Stranmillis Court, Belfast
Department of Finance and Personnel
Project Value
WDR & RT Taggart
Structural Engineer
Troup Bywaters & Anders
Quantity Surveyor
Hood McGowan Kirk

Colby House reconfiguration

We were appointed to the Colby House reconfiguration project by the Department of Finance and Personnel to undertake a turnkey design and construct contract that would provide approximately 34,500 square feet of office accommodation supporting up to 270 jobs. The works included the complete replacement of the external envelope, the construction of a three storey extension at the main entrance and the construction of a stunning new entrance piazza with under croft accommodation.

Internally the building has been transformed, delivering 21st Century standard facilities for staff and the general public in accordance with the Workplace 2010 design and construction performance specification. Accommodation includes; open plan offices, spacious meeting rooms, informal break out areas, contemporary kitchen/dining and shower/toilet/changing facilities.

The new environment actively contributes to the well-being and productivity of the workforce, with a rich pallet of high quality materials and bold colours being complemented by furniture, fixtures and fittings that are simple and neutral in style and which are integrated with the building services to ensure flexibility in terms of re-grouping when required by work teams and work flows.

Given the location of Colby House, sited in a predominantly residential area, and also counting the Lyric Theatre amongst its neighbours, excellent community relations were essential and this was achieved through continuous contact and interaction with organisations including; local residents/business groups, the Theatre, Belfast City Council and the emergency services. The project was registered with the Considerate Constructors Programme which independently evaluated the efforts and results being achieved by the dedicated Turkington project team.

The work of the Turkington Design Consultants was augmented by Contractor Design Portions undertaken by specialist supply chain members including:

  • Ceiling rafts – Significant effort was invested in establishing the layout of the rafts to ensure that not only the aesthetic effect was optimised but also the services engineering aspects were fully accounted for, e.g. lighting levels, smoke detection, PAVA etc
  • Reception Desk and Customer Counters – The reception and counters were designed to be fully DDA compliant and were fully coordinated with the M&E design and installation to ensure integrated equipment was serviced
  • Glass Balustrading to the feature stairs had to be both pleasing to the eye and functional. The work of the architectural steelwork and concrete stair contactors was fully coordinated using computer aided design software to ensure clashes between rebar, cast in items and fixings were eradicated
  • Structure and Fabric – Fabrication drawings for structural and façade elements were coordinated using design software to ensure a clean sharp appearance to the building externally and internally and allowed builders work associated with the M&E services to be fully designed and scheduled

M&E services – Turkington worked closely with the M&E designers and supply chain to ensure the services installation achieved the performance required by the Client brief while being fully integrated with the building fabric and finishes.

The project was awarded the RICS Commercial Project of the Year, with judges commenting that the refurbishment was ‘an exemplar commercial project with the use of excellent design’ and praised the use of sustainability measures.