This category is an opportunity to showcase your unique low carbon approach to building design and construction.

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About the Award

This award celebrates sustainable and low carbon buildings that have demonstrated best practice in design, construction or operation. Applications are welcome from new build or substantial retrofit projects, in residential or non-residential settings. Projects must be complete and buildings occupied.

Who should apply?

Applications are welcome from new build or substantial retrofit projects, in residential or non-residential settings.

Previous project finalists under this category include:

Tipperary Energy Agency

This project was managed by Tipperary Energy Agency for Lahinch Leisure Centre which was constructed in 1950. At the beginning of the project, the centre was experiencing high operational costs and declining memberships. This meant the facility was looking at the prospect of closure. In upgrading the leisure centre, the goal was to create a sustainable solution focusing on energy efficiency and renewable systems, and to serve the local region with a lasting impact.   

The building fabric has been updated and the centre now benefits from a 100% renewable energy system with the installation of a ground source heat pump, biomass boiler, and solar PV array. The energy efficiency upgrade works will achieve a 56% reduction in running costs and a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions. The upgrade of the leisure centre to an A rating BER has boosted the local community.  The project has generated local and national interest and shows that it is possible to deep retrofit existing leisure facilities.  

BDP (Sustainability Designer) + ESB 

This project, delivered by BDP for ESB, is a set of two next generation office buildings which showcases sustainable design. Air quality and interaction with the natural environment are  high priority along with occupier comfort. These buildings use a wealth of pioneering environmental techniques for modern offices, such as domestic hot water recovered from waste heat,  rain-water and groundwater recovery and ground loops for free cooling and heating.  The use of a unique hybrid ventilation strategy provides the best of both natural ventilation and mechanical systems to control the internal environment. It offers staff local control and a connection with the external environment. ESB and BDP are committed to freely sharing the techniques used. This is an important research project which demonstrates many new techniques vital for building future low energy offices.  

Carson & Crushell Architects / Jeremy Walsh Project Management

Carson & Crushell Architects / Jeremy Walsh Project Management worked on this impressive office renovation in Tralee, Co. Kerry. The Gas Terrace project involved the renovation of a late 19th-Century terraced house. The goal was to shift the building from dependency on fossil fuels (as embodied in its street name) to one powered by renewables. The project transformed the building into a state-of-the-art high performance office building. The result was a B1 rated building with an air tightness of 0.8 ACH. The measured performance is testament to the fact that the building simply works, with energy consumption reduced by 88%.  

Wren Urban Nest 

Wren Urban Nest is a 137-bed hotel in the Temple Bar district of Dublin. Sustainability and going beyond best practice were key drivers for this project.  It is the first hotel in Ireland to meet the operational net zero carbon definition as defined by the World Green Building Council. WGBC. 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. As a result, the hotel’s kitchen has no reliance on gas. The building is one of a handful of BER A -rated hotels in the country. It sources 40% of its energy from renewable resources which is four times the current NZEB requirement. The result is a luxury hotel that has a very low carbon footprint.  

Lidl Ireland

Lidl Regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, is a benchmark for future Lidl distribution centres across Europe. It is home to one of Ireland’s largest rooftop PV arrays. The system incorporates over 4,000 panels and provides 25% of the buildings annual electrical requirements. A heat recovery system also provides underfloor heating. Natural light has been maximised and a rainwater harvesting system accumulates 1million litres of water annually. Biodiversity measures on the site include the planting of wildflower meadows and native Irish woodland, as well as the installation of beehive, bird and bat boxes and an insect hotel.

University College Cork/Tyndall National Institute

The University College Cork/Tyndall National Institute upgraded a protected structure constructed in 1903 to a high energy performance building. An example of an early industrial building in Cork, a full Energy Efficient Design process started at concept design stage. The goal was to promote core values of wellness, sustainability and encouraging scientific interaction. Smart building technology was a key component of the design and smart sensors were used in the lighting along with demand control on heat, light, power and ventilation. The building achieved an A rating without the use of renewables.

Wexford County Council – College View Deep Retrofit

Wexford County Council undertook a significant upgrade of housing constructed in the 1970’s. These houses started with BER ratings of F and G. Following the renovations, all homes have been upgraded to A1, A2 and A3 BER ratings. Tenants report high satisfaction levels on the transformation of their homes both functionally and aesthetically. The College View project has been used as an exemplar case study in many industry conferences, public sector events and local authority housing presentations.

It's fantastic to have won the award for Energy in Buildings. It's a true recognition of all the efforts that we've put in to working to date in terms of green campus sustainability, ISO50001, an energy efficient design and the challenges that we set ourselves, our design teams and our contractors to deliver on those.
Tim Cronin, University College Cork, Tyndall National Institute

Application guidelines

  1. Please submit your application online by 5pm Friday 7th July.
  2. You are eligible to apply under more than one category. Simply follow the online guidelines and copy and paste your application to a new category and amend your answers as appropriate.
  3. Please ensure all mandatory fields are completed before you hit submit.
  4. Please complete the 'Data' section to the best of your ability.
  5. Once you submit, you can still edit your application up to the deadline date.
  6. Please keep attachments to 5MB or less.
  7. Shortlisted applications will be announced in August.
Apply now    Top tips for an award winning application