CIF Project Feature: Europe’s first ‘3D Textbook’ building opens in Ballymun

01 Jun 2017

Purcell Construction delivers Europe’s first purpose built ‘3D Textbook’ Building.

Europe’s first purpose built ‘3D Textbook’ Building was officially opened by Minister Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, at The Rediscovery Centre, Boiler House, Ballymun Road, Dublin on 11th May.

A 3DT Textbook is an Architectural concept for educational space design. The concept moves away from the traditional classroom structure to create experiential learning, which brings together the educational value from the built natural and cultural environment.

The original boiler house, which served the residents of the old Ballymun Flats for many years, has undergone a major green revamp thanks to a successful application from Dublin City Council and The Rediscovery Centre to the EU’s LIFE+ Programme.

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

Key features of the building include the Building Management System which has over 500 data points monitoring the building’s operation. 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 new 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 green cafe exemplifying reuse & sustainability.

“The Rediscovery Centre is very proud of this project, which 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,” said Dr Sarah Miller, CEO, Rediscovery Centre.

The Centre provides successful community training programmes for local long term unemployed people and those distanced from the workplace 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 and has become a leading example in the field of innovative efficiency and waste prevention.

Speaking at the opening Minister Naughten said: “This project is 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.”

Earlier this year the project was awarded The Green Construction Award of 2017 at the National Green Awards. Sponsored by Ecocem, the Green Construction Award recognises sustainable development through innovative construction methods, sustainable use of resources and a design that prioritises the needs of the wider environment and society.

The project has been funded by the EU LIFE+ Programme under the WISER Project (Working with Industrial Spaces to Exemplify Reuse), The Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, The Department of Housing Planning, Community and local Government, Dublin City Council and the Rediscovery Centre. Working with the WISER project team, ABK Architects were responsible for the design and Purcell Construction completed the construction.

Construction Director on the project, Nigel Tighe has said Purcell Construction are proud to be involved in such a successful, award winning project. “The project was a learning curve with working with materials which would not traditionally be used in the construction indsutry such as hempcrete and sheepswool insulation. It was an excellent collaboration process between Purcell, ABK and the client.”

For more on this project see the upcoming issue of Construction Magazine.

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