See below for description of environmental research facilities within UCC

The ERI Building

Overlooking the River Lee, and close to the UCC campus, the ERI building has 3000 sq. metres of customised laboratories, pilot trial space, environmental control rooms, office space and two seminar rooms with the capacity to house 100 researchers. It has been built to the highest standards of contemporary sustainable design with many sustainable energy features such as solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and heat recovery systems.

The ERI Building is a purpose designed building for conducting research, and building management is arranged around research needs and to encourage collaboration.  The building has a number of specialised laboratory facilities including:

200 m2  aquaculture tank laboratory and holding area

Category 2 Laboratories

Atmospheric chemistry simulation chambers

Controlled temperature rooms

Pilot scale anaerobic digestion reactors for carrying out biofuel trials

X-Ray/Photo laboratories

Clean rooms

Tissue culture room

The Institute also has a wide range of instrumentation for carrying out material characterisation, atmospheric chemistry, water analysis including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope, mobile air quality monitoring units with aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS), colony picketing robots, ion and gas chromatographs.

The ERI Building is a living laboratory. The entire building has hundreds of wireless sensors providing real-time information on building energy use and occupancy serving as a full-scale test bed looking at not only the way green buildings are designed but also how they perform and the methods used to assess this.

The Beaufort Building

The new Beaufort Building will house the National Ocean Test Facility, incubation suites for industry, offices and associated laboratories and workshops for multi-disciplinary researchers.

90 in-house researchers, with profiles ranging from civil, electrical and mechanical engineering to all aspects of oceanography and marine governance, conduct applied and fundamental research.


Ireland’s National Ocean Test Facility, LIR-NOTF, is located at MaREI’s headquarters at the Beaufort Building in Cork, providing a suite of state-of-the-art test tanks and dedicated workshops. The facilities include a 2,600m2 tank hall which will house four different wave tanks, and a range of electrical test infrastructure, providing an ideal testing environment throughout all phases of device development. The facility’s deep water research wave basin and wave flume have the unique capability of generating waves up to 1m height to facilitate the testing of model wave energy devices and other marine structures in different wave conditions, including extreme conditions, such as those encountered off the west coast of Ireland. Detailed specifications are as follows: http://marei.ie/facilities/university-college-cork/1534-2/


Aquaculture and Fisheries

The Aquaculture & Fisheries Development Centre (AFDC) have facilities which include recirculating fish and shellfish systems, laboratories (Wet and Dry) and offices.  The AFDC tank rooms  are equipped with marine and freshwater tropical marine system recirculation units, broodstock conditioning units, shellfish on-growing units, filter-feeder broodstock conditioning units, a larval culture system and live food culture facilities.  Seawater (Grade A) is delivered to on-site and stored. The AFDC has facilities seawater filtration and UV treatment if required.

The AFDC is authorised to operate under the European Communities Health of Aquaculture Animals and Products Regulations 2008 (Authorisation number: 006 / FHA). 

The indoor recirculation units consists of mechanical and biological water filtration, water treatment systems involving UV sterilisation and ozonation, and temperature control conditioning units to enable full control of environmental parameters/variables.  Light intensity and photoperiod are available in some areas and may be locally controlled on a number of discrete systems.  A range of tank designs and sizes are incorporated which allow fish to be held at each life cycle stage, and also for the production of research specific systems/units to suit almost any form of aquatic research.  experimental scale replicated trials to be conducted.  The infrastructure at the AFDC also allows for the Algal culture and live feed production areas are available to support the culture of many species through their larval stages.  A recirculating shellfish nursery system, broodstock holding/conditioning unit, thermally controlled hatchery and live feed production units are custom designed to provide a series of systems suitable to the needs of a number of shellfish species.  The two tank rooms of the AFDC are fully backed-up with a 50KVa Generator fitted with an Automatic transfer Switch (ATS) and Digi-dialler.  The dedicated AFDC Laboratory houses water quality analysis equipment, a Beckman Z2 coulter counter (particle size analyser) and drying oven as well as the standard laboratory equipment. On site laboratories provide dedicated research facilities and technical support essential to research at the AFDC. 

Additional laboratory facilities available at the AFDC include:

  • Molecular genetics laboratory
  • Water quality testing
  • Wet lab/post mortem room
  • Tissue culture laboratory
  • Histology and Immunology laboratory

School of BEES

School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences

School research activities are centred at the North Mall Campus, including the Butler Building, Enterprise Centre building, Cooperage building and surrounding areas with glasshouses, fish ponds, geology/geophysics garden, rock store, boats and land for field experiments. Additionally, there are facilities at Lough Hyne National Marine Reserve. Infrastructure and platform technologies include a suite of general research laboratories, a microscopy suite (including SEM, and digital facilities), palynology lab, plant pathology, molecular biology (2 labs) and isotope laboratories, a postmortem facility for cetacean and seal studies, chemical analysis facilities including HPLC, MALDI-TOF and GC-MS, facilities for genome and proteome analysis, marine and freshwater holding facilities, plant growth rooms for sterile and non-sterile cultures, rock cutting and thin sectioning facilties and a School workshop.


Biogas and Biofuels

To be completed........

Atmospheric Monitoring

The Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry has a wide range of facilities and instrumentation for laboratory, field and modelling studies within the ERI Building and on UCC Campus (Kane Building).  This includes three large chambers for simulating atmospheric processes in the laboratory, as well as a wide range of mobile air quality monitoring equipment including an Aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer, Waveband Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor (WIBS), Scanning mobility particle sizer, Optical Particle Sizer, TEOM, Thermal-optical carbon analyser, NOx analyser, Trace level NOx analyser, SO2 analyser, O3 analyser and Weather station. 


Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork