Beech Hall Health & Wellbeing Centre, Andersonstown, Belfast

Doran Consulting was commissioned by the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust to provide civil, structural and traffic engineering design services for this project for a new multi-service health and wellbeing facility in west Belfast.  

This primarily concrete framed new-build facility, which is located on the Andersonstown Road, is built on traditional pad and strip foundations on a steeply sloping site, which rises by approximately 8m across the site from the front entrance to the rear car park. The centre was built on the site of the original Day Centre, which had to remain operational during the construction of the new facility, and which was eventually demolished on completion to make way for a new car park and access road.

The centre itself is comprised of 4 and 5-storey reinforced concrete-framed buildings linked by a 3-storey glazed atrium enclosing a courtyard which has been landscaped to provide a high quality amenity space. Extensive deep ground excavation into the clay strata was required to form a 2-storey basement housing a plant-room and Biomass pellet store to the west of the development which ‘cut’ into the sloping topography of the site. The excavation required was complicated by the proximity of adjacent buildings, including the original Day Centre which had to remain open during works. The excavations therefore required the construction of a temporary access road, the level of which had to be adjusted at various stages of the new construction works and in addition, underpinning for the southern boundary walls was also required.  

The 2-storey basement was constructed using reinforced concrete retaining walls and tanked using a proprietary bonded tanking system. Ground water was controlled both during construction and post completion by a series of perforated land drains set at two levels behind the basement retaining walls. The rear block incorporates a semi-basement carpark with access for staff and disabled users.