Trinity’s Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies (E3) learning foundry will be named the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, having received an official green light for construction from Dublin City Council.
The six storey building will be located at the east end of campus and will connect to the existing Zoology and Physiology buildings. The Engineering, Computer Science and Statistics, and Natural Sciences schools will share the facility, which will facilitate an additional 1,800 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students.
Provost Patrick Prendergast said in a statement that the building will be named in honour of a €25 million donation from Irish billionaire businessman Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel. The donation is single largest private philanthropic donation in the history of the Irish state.
The provost said today: “The central theme of E3 is ‘balanced solutions for a better world’. E3 will be a crucial component in our transition to a ‘smarter’ economy, developing technological solutions that are more sustainable and more equitable in the use of the earth’s limited natural resources.”
The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry is one of two planned facilities associated with Trinity’s E3 initiative. A second building will be constructed in the Docklands in the coming decade.
In a report, Dublin City Council planners said: “The proposed development will upgrade one of the most prominent locations in the city, contribute to the animation of the area, will allow for the construction of striking and innovative contemporary/modern building in a historic city location, proximate to public transport and other amenities. The proposal exhibits a distinctive contemporary design which will make a positive contribution to the subject site and Dublin’s urban fabric.”
However, Trinity is currently in dispute with Dublin City Council over alleged overcharging of around €300,000 for the new E3 learning foundry. Trinity has taken an appeal to fix the charges to An Bord Pleanála.
In addition to the Naughton Foundation’s donation and donations made by other private parties, €15 million was made available for the project by the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority (HEA.
Construction of the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry is due to commence next autumn and the work is expected to take around two years.