Grand Central Hotel

Michael Nugent Ltd played a central role to creating the latest icon to Belfast’s skyline – the Grand Central Hotel. As the M&E contractor on the project, the team worked closely with the client, Hastings Hotel, architect, RPP Architects, and main contractor, GRAHAM, to transform the former Windsor House of ce block into Northern Ireland’s largest hotel, and the tallest commercial building in Ireland.

Standing majestically in Bedford Street, this £53m project involved the transformation of a 1970’s era of ce block into an iconic four- star hotel. The Grand Central Hotel features 300 luxurious bedrooms, three restaurants, conference and meeting room facilities, and its jewel in the crown – an observatory bar on the 23rd oor offering a breathtaking setting for panoramic views over the city. The reinvention of the 122,000 square feet building was made possible through an innovative design and build strategy that demanded challenging part- demolition, rebuild and extension processes.

The Grand Central Hotel’s location within Belfast’s Commercial District and in the Linenhall Conservation Area, created logistical restrictions in terms of site access, high volumes of pedestrian footfall within the vicinity, and considerable and consistent vehicular traffic.

Over 2,000 workers contributed to the completion of the four-star property with Michael Nugent Ltd one of 62 sub-contractors that all came from Northern Ireland.

The leading M&E contractors played a key role in the design stage to mitigate any issues and, towards the end of the project, Michael Nugent Ltd worked tirelessly over the closing weeks, carrying out all mechanical and electrical installations to a high standard, with commissioning taking place both day and night to ensure the hotel opened on time. Working in conjunction with main contractor Graham, Michael Nugent Ltd provided all mechanical and electrical services for this outstanding project; the largest and most expensively constructed hotel project undertaken in Northern Ireland. Specialised services such as the ltration system and ventilation were installed, in addition to BMS Systems, heating and domestic hot water.

The company also installed all the electrical systems – including 310 miles of electrical cables, which equates to just over the length of Ireland.

Michael Nugent Ltd has a wealth of experience providing M&E services for hotels with a portfolio that includes projects across the UK and Ireland, such as Hampton by Hilton, Stanstead; Premier Inn, Maidenhead; Clayton Hotel, Chiswick; Lough Erne Resort & Spa, Enniskillen; and Hillgrove Hotel and Spa, Monaghan. The Grand Central Hotel further enhances this ever- growing portfolio and again demonstrates the company’s wealth of experience in providing a professional, high-quality service.

Sub Contractors

The Grand Central Hotel required an energy efficient air conditioning solution that put both the Hastings Hotel Group and guests in complete control – a solution installed by the experts at Titan Air Conditioning Ltd.

The Mallusk-based company supplied and installed the air conditioning systems for the over 300 bedrooms in this four-star hotel along with the front of house areas such as the reception, three restaurants, conference and meeting room facilities, and the stunning observatory bar on the 23rd floor. A Daikin VRV IV heat recovery air conditioning system was combined with the Daikin iTouch Manager control system to meet these requirements.

Keith Hare, Director at Titan Air Conditioning Ltd, said, “We are a Daikin D1+ Partner, so have the skills and expertise to deliver a project of this magnitude. “Working with Michael Nugent Ltd we were able to deliver a challenging programme in time for opening.”

He added, “Daikin VRV IV heat recovery air conditioning system ensures energy isn’t wasted, cutting one of the hotel’s main operating costs. The slim ducted fan coil units and linear grilles are ideal for a hotel room environment and don’t impose on the style of the hotel.”

From a control perspective, the Daikin iTouch Manager meets a range of requirements. This control system allows guests to set the temperature in their room within set limits, while the hotel management still retains overall control. This has the added benefit of allowing hotel management to turn off air conditioning in unoccupied rooms – another important energy saving feature. The system at Grand Central Hotel is linked directly into Hasting Hotels’ central system, allowing the group remote control and to ensure best operation procedures.

“We provide air conditioning maintenance for Hastings Hotels in Northern Ireland and this will now be extended to include Grand Central Hotel and allow us to continue a strong partnership with the group.”

Titan Air Conditioning Ltd was established in 2013, and company directors Mark Montgomery, Keith Hare and Dessie O’Hara have together grown the business to employ over 30 people, with a healthy customer portfolio that is continuing to expand year-on- year. Based in Mallusk, the company specialises in design, installation, service and maintenance of air conditioning plant and equipment. The company’s extensive range of services includes split and VRF systems, close control precision cooling solutions for IT data centres, and liquid chillers, with Titan representing market-leading brands.

Keith concluded, “With a combined experience of over 100 years in the HVAC industry, the majority of our work is in Northern Ireland and involves the design and installation of a range of energy-efficient systems. “We deliver a quality, professional service to all our clients, using reliable, market-leading brands that we know and trust.”

Titan Air Conditioning Ltd, 11 Sentry Lane, Mallusk, Newtownabbey, BT36 4XX.
T: (NI) 028 9244 4100 or (RoI) 048 9244 4100

Utilising the company’s vast experience, RGM Vent Limited provided a bespoke mechanical ventilation system for the new Grand Central Hotel.

Given the challenges of a city centre site which had restricted space, M&E contractor, Michael Nugent Ltd, placed a high value on the design and planning stages of this project – factors that RGM Vent Limited take pride in. “Using our experience of working on major projects such as this we have created a unique service that matches our bespoke solutions,” explained Raymond Murphy, Director, at RGM Vent Limited. “From estimating, design proposals, manufacture, installation and commissioning, every stage of our service is fully managed in-house. We have strategically located Contracts Managers across the UK and Ireland to look after customers and we also assign a full-time site supervisors to every project who supervises the installations from when work starts on site through to completion.”

This attention to detail has helped RGM Vent Limited to develop an enviable reputation for quality solutions. Utilising innovative products from trusted suppliers, the company continuously strives to offer clients the most effective and ef cient solution to their ventilation needs.

RGM Vent Limited’s range of services centre around the manufacture and erection of galvanised and stainless steel ductwork systems to the HVAC DW144 standard, specifically the supply and installation of:

  • Mechanical ventilation systems
  • Heat recovery systems
  • Galvanised and stainless steel canopies and kitchen extract systems
  • General extract systems
  • EN re-rated duct work systems
  • Air conditioning systems
  • General fabrication work in galvanised and stainless steel

Based in County Antrim and catering for both public and private sector work, RGM Vent Limited has a strong presence in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but the company’s geographic spread of works extends into mainland UK.

RGM Vent Limited, 30 Church Road, Ballyclare, Co Antrim, BT39 9UF
T: 0044 (0)28 9334 1787

Sermet (NI) Ltd has taken energy-efficient heating and hot water to new heights at the Grand Central Hotel. The company supplied two Remeha gas-fired, high-efficiency boilers for the heating system and three Ormandy Rycroft Breeze plate heat exchanger and buffer vessel package for the domestic hot water systems at what is Northern Ireland’s largest hotel, and the tallest commercial building in Ireland.

The Grand Central features 300 luxurious bedrooms, three restaurants, conference and meeting room facilities, and an observatory bar on the 23rd floor – all requiring high levels of heating and hot water. The Remeha boilers consisted of one 310 Eco Pro and one 610 Eco Pro, both of which were selected for their small footprint, maximum versatility and high levels of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency was also high on the agenda when specifying the Ormandy Rycroft Breeze system, which was also selected due to the high pressures required for the 23-storey high building.

“We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious project,” said Andrew Boyd, Sermet (NI) Ltd. “Key to the success of this project was being able to be involved from the design stage. This allowed us to ensure the best solutions for the project and to work closely with the team to create a bespoke design. “With the plant room located on the ground floor and with 23 floors requiring heating and hot water, Ormandy Rycroft Breeze plate heat exchanger and buffer vessel. the system had to be reliable and ultra efficient. “Our exclusive partnerships with Remeha and Ormandy Rycroft ensured we could deliver products that met the unique demands of the Grand Central.”

The Gas 310 and 610 Eco Pro boilers are installed side-by-side to provide flexibility in floor design and modular configuration. The compact design is enhanced with the boilers coming equipped with wheels for ease of installation on site and being able to t through a standard doorway, making them perfect for retro fit projects.

Sermet (NI) Ltd, 11 Lisburn Street, Hillsborough, County Down, BT26 6AB T: 0044 (0)28 9268 2531

The stunning new Grand Central Hotel may evoke the character of the past but it also encapsulates the future through the use of the latest systems such as the Building Energy Management System (BEMS) from Building Automation Controls (BAC).

BAC supplied and commissioned the BEMS controlling main plant items such as boilers and air handling units. This system is integrated to room level, communicating with room air conditioning units via the BACnet open protocol. In addition, it provides on-site metering of utilities such as gas, water and mains electricity. Electrical sub-meters on local distribution boards allow consumption profiles to be monitored for individual areas, with consumption reports automatically generated and emailed to the Hasting Group’s Energy Manager and key hotel staff.

The system is connected to the Hastings Hotels’ corporate network making all of the group’s hotels accessible from the same web-based Delta Controls enteliWEB advanced operator workstation. The system is also connected to BAC’s CopperTree Analytics Kaizen package, a cloud-based building analytics system that provides fault detection and diagnostics and allows a variety of building performance metrics to be measured against user de ned KPIs.

John Roberts, Managing Director at Building Automation Controls, said, “We are proud of our involvement in the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast which has become such a talked about building. “As always, our main challenge on this project was staying in sync with the hectic pace of the programme of works. Many aspects of a controls installation are carried out at the tail-end of a project, therefore close co-ordination with colleagues in the mechanical and electrical installation teams helped to ensure that commissioning deadlines were met.”

He added, “We already have a well-established relationship with Hastings Hotels, so we have a lot of experience of their needs and objectives.”

Building Automation Controls, Saintfield Road, Belfast, BT8 7HN
T: 028 9079 4160  – E:

The new Grand Central Hotel utilised the combined expertise of both the Commercial Plumbing & Heating Division and Contracts Division at Beggs & Partners Commercial. The project saw the iconic 1970’s era Windsor House of ce block completely transformed as part of a £53million investment. The luxury 300-bedroom hotel – that also comprises a restaurant, bistro, and rooftop lounge – is also Northern Ireland’s largest hotel, and the tallest commercial building in Ireland. Meeting the unique requirements of this four-star hotel, the Contracts Division supplied sanitary ware solutions that included Ideal Standard basins, baths and WCs; Geberit frames and ush plates; and Vado showers and brassware. Beggs & Partners Commercial also supplied Instinct and Classic Marble shower trays. The Commercial Plumbing & Heating Division at Beggs & Partners supplied a range of high quality valves, copper tube, ttings, soil and waste products from market-leading manufacturers to ensure this high pro le project remained on track during a challenging construction. James Forsythe, Commercial Manager at Beggs & Partners, said, “We are delighted to be able to showcase the combined abilities of our commercial division on this iconic building. Northern Ireland has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the world and we have been involved in a wide range of hotels projects, particularly in Belfast.” The Grand Central Hotel is not only an iconic addition the Belfast skyline, but it also joins a growing list of high pro le projects in the city that Beggs & Partners has been involved in. As well as working on a wide range of hotels, Beggs & Partners has also supplied products for the likes of SS Nomadic, Titanic Belfast, Waterfront Hall and Victoria Square.

Beggs & Partners, Great Patrick Street, Belfast.
T: 028 9023 5791
Branches at Belfast, Ballymena, Lisburn, Maghera, Newtownards and Portadown

Energy efficiency is high on the agenda at the Grand Central Hotel and playing a role in keeping the heating system as efficient as possible was thermal insulation specialist MIC Contracts. The Toomebridge-based company has worked on a diverse range of projects across the last 40 years, showcasing expert solutions on major works such as Craigavon Area Hospital and the new Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex. The work at the Grand Central – Northern Ireland’s largest hotel and Ireland’s tallest commercial building – adds to an already impressive project portfolio that has been created thanks to the company’s wealth of experience and reliability. The company specialises in the supply and t of products from a range of different manufacturers and specialises in the following services: • Pipe insulation • Ventilation insulation • Tanks and boilers • Refrigeration • Aluminium cladding “We supply and t insulation systems from leading manufacturers such as Saint- Gobain Isover, BetaPlus, Paroc and Armacell Armaflex,” explained Jason Carey, MIC Contracts. “As a specialist thermal insulation contractor with some 40 years’ experience, we get contracts across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and England, working not only on hospitals but a wide range of sectors and we’re delighted to have played our part in this prestigious new hotel.” MIC Contracts has been trading since 1974 and has a wealth of experience in industrial insulation for hospitals, schools, boiler houses and roof spaces. Providing bespoke solutions tailored to meet the specific requirements of each project, the experienced team works closely with the mechanical contractor to provide a fast and efficient service.

MIC Contracts Ltd, 17 Cloghogue Road, Toomebridge, Co Antrim, BT41 3PW
T: 0044 (0)28 7965 0163 – E: