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  • Northside West

Ballymun boiler house reborn

Friday, 19th May, 2017 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Ballymun boiler house reborn

Ruby Keeley, Alisha Keeley, Sophie Cassin and Katelyn Kelly from Holy Spirit GNS, with Minister Denis Naughten PHOTO: CHRIS BELLEW

Ballymun boiler house reborn

Ruby Keeley, Alisha Keeley, Sophie Cassin and Katelyn Kelly from Holy Spirit GNS, with Minister Denis Naughten PHOTO: CHRIS BELLEW

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THE iconic boiler house in Ballymun was officially opened as Europe’s first purpose built ‘3D Textbook’ building last week.

The Boiler House, which was primarily used to provide drinking water, hot water and heating to the people of Ballymun up until 2011, has been subject to a major green revamp and is now home to a cutting edge environmental project.

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 following a successful grant application from Dublin City Council and the Rediscovery Centre.

The building now has many features designed to conserve precious resources and demonstrate the latest research with regard to environmental sustainability.

All systems are visible and labelled from start to finish giving the viewer an insight into the working of each process.

The repurposed Ballymun Boiler House is now the HQ of the Rediscovery Centre – and is a creative space connecting people, resources and ideas. 

It contains creative workshops, an ecostore, education, training, events space and a green cafe exemplifying reuse and sustainability.

The Centre also provides successful community training programmes for local long term unemployed and runs four social enterprises; Rediscover Fashion, Rediscover Furniture, Rediscover Paint and Rediscover Cycling.

The Rediscovery Centre also operates an active research centre and delivers an extensive education programme at all levels including interactive environmental and STEM workshops.

Representing the Lord Mayor office, Cllr Aine Clancy (Lab) recalled how the iconic building in the heart of Ballymun had served the people of Ballymun since the ‘60s.

“Not too long ago it was due for demolition, but now it will continue to serve the people of Ballymun and the wider community for years to come and will serve as a shining example of sustainability in Europe,“ she added.

CEO of Rediscovery Centre, Dr Sarah Miller, said everybody involved was “very proud” of the project which she said demonstrates innovative reuse and is an exemplary model of sustainability practice for Europe.

“We are delighted that the launch coincides with the anniversary of the EU’s LIFE+ Programme which has been supporting nature, environment and climate action for over 25 years,” she added.

The building was officially opened by Minister for Environment, Denis Naughten, who described it as “an engine-room for social innovation and change”.

“It’s a perfect example of how a building, once consigned to the wrecking ball, can be turned into a beacon for sustainable development. Not only has a new use been found for an old building, but a use that encompasses the very ideals of what the project stands for, RETHINK, REUSE, and REMAKE.

“By training and up skilling local people for the modern economy, the Centre is helping people rediscover not just the value in the materials they are refurbishing and reusing but rediscovering their own value as contributors to our community and economy.”

Earlier this year the project was awarded The Green Construction Award of 2017 at the National Green Awards.


Ruby Kelly from Holy Spirit Girls’ National School beside the Waste Matrix at the opening of the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun.          PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

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