Energy Case Studies > Armagh


    For over two hundred years the undulating parkland of the Palace Demesne has been one of the glories of Armagh. The Demesne, comprising some 300 acres, is the creation of Archbishop Richard Robinson.

    Within the Palace Demesne stands the Archbishop’s Palace, a grand building constructed as a large two-storey house, 7 bays wide by 4 bays deep, to designs by Thomas Cooley for Archbishop Richard Robinson. An additional floor was later added by Francis Johnston for Archbishop John George de la Poer Beresford.

    It is currently the home of Armagh Council but was, from 1770 until the 1970’s the home of the Archbishops of Armagh. Armagh is a very important Christian centre and the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland. Now home to Armagh City and District Council, the Palace demesne is also home to restored 18th century stables. In the old stables there are life-sized models depicting a party thrown by the Archbishop. There is also a tunnel from the Palace to a separate kitchen, built it is said because the Archbishop hated the smell of cooking.

    Work Completed

    In the Palace exemplar, the Energy Efficiency & Micro Generation project replaced the existing oil-fired heating system with a bio-mass boiler, burning wood pellet instead of oil, greatly decreasing the carbon emissions associated with the building heating system. The project also improved the fabric of the Palace building through improvements to the roof insulation and the installation of a proprietary draft-proofing system on the existing sliding sash windows.

    In addition the project contributed towards the installation of frameless glass shutters in the basement floor of the Palace building.

    Biomass fuel is typically wood chips or wood pellets, but it can also be other biomass material such as logs and straw bales.

    In this case the biomass boiler and associated fuel store are capable of operating on both wood pellet and wood chip to widen the potential fuel supply market which the council can avail of. The fuel is normally delivered from a dedicated fuel supplier. The new biomass installation in this case has the capability of accepting delivery of wood pellet via flexible hose from a blower tanker and will also have high level access doors for the delivery of wood-chip via a tipper trailer and belt conveyor system.

    In relation to fuel storage, wood-pellet fuel requires 3 times the storage space compared to oil and wood-chip fuel requires over 10 times the physical space compared to oil when considering the amount of space required to store your fuel.

    Due to space constraints within the Palace building, the biomass plant is located in the adjacent dog-pound building which is currently being refurbished to be used as an educational centre. Through these heating system and fabric upgrades, this exemplar building will demonstrate the carbon reductions achievable through the conversion from fossil fuel to bio-mass fuel. The installation of draft-proofing to windows, coupled with the installation of additional roof insulation will decrease air infiltration levels and increase levels of heat retention, thus improving the internal comfort levels for occupants of the Palace building.

    Another feature of the exemplar buildings is a visitor experience display screen in the building foyer which, through the monitoring of the building’s energy meters, allows visitors to see a real-time display of the building’s energy performance, comparing live data with historical energy consumption and carbon emissions data.

    As part of the Energy Efficiency and Micro-Generation Project works it is anticipated that a target of 16% reduction in energy consumption and 39% reduction in carbon emissions will be achieved.

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