Louth Library

Energy Case Studies > Louth Library

    Background

    Dundalk library and Louth Library HQ are located in a converted distillery, built c. 1870. It is a fine example of 19th century industrial architecture.  Many of the original roof trusses and floor timbers were salvaged for re-use. The branch library is situated on the ground floor and reference library & County Library HQ on 1st floor. In 1987 the distillery complex was declared a Designated Area under legislation.

    Two wings were added in the mid-nineties forming an atrium at the rear of the building.

    The Library and adjacent Museum are linked with a shared pedestrian courtyard. The courtyard is landscaped using brick, stone and cast iron street furniture, in keeping with the industrial heritage of the buildings.  A new bridge was constructed over the adjacent river to give access to the library.

    The building opens to the public from 10am to 5pm, 3 days a week and late opening until 8pm 2 nights a week and employs approximately 8no. staff. The library is closed to the public on Mondays, although the building still operates for staff only.

    Inconsistent heating of the building was one concern highlighted by staff, with high levels of solar gain through the south facing atrium throughout the day, though particularly in the afternoon, and especially in the summer months. The atrium also had a negative impact on internal comfort levels in winter months with poor heat retention leading to a rapid cool-down period for the building. Large vaulted ceilings throughout the original warehouse building also led to poor heat retention in the first floor reference library.

    Works Completed

    To improve the heat retention within the building, the Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation project pumped bonded bead insulation into the cavities of the brick-built wings added when the building was converted for use as a library. The installation of cavity insulation will assist in bringing the thermal performance of the cavity walls to a level comparable with modern construction standards.

    A large number of fluorescent lighting had been previously installed throughout the building and in some parts of the first floor these were left on when not required due to intermittent occupancy patterns. Through the Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation project energy efficient T5 fluorescent lighting was installed to improve energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

    An additional upgrade included the replacement of the existing gas boiler with a modern condensing gas boiler. To compliment this boiler upgrade the project also installed more modern heating system controls, including weather compensation controls, which will operate the heating system dependant on current weather conditions. These improved heating system controls will operate the boilers only when required and improve internal comfort levels for building occupants. This upgrade will significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions attributed to the building space heating.

    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 27% reduction in energy consumption and 24% reduction in carbon emissions will be achieved.

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    Yearly Summaries