MEP CUFFE VISITS A BACS-ENABLED BUILDING: THE GUINNESS STOREHOUSE IN DUBLIN
Ciarán Cuffe, Irish MEP from the Green party and President of EUFORES, visited the iconic Guinness Storehouse in Dublin last week to witness firsthand the benefits of building automation and controls. MEP Cuffe is the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which is a crucial element in Europe’s decarbonisation goals in the FitFor55 package. During the visit, the eu.bac member Siemens, together with their partners Rockbrook Technologies and MKF Property Services, introduced MEP Kelly to the principles of how the technical building systems in the Storehouse are managed before guiding him to the back end of the operations.
The building in which the Storehouse is located was constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant. Today it is open to the public and is the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland, having hosted over 20 million visitors since its opening in 2000. The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium and contains various interactive exhibition areas, restaurants, bars and office areas. The building has a conservation order on it, meaning any interventions changing the aesthetic of the building have to be kept to a minimum. Digital technologies, therefore, are vital to finding the necessary efficiency gains. The recently installed building automation and control system has substantially decreased energy consumption in the building, optimising user comfort and productivity. The system controls all of the HVAC and building utility systems. It was implemented using distributed automation stations to control both utilities and HVAC. All equipment is monitored, scheduled and controlled via an intuitive front end affording easy manipulation of scheduling and building control functions.
MEP Cuffe was impressed to see the achievements thus far in optimising utility use. The hosts informed him that monitoring and benchmarking have been vital, allowing the facility manager to show where the energy is consumed, and interventions would be the most cost-effective. Demand response has also played a central role by enabling the systems to adapt depending on the operational needs. As David Gormalley, the Senior Facilities Manager noted:
“There is no point of having something on, if it does need to be on, a demand-based operation is key when managing an old building.“
The tour with Mr Cuffe was topped off at the Gravity Bar, which features breathtaking views of Dublin. This space demonstrated how the building’s different uses and technical building systems can be integrated. Heating, ventilation and air handling work hand in hand to ensure efficient energy use and a comfortable environment and experience for the visitors and employees.
While the building is already on the way to achieving a 15-20% energy use reduction this year, the Storehouse owners, Diageo, are not planning to stop here and are looking for further system integration with additional submetering and the inclusion of the visitor attraction system. The Guinness Storehouse’s transformation is a part of Diageo’s journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and can serve as an example for Europe’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050. Simone Alessandri, Deputy MD-Head of Brussels office of eu.bac, said:
“We hope this visit inspired MEP Cuffe to fully unleash the potential of these cost-effective solutions as he prepares for the trialogues on the EPBD with the Council and the Commission in the coming months. eu.bac will continue to provide its expertise and best practices to the policymakers, authorities and building owners to ensure the EU meets its ambitious goals.”