Unite the Union

Project name and location

Unite the Union, 55-56 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1

Project details

This project included the refurbishment and extension of an existing office building, including completely stripping the building and fit out of the entire four storeys over basement office space with associated roof level plant. The office accommodation was extended into the internal atrium at ground and 2nd floor levels. All the roofs and windows were upgraded to modern standards. The modernisation of the internal finishes included upgrading the building to be part M compliant. The existing lift was replaced and two more platform lifts were installed to aid wheelchair access through the building. The entire mechanical and electrical installation was replaced with a modern energy efficient system.

The removal and installation of the roof was part of the first phase of the schedule of works. Imagine our surprise when we found a family of seagulls nesting there with eggs which appeared close to hatching. We couldn’t in all conscience disturb this little piece of nature, so we decided to reschedule this work until all the eggs had hatched. Three weeks later we built a temporary bridge between our roof and the neighbours which we used to corral the nestlings to their new home despite the attention of their dive bombing parents. All was accomplished with a minimum of fuss and we are glad to report that the family have adapted to their new environment.

It brought a smile to everyone’s face when the nestlings eventually flew the coop and importantly it did not impact on our client.


The challenge

As one might expect with major work being undertaken in the city centre there is always something new to test your capabilities. The usual issues of starting early to have skips dropped and picked up plus the normal security headaches applied.

However on this project we had to deal with a Luas stay cable attached to our building which impacted on the facade scaffolding.

How we overcame the challenge

It was necessary to have the power to the Luas line turned off to allow us to work around the stay wire. This was only done from 12am to 6 am so the scaffold was built through the night. Once the scaffold was built the stay wire was protected. It was also necessary for our Site Manager to attend a course with Luas to allow him to manage the process.


This project was delivered on time and within budget.