Wren Urban Nest and BDP take home the Award for 'Energy in Buildings' at this years SEAI Energy Awards 2022. Read their story to see what makes them such a deserving Winner.

Key Achievements

  • Zero

    fossil fuels used
  • 100%

    renewable energy used
  • A-rated

    hotel building


BDP (Building Design Partnership) is over 60 years old and has provided either full or partial interdisciplinary design team services for a diverse portfolio of projects, spanning all sectors and amultitude of building types.

Wren Urban Nest is a 137-bed hotel in the Temple Bar district of Dublin. The hotel nestles sensitively into its context at Andrew’s Lane. It is the first hotel in Ireland to meet the operational net zero carbon definition as defined by the WGBC, without the use of any carbon offsets.

BDP has worked with the management team at Wren Urban Nest to design a hotel building that achieves its sustainability goals.

The Project

Sustainability and going beyond best practice were key drivers for this project. The focus of the hotel's development has been on taking the most effective ‘steps’ to minimise the hotel's carbon footprint.

Sustainable building design features include:

  • No gas connection, all energy coming from renewable sources
  • The hot water, heating and cooling system is based on a combination of efficient heat pumps
  • Rejected heat is captured and used as a renewable source for hot water and heating
  • The facade thermal performance is equivalent to Passivhaus standards
  • All opaque elements ere insulated
  • Air source heat pumps and water to water heat pumps deployed
  • Low-flow rain showers
  • LED lighting
BDP feel like this is a winning entry because sustainability was a key driver for this project. The project team went well above standard practice to achieve this. The result is a luxury hotel that has a very low carbon footprint and offers a sustainable alternative to visitors to Ireland’s capital city.
Patrick Kavanagh, Engineering Associate, BDP


  • 100% of energy used on site is from renewable energy sources
  • Has achieved A-rated energy efficiency, making it one of a handful of A-rated hotels in Ireland.
  • All opaque elements were insulated to 0.15 W/m2k, the punch windows and bespoke curtain wall glazing was 1.4 W/m2k and the air tightness test result achieved was 2.39 m3/m2/hr @ 50Pa.
  • A full heat recovery air handling unit captures up to 81% of rejected heat
  • BDP also identified that hot water use was a key to the environmental strategy and set up a client demonstration showing how low-flow rain showers could be acceptable if selected correctly. The heat to this hot water is partly provided from recovered energy from buildings cooling and the result is very low water use and efficient generation of hot water
  • The embodied carbon assessment completed is showing that the embodied carbon associated with the structural frame of the building is over 50% lower when compared to a traditional hotel building
  • Wren Urban Nest is the first hotel in Ireland to meet the operational net zero carbon definition as defined by the World Green Building Council.