Bord Gáis Networks recently won a number of awards for its sustainable, contemporary workplace in Finglas built in 2011 and occupied by staff at Bord Gáis Networks in 2012. The winning building, the Networks Services Centre (NSC), combines the Dublin operations of Bord Gáis Networks in one single location on a c.5 acre site at St. Margaret’s Road, Dubber Cross, Finglas. The landmark building was designed by Denis Byrne Architects with Walls Construction as the main building contractor.
Recently, the building received a BREEAM Rating of “Excellent” and is the first office building in Ireland to achieve a post construction award of this rating under the BREEAM 2008 standard. BREEAM is the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings. This award endorses Bord Gáis Networks’ commitment to sustainable development, environmental protection and energy conservation.
The news of the BREEAM rating achievement follows three award wins for NSC. In April 2013, NSC secured the main award, the Building Category, at the Irish Concrete Society Awards, beating prestigious entries including the Giants Causeway Visitors Centre, the UCD Leisure and Sports Complex and Waterford Medieval Museum. In addition, NSC also won a special “Sustainability” award. This is not an annual award but it is given out periodically to projects that the adjudication panel believes deserve particular commendation based on the sustainable use of concrete. Finally, NSC also won “Building of the Year” at the Irish Building and Design Awards beating the Titanic Building in Belfast.
From the outset, the Design Team defined sustainability targets early on in the design process, formulating an integrated sustainable design approach. This approach combined microclimate, biodiversity and landscape, water management and use of renewable energy technologies, within a compact building featuring a low energy design concept. In terms of energy use and environmental control, the building is responsive to user needs, employing a system based on the principles of high thermal mass, natural and displacement ventilation, maximized natural daylight, and space conditioning using radiant cooling and heating supplied by a ground source heat pump and chilling device. Organized over two levels, with gardens and circulation woven to an informal fabric of internal and external spaces, the building promotes an inter-departmental multi-disciplinary approach to staff interaction and organisation.
The awards recognise the commitment of the Bord Gáis Networks Project Team, Denis Byrne Architects and Walls Construction in pursuing a vision for a sustainable building and modern working environment whilst meeting the challenges of incorporating the critical functions that are carried out in the building. As in many other responsible businesses, sustainability at Bord Gáis Networks undoubtedly supports a strategic objective, but it also enables the company to build upon the foundation of good corporate citizenship that has been part of its business culture for over thirty years. Very ambitious targets were set from the outset and through teamwork, innovative thinking and a commitment to the vision, the building is now a highly-rated, nationally-recognised example of sustainable development – and a building that staff at Bord Gáis Networks are very proud of.
Photography by Paul Tierney
Click here to visit the news section of our website and learn more about CSR in Ireland