Queen’s Universtity Library Wins Sustainability Global Award

One of Northern Ireland’s newest landmark buildings – the £50 million McClay Library at Queen’s University – has won a global award for its role as a model of sustainable design. The McClay Library has won the Sustainability category in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards, defeating prestigious property projects from around the world.

More than 450 building projects entered the RICS Awards which are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the built and natural environment. The McClay Library was one of only four category winners.

“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,” says Queen’s director of estates Gary Jebb.

The Library is illuminated by a multi-storey open atrium, has 2,000 reader places and houses 1.2 million volumes. Ground floor facilities include IT training rooms, a Language Centre, Library and Computer support areas and a cafe. The upper storeys house the University’s Special Collections, subject-related enquiry points and a vast range of printed works.

The design aimed to reduce energy loads and provide energy input as efficiently as possible. Energy, fuel and water consumption is recorded and reviewed against targets on a quarterly basis. During the design and specification process, environmentally-friendly materials were selected, all of which can be refurbished or recycled after use.


Queen’s director of estates Gary Jebb with the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Sustainability Award 2010, awarded for the University’s £50 million McClay Library. Included is Alistair Dunn, chairman of the RICS NI judging panel.

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