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  • Northside West

Sod turned on Boiler House project

Monday, 21st March, 2016 8:00am
Sod turned on Boiler House project

Eco Designer and Programme Manager of Rediscover Fashion, Carrie Ann Moran, outside Ballymun Boiler House. PHOTO: JASON CLARKE

Sod turned on Boiler House project

Eco Designer and Programme Manager of Rediscover Fashion, Carrie Ann Moran, outside Ballymun Boiler House. PHOTO: JASON CLARKE

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DUBLIN City Council has begun work on transforming the decommissioned Ballymun Boiler House into an excellence centre for sustainable development and reusability.

The Boiler House, which was primarily used to provide drinking water, hot water and heating to the people of Ballymun up until 2011, will now be repurposed and rebuilt into Europe’s first 3-D textbook building.

It’s all part of the WISER (working with industrial spaces to exemplify reuse) Project, and it’s been funded with the help of €3.6 million from the EU LIFE+ Programme.

The boiler house, with its distinctive red and white striped chimney, was originally built in the ‘60s to provide water and heating to the 36 flat blocks and some associated public buildings in the area.

Decommissioned in 2010 it was due to be demolished as part of the local regeneration project.

However, local recycling group, the Rediscovery Centre, recognised the environmental, economic and social benefits the building could have in the new Ballymun and began a successful campaign to save it.

CEO of The Rediscovery Centre, Sarah Miller, believes that the Boiler House’s transformation into an excellence centre for sustainable development will complement the centre’s ongoing research into reusability.

“Now that the project is underway, the Rediscovery Centre is one step closer to realising its vision for an experiential education centre,” Miller said at the project’s launch.

“Using the rich resources provided by the building, natural and cultural environment as teaching tools, it is the most effective way to learn about sustainability and complements our ongoing research and reuse social enterprise activity.”

Commenting on the Boiler House Project, Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council said: “This is great news for Ballymun, a major step forward for the community and a welcome boost for the local economy. 

“This iconic industrial building, which has served the people of Ballymun since its construction in the mid 1960s, and was due for demolition, is now being given a new lease of life. 

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis, said the project would be “a great asset for Ballymun” while party colleague, local councillor, Noeleen Reilly (SF), turned the sod for the new building. 

“The opportunity presented by this project, in establishing an innovative environmental centre in the old Ballymun Boiler House, is not only a welcome addition to the local area but will serve a shining example of sustainability for Europe,” said Cllr Reilly.

“The expansion of the Rediscovery Centre’s services is to be applauded. Last year 96 per cent of all trainees graduating from the centre progressed into employment or full time education. This is an impressive outcome by any standards.”

As a famous local landmark, the Boiler House has been the subject of many artistic projects over the years, including Andrew Kearney’s memorable ‘Illumination of the Boiler House’ in 2002.

Kearney’s project ran for two years and heralded the beginning of ‘Breaking Grounds’ commissions, an innovative project that brought numerous art installations to Ballymun.

Now the Boiler House WISER Project will look to create an educational space and innovative experience that will serve both the local community as well as visitors from across the city, the country and abroad.

The project will look to challenge conventional thinking about how we live and recycle, and will also look to inspire positive behavioural change and highlight how resources can be used wisely to achieve a more sustainable society.

Not only will the centre look to promote clean living and an environmentally conscious lifestyle, but the actual building itself will be constructed using recycled materials such as the original concrete, steel and louvers from the Boiler House .

The iconic chimney will be incorporated into the design for the new building.

ABK Architects, who have considerable experience in sustainable development, were awarded the design contract while Galway based Purcell Construction were awarded the construction contract.

Jack O'Toole


Pictured at the turning of the sod are Sarah Miller, CEO The Rediscovery Centre, Chief Executive Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, Acting Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Noleen Reilly (SF), Ciaran Murray Chairman, The Rediscovery Centre and Helen McNamara, SEO Dublin City Council A concept of how the new building could look

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