference on 10th April, with a special session also devoted to selected papers from the issue.

    The articles can be viewed at:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3318/biolenviprocria.116b.issue-3

    Contact:
    Caroline Wynne
    E: caroline.wynne@rpsgroup.com

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    Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and Orthopaedic Theatre at Crumlin Hospital Shortlisted for ACEI Excellence Award 2017

    20 February 2017

    Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and Orthopaedic Theatre at Crumlin Hospital Shortlisted for ACEI Excellence Award 2017

    The new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and Orthopaedic Theatre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin has been shortlisted for the ACEI Design Excellence Award 2017.

    This €5.6m state-of-the-art laboratory is the only fully equipped paediatric cardiology service on the island of Ireland. It allows cardiologists to treat young children with heart defects by performing catheter-based procedures and if necessary, surgeons to perform open-heart surgery. It minimises risks of infection and provides more timely access to critical interventions. The project is shortlisted for the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI) Mechanical & Electrical Design Excellence Award 2017 and the winner will be announced the ACEI Annual Dinner and Awards on 31st March.

    The design build project was delivered on time and within budget in 2016 through the use of building information modelling (BIM) by a multidisciplinary project team including RPS as mechanical and electrical consulting engineer. The project consists of a three-storey development measuring 545 sq m and the third floor is an internal plantroom containing the M&E equipment necessary to serve the building. A link bridge was constructed to join the new facility with the existing theatre block. Construction work was carried out in a live hospital campus adjacent to the existing operating theatres.

    As Contractor’s Designer to Clancy Construction, our Building Services team designed the mechanical and electrical services for the new facility. This involved careful phasing of works and meticulous attention to detail to ensure the continuity of critical services in a live hospital environment during construction. The mechanical and electrical design was carried out in a Federated BIM Level 2 model.

    The complexity and volume of medical equipment to be installed in the catheterisation laboratory necessitated 3D modelling of all equipment to ensure it does not interfere with the air distribution patterns, which were critical to the hospital and their infection control department.

    The facility has already won two awards at the Irish Construction Industry Awards in 2016, the Health Project of the Year and the overall prize Construction Project of the Year. The successful completion of the design build project on time and within budget was a very efficient use of capital investment to create essential health infrastructure for the nation’s children.

    Contact:
    Gerry Cullen
    E: gerry.cullen@rpsgroup.com

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    Raith Interchange in Scotland Opens to Traffic

    17 February 2017

    Raith Interchange in Scotland Opens to Traffic

    The new Raith Underpass in Scotland opened to traffic yesterday following a three-year construction programme to improve the heavily congested junction.

    Raith Interchange During Construction - Image courtesy of Lagan Ferrovial JV

    The new A725 underpass near Hamilton in South Lanarkshire runs below the M74 motorway, the main arterial route between Scotland and England. It is part of the £500m M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvement Project and will improve journey times through the junction by up to 15 minutes.

    RPS is part of the multinational consortium (Ferrovial/Lagan/Amey/RPS) collectively responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the project on behalf of the Scottish Roads Partnership.

    The development of the three level interchange and the surrounding local roads network has been a hugely complex and challenging engineering project. It involved the creation of a 600 metre long, 35 metre wide and 12 metre deep underpass below the existing roundabout and the M74, while providing free flow traffic conditions for over 75,000 vehicles per day. It also included construction of a realigned Raith Roundabout, three new bridges, two pedestrian footbridges / cycleways, and five signalised junctions. The highly constrained site is located in a floodplain with variable ground conditions and adjacent environmental sensitivities.

    RPS undertook the detailed design for geotechnical, highways, lighting, bridges and other highway structures on the Raith Interchange. Along with our project partners, we have pioneered BIM technologies on the project and it represents the first large scale implementation of Level 2 BIM on a major infrastructure project in the UK. The collaborative delivery of all design elements using innovative Level 2 BIM processes was key to the success of this project. The 3D BIM Model has enabled understanding in real time of the design proposals and facilitated local authorities and other stakeholders. It has facilitated the planning of traffic management and temporary works and allowed health and safety issues to be detected and mitigated prior to construction.

    This innovative project has been selected as an Exemplar for the definition of the Scottish BIM mandate (due for publication in April 2017). The project has also been shortlisted for the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI) Overseas Design Excellence Award 2017. Award winners will be announced at the ACEI Annual Dinner and Awards on 31st March.

    A Transport Scotland video on the Raith Underpass can be viewed here. A second Transport Scotland video ‘Building Information Management at M74 Raith Interchange’ showing the RPS BIM model can be viewed here.

    Contact:
    Christy O’Sullivan
    E: christy.osullivan@rpsgroup.com

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    Engineers Ireland Project Management Breakfast Briefing

    25 January 2017

    Engineers Ireland Project Management Breakfast Briefing

    Engineers Ireland Project Management Society held a breakfast briefing last week on Project Change Management – Challenges and Opportunities. Some 60 people attended to hear Karen Fenton, RPS Programme Manager explore the different attitudes to the management of project change, the challenges associated with change and methods for developing robust change management approaches.

    Ann Rogers Chairman Project Management Society, PJ Rudden Director RPS & Karen Fenton RPS Programme Manager

    Karen has project managed large scale design and construction water and wastewater treatment projects in Australia. These include design and construction of a large water treatment plant for a new power station as part of an alumina mine expansion, and the design of a 150km seawater pipeline for an iron ore mine feasibility study. She has also established project management office functions for Transport for NSW in Sydney and OpenHydro in Ireland and has led organisation transformation and strategy projects at Irish Water. At RPS, Karen now leads the delivery of a procurement programme for Irish Water.

    Karen used real project examples to illustrate different types of project change, the challenges faced on each and how these were overcome – the importance of implementing appropriate systems and effective communication with clients and project teams were recurrent messages. She compared the ‘design’ and ‘construction’ approaches to change management, recognising an existing culture of change management on the construction side, whereas the design approach is softer with a tendency to avoid conflict. Based on her extensive experience, Karen offered a number of strategies across three key themes of change management, team leadership and client relationship management, and identified a number of Project Manager competencies to support these themes.

    Contact:
    Karen Fenton
    E: karen.fenton@rpsgroup.com

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    Mersey Gateway Project – A Progress Update

    23 January 2017

    Mersey Gateway Project – A Progress Update

     

    The Mersey Gateway Project is a major scheme to build a new six lane toll bridge over the River Mersey, to the east of Liverpool. The cable-stay bridge will form the centrepiece of a new and improved high standard link road, 9.5km long, connecting the national motorway network in north Cheshire with Merseyside. The project includes the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance over the next 30 years of the new bridge and approach roads.

    RPS and Currie & Brown have acted as Lenders’ Technical Advisors (LTA) for client Macquarie Capital since 2013. This involved due diligence reporting of all the engineering proposals and associated risks on behalf of the major lenders and UK Government Treasury to achieve financial close in March 2014. In line with the construction phase appointment, we monitor and report on the progress of the works against the contract programme and cost plan. This includes updating forecasts of costs to completion and likely completion dates as well as reviewing design or construction quality or technical issues which arise during inspections.

    The bridge has a total length of 2.25km, including the north approach viaduct at 700m and the south approach viaduct at 545m, which also crosses the Manchester Ship Canal. The main bridge is a 1km cable-stay bridge, with four spans supported by cables from three pylons. Construction of the three pylons was completed in November 2016, the outer pylons are over 110m in height and the centre pylon is 80m. Construction of the concrete deck is by means of balanced cantilever methods. The approach viaduct decks are constructed using a Moveable Scaffolding System (MSS), a span by span concrete cast in place method with a forward launch procedure, facilitating casting of concrete sections up to 70m in length. Other works include the Astmoor & Bridgewater viaduct with deck construction using precast beams which were cast and shipped from Ireland, along with remedial works to over 10 existing bridges requiring deck waterproofing, bearing replacement and crash protection.

    There are eight project milestones, and the first five have been successfully achieved. The next milestone is completion of the main cable-stay bridge deck in June 2017. When complete, the project is expected to help create thousands of new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits, including improved public transport links across the River Mersey.

    Contact:
    Tony Magee
    E: tony.magee@rpsgroup.com

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    Transformed Cork Landfill Site Shortlisted for ‘Best Public Park’ Award

    10 January 2017

    Transformed Cork Landfill Site Shortlisted for ‘Best Public Park’ Award

     

    Tramore Valley Park (formerly Kinsale Road Landfill) in Cork has been shortlisted for the Best Public Park Award in the Community & Council Awards 2017. The awards ceremony will be held in Dublin on 4th February.

    Aerial view of Tramore Valley Park, park bench using recycled concrete and BMX track

    Kinsale Road Landfill operated as a municipal landfill from the early 1960s until its closure in 2009, with over 3.5 million tonnes of waste landfilled on site. Cork City Council has dedicated significant resources to remediating the landfill using a variety of different engineering initiatives in compliance with EPA licence requirements. The 70 hectare site is now being transformed from a once unpopular landfill into a parkland amenity for the local community.

    Amenities provided for the local community include Munster’s only international standard BMX track, 5 km of paths and trails, including biodiversity trails and bird hides, a multi-use events area and sports pitch, pavilion building with changing facilities and public toilets and parking for 200 vehicles.

    RPS delivered the final phase of the engineering remediation work on behalf of Cork City Council in 2015, including detailed design of landfill capping, leachate and landfill gas infrastructure and surface water system design. The challenge was to successfully integrate this infrastructure whilst ensuring the site could be developed to meet the amenity objectives and create visually attractive spaces. The RPS project team also designed internal access roads, the pavilion building, parking, playing field and landscaped areas.

    The design team applied the best principles of sustainability using recycled construction materials where possible. This included the innovative reuse of crushed concrete from demolished grain silos in the Cork City docklands to fill gabion cages and form park benches. Landfill gas has been used to generate electricity on-site and feed into the national grid to power 850 homes in the locality. Foundation bases and ducting for three wind turbines have been installed for future installation of turbines. Allowances were made for future landfill settlements, so the pavilion building was constructed on piled foundations and the car parking area was constructed using a flexible rubber ‘BodPave’ system.

    The site is unique in Ireland in delivering such a range of tangible benefits to the local community on a previous landfill site. It will benefit a range of people from the locality and wider areas including fitness / BMX enthusiasts, nature-lovers and families seeking open green spaces.

    Contact:
    Frank Maguire
    E: frank.maguire@rpsgroup.com

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