RCSI to build €22m education and research facility in Dublin

24 Jan 2022

The planned RCSI education and research centre. Image: McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects

The centre, due for completion in February 2024, will provide extra space for translational research and be home to a new paediatric allergy research hub.

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is investing €22m in a new education and research centre at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

The centre, planned for completion in February 2024, will be located beside the recently opened CHI Ambulatory Paediatric Facility at Connolly Hospital. This hospital serves the population of west Dublin, as well as other areas via the M50.

The RCSI facility will feature a new paediatric allergy research centre and also provide increased capacity for the university’s translational research. Graduate entry medical students based at Connolly Hospital and other RCSI students will have access to the centre while completing their placements.

The facility will be RCSI’s second clinical centre of academic excellence, alongside Beaumont Hospital’s Smurfit building.

Exterior of the new RCSI building. Image: McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects

According to Prof P Ronan O’Connell, RCSI president, the opening of the new centre will be “transformative” for the university’s educational programmes and will “greatly enhance” experiences for RCSI students and the local community.

“We want to play our part in building a health service with the capacity to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population and which provides a fulfilling career for healthcare professionals,” O’Connell said.

He added that the centre would allow RCSI to educate new professional groups such as physician associates, “which is a relatively new profession in Irish healthcare with the potential to greatly improve efficiency and patient experience.”

The 4,100 sq m, three-storey building will feature two interlocking blocks for academic, faculty and administration functions with a communal atrium area linking the two. The communal area will focus on providing amenity and support space for students and staff. The building will also have a large public area that will be open to Connolly Hospital staff.

The building has been designed with sustainability in mind. Some of the design’s key features are solar electricity production on site, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, heat pumps, natural ventilation and the use of energy-efficient building materials.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.