room2 hometel, Belfast

Co-ordinating with multiple trades on site, Haughey Electrical fulfilled a fast-track programme to deliver a complete electrical installation for Northern Ireland’s first ‘hometel’ project.

It was brought on board by main contractor Ganson for the new room2 hometel Belfast, a variation of the aparthotel concept evoking home comforts and developed by Oakland Holdings for room2 brand owner, the Lamington Group.

Opened in October 2023, room2 Belfast features 175 rooms – most with kitchenettes – and a café, tearoom, restaurant, lounge, bar, meeting and event spaces and gym over nine floors.

The fourth and largest room2 property, and its first outside England, the Belfast site represents a total investment of £20m by the eco-conscious real estate company.

With sustainability a major focus for the Lamington Group, room2 Belfast is powered only by electric, part generated from solar energy, operates a zero waste- to-landfill policy and is aiming to become net zero by 2030. A sister location in Chiswick lays claim as the world’s first net-zero hotel.

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The site was previously occupied by the Audio Times Building, later known as Lyndon Court, a three-storey structure of retail units and office space designed by Barrie Todd Associates and built over 1986 to 1987.

After redevelopment attempts by another firm failed to come to fruition, Oakland Holdings submitted a successful planning application to demolish Lyndon Court and develop an aparthotel with bar, restaurant and conferencing facilities in 2019.
room2 then secured a 25-year lease with a tenant option to break at year 20, and Lyndon Court was demolished in 2020. Ganson commenced site-enabling works in August 2021.

The building was designed to the Lamington Group’s specification, with the lease agreement contingent on the developer securing planning permission, building control approval and a minimum BREEAM rating of Very Good. M&E works are operated from plant space in the basement. The electrical installation by Haughey Electrical included supplying metal containment, small power, data, TV, lighting, fire detection, CCTV, access, intruder, PA, AV, lightning protection, photovoltaic (PV) panels and a generator.

As well as the PV panels, allowing the building to run on low carbon renewable energy, systems installed to reduce the carbon footprint of the building over its lifecycle included intelligent lighting control systems.

The hometel’s 0.09-hectare city centre site offered its own challenges including restricted space necessitating off-site storage. Deliveries to the busy location fronting onto Queen and College streets required strategic planning.

Jimmy Haughey, Director of Haughey Electrical, said, “With restricted access and limited storage, Haughey Electrical had to plan and manage effective just-in-time delivery schedules.

“Working to a fast-track programme with multiple trades on site, we were able to depend on our large directly employed workforce along with specialist subcontractors to meet the strict deadlines.”

Ganson’s strong relationships and open communication with the entire project team contributed to delivery of a high-quality project on time.

“Regular site meetings allowed Haughey Electrical to be responsive, efficient and maintain project schedules and costs,” said Jimmy. “Haughey Electrical is pleased to have been involved in a project that is environmentally conscious and looks forward to seeing its success in the hospitality industry in Belfast.”

Established in 1960, Haughey Electrical is a family business which has expanded from a sole trader to employing around 70 skilled members of staff.
It offers professional, domestic, commercial and industrial electrical services across a wide range of sectors including commercial, education, hospitality and leisure, ecclesiastical and health care.

Among previous projects for the firm are the Ulster University School of Medicine in Londonderry/Derry, Sandy Bay Centenary Pavilion in Larne, The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat in Templepatrick and Montalto Medical Centre in Ballynahinch.

To read the full feature go to Electrical Issue 102 click here

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