Queen's library wins top award for "sustainable" design

McClay Library The McClay Library at Queen's won an award for its sustainable design

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One of Northern Ireland's newest buildings has been honoured with a top global award.

The £50m McClay Library at Queen's University was awarded a prize by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for its sustainable design.

It beat off competition from other prestigious property projects from around the world to win the category.

The building attracts around 10,000 users each day.

More than 450 building projects entered the RICS Awards which are regarded as the "Oscars" of the built and natural environment.


The McClay Library, which officially opened in July, was one of only four category winners.

Queen's director of estates Gary Jebb, who received the award at the grand final in London said he was "delighted".

Accepting the prize from Michael Portillo he added: "The McClay Library reflects the University's commitment to scholarship, the environment, and the future.

"Sustainability was a critical factor in its design and construction, in keeping with the University's environmental policy, and we are obviously delighted that this has been recognised by the RICS."

The Awards' Sustainability Judge, Jim Ure, described the library as "an invaluable resource for students at Queen's University Belfast."

During construction, environmentally-friendly materials were selected, that could be refurbished or recycled after use.

Named after the late Sir Allen McClay, the library is illuminated by a multi-storey open atrium, has 2,000 reader places and houses 1.2m volumes.

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