New Build Projects

Professional Engineering Response

City centre shopping mall modernised and extended

Project in brief
The Ilac Centre, which was constructed in 1979 (LeeMcCullough were the structural engineers), consisted of over 18000m2 of retail space, 4000m2 of covered Circulation Malls, a Public Library, a multi storey car park for 1000 cars and assorted plant, administration and service areas.

In recent years a general modernisation (incorporating further extension) of the original centre has been undertaken by our clients. This entailed the reroofing and general upgrading of all Malls and public circulation routes, extending and re-cladding the Mary Street frontage, constructing new entrances at Parnell Street, Moore Street and Coles Lane, upgrading the Moore Street façade, and providing new administration and public toilet facilities.

Project 3399: Retail - Renovation and New Build
New Ilac Shopping Centre
Client: Joe O'Reilly - Irish Life plc
Architects: Benoy Architects
Value: € 40m (2006)

Project scope:
  • Re-roofing and general upgrading
  • Modernisation throughout
  • New build office extension
   Download Project PDF

Key features

The redevelopment works had to take place while the centre remained fully trading and with minimum disruption to tenants and the public.

This required detailed coordination of structural, architectural and services designs and phasing of the works in order to maintain all necessary services in place during the construction programme. Close cooperation was required between the design team and the main contractor to ensure that all demolition and construction activities could be carried out safely and with minimum disruption to centre users.

Interesting Features
Much of the existing centre is founded on shallow pad footings on vibro compacted granular fill consisting of a grid of vibrated stone columns down to a depth of approx 3.5m. In the case of new foundations for the new development, piled foundations were generally adopted to minimise disruption to existing foundations.


Over the years, at LeeMcCullough, we have worked on many retail projects, often combined with residential or office accommodation. Such projects often require innovative engineering solutions that balance style with functionality, construction cost-effectiveness and flexibility for future needs.

In delivering retail-driven projects we are conscious of:

  • The importance of close and collaborative teamwork at every stage of the project
  • The need for ambience, space, air and light, and how innovative engineering can facilitate these; and
  • How important it is to provide value, both in terms of materials and ease of construction thereby enabling efficient completion and timely opening of all facilities

Our extensive involvement has given us a clear understanding of the requirements of developers and architects in the Retail, Office and Residential sectors, this experience is a key benefit to all our future clients.