Queen’s School of Biological Sciences, Belfast

A collaborative approach helped JD McGeown deliver a top quality job at Queen’s, Belfast...

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JD McGeown was responsible for the entire electrical installation works at the new Biological Science Building at Queen’s University Belfast. An intricate and complex project, the team at JD McGeown were well up to the challenge and approached the job with the same enthusiasm and commitment that they have for every new project they take on.

The package of works to JD McGeown was substantial and included electrical site infrastructure, general purpose power, general and emergency and external lighting and lighting controls, data infrastructure, fire alarm, disabled refuge, disabled toilet alarm, intruder alarm, CCTV, access control and lightning protection.

Located at Chlorine Gardens in Belfast, the new Biological Science Building offers state-of-the art teaching and research facilities for its 750 students and 170 staff, who will tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.It’s set to be a key driver for the development and future growth of the life sciences and agri-food sectors in Northern Ireland, providing the facilities to help grow our life sciences sector, especially in areas such as agriculture/food science, food safety, disease/infection biology, diagnostics, waste management, ecosystems and the environment. “This is an important building for Queen’s so we were delighted to be involved in it,” said David Geddis, Senior Projects Manager at JD McGeown. The company has been providing precision engineering solutions since the company was established in 1961. After nearly 60 years the company has expanded to become one of Northern Ireland’s leading electrical engineering specialists and facilities management contractors.

Although it has delivered a wide variety of projects across several sectors, the new building at Queen’s was still a significant project for JD McGeown.

“It was certainly one of the biggest electrical installs we’ve completed in recent years. We work predominantly across Northern Ireland and this is one of the largest new builds we’ve seen in recent years. A project of this size and scale would typically only come up every so often but because we have completed a number of projects for Queen’s over the years and we’re familiar with the campus, we were happy to take the job on. It’s a great addition to our portfolio and the fact that the site was only a five minute walk from our head office made it very handy!”

The biggest challenge for David and the team was the coordination of high level M&E services due to the size and shape of the building and the restricted ceiling void space.

“The job was BIM modelled which let us see everything before installation. That process allowed us to coordinate services quickly and efficiently; as we were able to view all the systems in 3D we managed to avoid any problems or major clashes that may have occurred during the installation process.”

Using BIM ensured that any potential problems were resolved before work began on site. “As well as that, the client could see what we were doing before any work actually started. That helped with cost and efficiency.” The extremely tight deadline and the coordination of services were the biggest challenges on this project. “A lot of the issues around this project had to do with the type of build it was and the restrictions of the site. We were working on a very tight site; we were extremely limited when it came to space for storage and for deliveries. The size of the building also required a very large workforce so that added to the space restrictions.”

The BIM model employed by David and the team provided a solution to those space restrictions. “All electrical services were installed in the ceiling void and that’s where the BIM model came into effect. We were able to see everything in 3D and that meant that when we got to site, we were able to install services without any risk of clashes.”

For JD McGeown, the new Biological Science Building was an extremely complex job with a very specific set of requirements. “This was a heavily serviced building with high end systems. The on-site coordination of the major sub-contractors was what helped ensure the project was delivered to the client’s satisfaction.”


JD McGeown, Windsor Business Park, 16-18 Lower Windsor Avenue, Belfast BT9 7DW. –
T: 0044 (0)28 9068 1176
E: [email protected]
W: www.jdmcg.co.uk

Edina is a leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for combined heat and power (CHP), gas, and diesel power generation solutions for projects across the UK and Ireland. The company was the ideal choice when it came to providing the new Biological Sciences Building (BSB) at Queen’s with a new 1000kVA diesel generator, which is located in a purpose- built rooftop plantroom.

For this project, Edina supplied the following:

  • 1000kVA, Prime Rated, Diesel Generator, powered by Perkins 4008 TAG2A Diesel Engine
  • Stamford HC16J Three Phase Alternator
  • Alternator output circuit breaker
  • Engine heater with circulating pump to aid cold starting
  • Two, 24v DC Battery Charging systems
  • 24v DC Battery starting system
  • Air Inlet Attenuator including motorised dampers and plenum/louvre
  • Air Discharge Attenuator including radiator flex, gravity flap dampers and plenum/louvre
  • 8hr fuel day tank at full load
  • Below ground, 8000 litre bulk fuel tank including a fill point and fuel delivery system to the day tank and emergency fuel dump system in the event of a fire
  • Flue and exhaust silencer system

The company also designed and supplied the generator control panel including load management system and synchronisation facilities for short term paralleling with the mains supply. This panel provide protection in accordance with ENA Engineering Recommendation G59/1 and Engineering Technical Report 113.

The emergency generating plant supplies power in the event of a mains failure. It provides automatic start-up and operation without manual intervention controlled via a PLC.

The new generator is Prime, Continuous Rated at variable loads and can provide 10% overload power for one hour in each 12-hour period. The full essential load of the site is supplied in the event of an emergency by automatic means. Load sequencing is provided so that the generating plant is not overloaded during initial start-up.

Due to the rooftop location of the generator plantroom and to minimise noise and vibration, transmission air inlet and outlet acoustic attenuators and an exhaust silencer system was also designed and installed. limiting the noise external to the generating plant to no more than 65dBA at 1 metre (FFC).

Vibration isolation measures were also installed to limit vibration transfer from the generator plant to the internal areas of the building. The genset complies with the acoustic requirement of 65dBA at 1m and all attenuators and exhaust silencers are designed accordingly.


Edina UK Ltd/Edina Power Ltd, Lissue Industrial Estate (West), Lisburn, County Antrim, BT28 2RE.
T: 0044 (0)28 9262 2122
W: www.edina.eu

JD McGeown enlisted the help of their long-term QUB delivery partner, Crown Industries to service the major I.P architecture platform as part of this pinnacle scheme.

This latest roll-out incorporated the deployment of more than 1,500 Commscope Net Connect CAT 6 outlets supported by a substantial blown fibre backbone architecture in line with QUB’s comprehensive installation standards specifications. Looking back on the installation, Strategic Development Director Simon Murray was pleased with a job well done against an aggressive delivery programme.

“QUB has always had very specific installation regulations to ensure that they get the very best of their I.P architecture across their vast estate.

Experience is absolutely the key here, and with over 20 years’ experience working both directly and indirectly for this client, we were a strong, reliable and secure fit for the project. Over the past few years, the client has invested heavily in their resilient blown fibre backbone architecture which is managed and maintained by the Crown Team.

The School of Biological Sciences is another major milestone in the evolvement of the core backbone network for the Universities Belfast campus spread across a several mile radius. The SOBS scheme had a tight delivery programme with little room for movement.The end result is a fantastic project that all involved can be rightly proud of’.


1C West Bank Drive, Belfast.
T: 0044 (0)28 9077 2200
E: [email protected]
W: www.crownind.co.uk

The Electrical Equipment Company Greentech worked closely with JD McGeown’s on the Queen’s School of Biological Sciences project.

Based at Boucher Road, Belfast, The Electrical Equipment Company supplied everything from the Thorn Lighting to the wiring accessories and cable for this prestigious job. The scale of the job required the company to work extremely closely with JD McKeown for approximately 18 months.

“We have an excellent working relationship with JD McGeown and have worked together on a number of similar-sized projects,” said Electrical Equipment Company branch manager, Jake Keyworth.

“This was a big job but a very good one for us to be involved in. “My colleague Martin Jamison worked closely with Senior Project Manager, David Geddis. They spoke on an almost daily basis which meant any potential problems were headed off.

“David’s organisational and planning skills are excellent, and with Martin working closely with him, it meant we were able to deliver exactly what he needed and on time to complete the job.”


T: 0044 (0) 28 9066 1177
E: [email protected]
W: www.edmundson-electrical.co.uk

MGA Communication resumed its excellent working relationship with Queen’s University and JD McGeown on the School of Biological Sciences project. JD McGeown was responsible for the entire electrical installation works at the new multi-million-pound building which proved to be an intricate and complex project.

MGA Communication from Ballynahinch, Co. Down installed a Phased Array Induction Loop System at the new state-of-the-art building which is now home to 750 students and 170 staff. The School of Biological Sciences is set to be a key driver for the development and future growth of the life sciences and agri-food sectors in Northern Ireland, providing the facilities to help grow the life sciences sector, especially in areas such as agriculture/food science, food safety, disease/infection biology, diagnostics, waste management, ecosystems and the environment.

“We have a long-standing relationship with both Queen’s University and JD McGeown,” said MGA Communication Managing Director, Aaron McKeown.

“In the past we have done a lot of work for both JD McGeown and Queen’s and we enjoy excellent working relationships.

“The job at the School of Biological Sciences was a complex project in terms of the phasing and the types of rooms we were working in but we completed it with a quick turnaround which was pleasing.

“Due to the furniture lay-out and the flooring it took quite a bit of co-ordination but we were pleased with the results. We weren’t onsite for a long time but it was certainly complex work.”

MGA Communication is no stranger to high profile projects, having already worked on projects such as the Kingspan Stadium, the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Bangor Aurora Complex and the restoration of Killeavy Castle in South Down into a luxury hotel.

The company was established in 1994 and comprises a team of dedicated professionals, technical field staff and office support personnel working together in providing qualitative communication and telecommunication/ IT solutions at an affordable cost for its customers Since its incorporation, MGA Communication has steadily targeted its sales primarily within the Northern Ireland market. However, the business has expanded to take on projects in both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

MGA Communication provides communication system solutions to both private and public sectors that demand quality of product and value for money. It provides its product through the design, delivery and management of its services, employing highly competent, trained and well-managed personnel.


MGA Communication. 55 Antrim Rd, Ballynahinch, BT24 8AN.
T: 0044 (0)28 9756 5614
W: www.mgacom.co.uk