Ards Friary in Creeslough, Co. Donegal needed extensive renovation to make it more comfortable and economical to operate. The aim was also to move towards greater self-sufficiency.
404kkWh of annual energy savings
|Annual energy (kWh)||Annual costs (€)||Annual CO2 (kg)|
|Savings||404,706 (44% saving)||43,164 (49% saving)||1,028,716 (90% saving)|
The 3,500 sq.m building includes a church and associated areas, 50 bedrooms, several common rooms, a laundry, workshops and catering facilities.
Prior to this project, the building heating requirements were met by two 300 kW boilers, while a smaller 176 kW boiler was used for summer domestic hot water generation. These have now been replaced by a lead 250 kW biomass boiler, fuelled by timber sourced and chipped on the estate, and supported by a 250 kW LPG condensing boiler for standby and top up. The biomass boiler is configured to burn wood with moisture contents of between 30% and 50%, and has a rated operational efficiency of 92% at full load.
The condensing LPG boiler has a certified seasonal efficiency of 94%, and low NOx emissions easily meeting current BREEAM requirements. Wood fuel handling is via a 100 cubic-metre wood fuel storage compound, incorporating a roller shutter door to allow the tipping of wood chip into the bunker.
The energy performance of the building has been improved by replacing 85 metal-framed, single-glazed windows with PVC units with a maximum U value of 1.8 W/sq-mK. The ground floor has been split into strategic zones, allowing space heating to be delivered only when and where required. In addition, energy metering has been installed and connected to a new central building energy management system.
Electricity demand has been reduced by replacing a 10 kW electric clothes drier with an LPG drier.
“The project has made this special building more comfortable, inviting and economical.”
“Energy use has been approached holistically by addressing the building fabric, heat generation and electrical installations.”
Finance and funding
Financial support: €143,558 (35% grant from SEAI)
Capital cost: €410,167
Payback time: 9.2 years
Savings verification: Retrofit isolation – key parameter
Ards Friary Retreat and Conference Centre