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Steel rises on Belfast’s tallest office

Structural steelwork is quickly rising on what will be Belfast’s tallest commercial building when it completes next year.

Known as City Quays 3, it is the fifth building in a much wider city centre development and the third office block. Topping out at 16-storeys, the steel-framed structure will offer more than 23,000m² of office space.

Belfast Harbour’s Chief Executive, Joe O’Neill, describes the project as one of the largest strategic investments ever undertaken by Belfast Harbour.

“In addition to supporting 500 local construction jobs, the office will build upon City Quays’ success by providing strategic accommodation to meet demand for grade A, city-centre office space.”

Main contractor Farrans Project Manager Noel Cosgrove said: “A hundred years ago or so the site was actually part of a much wider river and so the land is made-ground which was more recently used to accommodate warehouses.

“We had to do a soil improvement programme and then install more than 480 piles to support our raft foundations.”

Situated approximately 1.2m below ground level, the raft is 1.7m-thick and supports the building’s core and steel frame.

The 750mm-diameter CFA piles, which are up to 34m deep, are said to be the longest CFA’s ever installed in Ireland.

The design of the superstructure consists of steel cellular beams radiating outwards from a centrally-positioned concrete core to the perimeter columns, creating spans of up to 11.3m.

As well as providing stability to the steel frame, the core accommodates six lifts, two stairwells and the building’s washrooms and toilets.

Walter Watson is fabricating, supplying and erecting 1,500t of steelwork for the project.

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