Saturday 25 May 2019

Waste heat from the Guinness brewery to power new hospital

Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Olivia Evans (3) from South Circular Road, Dublin, with a model of the new National Children’s Hospital
Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Olivia Evans (3) from South Circular Road, Dublin, with a model of the new National Children’s Hospital
An artist’s impression of the entrance to the new National Children’s Hospital.
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Waste heat produced by the Guinness brewery could be used to help power the new National Children's Hospital.

A feasibility study is due to begin shortly on whether excess heat produced by St James's Gate could be recycled and used to heat the €650m hospital, helping to reduce costs, the Irish Independent has learned.

And the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has also urged planners to reduce development levies imposed to pay for essential services to a bare minimum.

In a submission to An Bord Pleanála, it said that the hospital would be a "community facility", and that there "may be opportunity" to reduce the amount payable, which should be "closely examined".

A 10-year planning permission has been sought for the €650m facility on the St James's Hospital campus in Dublin, which will cater for almost 75,000 patients a year as well as providing research facilities and accommodation for families.

Two satellite centres at Tallaght and Blanchardstown hospitals are also proposed, each of which would provide care for almost 25,000 patients.

Hospital planners have confirmed that the building will be among the most environmentally friendly constructed, with architects aiming for an 'A3' energy rating.

Not only are they exploring pumping hot water or steam from the Guinness brewery to the new hospital, they are also working closely with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to ensure the most efficient heating systems are installed.

The application comes after An Bord Pleanála previously refused permission for the facility at the Mater Hospital site in Dublin.

The NPHDB, established in 2007, has held more than 50 meeting with stakeholders, including local authorities, Irish Water, the National Transport Authority and local residents, and says the proposal will be the largest healthcare project ever undertaken in Ireland.

"The proposed children's hospital is arguably one of the most important public infrastructure projects to be brought forward in the last 50 years," it says.

"Such will be its scale and nature that its positive medical, educational, research and wider economic impacts will be of regional, national and, perhaps, international importance."

It says that some 3,000 jobs will be created if the proposal is approved, with an additional 2,000 during construction and commissioning. It has also agreed to create 68 apprenticeships for local workers.

The hospital includes a helipad on the campus.

A decision is expected early next year, after which construction work would begin.

Some 23 buildings will be demolished and a two-level underground car park constructed. There will be 28 surface car parking spaces, and 972 in the basement, along with 400 bicycle spaces.


Planners say there will be a reduction in staff car parking spaces, down by 244 to 800, but an increase in spaces for patients and their families, which will rise to 1,131 from 467 at present.

Overall, some 420 additional spaces will be provided. Parking charges for staff members will be introduced from 2016 and only registered cars will be able to use spaces.

As many as 150 heavy goods vehicles will leave the site at the peak of construction with demolition waste.

There may also be an impact for local residents when the building is completed, including some traffic queuing and "moderate losses of daylight" to homes.

Irish Independent

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