With the Project:
The Ballymun Boiler House
The Ballymun Boiler House and the apartments were some of the buildings set aside for demolition by the Dublin City Council. However, Rediscovery Centre together with Dublin City Council realised that the boiler houses presented them with an opportunity to demonstrate sustainable design, renovation, and building reuse. The joint venture, then, transformed the boiler house into one of the most sustainable public buildings in Ireland. The building was designed to have a minimal carbon footprint as it includes heating and electricity from alternative renewable and sustainable sources, rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, not forgetting best practice waste and energy management.
The Ballymun Social Housing Flats constructed in the 1960s were the first of their kind in Ireland. With over 30 blocks of flats, the area was dominated by seven fifteen-story towers and the Ballymun Boiler House chimney. Ballymun, located on the northern outskirts of Dublin, has traditionally been an area of social deprivation with a high-level of need. When the boiler house was scheduled for demolition, the Rediscovery Centre in partnership with the Dublin City Council recognised an opportunity to create one of the most sustainable public buildings in Ireland.
The Ballymun Boiler House project was born out of an ambition to create a national centre of excellence for material reuse and sustainability education. Through their ground-breaking initiative, the duo developed a prototype ‘3-D Textbook’ reuse education centre that embraces the concept of sustainable development. By creating a public space which recognises the history of Ballymun, Rediscovery Centre also demonstrates how they place much value on building reuse over demolition.
The project converts a 50-year-old structure into an energy-efficient eco-building by incorporating carbon-light construction methods, ecologically sound building materials, innovative energy management systems and experimental technologies. The sustainable passive design optimises solar gain to reduce the need for artificial lighting and heating. These combined sustainable heating systems enable the Boiler House to generate around 50% of the building’s heat and power on-site. Also, the building is predominantly naturally ventilated with passive background ventilation to all spaces.
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