Boylan Consulting Engineers Best Route Forward for National Rail Centre Project

CLIENT: O’Reilly Concrete

Date: Mar 2021

Modular building design


Based in Co. Cavan, O’Reilly Concrete is a leading manufacturer of precast frame buildings and also offers a full range of pre-stressed and precast walls, floors and stairs. Having been awarded the proposed National Train Control Centre building contract, they needed to augment their own team of in-house structural engineers with external expertise.

The proposed National Train Control Centre building in Dublin was a project that needed particular design experience and applied engineering in terms of the load take-down and element design. This six-storey building also incorporated a complex cast-in-situ roof slab which required intensive calculations. A project of this scale is carefully planned with all phases detailed and scaled in advance. The structural design phase was on the critical path of the overall programme so any delay in the design phase was simply not an option. Given our proven track record on large-scale design projects, our team at Boylan Consulting was tasked with the load take-down and element design aspects of the job.

An engineering design project on this scale demands only the highest quality tools and our first task was to carefully model it using 3D structural design software. Initially, we determined the wind analysis and gravity loads before undertaking the actual critical structural design phase.

By designing the precast concrete elements in accordance with Eurocodes and relevant building regulations, we ensured full compliance where necessary. Our design deployed 3D analysis and design software to extract internal forces for all elements. This allowed us identify ‘worst-cases’ which helped to rationalise the design approach for similar structural elements.

For this project, we also included special shear walls with various openings, and precast concrete beams and columns in the design. Special tie reinforcement design was needed to prevent punching shear by the columns at the concrete roof slab level, while progressive collapse analysis was also completed.

Our team at Boylan Consulting completed this highly-optimised design on time, and in line with all relevant design codes. All designs were checked and verified in keeping with our quality control system before release. We delivered the project within the programme agreed. Construction is well underway and is expected to be completed in late 2021.

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