BDP’s environmental engineers have delivered one of the most efficient and sustainable commercial offices in Dublin for the ESB
The ESB’s offices are an exemplar of sustainable design, offering a treasure trove of new design techniques for the next generation of low energy offices. The second office is a commercial implementation of many of the new techniques used within the ESB’s offices and provides the market with a real alternative to the traditional, sealed office.
BDP says the buildings use a new form of hybrid ventilation that takes advantage of the natural cooling potential available in Ireland, while providing an office space with an environmental quality that exceeds that of traditional ventilation options.
The buildings contain an abundance of new passive and active sustainable design techniques, many of which are completely innovative and new to the office market.
BDP embraced the offices as a research project that reimagines every traditional system within an office and produces new techniques that enhance energy performance, space comfort and quality. BDP is currently monitoring and tuning the building and results will be published on completion of the monitoring period.
The building contains new techniques in the following areas:
• Hybrid ventilation and free cooling reduce active cooling close to zero
• New fresh air delivery techniques result in approximately 85% less fan energy
• New air delivery techniques for meeting rooms reduce energy usage dramatically
• Single coil fan coils reduce fan and embodied energy
• Heating energy usage approaches zero and is provided almost entirely from recovered heat
• 100% of domestic hot water is provided from recovered heat
• Free cooling is provided from a ground loop system
• Advanced phase change material stores free cooling potential
• A glycol free cooling system reduces waste and improves efficiency
• Demand controlled kitchen ventilation with heat recovery is used
• A plethora of new energy and comfort control techniques is used
• Air quality is enhanced and monitored by active VOC meters
In addition to the new methods used, the building is a zero pollution, zero fossil fuel building that includes best practice techniques in water conservation and biodiversity. It’s also BREEAM Excellent certified for its approach to holistic sustainability.
The research work has resulted in significant insights into the design of future office buildings and BDP engineers have already implemented further refinements of the techniques within future projects.
BDP Lighting was involved with concept and detailed design for both the shell and core for both office blocks, as well as the fit-out of the main front of house areas of the ESB headquarters. The key aims for the lighting design was to create a welcoming environment that supports the identity of ESB and creates a desirable setting for the speculative offices. A neutral palette of lighting that enhances the architectural features has been utilised for the speculative block. A solution, tailor-made for ESB, was employed in the other.
In ESB HQ, the open plan offices are visually broken up by decorative elements creating a distinct atmosphere for collaborative working areas, individual working pods and break-out spaces, distinguishing them from the offices. Different lit environments provide the employees with the opportunity to pick and choose a work setting that would suit their individual needs at any given time, from the calm muted atmosphere of the pods to the invigorating ambience provided by attractive pendants. Care was taken to ensure that though there is a large variation in the lit environments, performance is never compromised.
The office blocks are enriched by open landscaped courtyards. By making the landscape more visible through feature lighting, a connection with the nearby Georgian squares is created that makes the new development blend seamlessly in its environment.
Architect: Grafton Architects & O’Mahony Pike Architects
Fire: Michael Slattery & Associates
Landscape: Bernard Seymour Landscape Architects
Ecology: Scott Cawley Ltd.
Façade: Buro Happold
Assigned Certifier: I3PT
Planning Consultant: Tom Philips & Associates
Access Consultant: Maurice Johnson & Partners
Main contractor: PJ Hegarty & Sons
Mechanical: Leo Lynch
Electrical: Designer Group
AV: Hamilton Robson
Catering: QA design
Main contractor: Walls
Mechanical: Jones Engineering Group
Electrical: Jones Engineering Group
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine