Monday, April 09, 2012

Central Bank of Ireland gets a G for energy efficiency

Saw something interesting at the Central Bank of Ireland building on Mayor Street in Spencer Dock:


See those two framed documents on the right just inside? One is the Government-required energy efficiency certificate of the building. And what's the rating?


G! The worst possible rating. Hence the thick red band. This is about as close as you can get to burning money, with the amount of heat that must be escaping from the building, as well as everything else that is being wasted given such a dismal overall level of energy efficiency. And it's not as if this is an ancient building in need of a retrofit, it was completed in 2008 and the Central Bank moved there in early 2009.

Spencer Dock, which includes the new Dublin Convention Centre, is in Dublin's north inner city, just off North Wall Quay. It's a very recently and somewhat controversially developed area, originally featuring the involvement of Treasury Holdings, Harry Crosbie and Liam O'Carroll and more recently NAMA, and is the home of both the large, plush offices of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the half-built hulk of an empty-sided office block, formerly slated to become the headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank.

I happened to walk past the building in late February and spotted the energy cert. Looking online to discover when it was built and occupied, the Central Bank's Annual Reports from 2008 and 2009 indicate that in July 2008 the Central Bank entered into a 25 year "non-cancellable operating lease" at an annual rent of €2.3 million. A tidy sum there, and locked in for 25 years well after the Irish property bubble started to burst in summer 2007 but just a few months before the financial crisis really hit in September 2008. The 2008 Report states that the premises were "ready for occupation by 183 staff" at the end of 2008 (I suspect a slightly different interpretation of 'Occupation' than that undertaken by Occupy Dame Street, Occupy Cork, Occupy Belfast or the workers of Vita Cortex, La Senza and GAME) but the Central Bank didn't move in until sometime in 2009.


The Spencer Dock location houses the Central Bank's Human Resources division, and from the looks of its website also its Internal Audit division, Statistics and the Insurance Supervision Directorate. This is one of four buildings used by the Central Bank in Dublin city centre, the others being its headquarters on Dame Street (scene of a protest you may recall from a couple of other posts), nearby numbers 6-8 on College Green, and a building in Iveagh Court. Its Annual Report also mentions moving into new premises at 9 College Green during 2009. In addition, the Central Bank has the currency centre in Sandyford in south Dublin, protected by the Irish Defence Forces at a cost of €2 million.

Interestingly, while looking for these dates I happened across mention of the planned carbon-neutrality of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers building next door at One Spencer Dock, built at the same time, while the Dublin Convention Centre touts itself as the "world's first carbon neutral convention centre." Someone should look into the rigour of these claims, but they're valuable even as a comparison of contemporary alternative norms and of practical efforts being made very nearby. Meanwhile our Central Bank of Ireland displays its G certificate. Definitely a fail.


Click on the photos above to go to much larger versions in my Flickr stream.


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