23 November, 2012 - Department of Education and Skills wins 2012 SEAI Energy Sustainability in the Built Environment Award

Cholaiste Choilm, Tipperary Small 2The Department of Education and Skills has won the Energy Sustainability in the Built Environment Award for 2012 for Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore, at the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards 2012 in Dublin last night.

Now entering their 8th year, the Awards encourage, recognise and reward excellence in energy management in the industrial, commercial, community and public sectors. They focus on individuals, groups and organisations who demonstrate a commitment to including energy management as part of the overall management structure. The Awards provide public recognition for achievements in this area.

The Energy Sustainability in the Built Environment Award recognises a project which achieves significant improvements in energy performance, with performance verified over a minimum period of one year.

Congratulating the Department’s Building Unit, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., said: “This Award recognises the Department’s commitment to low energy school design, which benefits so many people.

“Schools lie at the heart of communities, and by embedding sustainable energy in school buildings, lessons can be taken from these projects and adapted for use in many other ways in cities, towns and villages right across the country.

“The Award helps to highlight this, and I would like to thank all of the people involved in the project, including the Department’s staff.”  

This is the third major national award involving this project. The Department also won the Green Building of the Year award at the Green Awards 2012 for the project, and took the top award in the competition, the Overall Green Award, for the same project and for its continued work in developing low energy sustainable schools.

Coláiste Choilm CBS is a new three-storey, low energy, sustainable, 550 student post-primary school which replaces an older and smaller single-storey school. Over 21 different sustainable design aspects were reviewed and incorporated, where appropriate, into the project.The school is involved in the Green Schools Programme and won its third Green Flag this year, under the leadership of Principal Colin Roddy.

The project brief was developed by the Department's Technical Team comprising John Dolan, Senior Engineer and Energy Programme Co-coordinator, Frank Lewis, Senior Architect, and Shay O'Malley, Quantity Surveyor, in conjunction with the project design team. 

The intent with the project was that all new sustainable design approaches and technologies would be tested and the positive outcomes incorporated into the Department’s Technical Guidance Documents (TGD) for future post-primary schools. The Department has a strong record in this area and all schools built in accordance with the TGD are capable of achieving an A3 Building Energy Rating.

The design team for the project comprised Coady Partnership Architects, Building Design Partnership, Building Services Engineers, Nicholas O Dwyer, Civil/ Structural Engineers, MJ Turley, Quantity Surveyors and OLM Consultancy, PSDP Consultant. The building contractor was John Sisk & Son. 

The Department is at the forefront of sustainable energy design and efficiency in school buildings. This has been recognised at both national and international level, with the Department winning sustainable energy awards for excellence in Design and Specification. Further details on low energy awareness and sustainable design in schools is available at www.energyineducation.ie


Photographs of Coláiste Choilm can be used to accompany articles on this Award once they are credited to the photographer, Donal Murphy, www.donalmurphyphoto.com.