Technical Expertise

Multidisciplinary teams comprising of specialists across ten industry sectors, we have the expertise necessary to grapple with challenging assignments.

View all sectors


Commitment to Clients

Our business is built on relationships, and our clients will always be our top priority.

View all Projects

Featured Project

Silvertown Tunnel London UK

Silvertown Tunnel
One of the largest engineering projects in the world.

learn more

Who We Are

International Award-Winning Engineering Consultants who deliver ground breaking solutions at the forefront of industry best practice.

learn more

Our Regions

Carbon Reduction Plan

About - office locations image

Our Commitment to Net Zero
Ayesa is committed to becoming a net zero engineering consultancy by 2040

learn more

Stay Up-to-date

Stay on top of the latest developments, appointments, awards and more across all our offices.

View all News

Featured News

MicrosoftTeams-image (76)

On 19th October 2023, ByrneLooby will rebrand to Ayesa

ByrneLooby will officially adopt the name of its parent company, Ayesa, a global engineering and technology services provider.

Learn more

Investing In Our People

Cultivating a culture in which individual differences and the contributions of our staff are recognised and valued.

meet our people

Our EDI Policy

Careers - Image

Celebrating People
Fostering a culture where you are encouraged to be yourself.

learn more

International Presence

Multidisciplinary team comprising of specialists across Ireland, UK and the Middle East.

Follow us:

  • LinkedIn - blue70px
  • Twitter - blue70px
  • Facebook - blue70px
  • Instagram - blue70px
  • Vimeo - blue70px
  • Issuu - blue70px


Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. Please fill in the quick contact form below.

Send a message

Primark's Bank Buildings Store

Restoring Belfast's heritage


    Primark Ltd.


    Belfast, UK

    Completion Date:

    October - 2022

    Contract Value





    Finalist in the Irish Construction Excellence Awards 2023 - Retail/Fit-out & Restoration over £30m | Conservation or Restoration Categories
    Award Winner: AJ Architecture Awards 2023

    Award Winner: Fit-out Awards Project of the year 2023

    : The Bank Buildings in Belfast is a landmark historic structure occupying a prominent location in the centre of the city. A Grade B1 listed building, it was designed and built between 1899 and 1900 by W. H. Lynn as a department store and warehouse. The building, notable for its sandstone and granite facade, has great national, architectural and historical importance. In August 2018, a devastating fire nearly destroyed the building, taking with it part of Belfast's heritage. The badly damaged historic façade was all that remained of the 200-year-old building following the fire. In 2019, following the emergency stabilisation of the surviving fabric, Primark Ltd. started a comprehensive four-year restoration project.  With its reopening in October 2022, Bank Buildings has now retaken its place at the heart of Belfast, delivering almost 300 new jobs and 88,200 square feet of retail space whilst releasing the surrounding wider area back to public use.


    Our Role

    Primark Ltd appointed Ayesa as a specialist structural conservation engineer for Bank Buildings in the aftermath of the fire. Our conservation team, led by CARE Accredited Engineers, initially inspected the cordoned-off building from a crane cradle and devised methods to take down unstable structures and options to secure the facade. These pioneered the use of shipping containers to restrain the façade, which had the advantage of a swift and safe erection, thus minimising risks for operatives and speeding up the reopening of the surrounding area to pedestrian traffic.
    As the project progressed and safe access became available, we inspected the whole surviving fabric and specified testing and investigations to enable the detailed design of repairs and strengthening works. As conservation engineers, we advised on best practice conservation strategies and worked with the city's authorities and heritage bodies to maximise the retention of the surviving historic fabric.

     Ayesa's services included:

    • Structural Conservation Engineering;
    • Condition Surveys;
    • Detail design for historic stonework, brickwork, cast, wrought iron, and early steel.
    • Temporary work advice;
    • Specifications of testing and investigations;
    • Monitoring review;
    Innovation / Value Add

    Ayesa's expert assessment of the surviving historic fabric concluded that most of it could be preserved and retained. Through a meticulous testing and investigation campaign, we demonstrated that the masonry backing structure of the facade was still structurally reliable and that its cast and wrought iron elements were suitable for retention. These findings maximised the retention of viable historic fabric, thus speeding up the statutory consent process, and allowed a targeted programme of repairs rather than wholesale demolition and reconstruction. Ayesa was then able to develop detailed methods for strengthening the most at-risk areas, remediate structural damage due to fire and past interventions, and allow the overall recovery of this landmark structure.

    Challenges & Collaboration

    • Inspection of a precarious building in the aftermath of a destructive fire, with very limited close-distance access to formulate initial proposals for recovery
    • High profile nature of the building with an intense level of scrutiny from city authorities and public opinion, paired with time pressure to safely reopen the cordoned area to pedestrian traffic
    • Public consultations and the decision to follow with a conservation-led strategy were essential for the statutory processes of securing Listed Building Consent. 
    • Working in partnership with Conservation Architects Hall Black Douglas, we promoted best conservation practices and viable repairs and strengthening strategy, which was able to maximise the retention of historic fabric.
    • Coordination of multiple work packages through close cooperation with specialist stonework contractor Creggstone and main contractor Bennet to allow the progress of stonework, brickwork, and ironwork repairs in parallel with the erection of the new internal steel structure (by DBFL).

      Renders: Courtesy of Hall Black Douglas and Mervyn Black Photography


    300 new jobs



     Restoration Project - Videos

    Primark Belfast

    We support your projects

    Our goal is to provide you with the best services for your needs