This project involved the construction of the new block C at Portlaoise Prison. Hayes Higgins Partnership were the Building Services Consultants client representative. We also acted as Consulting Engineers on behalf of the Office Of Public Works.  The block contains 130 Cells, an education and medical centre and prisoner reception area. In addition there is a gym and other facilities in the new building.


We were responsible for preparing the performance specification for the Mechanical, Electrical, Lift and Security Installations. Subsequently HHP were responsible were responsible for ensuring that the appointed contractors adhered to the performance specification design criteria during the construction stage. In addition HHP were responsible for assessing cost control issues that arose during the project. Finally HHP were responsible for carrying out snagging and overseeing the snagging process on the project.


Our scope of works included the following:
  1. Developing a performance specification and drawings for the Mechanical and Electrical Services Installation for the new Prison wing.

  2. Overseeing the procurement process and advice on the tendering procedure and implementation.- Liaising with the appointed contractor and their design team.

  3. Overseeing the installation on site and delivering a Mechanical and Electrical Installation that the Performance Specification called for.

  4. Representing the OPW at all Project meetings.

  5. Liaising with the Irish Prison Service at all times throughout the process.

  6. Advising the client in relation to cost control and the adjudication of additional cost claims between the contractor and the IPS.


Name of Project: Portlaoise Prison Block C Extension

Means of Procurement: Design and Build

Client: Office of Public Works


The Building Services elements included the following main items:
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems

  • Hot and Cold Water Services

  • Soils and Wastes

  • Building Management System

  • Protective Services Installation

  • Mains Power

  • Standby Power

  • LV Distribution

  • General and Emergency Lighting

  • External Lighting

  • Structured Cabling Installation

  • Public Address

  • CCTV

  • Electronically Controlled Doors

  • Comms Room Design

  • Lightning Protection

  • Cable Management

  • Cell Call Alarm

  • Sprinkler System

  • Lift Installation

  • Utilities Connections



Hayes Higgins Partnership managed the engineering service for the OPW and Irish Prison Service ensuring through partnership with the contractor that the specification was strictly adhered to at all times


Sustainable Design Element:
  • Day lighting Controls Package controlling the cell concourse lighting.

  • Weathered compensated heating system controlled by intelligent building management systems.

  • Multi Type fuel options for heating system (Oil, Gas)

  • Innovative Water Treatment systems that require no chemical input.

  • All utilities metered

Description of Role:

OPW and Irish Prison Service Client Representative

Mechanical & Electrical Consultant 

Total Capital Value:


Dates of Involvement:





Design Team:

Architect: The Office of Public Works
Civil/Structural: Fearon O' Neill Rooney
Mechanical/Electrical: Hayes Higgins Partnership
Quantity Surveyor: Rogerson Reddan