The Monasterboice Inn has extended its premises by 25% while simultaneously reducing energy costs with support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The inn is located north of Drogheda on the main Dublin-Belfast route and has constructed a new conference centre extension as well as upgrading the energy efficiency of their premises using SEAI’s EXEED (Excellence in Energy Efficient Design) certification programme.
The upgrade of the Monasterboice Inn was led by the owner Roseanne Donegan and general manager Karl Murphy. While planning the new conference centre, they realised that the stream running through the site would need to be re-piped. Heating company Eurotech recommended the inn's operators use a design-led approach to improving energy performance.
Commenting on why they chose to follow Eurotech's advise and enlist the aid of an EXCEED consultant, Donegan said, “The biggest problem with climate change, is that everybody thinks somebody else is going to solve it. We all need to live and do business responsibly. If everybody does something, no matter how small, it will encourage others to do likewise and then maybe tipping point could be avoided. Certainly, at this point, doing nothing is not an option. It also makes commercial sense.”
The new conference centre was designed to maximise natural daylight and provide an attractive bright space. Lux level, light sensor-controlled Smart lighting, which uses less energy, has also been installed in the conference rooms and car parks.
Meanwhile, old gas boilers were replaced with heat pumps, which provide heating and cooling to the building, and take moisture from the atmosphere and convert it to heat using very little electricity.
Speaking about future plans for improving energy performance, Donegan asserted, “We have seen the results of a design-led approach and want to continue improving the energy performance and environmental credentials of our building. We have plans to build rooms in the same eco-friendly fashion taking account of building orientation and natural sources of power, right down to the lights being fitted to the correct lux level. All of our refrigeration units in the kitchen and the bar will be cooled from the stream in the near future.
“The customer feedback has been very positive, from an aesthetic and comfort point of view. We intend to promote the positive environmental impact of our work with customers. We will display our EXEED award, and show our energy use in real time, by way of a graph displayed in the restaurant.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.