Energy Case Studies > North Down
The Town Hall, also known as Bangor Castle, is a fine Victorian Jaco-bethan style mansion house, built over 5 years to completion in 1852 by the Ward Family, to replace an earlier castle on an adjacent site. The building is situated on a hill overlooking both the town and the sea, has an attached stable block, and is situated in what was a large demesne, much of which is now used as a public park, yet is easily accessible from the town centre.
The mansion house moved into public ownership, becoming the Town Hall in 1952, and although adapted for this use survives largely intact, with much of the original fabric retained. Extensive but sympathetic renovations to the honey coloured Ayrshire sandstone took place in 2000 and the Council continues to balance the care of the building with the pressures of delivering a modern service to the public from this listed building.
The Town Hall continues to deliver the Council’s administrative functions and is the base for around 120 staff, which together with the need to provide modern standards of access, accommodation and modern IT installations provides a challenge.
The main mansion house is used as the Council’s civic and administrative centre providing a stunning backdrop to civic events, weddings and many public events throughout the year as well as being the point of contact between the public and the Council.
The attached stable block houses the North Down Museum, and a restaurant. Both facilities draw a considerable number of the public into the building.
The mansion house, or Bangor Castle, remains a landmark building on the main approach to the town centre, and with is use as a venue for many varied events, is an integral part of the town, the borough and its people.
A primary objective of the Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation Project was to demonstrate the most effective energy upgrade measures suited to listed buildings. The Bangor Castle exemplar works were carefully considered to reduce the high levels of energy consumption, as would be expected with a building of its age, whilst remaining sympathetic to the buildings character.
As a prominent landmark in the town, Bangor Castle is floodlit at night, signifying the Castle’s commanding position overlooking the town. The installation of solar photovoltaic panels on south facing roofs of ancillary buildings to the rear, will allow Bangor Castle to generate green electricity during the day, which will then be stored in a battery storage bank, and used to power the floodlights at night. Existing high wattage sodium floodlights have also been replaced with energy efficient induction floodlights.
Another area of high energy consumption was the building’s heating system. An additional upgrade included utilizing the natural gas supply in the town to convert the Castle’s heating system from heating oil to natural gas. These proposed works also involved the replacement of the existing oil boilers with modern condensing gas boilers. This upgrade will significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions attributed to the building space heating.
To combat the high levels of air infiltration associated with the Castle’s original single glazed sliding sash windows, the exemplar works incorporated the installation of a proprietary draft-proofing system which will reduce air infiltration and improve heat retention within the 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 19% reduction in energy consumption and 14% reduction in carbon emissions will be achieved.
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