Ireland’s most iconic new building, the Central Bank of Ireland on the banks of the River Liffey, was recently renovated into the show-stopping demonstration of success it is today, after sitting for years as an unfinished shell; a symbol of the recession. Now it breathes new life as Ireland’s first ever BREEAM “Outstanding” rated building, setting an example of progressive construction that thinks about the future.
Architects Henry J Lyons achieved this by designing the large sweeping interiors to be as user friendly as possible for the Bank’s staff, by specifying acoustic wood panels from Woodfit Acoustics, made from MEDITE PREMIER FR. This MDF panel from MEDITE SMARTPLY is flame retardant for safe use in public buildings and is produced using FSC certified timber, from sustainably managed forests in Ireland; all the essentials to make this board suitable for the Bank’s new interior.
In doing this, the building is reaffirmed as a symbol of renewal, recovery and wellbeing, both economically and by offering these elements to those who use it as their daily workplace. The modern interior is conducive to teamwork and collaboration through use of natural light, safe, natural materials and acoustic performance.
Supplied by Noyeks, Woodfit provided the custom-made acoustic systems and non-acoustic panelling throughout, using veneered MEDITE PREMIER FR, variously finished for use in different areas. The finished panels range from ebonized slat ceilings and slat walls, custom white washed perforated panelling which extends seven storeys high, and perforated oak ceiling tiles throughout the work areas.
“The human experience was considered first and foremost in this project,” says Fergal Costello, Marketing Manager at Woodfit Acoustics. “Acoustics are extremely important in a big open building such as this one, to reduce reverberation while not restricting air circulation.”
Fergal went on to say: “It’s important to us and our clients that we are always environmentally responsible. We feel a strong responsibility to be able to meet the need for acoustic panels made from sustainably produced materials. Working with MDF in particular, as it’s made from timber thinnings, ensures there is less timber wastage, and allows us in the timber industry to be a lot more efficient and environmentally friendly at the same time.”
The environmental building standard BREEAM is one of the world’s leading sustainability assessment methods for construction. Awarding credits for use of FSC certified building products, it recognises and reflects the value in higher performing products and projects across the built environment lifecycle.
Colin Wheatley, Product Manager at MEDITE SMARTPLY explained: “With responsible management, timber is a 100% renewable natural resource. BREEAM encourages us to use timber responsibly, and to create environments that are safe and healthy for occupants, in a way that will contribute to the maintenance of the natural world. The Central Bank of Ireland building’s renovation is a stunning example of this, in its safety-conscious application of FR, that happens to also be extremely beautiful.”
It was also essential that the material chosen for the panels was flame retardant. Fergal explained: “We have been a long-time customer of MEDITE SMARTPLY for the reason that their products are trustworthy and high quality. As MEDITE PREMIER FR was developed specifically for use in fire rated applications, it was a must for an extremely high specification project such as this one.”
MEDITE PREMIER FR is produced in both Euroclass B and C. CARB2 compliant, it also has a smooth finish and can be made in a range of sizes and thicknesses, giving it the versatility to suit numerous applications from hotel foyers, offices, public libraries, schools and other public buildings. It’s suitable for use as a wall lining and in ceiling applications, and has been certified for use in fire resistant partition systems.
Fergal finally commented: “MEDITE PREMIER FR is very dense, yet cuts extremely cleanly; the sign of a high-quality board.”