Homeowners and businesses are set to benefit from a cross-border project where local authorities will demonstrate best practice for reducing energy costs.
County Library, Dundalk – Restored 18th Century Warehouse
The cross-border initiative, the Energy Efficiency and Micro-Generation Project, funded through the European ’s INTERRREG IVA programme commenced in the East Border Region in 2011. Ten local authorities, seven in Northern Ireland and three in Republic of Ireland, selected five of their most energy hungry buildings, fifty buildings in total, to undergo detailed energy audits. As a result of the energy audits, 9 buildings were selected to undergo upgrades to building fabric and building services to reduce the energy consumption.
In the County library, one of the 9 buildings selected for energy upgrades works, the installation of a new energy efficient condensing gas boiler and the upgrade of lighting coupled with motion detection controls throughout the public areas will dramatically reduce energy consumption and carbon output from the site. The improvement of the building fabric through pumped cavity insulation will also dramatically improve heat retention within the building.
Another feature of the building upgrades will be a visitor experience display screen in the building foyer which, through collaboration with project partners Dundalk Institute of Technology, will provide monitoring of the building’s energy meters allowing visitors to see a ‘live’ display of the building’s energy performance, comparing live data with historical energy consumption and carbon emissions data.
Bryan Crowe, the Energy & Sustainability Project officer, is enthusiastic about the potential of the energy upgrades; “I am delighted to be involved with this exciting project and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the energy saving potential of energy efficiency and micro-generation measures to a wide audience through the creation of visitor friendly exemplar buildings within the East Border Region.”
It is expected that the project works will showcase best practice and the renewable technologies most suited to the local climate to local SME’s and homeowners alike. Louth County Council Chairman Declan Breathnach has welcomed the works to the county library saying that the works will greatly improve the energy efficiency of the building and demonstrate the savings that can be made. The monitoring of the energy usage after the installation of a more efficient boiler and lighting will be available to the public through the visitor experience. Other businesses and homeowners can learn from this if there is actual savings to be made if they are considering carrying out similar work.
Additional information can be found at www.sustainandbuild.com, or follow project progress, with regular updates on twitter @sustainandbuild. The building upgrades across all 9 sites have commenced with works to be complete by the end of March 2014.