JJ  Rhatigan Announce AEC Education and Research Collaboration With TU Dublin

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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JJ Rhatigan, a leading main contractor with over 65 years of experience, has announced a partnership with TU Dublin to develop Design + Construct, Ireland’s first Centre of Excellence in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) education and research. Upon completion, Design + Construct will be located in Broombridge in Dublin 7, easily accessed by students via the Luas Green Line and connecting the facility to the University’s Bolton Street and Grangegorman campuses.

In recent weeks, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. also announced that Design + Construct would progress to the next phase of the project proposal development.

Find undergraduate courses at Ireland’s first technological university, TU Dublin.

Building on over a century of providing educational and training programmes in AEC, TU Dublin will retrofit a building in Broombridge to build capacity for core academic activities, creating a variety of teaching and applied learning spaces to support a living AEC laboratory with students, from apprenticeship to PhD, engaged in all aspects of the design and construction process. Focusing on applied learning, research and enterprise, the space will bring together students and staff from the built environment, engineering and design disciplines, including architecture, architectural technology, building trades, building services engineering, structural engineering, product, interior and furniture design.

Bolstering TU Dublin’s relationship with the leading construction company, in December 2022, Minister Harris also announced that JJ Rhatigan & Company would be the main construction contractor in the Enbarr Partnership, delivering two state-of-the-art educational facilities on the University’s Blanchardstown and Tallaght campuses under the Higher Education Public Private Partnership Programme. These new developments will enhance the learning and working environment where the University’s community can explore, develop, expand their abilities, and reach their full potential.

Speaking about the company’s involvement, JJ Rhatigan Chief Executive, Ger Ronayne said, “Supporting the education and training of the next generation of talent is not only a responsibility, but also an investment in the future of our industry. We are proud to support the Design + Construct team in their efforts to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a contemporary construction industry. By working together, we can ensure a strong and sustainable future for our industry and our community.”

Welcoming JJ Rhatigan’s generous support of Design + Construct, Orna Hanly, Head of Design + Construct Project at TU Dublin, said, “With JJ Rhatigan’s support TU Dublin will deliver a world-class transdisciplinary learning, research and industry engagement environment for students across the faculties of Engineering & Built Environment, Arts & Humanities, Science and Digital and Data. This is an opportunity to develop new areas of growth for the design and construction sector, as well as integrated educational opportunities for students from apprentices to PhD in sustainable design, digital, construction, integrated energy systems, whole life building performance, smart building, and more.


Overview of Design + Construct at TU Dublin


TU Dublin purchased a 3.25-hectare site at Broombridge in 2011 to complement the Grangegorman and Bolton Street facilities. The site is located immediately adjacent to the new Luas cross-city terminus at Broombridge, just two stops from the Grangegorman campus, and currently accommodates a full-size all-weather, floodlit sports pitch. The site at Broombridge also includes a large-scale, derelict warehouse to be repurposed, offering 6,430m2 of high-tech, flexible and adaptable space upon completion.


The facility will be a collaborative, multidisciplinary learning resource for students across all levels and disciplines, from apprenticeship to doctoral research, as well as providing research facilities critical to the next generation of AEC graduates in technologies such as off-site and modular construction, zero carbon building, and robotic construction.


Upon completion, Design + Construct will:

  • Embed multidisciplinary and collaborative learning across all AEC disciplines in line with changes in the sector, driven by technology, to transdisciplinary teams.
  • Provide expert training and upskilling in new techniques and technologies, including sustainable design, deep retrofit, MMC, BIM and digital skills and Zero Carbon design and building.
  • Build capacity in practice-based and applied learning activities to support climate active learning across the university
  • Develop new advanced apprenticeship programmes to address key skills gaps.
  • Offer opportunities for increased innovation, new product development
  • Work in partnership with the sector and local communities to deliver training and process innovation.
  • To provide a physical forum and virtual network for the promotion and dissemination of information, demonstrations and support for sustainability and climate mitigation actions and initiatives.

Find undergraduate courses at Ireland’s first technological university, TU Dublin.

End of an era, new opportunities on the horizon. You’re about to or already have finished secondary school. The big question advancing fast is “Where will I go to college?”. Not an easy decision, but TU Dublin is here to make it that much easier to choose.

The creation of TU Dublin is one of the most exciting and important landmarks in Irish higher education in decades. Although new to Ireland, Technological Universities are an established feature of many international education systems. A common attribute is that students study in a practice-based environment, informed by the latest research and enabled by technological advances, applying theoretical knowledge to real-life challenges.

With 28,500 students TU Dublin is the place where the arts, business, science, engineering and technology converge. The new University, which will be one of the largest third-level educators in the country, will create an inclusive open learning experience offering pathways to graduation, from Apprenticeship to PhD, to a diverse range of students.

TU Dublin will be developed on campuses spanning the three largest centres of population in the Greater Dublin Region – Dublin City, Blanchardstown and Tallaght. The new state of the art Grangegorman campus on a 73 acres site in the heart of Dublin City is being developed as a location that encourages and supports knowledge advancement, sustainable development and inclusive education.

Steven Galvin

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