Monday 22 April 2019

Rising from ashes of Anglo: Central Bank HQ will be 'greenest office in the State'

The Central Bank's new HQ under construction on North Wall Quay. Photo: Damien Eagers
The Central Bank's new HQ under construction on North Wall Quay. Photo: Damien Eagers
Pete Shiel, construction programme manager points to a feature inside the Central Bank’s new HQ on North Wall Quay Photo: Damien Eagers
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Tackling emissions from office blocks involves more than turning off the lights at nighttime.

The Central Bank's new seven-storey HQ on Dublin's North Wall Quay will be among the most environmentally friendly buildings in the State, and will be cheaper to run than comparable structures.

Low-water use fittings throughout including taps, toilets and showers are standard, and rainwater will be used to irrigate plants.

A 'veil' or 'mesh' fitted to the building's facade reduces solar glare and prevents the build-up of heat. Mixed-mode ventilation will 'suck in' fresh air which reduces costs, and it will use 40pc less power than a comparable building.

Director of currency and facilities management Paul Molumby says the new HQ - which was to be the home of Anglo Irish Bank - is designed with sustainability in mind.

"From an architectural point of view, we felt we wanted to make a contribution to Dublin's skyline as well," he said.

Home to 1,500 staff, the building is rated A2 and is the first office block in the country to achieve the prestigious BREEAM 'Outstanding' rating. This is based on energy standards, provision of bicycle stands (there are 300, which can be doubled), use of water, indoor air quality and lighting, amongst other criteria. "We wanted this to be a 'place to be' - a working environment we would be proud of," Mr Molumby said. Work on identifying a new HQ started in 2011. The Anglo site cost €8.1m. The cost of moving to the new HQ will total €140m.

Use of mobile devices, thereby cutting down on printing and reducing paper use; laptops with lower power usage; and sit-stand desks are also standard.

Some 87pc of staff use public transport, walk or cycle. There are fewer than 100 car parking spaces, some of which are reserved for electric vehicles.

"We take a long-term view. It made sound financial business sense to achieve these targets," Mr Molumby added.

Irish Independent

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