New Build

Liberty Lane, Dublin, Ireland

The vision for Liberty Lane was to create a 240m² £1m mixed-use development comprising commercial, retail, and residential space over three stories in the heart of Dublin. We were contracted to lead the full structural design from planning to detailed design stage compliance with BIM Level 2, in the challenging setting of the busy city center where completion speed would be a key factor.

The existing property was set among several buildings in the bustling city center and difficult to access via a narrow road entrance, which would make delivery of materials a challenge.

The surrounding properties – mainly commercial premises – would be live during the works, so the team would have to work quickly and efficiently to minimize disruption.

After reviewing the client’s original plan for a cast in-situ concrete frame, it was agreed that a steel frame would be an effective alternative and far quicker to construct. The decision was particularly positive for the client, who had expertise in steel fabrication.

To speed up installation and enhance safe handling on site, we opted for steel beams and columns with spliced connections and recommended cross bracing hidden within the external masonry walls to improve the aesthetics of the building’s exterior.

The existing soil conditions were unknown during the initial design stages but on later inspection were found to be made ground. This meant that the client’s original solution of a raft foundation had to be replaced with a piled raft alternative, following confirmation from a soil investigation survey.

Adopting the steel frame instead of the original concrete structure made the construction process much quicker and enabled the client to install the structural work himself, generating considerable time and money savings. Additionally, by using lightweight materials, the construction team was able to work more efficiently around the restricted access issue.

Using piles wasn’t the client’s first choice but this option presented a key benefit: the client could design the piles for a higher loading, which would allow for an additional story to be added in the future. With this in mind, we designed the top columns for the future splice connection.

The project was completed successfully to the client’s design brief for a combination of retail, commercial, and residential space.

Creating an additional floor with the use of piles also added significant value for the client, who has since maximized their return on investment by constructing an 80m² penthouse apartment on the fourth floor of the property

“We would highly recommend LSY. Their director Seán was very prompt; I was surprised by their response times. It was a breath of fresh air. He is enthusiastic and very professional. They reviewed the project quickly and made important changes to the initial design. I can recommend LSY to others seeking structural engineering services” – Cathal Garrad.

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