Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins officially opened the new Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin in 2016, a century after the Easter Rising of 1916. The Military Archives were created as a flagship project, one of seven capital projects which will act as permanent reminders of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the armed insurrection which changed the course of Irish history. The archives will hold the archival records of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pension Board.

Secure storage of archive material

This new purpose built archive facility allows for the consolidation of all military archives material that is currently stored at a number of locations around the country into one new national facility. It provides secure storage of archive material for circa 70,000 archive boxes, plus providing for the storage of ‘special media’ material, such as videos, film reels, photographs, microfilm, etc., which require specific storage conditions.

22km of Bruynzeel Electronic Mobile shelving

More than 22km of Bruynzeel Electronic Mobile shelving, which is designed to the highest international standards and provides an excellent storage environment, is installed over two storeys of this new building with links at two levels to an existing two-storey building of heritage value. The latter was originally designed as a Barracks Hospital and constructed circa 1903. The Barracks Hospital has been sensitively refurbished to provide a library with reading rooms, administration areas, new feature entrance and ancillary facilities for public access to the facility.

WAV Machines and wireless Tablets

The Electronic Mobile shelving is over 4m high and is serviced by two WAV Machines so archive boxes which are at higher level can be picked safely and with ease. The mobile shelving is supplied with a remote control access via a wireless tablet which is connected to each WAV Machine. A router is installed at every static position to allow connection to the buildings wireless network. The user is able to open an aisle remotely or by using the Bruynzeel app loaded onto the user’s tablet.

4hours fire resistance

Due to height constraints on the site, the new Archives Block is sunk by ½ storey into the ground, creating a half-basement for the lower storage level. Also due to tight programme to enable the project to be ready for the 2016 commemorations, the main structure consists of a precast concrete frame that has 4hours fire resistance to meet archive facility requirements. This new facility has changed a part derelict site and existing unused Barracks Hospital building to an inviting and user friendly building, both for its staff and the visiting public, whilst also enhancing the surrounding community.

Highly complementary

It is sympathetic to the existing buildings, which are of heritage value, and culturally as one of the flagship projects for the centenary of the 1916 Rising Commemorations, it provides a high class National Military Archive facility for both Department of Defence and Defence Forces’ material. The staff who will occupy this building have been highly complementary of the new facilities and of the benefits that it will bring them in their day-to-day work.

This contract is the largest Installation of Electronic Mobile Shelving in Ireland and our local partner Storage Systems Ltd is very proud and honoured to be involved in this state project to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Results:

  • 22km of storage shelves
  • 140,000kg’s of steel
  • 1,500 man hours of installation labour
  • 800kg’s loading capacity per bay
  • 8,000kg’s loading per movable carriage
  • Largest movable block is 88,000kg’s storing 6,765 archive boxes which opens within ten seconds of a simply touch to the operational touch panel.
  • Largest Installation of Electronic Mobile Shelving in Ireland