This proposed development presents an exciting opportunity to create a modern, highly flexible International Conference and Exhibition Centre for Belfast and Northern Ireland. Belfast City Council in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board have identified a specific need for CONFEX facilities and following completion of a business case, have chosen a location adjacent to the Belfast Waterfront Hall.

The new facility accommodation is to comprise some of the following key elements: new catering preparation and service areas, new administration offices and staff facilities, circulation spaces at multiple levels with linkages to existing waterfront hall, and new plant areas. The idea is to offer an integrated building that truly services as a diverse and highly flexible regional CONFEX centre to attract and capture international conference and exhibition business opportunities as well as servicing local demand. The ambition is to create a modern, highly flexible, mixed purpose building that is welcoming, enjoyable to use and serves both an international as well as the local community.

During the DQI Briefing stage workshop, issues raised and discussions held between participants were recorded and noted in a report. The design team was encouraged to take full account of the report during the development of the brief and the design. The Briefing session gave rise to a number of discussion points resulting in the identification of key elements being tagged as “Inspired”. These elements create the greatest design challenges which if successfully met, will ensure that the new facility achieves its prime objective of becoming a significant contributor of the Northern Ireland economy.

During the Mid design stage workshop, the DQI facilitator outlined the principles of DQI assessment, made a synopsis of the Briefing Stage discussions, followed by an explanation of the proposed scheme presented by the Contractor’s Architect, and finally the end of session comprised of questions, open discussions and scoring the corresponding sections of the DQI questionnaire. The DQI report summarised all the important and conflicting issues emerging which will be considered by the Clients/Design Team and fed into the project design review process.