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Mount Lucas to Host Groundbreaking Demonstration Park Revolutionizing Modern Construction Methods

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Mount Lucas to Host Groundbreaking Demonstration Park Revolutionizing Modern Construction Methods

Mount Lucas to Host Groundbreaking Demonstration Park Revolutionizing Modern Construction Methods
February 08
15:24 2024

A groundbreaking demonstration park is in the works for Mount Lucas, set to revolutionize modern building methods. Spearheaded by the Local Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB), in collaboration with Technological University Dublin and the University of Galway, this innovative facility will feature a variety of houses and dwellings, ranging from standard two-storey houses to a three-storey apartment block with a ground-floor retail unit.

The park aims to showcase cutting-edge construction techniques, with structures constructed from light gauge steel, timber frame, and potentially Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF). Designed to be a “fully immersive environment,” the demonstration park will offer students and trainees a hands-on experience like no other.

Unlike traditional construction shows and expos, which often rely on cut-outs, this facility will provide real-world examples of modern building methods. Collaborating with third-level institutions and government departments such as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Department of Further and Higher Education, and Solas, the LOETB is committed to delivering a state-of-the-art learning environment.

An architect’s planning application suggests that the complex may even feature a water feature, reminiscent of a canal, serving as a landmark across the Midlands. Pre-planning discussions have already commenced with Offaly County Council.

The existing facilities at Mount Lucas include training units for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and retrofitting, scaffolding, utilities, tower crane operation, and driving simulators. With a focus on external insulation and heat pump technology, the center offers fully funded training opportunities in partnership with industry stakeholders.

Recognizing the need for skills in retrofitting and utilities development, the LOETB has collaborated with various organizations to offer specialized training programs. This includes a utilities traineeship covering everything from domestic piping to large-scale infrastructure projects, providing trainees with accredited qualifications previously unavailable in Ireland.

Situated on a 33-acre site originally owned by Bord na Mona, the campus adjoins the Mount Lucas wind farm. Plans are underway to expand the site, which already hosts a range of training vehicles and simulators, including a crane operated by Aidan Smyth, and an articulated truck serving as a mobile training unit.

With a focus on practical, hands-on learning, the Mount Lucas demonstration park represents a significant step forward in the training and development of construction professionals, ensuring a skilled workforce equipped to meet the demands of the modern construction industry.

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