Ulster University Service Risers

At a Glance

McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Limited was awarded the contract for the new £250 million University of Ulster campus situated on York Street in Belfast. The new state of the art development comprises 3 no. new buildings with a total floor area (gross external) of 85,736 sqm, and a maximum height of 12 storeys.Relinea was awarded the sub-contract by McLaughlin & Harvey Construction to supply and install glass reinforced plastic (GRP) floor grating and support structures throughout the service risers of the new campus to provide access to ventilation ducts and pipework for maintenance purposes.
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McLaughlin & Harvey Construction


The confined service riser areas within the new campus buildings were congested with duct work, limiting the available points of fixing required for the structural support beams.

Lightweight flooring materials and support structures were required for the service risers so that the installation team could safely and easily manually handle the materials into the site and through the service riser floors.

It was essential that the lightweight flooring material selected could be easily fabricated onsite and offsite, ensuring that last-minute alterations if required could be easily and swiftly carried out onsite.


Considering the restricted points of fixing available for the support beams, Relinea’s design team resolved this difficulty via developing a bespoke support structure that was required to tolerate a 3KN per m² design loading in conjunction with a bespoke fixing system. Relinea’s design team generated a bespoke design solution for every service riser area within the new campus considering that each layout was unique.

The use of heavyweight steel material within this project would have proven to be too problematic to manoeuvre by hand, whilst risking the health and safety of personnel. In comparison, the lightweight yet high strength structure of GRP (approx. 80% lighter than steel) was the optimum solution for the service riser flooring and support structures. This meant that the materials could be safely and easily manually handled by the installation team through the floors of the constricted service riser areas, whilst improving onsite health and safety measures.

Relinea’s GRP Re-Riser open mesh floor grating could be easily fabricated to accommodate the large ventilation duct cut-out areas. Contrasting to uni-directional strength steel grating, the Re-Riser grating did not require end banding due to the bi-directional strength of the square mesh structure of the GRP grating.

In comparison to steel, the Re-Riser grating and structural support beams could be easily fabricated onsite. This facilitated the installation process since the orientation of the service riser floors were altered before Relinea’s team commenced the installation, meaning that the GRP grating panels required prompt fabrication onsite to correspond with the new layout.

Relinea provided McLaughlin & Harvey with comprehensive design support and advice throughout the scope of the project. Relinea’s highly skilled installation team completed the project on time and to the complete satisfaction of the client.

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