The County Hall campus consists of a 17-storey office block, six-storey extension and library, located on Carrigrohane Road in Cork City. The building was built in 1968 and a redevelopment project began in 2002 where the original distinctive concrete façade was replaced with a louvered glass cladding and a six-storey extension at ground level was completed in June 2006 along with a new top storey glazed pavilion, containing a restaurant offering panoramic views of the city and environs. The library building is the headquarters of a twenty two branch county wide network of local libraries and provides administrative offices and a large book processing facility for Cork. County Hall accounts for 19% of the total energy usage in building stock and thus was the subject of a targeted campaign of energy reduction culminating in a 33.5% energy reduction being achieved in December 2014 (based on a 2009 baseline year), 5 years ahead of the public sector 2020 target. The project began in earnest in mid 2012 following signature of a partnership agreement with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and in December 2014 a 33.5% reduction was reached.
As part of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), the public sector has been challenged to reach verifiable energy-efficiency savings of 33% by 2020. The building uses energy primarily for heating, cooling, computer equipment, air conditioning equipment and lighting. The primary objective as highlighted above was a 33% energy reduction compared to a baseline year of 2009. This was achieved through a combination of technology improvements and building user participation.
The project is being managed by the facilities section of Cork County Council in collaboration with the energy section and backed by Cork County Council’s Energy Management Team.
The Impact of the project has been a 33.5% reduction in energy use across the County Hall Campus, whilst maintaining the comfort levels of all building users. That ‘spill-over’ impact has been an increased awareness of energy issues amongst building users through a tailored campaign highlighting the energy saving actions. The reduction was measured using the international IPMVP methodology and verified using calibrated quarter–hour utility meters. The table below shows a snapshot of the headline savings:
These savings were as a result of 12 individual technical projects undertaken in the campus across a 30 month period, coupled with an in-house communication campaign.
This project was largely self-financing in that as continual savings were being realized more capital was then available to fund further projects. In some cases the changes made were around energy management of the building and user behavior however, small capital projects were also undertaken.
Some EU funding was also made available to the project through an INTERREG IVC project entitled SERPENTE, which ran for 3 years and was successfully completed in December 2014.
As Signatories of the EU Covenant of Mayors Initiative, Cork County Council have set an emissions reduction target of 21% to 2020 and as previously outlines the authority is also working to a 33% energy reduction target to 2020 as per national legislation for the public sector. This project is a flagship in relation to Cork County Council realizing our ambitious targets by 2020.