THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) is seeking €5.2 million in compensation from construction companies, Building Design Ltd and Rowland Roofing Ltd after leaks from the roof of the Health Science Building damaged medical equipment in the building.

The building, which was constructed in 2005, has had the roof repaired over recent months but will require its entire new roof to be replaced due to the extent of damages caused. UL Students’ Union (SU) President, Pa O’Brian, said that the leaks had started a few months after the building’s initial construction.

“The problem with the building was inadequate space,” said Mr O’Brian. “[It] wouldn’t allow for the copper roof to expand and contract with heat and cooling. After a couple of months, it was noticed that there was an issue with the roof and water began to seep in.”

Mr O’Brian explains that while the damages to the inside of the building are minimal yet the damage to the roof itself is extensive with up to 65 areas of leakage having been discovered since December 2006. He went on the say that the damages so far have not been a massive inconvenience to the students as the building in operation.

“Once the repair work starts to replace the roof, sections of the building will be cornered off,” explained Mr O’Brian. “It will be done in stages so there will be an element of disturbance to students so hopefully they will be accommodated elsewhere.”

Mr O’Brian states that the SU fully support UL’s decision to take legal action against the company responsible for the construction of the roof as “they’ve paid people to come in and do a job and… [and] had a guarantee from the people who were fitting the roof that it would be of a certain quality. At the end of the day, it’s somebody’s fault so yes, we definitely support any action they take.”

He mentioned that his main concern is that the university would recoup the money at a minimal cost to the students and for as little disturbance as possible to those using the building.

Mr O’Brian further adds that the situation is completely unacceptable, saying that “ they’re definitely right to be taking action… as it’s not acceptable to pay so much for a building and for it to be faulty essentially, within a few months.”