Northern Ireland - Building Information Ireland

Narrow Water Bridge RTE Credit: An Bord Pleanala

Contract awarded for cross-border Narrow Water Bridge

By | Industry News, Upcoming Construction Projects

BAM has been awarded the contract for the cross-border Narrow Water Bridge development.

The bridge will be erected from Cornamucklagh townland, Omeath in Co Louth across the Newry River to Narrow Water townland, Warrenpoint in Co Down.

The €60 million development is expected to take three years to build and will use money from both the Shared Island Fund and €3 million announced by the Irish government in 2021.

The plan seeks to place a 280m cable-stayed bridge, anchored by two towers at either end, for both car and cycle traffic.

It would also allow for the passage of tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels through the Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin Newry canal.

The bridge will be asymmetric cable-stayed with rolling bascule opening span. The south span is set to measure up to approximately 138.35m and the north span is approximately 56.8m, giving a total length of approximately 195m.

The structure will be supported by asymmetric back-ward inclined towers, the higher tower will be located on the southern side of the crossing – on the centre line of the bridge.

Narrow Water Bridge RTE

BAM has been awarded the contract for the cross-border Narrow Water Bridge development. Credit: RTE

The lower twin towers will be placed on the northern side.

Another control building will be constructed on the southern approach to facilitate the bridge’s opening.

While construction was expected to commence in 2023, a contract was granted in May 2024 to BAM.

Work is set to begin in the coming weeks.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Michelle O’Neill welcomed the news.

‘I am absolutely delighted that the contract for the Narrow Water Bridge has been awarded, with work due to begin within weeks,’ she said.

‘This will be transformative for South Down and the Cooley areas, creating a wealth of opportunities and unlocking the huge potential to create good quality jobs, boost tourism and create a stronger, all-Ireland economy.

‘An exciting time ahead for local communities in South Down and Louth!’

Feature Image Credit: An Bord Pleanala

Plans sought for £64m commercial development in Belfast Harbour

By | Industry News

Belfast Harbour has put forward plans to to build a £64 million commercial development on the city’s docklands,

As part of a larger regeneration project for the area, the plan sees the construction of a 10-storey building primarily for offices.

Retail use is expected for the ground floor while a rooftop bar and restaurant is also proposed.

One of the entrances to the building will be from the proposed City Quays Garden and Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s office.

A separate entrance and a gallery/community space is also proposed from Donegall Quay and a pedestrian footbridge link to a multi-storey car park to the rear.

Belfast Harbour submitted plans for the project in December of last year with dates validated on February 1.

Credit: RPP Architects - Belfast

As part of a larger regeneration project for the area, the plan sees the construction of a 10-storey building primarily for offices. Credit: RPP Architects – Belfast

The development is a part of the broader £275 million City Quays project on the former docklands of Northern Ireland’s capital.

Known as City Quays 5, it’s the latest stage in the office-led scheme which the port describe as a “response to ongoing demand by inward investors and indigenous firms for new Grade A office space in Belfast”.

Developers aim for the building to be the first development in Northern Ireland to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Last month, permission was granted for City Quays 4 – a £46m residential development of 256 build-to-rent apartments.

It joins City Quays 1, 2 and 3 Grade A office developments, a multi-storey car park, City Quays Gardens and The AC Marriot Hotel.

It is believed that the project will generate 7,000 new jobs and support a further 3,500 construction jobs in total.

Feature Image Credit: RPP Architects – Belfast

Credit: Todd Architects

Work begins for £117m 778 new homes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter

By | Industry News

Work is underway for the construction of 778 new homes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Preparatory construction work began in July for the £117 million development, right beside the city’s most popular tourist attraction Titanic Belfast.

The Loft Lines will provide Belfast’s first ever ”build-to-rent” apartments, alongside social housing, with the website stating that they have learnt from the “Swiss approach to living”.
On a 3.8 acre site, the apartments will be split among three buildings and will include studios, one-bed, two-beds and three-beds.

Internal and external amenity spaces are in current provisions – including spaces for co-working and leisure.

Each block will provide a shared external amenity courtyard on the first floor and another amenity space at roof level.

Credit: Todd Architects

Credit: Todd Architects

Flexible commercial and community floor space has been reserved for convenience stores with a hot food counter, a cafe, a bar and a restaurant.

In regards to public realm changes, both a public recreational square and a waterfront promenade skirting along the River Lagan are planned for the development, situated on Queen’s Island.

Cycle and car parking will be provided with developers stating their intention to “prioritise pedestrians and bikes over cars” – this includes bike storage with wash down and repair facilities and covered storage for visitors’ cycles.

Although applicants Lacuna Developments, Watkin Jones PLC and Pirrie Belfast Limited secured approval in April 2022, it was announced in October that commencement would be delayed until “at least spring 2023” due to the financial climate.

By June of this year, a contract was awarded to Graham Construction and construction has now officially begun.

Completion of the apartments is expected in late 2025.

Credit: @niplanner

Credit: @niplanner

All private apartments will be run by an onsite management team and monthly rent payments will include gym and wi-fi.

On The Loft Lines website, the development has been hailed as a “new way of living for people of all ages, incomes and occupations”.

“It’s a fully managed site of private, affordable and social homes surrounded by walkways, boulevards, a park and an urban woodland. It’s a place where lifestyle is scaled up.”

Feature Image Credit: Todd Architects