Southern Regional College, Banbridge

College project gets top marks for contractor/client and sub-contractor co-ordination...

OHMG (Holdings) Ltd delivered a state-of-the-art £15m campus for Southern Regional College to provide an outstanding centre of learning and innovation for the region’s student body.

The new campus at Banbridge is a designated Centre for Multimedia and Digital Design. Built on the previous college site, the approx. 4,500 sqm facilities include a dedicated Learning Resource Centre and an innovation hub fitted out with the latest technology and educational resources.

Divided into three phases, the project began with the construction of a temporary access and car park to facilitate the existing college staff and students before construction of the new campus began. At the end of phase 1, the existing college decanted into the new build and demolition of the old campus took place. Finally, external works and external landscaping on the demolished campus created a new main car parking area.

Nigel Spratt, Project Manager described the project as a great success.

“From the outset, the early engagement and coordination with the client, the end user and design teams generated good relationships,” said Nigel. “They were engaged early in the design meetings and workshops, which helped build relationships and good lines of communication.

“At first fix stage, we set out all teaching space floor boxes on a room-by-room basis to suit the room furniture arrangements, this avoided clashes and created a work environment tailored towards the staff and students. The attention to detail and co-ordination was something that the client really appreciated. We enabled early access for the client IT team and supply chain fit-out which helped us to achieve milestone dates throughout the commissioning programme.”


“Covid-19 was a major challenge,” said Nigel. “Unfortunately, in late March 2020, we had to temporarily close the site for six weeks. Before recommencing on site, we had to prepare site-specific Covid-19 risk assessments, provide an enhanced completion programme, site logistic and resource schedules to demonstrate and provide a safe working environment. These documents provided the client with the confidence to recommence site operations. Those systems were maintained until completion.

With good cooperation OHMG were able to work alongside the client to decant the existing college early. “The client allowed us early access and possession of the existing college building for demolition. This allowed us to accelerate an element of the external works, so despite having lost six weeks, we actually handed over the scheme as a whole on the planned project completion date.”


“In terms of engagement with the client this was the best project I’ve been involved with,” says Nigel. “It was open and honest throughout, great relationships were formed with the entire OHMG site team and sub-contractors.”  Another success was the commissioning programme. “We ensured the client was involved at all of our commissioning meetings, so if there were any factors contributing to the function of the building post-handover, discussions and problem solving could occur at design and construction stage. The client really appreciated that close involvement.”

The level of co-ordination with the client extended to problem-solving from the teaching staff themselves. As Nigel explains, “The College’s motion capture studio has a bespoke curved radius wall that acts as a green screen for filming. We needed to plaster that wall, which isn’t straightforward when it’s a curved radius. We spoke about that issue with the college technician and he created a bespoke trowel using the college machinery, which allowed the plasterer to work with the curve to establish a high quality finish.”

Sub contractors

“M&E was the most substantial package on the project with a highly detailed commissioning phase. Our M&E contractor Harvey Group took a pro-active approach delivering the scheme at all the co-ordinated milestone dates.”

“What surprised us was the uptake of BIM software by many of our sub-contactors, and how well it worked on site. We used DALUX software – a BIM viewer field management software program – on this project. The design team uploaded all the federated models to the DALUX software, which allows the site management team to review the interfaces in detail when we’re onsite.

“Many of the sub-contractors used the software following the training sessions which we arranged onsite. Trades such as dryliners and electricians would be reviewing the model on their phones and having discussions regarding the interfaces between their works. Our drylining sub-contractor even invested in a full-size iPad Pro because they seen the efficiencies with utilising the software.”

“That was the first time I have ever seen the software being used to that extent from a sub-contractor perspective.”

On spec…

The new build was constructed using a piled foundation and steel frame and precast concrete floor slabs, with a lightweight steel framing (SFS) to the external envelope with a brickwork outer leaf. A range of external finishes were incorporated including rendered blockwork and striking bronze-coloured rainscreen cladding and briese soleil.

There are two atriums; one includes a 27m long velux roof light opening over three floors of the teaching. The entrance features full height curtain walling glazing, a full-height atrium and a metal work feature staircase.

The heating demand for the building is met by the 3 No. gas fired boilers, located within the central boiler-house.

Two separate pumped circuits heat the building – radiant panels, fan coil units, AHU heating coils, duct heater batteries and underfloor heating.

Bespoke extraction units were installed in the joinery workshop and the paint spray booth.

The works include all internal and external lighting, emergency escape lighting, standby lighting and illuminated signage. The BMS has a full calendar year with programmable time schedule, which can be adjusted to cater for events and areas requiring ventilation and temperature control.

Client: Southern Regional College, Banbridge
Main Contractor: OHMG
Architect: Todd Architects
Project Manager: Nigel Spratt
M+E Contractor: Harvey Group

OHMG, Carnbane House, Shepherds Way,
Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry, BT35 6EE
T: +44 (0)28 3026 4662 – E:

Stephens Catering Equipment

Stephens Catering Equipment (SCE) designed, manufactured and supplied all catering equipment for the SRC, Banbridge project.

Headquartered in Broughshane, SCE is a leading commercial catering equipment supplier covering Ireland and the UK. They are committed to developing new products, systems and procedures with the focus on energy-efficient equipment designed to make the end-user’s life easier and more profitable.

Ian Manson, Sales Director for SCE said, “On this project, SCE were asked to design the catering facilities for the new SRC Banbridge Campus. This followed on from us supplying all the catering facilities to the SRC Armagh Project the previous year.”

The Banbridge facility is a self-service restaurant and the company designed, manufactured and supplied all the equipment and fabrication including the extraction canopy, service counter, bespoke equipment and specialist stainless steel units.

Commenting on the project, Ian said, “We have worked with OHMG many times over the years and are looking forward to continuing working with them in the incoming years.”

T: +44 (0)28 25 861711

Fabricat Ireland Ltd

Fabricat Ireland Ltd fabricated and erected the structural steelwork and purlins for the new SRC campus in Banbridge. Based in Pomeroy, Fabricat provides an in-house drafting facility, specialist CNC manufacturing equipment and a highly qualified and skilled workforce.

By continuously investing in technological advances, Fabricat ensure they deliver the most precise fabrication in the shortest production time to offer their clients the most cost-effective solution. Their modern, highly efficient manufacturing facility also helps to reduce waste. Works undertaken include schools, hospitals, commercial and retail projects in Ireland and the UK. The SRC college campus is the latest in a long line of high profile projects carried out for main contractor OHMG.

PJ Mc Gee, Director said, “We were delighted to be involved on such a stand out project once again with OHMG and look forward to continuing our long standing relationship with them in the future.”

T: (028) 8775 8948

KnoxClayton Architects

KnoxClayton Architects provided design services for RIBA stages 0– 3 and supervisory services for stages 4-7 for the SRC, Banbridge design and build.

This was one of Northern Ireland’s first BIM level 2 projects; Aaron Shannon, Architect at KnoxClayton explains how that impacted on the design and build process, “As part of the BIM level 2 process, we used a fully Level 2 compliant Common Data Environment with associated workflows and auditing processes. We also used 3D modelling software to completely design the building and its systems, ensuring that all disciplines worked together to remove as many obstacles on site as possible.

“As this was our first 3D design building from stage 0-7, it was extremely satisfying to see the digital model morph into the physical building on site.”

Aaron adds, “Working with OHMG was a pleasure. The very positive collaboration to overcome both the challenges of a difficult site and Covid-19 disruptions to produce such a wonderful building, on schedule, was very rewarding.”

T: +44 (0)28 9267 4312

Metloc Systems Ltd

Metloc Systems Ltd designed and supplied the masonry support systems for SRC, Banbridge.

Several systems were required to suit various loads, cavities and structure for fixing to. Metloc met all these requirements and supplied competitively priced bespoke systems to meet the detailed dimensions provided by site surveys.

Pat Grant, from Metloc said, “The result was accurate support systems delivered on time and within budget.”

Unlike their competitors, Metloc support systems are totally non-welded, which offers clients the unique option of adjustability to suit on-site variations without the need for expensive shims.

All Metloc products are CE approved and they take pride that their systems are designed and manufactured in Northern Ireland, which is proving to be very beneficial for delivery periods in today’s post-Brexit world.

Commenting on the project, Pat said, “Metloc Systems Ltd are proud of their involvement in this prestige project especially with one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent contractors with which they look forward to working in the future.”

T: +44 (0) 28 9145 2595
M: +44 (0)7494 642277

Tetra Tech

Leading consulting and engineering services provider, Tetra Tech, project managed the SRC development, in addition to providing architecture (through Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects/Knox Clayton), cost management, planning, civil and structural and mechanical and electrical engineering services.  The project posed significant challenges with the existing campus remaining in operation throughout the works. Banbridge Campus was delivered by a two-stage (develop and build) project that included 6,000 sqm of specialist accommodation, site clearance and removal of the existing college buildings and drainage, earthworks, site works and landscaping.  

In supporting procurement for the project, Tetra Tech (previously known as WYG) helped create innovative approaches to delivering the project’s full potential. This included the appointment of a BIM change manager and the implementation of BIM Level 2 pre-dating the UK Government’s Construction 2025 strategy.

Conor McGeown, Project Manager for Tetra Tech, said, “This was a highly technically challenging project that required managing many interlinking variables affecting students, staff, and the local community. The efficiency and quality of the delivered scheme is testament to the successful collaborative approach between Tetra Tech, the contractor, SRC, and its partners, all of whom demonstrated incredible collaborative work ethic.” 

Tel: +44 (0)28 90707 045

Tandragee Roofing

Tandragee Roofing installed Swisspearl fibre cement cladding to the exterior façade of SRC, Banbridge as well as an Icopal roofing installation.

The Swisspearl Reflex panel was used in the shade Autumn Leaves, allowing for an impressive colour contrast. One of the features of Swisspearl Reflex is the light-reflecting surface layered over the through-coloured panel. This extra glaze not only acts as protection for the panel surface, but creates an eye-catching shimmer on the exterior of the building.

Icopal are one of the leading manufacturers of high-end roofing and waterproofing products for flat and pitched roofing.

David Laverty, Managing Director for Tandragee Roofing said, “Completing this project for Southern Regional College, Banbridge means a great deal to us. It showcases our professionalism and expertise in yet another product, and is a great addition to our job portfolio.

“Sharpness and beauty describe this alluring building, but it was dedication and professionalism that perfected it. This was a new system for Tandragee Roofing and yet another successful project for O’Hare McGovern.”

T: +44 (0)28 3884 0576

Vision Fabrications

Vision Fabrications was the subcontractor of choice to manufacture and install all of the architectural metalwork, including the impressive feature staircase, at the new SRC building in Banbridge.

The expert team from Vision Fabrications was on site for approximately 16 weeks. Their scope included the internal feature staircase with stainless steel handrails and glass balustrading, internal stainless steel handrails and glass balustrading to all void areas along with all mild steel balustrading with stainless steel handrails to each back of house staircase.

Externally, Vision Fabrications manufactured and installed the galvanised mild steel roof access staircase and ladder, various step overs and the aluminium PPC roof parapet flashings.

Set up by Barry Lyttle in 2017, Vision Fabrications has grown to complete many high profile and exciting projects across multiple sectors.

Vision Fabrications is a creative and forward-thinking engineering business with the capacity to deliver high value and complex projects throughout the UK and Ireland from design through to installation. Their dedicated team have a wealth of experience within stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium solutions.

T: +44 (0)28 9278 0906

Turkington Windows & Conservatories

Turkington Windows & Conservatories supplied and installed the eye-catching aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling for the new Southern Regional College build.

The attractive and contemporary façade was designed with louvres and bris soleil to assist with solar shading and thermal comfort.

Founded in 1982, Turkington is now one of Ireland’s leading suppliers and installers of windows, doors and curtain walling for both the public and private sectors.

The Portadown-based firm believes in offering market-leading products at a fair price, providing value for money. They delivered on those promises at SRC on time, within budget and to a very high standard.

Brian McDonnell, Project Coordinator for Turkington says, “It’s our ability to offer high performance, cost-effective solutions for projects across the commercial, residential, health, retail and private sectors. This experience, together with our commitment to building long-term sustainable partnerships means out clients are assured of excellent quality and value for money every time. Our ethos is one of quality, honesty and reliability – Quality to a T.

“We are delighted to add this project to our ever-growing portfolio of commercial projects.”

T: +44 (0)28 3839 3030