Arboretum Kilquade Redevelopment incorporating ‘Gold standard’ Green Technology

The €4.5 million redevelopment of Arboretum Kilquade will incorporate ‘gold standard’ green technology as the successful, family-run business seeks to lead the way in sustainable garden & home retail. The renovation began in August last year and the new 2,390m2 state-of-the-art garden centre and retail facility is due to be unveiled in Spring 2024.

Fergal Doyle, Chief Commercial Officer and co-owner with his brother Barry, “A key aim for us is to future proof the facility, incorporating sustainable technology wherever possible. Resource efficiency and sustainability make sense on a commercial level but it’s also part of our ethos. We are selling green and we also want to be as green as possible.”

“We’re working with leaders in the sustainability space on this project – mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy Penston MEP and commercial energy efficiency delivery partners’ Vivid Edge – who have guided our efforts to incorporate gold standard, green technology, alongside building contractor Cascade Group and international garden centre specialist Rabensteiner.”

The new facility will feature 218 no. 435W “N-Type, Tier 1”, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof of the retail space and will generate > 90,000 kWhs per annum. In doing so, the PV system will offset Arboretum’s electrical grid imports by circa 30% each year. The electricity generated is equivalent to the electricity consumed by approximately 22 homes annually or 594 homes over the lifetime of the modules. Based on current emission factors, the system will prevent 31 tonnes of carbon emissions being released each year and is the equivalent to planting approximately 1,400 trees.

Heat pump technologies, renowned as a more sustainable means of generating heat, will provide for the underfloor heating (space heating) and water heating requirements at Arboretum Kilquade. The electrical consumption associated with the heat pump operation is in part delivered by the solar PV modules and incorporates a buffer vessel to optimise performance and minimise short cycling (i.e. equipment switching off and on repeatedly). Furthermore, the buffer vessel will allow Arboretum to generate heat reserves during off peak periods when there is typically a surplus of green, renewable wind energy available on the grid. Heat pumps have superior performance characteristics compared to the conventional use of gas fired boilers. From a sustainability perspective, Arboretum is proactively addressing their scope 1 emissions by removing gas and electrifying their heat.

State-of-the-art, LED lighting is used throughout delivering impressive energy savings. Compared to conventional lighting solutions, the LEDs will deliver in the region of 60% savings in energy and carbon reductions and, lasts up to 4 times longer than that of conventional lighting. The facility also features 350 m² double insulated, high spec glass to maximise daylight and reduce the amount of artificial light needed. This special glass doesn’t lose as much heat due to its superior insulation properties and the glazing also insulates against uncomfortable heat gain in the hotter summer periods.

Addressing resource efficiency is as essential as ‘switching off the lights when not required’. In Ireland, many fail to realise that the production of mains water is a carbon intensive business. Acknowledging this, Arboretum Kilquade will incorporate a rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater that falls on the new and existing buildings is collected and is stored in a series of 38,000 litre capacity tanks. This reclaimed water, often referred to as ‘grey water’ is used for all plant irrigation needs as well as toilet flushing on site, saving approximately 124,000 litres of water per year.

All insulating fibreglass used in the redevelopment on piping and ducting is made from recycled fibreglass.

Customers driving electric cars can also benefit from four electric charging points on site. Not only can it provide convenient charging solutions for car owners, but it can also reduce environmental pollution and reduce energy costs. Electric vehicle charging points play an important role in promoting sustainable transportation.

Barry Doyle, CEO and co-owner said, “We want Arboretum to be a standard bearer for sustainability. It’s really exciting to see it all coming together and we can’t wait for the big reveal to our customers in Spring 2024. We’d like to sincerely thank the local community, our customers and staff for bearing with us and for all their support.”