O’Connell Street – Sustainability programme update January 2024

Sarah Corcoran

Blog Writer


Nestled at 65-66 Upper O’Connell Street, this historic building, originally comprising two townhouses constructed between 1740-1760, underwent a transformative phase in 1860-1863 under The Standard Life Assurance Company. This intervention resulted in the adoption of the neo-Classical style, solidifying its place as a cornerstone of Ireland’s architectural heritage. Over the years, it housed the National Irish Bank and currently serves as the flagship store for Carrolls Irish Gifts on the ground floor, with the upper floors providing flexible office space for approximately 50-60 people.

Ownership since 2013 has seen meticulous preservation of its architectural heritage, retaining original craftsmanship and quality. This 280-year-old building stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of well-constructed structures, showcasing sustainable architecture that accommodates changing social and economic needs.

Sustainable Initiatives – Initial & Ongoing Restoration

The commitment to sustainability during restoration (initiated in 2014/2015) is evident in several key initiatives:

  • Upgrading the heating system to energy-efficient Suki electric heaters with timers.
  • Enhancing thermal envelope efficiency through extensive facade restoration.
  • Converting all lighting to low-energy LED.
  • Installing water-saving taps and dual-flush systems in bathrooms.
  • Upgrading original windows to double glaze while retaining original Sash features.
  • Insulating floor and roof spaces.
  • Salvaging and carefully restoring original stone, timber, and tiled floors.
  • Day-to-Day Sustainable Initiatives: Ongoing sustainable practices include:
  • Provision of separate bins for recyclable, organic, and general waste.
  • Use of recyclable paper cups for tea/coffee.
  • Utilization of a hot water burko for constant water heating, reducing the need for kettles.
  • Shower facilities to encourage cycling to work, with plans for an additional shower in 2024.

Planned Sustainable Initiatives for 2024

Anticipated initiatives include:

  • Installation of solar panels on the roof facade to generate electricity for heating water and daily energy requirements.
  • Installation of chimney hoods to improve building ventilation and air circulation.
  • Elimination of disposable cups

Historic Buildings - Climate Friendly

Historic buildings inherently embrace climate-friendly features, incorporating passive design techniques for optimal solar orientation, natural light utilization, dense masonry envelopes, and classical window sizing. The reuse of materials in historic site work significantly reduces emissions compared to new construction, contributing to a low environmental impact.

65-66 Upper O'Connell Street - Refurbishment for Sustainability

The ongoing comprehensive refurbishment aims to enhance original features while reducing CO2 emissions associated with operation and use, aligning with sustainability goals and minimizing environmental impact.

Building Management - Sustainable Initiatives

Building management actively promotes waste recycling (electrical, batteries, paper/packaging) and provides members with a handbook outlining sustainable practices. Waste segregation is facilitated on-site in kitchens/offices.

Other Sustainable Attributes

65-66 Upper O’Connell Street benefits from a central location with various sustainable transport options nearby, including walking, biking, buses, LUAS, and trains. Additionally, an onsite electric bike scheme in partnership with Bleeper Bikes and cycling-friendly facilities like showers, lockers, and bike storage contribute to the building’s overall sustainability.

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