The new extension to the Queen’s University of Belfast’s (QUB) Physical Education Centre (PEC) was recently announced as the overall winner in Northern Ireland’s most prestigious Built Environment awards, winning the award for Best Building 2007 in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland Awards.
The project also won an award for Excellence in the Built Environment in the Community Benefit category seeing off competition from three other category winners to claim the top prize.
The prestigious RICS Award is presented for innovation in design and construction, contribution to the local community, sustainability and economic viability. The Awards recognise building projects completed in Northern Ireland during the last three years within the Regeneration, Building Conservation, Sustainability and Community Benefit categories with the winner of the overall award being selected from the four category winners.
The RICS Northern Ireland Chairman, Diana Fitzsimons, said the enhanced PEC has significantly extended and improved the university’s delivery of sporting and recreational services to students, schools and the winder community: “The PEC project has been an immediate hit with the students, the local community, school groups and other users and has underpinned the university’s wider strategy of reinforcing its role in the City of Belfast and as an important member of the local community”.
RPS provided structural and civil engineering design services, including design and construction supervision for the 3rd generation training pitches for the new extension.
The PEC centre is organised around a 16 m central glass dome incorporating sporting facilities, climbing wall and boulder cave. Services range from state-of-the art fitness suites and exercise studios to sports science, medical support, sports therapy and rehabilitation areas. The facility also provides a dedicated student resource centre.
One of the most striking features of the building is the prominently positioned climbing wall, which provides views from both the ground and the first floor level. The skin roof of the building is a unique feature with the staircase suspended from the roof by cables.
The PEC was officially opened to the public in March 2006 by Dame Kelly Holmes, offering state of the art sporting facilities to students and the general public.