St Louis School, Monaghan

MDE were appointed to upgrade and rewire existing electrical services installation at St. Louis’ Boys National School, Monaghan.

Works included general & emergency lighting, general & small power, switchgear installations, containment infrastructure, fire & intruder alarms, CCTV, class-change and structured cabling installations.

Project Challenges at a Glance:

  • Live educational environment
  • Coordination of all installation services
  • Minor building works
  • Asbestos removal

St. Mary’s University, Belfast

MDE are proud to have worked in partnership with St. Mary’s University – a college of Queen’s University to complete the LED intelligent lighting system & Energy Management Upgrade.

This project involved the complete upgrade of the university’s Building Energy Management System, the installation of a complete CCTV system and the replacement of the fluorescent lighting throughout the facility with a state-of-the-art LED intelligent lighting system.  the new lighting system incorporated fully automatic daylight dimming, individual presence detection, and wireless ‘smart’ switches which were programmed to the pre-addressed groups of luminaries to meet the university’s specific needs.  MDE was also contracted to carry out a complete, in-depth asbestos survey and report all findings prior to the commencement of any installation works.

All of the above works were carried out during the teaching term without the university experiencing any disruption to classes or events.  This could only be achieved with precise planning and careful coordination between MDE, their specialist subcontractors, and St. Mary’s facilities management team.  This involved the compilation of a day-by-day, room-by-room programme of works which was tailored to fit strategically with the University’s teaching and events programme.  With meticulous planning and daily communication, all aspects of the contract were completed on time and to the complete satisfaction of the client.

St. Louis Secondary School, Dundalk, Phase 1

On 12th May 2018, an overnight fire caused devastating damage to St. Louis Secondary School, Dundalk .  The 1950’s building school complex on the Castletown Road was completely gutted by the blaze.  In June 2018, MDE was appointed as Principal Contractor to carry out the refurbishment works of the school which consisted of but were not limited to the following items:

Builder works – Asbestos report and removal; complete site clearance; site excavations; electrical ducting; foul and storm drainage reinstatement; roof works reinstatement; block work reinstatement; fit-out of new technology suite to latest design specifications; renovation of existing Arts rooms; window replacement; AOV replacement; fireproofing works; ceiling replacements; plastering/dry laying; internal joinery works; painting of internal walls; sanding and sealing of existing wooden floors and reinstatement of feature walls and steps.

Electrical works – Complete upgrade of M&E services to include the following: installation of new ESB substation; complete replacement of containment and sub mains infrastructure; complete replacement of lighting & emergency lighting in affected areas; installation of new LV main switchgear and sub-distribution boards; installation of a new CAT 6 A data installation throughout; installation of the new fiber-optic ring; installation of new intruder alarm, CCTV & access control; installation of the new fire alarm system; installation of Audio AV in specific areas and a complete professional clean to School Principal BOM Standards.

Mechanical works – Replacement of existing gas ring mains; replacement and upgrade of existing boiler house; installation of heating and plumbing pipework; installation of new ceiling-mounted radiant panels; complete insulation of newly installed pipework; installation of new fire hydrant ring main; installation of new gas shut valves and controls; installation of new BMS front end controls and installation of sanitary ware where required.

Key Facts:

  • MDE was appointed as the Principal Contractor and carried out the full duties of PSCS.
  • MDE appointed full site Management team within weeks to execute the works.
  • MDE managed and coordinated up to 100 site operatives during peak periods to ensure works were completed on time.
  • All works had to be completed within a 12-week period to allow the school to return on 31st August 2018.
  • What seemed to be an unrealistic task at the start became a reality when over 500 pupils and staff returned to St. Louis Secondary School on 31st August 2018.  They returned to a fully operational and refurbished school.

Testimonial from Acting School Principal:

“Just wanted to take some time to let you know how much progress was made in St. Louis Dundalk over the summer months!  The design team and all the contractors worked incredibly hard to make sure staff could work together safely on Monday 27th August and that students could be on-site from Tuesday 28th to resume lessons.  The new Technology room and Art rooms are completed.  The finish in the rooms is excellent in every way.  Semple & McKillop were easy to work with and were in contact with us throughout the project getting the highest possible standard of work from the contractors for the school.  The MDE Team were also on-site ensuring the work was completed and the site left pristine before students returned.  MDE planned every aspect of health and safety to avoid any issues for staff or students.  We are so delighted with the level of investment, the quality of the work, the good working relationships with the consultants and the contractors.  While the entire process might have been a nightmare, in fact, it has been a wonderful example of how a large team can work together to get a job done well and on time”.

Queens University, Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast established an ambitious initiative to reduce their carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes by 2020 through the installation of new technology on campus.

As part of this imaginative and forward looking decision, MDE were chosen by the Edina group to complete the installation and all works for a new energy efficient CHP (Combined Heat and Power).

We worked in close partnership with the energy consultants to successfully achieve the required reduction and help Queens in its carbon reduction initiative.

The work was conducted in a live education environment with stringent health and safety requirements in place.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational facility.
  • Existing live services.
  • Management and coordination of isolations and shutdowns.
  • Stringent health, safety and environmental restrictions.
  • Interface with building management systems (BMS).

University of Ulster Coleraine

MDE were selected as Principal Contractor to deliver electrical infrastructure replacement works at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus.

The University was able to continue with normal operations and teaching and research activities during the project due to our exceptional ability to schedule works around the requirements of a busy live educational setting.

The MDE Team were required to manage shutdowns and minimise disruption throughout the project duration which we did efficiently and effectively using our previous experience in managing live projects of this nature.

Works included the plant replacement of low voltage sub switchboards and associated distribution boards. The project was completed through a combination of out-of-hours working and planned / scheduled shutdowns and switchovers.

As part of the challenge on this project, MDE were tasked with providing innovative design solutions to suit existing structures.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational facility
  • Existing live services
  • Management of scheduled isolations/shutdowns/switchovers
  • Provide innovative design solutions to suit existing structures.
  • Out of hours working.

St Gerard’s College, Castlebar, Co Mayo

St Gerard’s College was established in 1909. The current building opened in 1971 with a further extension in 1979.

We were appointed as principal contractor to manage new energy conservation measures in the school, including external wall insulation, replacing doors and windows, increasing roof space insulation, and insulating pipework.

MDE removed all redundant electrical services and replaced existing lighting with new LED and intelligent lighting controls in accordance with SEAI requirements. We also completed a new boiler house installation, new BMS controls, as well as completing zoning of the existing heating and carrying out an air tightness test.

Working in partnership with Semple McKillop we ensured the school is more energy efficient and sustainable in accordance with SEAI. The work was carried out in a live school environment as teaching and learning continued uninterrupted. We took into account all child protection considerations in our project planning and delivery, based on our experience to date working in other education settings.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational facility
  • Achieved SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland) Standards.
  • Boundaries and access, including temporary access
  • Adjacent land uses
  • Existing services
  • Existing structures
  • Minimisation of dust
  • Child protection

Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Letterkenny Institute of Technology is the leading provider of third level education in the Donegal and North West region and it has a key role in local teaching, research and development and support for local business.

This project required the complete integration of new services to existing building electrical facilities within Letterkenny Institute of Technology. The MDE Team was chosen to complete this work which involved a high-level electrical specification install that included lighting, power, data security, mains distribution, CCTV and access security.

This project focused on the 1240sqm extension to the existing CoLab and the modifications within the existing building where both buildings were to be adjoined.

Our work was completed to strict specifications, within our deadlines and within budget. For the duration of the installation we managed  and coordinated isolations and shutdown protocols. As it was a live educational environment our work was designed to minimise disruption to the Institute’s teaching and learning, and we also had to take account of child protection requirements given the age profile of students on campus.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational environment.
  • Child protection
  • Management and coordination of isolation/shutdowns.
  • Co-ordination of new and existing services with third parties.
  • Site complexities

Dundalk Grammar School

Dundalk Grammar School is a day and boarding school with the main building dating back to 1817. The building is a listed heritage building and complete conservation of the existing facade was an important consideration in these works.

Based on our previous experience working on heritage buildings, MDE was appointed as the main Electrical Contractor responsible for the supply, delivery, installation, and testing and  commissioning of the complete electrical services in the school.

Demolition work was completed, including the replacement of inefficient and aging services.  The MDE Team were also tasked with the complete electrical installation in a new two storey 25 classroom building, multi-purpose hall, and car park.

For the project duration, the school remained fully operational and we managed and maintained excellent working relationships with the design and construction team as well as the school’s board of management.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational environment.
  • Listed building – protection of the existing heritage building/facade.
  • Protection of existing structures.
  • Shared access/egress.
  • Co-ordination of all installation services.
  • Management of all isolations/shutdowns/switchovers.
  • Integration of modern technologies within a heritage building whilst maintaining the historic building’s aesthetics.


Castleblayney Community College

Castleblayney College was set up in 1930 and in 1950 began operations at its current location.  Further buildings were added in 1969 and 2000.

The latest development included a three storey extension to the school as well as a large standalone sports hall. This was a restricted site and the contract was made more complex by the split levels of the existing school.

This solution to this particular problem was to place a three storey structure perpendicular to the existing building, aligned with the axis of the existing lift. This creative solution delivered a highly efficient use of existing circulation and ensured all new classrooms enjoy good levels of daylight and are correctly oriented.

The MDE Team was appointed to supply, deliver, install, test, commission, set to work, and make good any defects that occurred during the defects liability period. We also provided ‘as-installed’ drawings and maintenance and operation manuals.

In association with the entire design and construction team, MDE is proud to be associated with Castleblayney College which was nominated in the Irish Architecture Awards 2017 for its cutting edge sports building.

Project Challenges at a Glance

  • Live educational environment.
  • Child protection.
  • Management and coordination of isolation/shutdowns.
  • Co-ordination of new and existing services with third parties.
  • Site complexities.