Giants Causeway Visitors Centre

Client

The National Trust

Cost

£18 million

Key Services Required

Sustainability Consultants
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

Awards

RIBA National Award, 2013
Stirling Prize Finalist 2013
RIBA Regional Award Winner 2013
Winner of ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’
Irish Building and Design Awards 2013
Winner of ‘Architectural Project of the Year’
Building and Design Awards 2013

Project Information

Bennett Freehill were the M&E Engineers and Low Carbon Design Consultants for the new visitor facilities for this important UNESCO World Heritage Site in County Antrim.

The building is designed as a partially underground facility to integrate with the landscape and avoid interrupting the ridge line. This project achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and incorporates the following measures:
• Earth sheltered building with ‘green roof’ which provides insulation and evaporative cooling effect
• HVAC system achieves comfort conditions for up to 600 occupants without boilers or chiller/refrigeration units
• Geothermal heating/heat pump system serving underfloor heating and central air handling units
• Daylighting factor maintained between 2% and 4% via rooflights integrated into the green roof design to reduce artificial lighting
• Ground water free cooling circuit providing low carbon cooling
• Earth pipe array to provide pre-heating pre-cooling of fresh air for controlled ventilation and cooling
• Displacement ventilation system controlled via CO2 sensors for maximum air quality
• Rainwater harvesting and grey water recovery employed for water conservation
• Unique pressurised ‘air curtain’ using ambient vitiated air to protect entrances at zero additional energy

Paul O'Neill

MIET CEng MEng

Paul joined Bennett Freehill in late-2021 as part of the organisations drive towards technical excellence, an employee-focused culture, strategic growth and NZEB focus. 

A Chartered Engineer with 14 years’ experience in the construction and electrical industries, Paul has particular specialisms in electrical engineering, conservation, power generation and vertical transportation having worked on projects in the education, healthcare, hotels and office sectors. 

As electrical engineering design lead, Paul is responsible for technical delivery and project responsibility related to electrical engineering, and more critically, directing technical, quality and standards within the engineering teams.

Paul brings his passion for technical quality, buildability, progressivity and efficiency to the Bennett Freehill team.

Aaron McCarthy

MCIBSE CEng BEng

Aaron is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in sustainability and low carbon design, with detailed knowledge of passive design techniques and thermal modelling procedures.

Aaron joined Bennett Freehill in mid-2021, having previously gained 10 years’ experience as an Energy and Building Services design engineer within leading multi-national building services practices. Aaron brings extensive experience in managing and delivering large scale multi-disciplinary projects and has a wealth of experience in MEP Project Management.

Aaron is responsible for client liaison, technical delivery and management of design teams to ensure we meet our clients aspirations.

Aaron brings his passion and drive for successful project delivery through collaboration with clients and design teams.

Cormac Freehill

MCIBSE MIET CEng MSc BEng

A Chartered Building Services Engineer with over 15 years’ experience working with some of the UK’s foremost engineering companies, Cormac has been pivotal to the successful award and delivery of multi-million pound projects since being appointed to the role of Managing Director in June 2020 and rebranding the business as Bennett Freehill.

Cormac brings a new vision, new energy and fresh leadership to the team and is responsible for the strategic growth and development of the business, through supporting and undertaking marketing activities, and the training and development of our technically accomplished staff.  In the role of design team leader and client liaison Cormac ensures that the team delivers pioneering, pragmatic MEP design excellence for our clients. 

Cormac specialises in Passivhaus and Nearly Zero-Energy Building (NZEB) construction and is passionate about, and professionally skilled in, Renewable Energy Systems, Energy, Procurement, Design Management and Consulting Engineering.

Cormac Freehill

MCIBSE MIET CEng MSc BEng

A Chartered Building Services Engineer with over 15 years’ experience working with some of the UK’s foremost engineering companies, Cormac has been pivotal to the successful award and delivery of multi-million pound projects since being appointed to the role of Managing Director in June 2020 and rebranding the business as Bennett Freehill.

Cormac brings a new vision, new energy and fresh leadership to the team and is responsible for the strategic growth and development of the business, through supporting and undertaking marketing activities, and the training and development of our technically accomplished staff.  In the role of design team leader and client liaison Cormac ensures that the team delivers pioneering, pragmatic MEP design excellence for our clients. 

Cormac specialises in Passivhaus and Nearly Zero-Energy Building (NZEB) construction and is passionate about, and professionally skilled in, Renewable Energy Systems, Energy, Procurement, Design Management and Consulting Engineering.