City Gate strikes gold for its green office scheme.

Energy-efficient glass and rainwater harvesting have helped the new €70m City Gate Park offices in Mahon to achieve a major US green standard award. The development, located close to Mahon Point, was opened recently. It has a range of energy-efficient measures to make it more eco friendly including solar panels, a rainwater harvesting system and energy-efficient glazing that reduces the need for artificial light and air conditioning. As a result City Gate Park, built by John Cleary Developments (JCD), is the first Irish scheme to achieve the Gold LEED pre-certification accreditation. LEED is internationally recognised and confirms that a building was designed and built using methods that improve performance in energy savings, increase water efficiency, cut C0² emissions and improve indoor environmental quality.

Accredited buildings see a reduction in their operating costs of up to 36%. Other eco-friendly features of City Gate Park include underground bicycle storage areas with changing areas for staff, daylight views for 90% of workers and recycling of 75% of construction waste.

John Cleary of JCD said they were committed to developing buildings in a sustainable way, knowing that materials, energy and water were not unlimited. “This will deliver real value to the building occupiers and is consistent with the corporate sustainability objectives of many of the multi-national companies we deal with,” he said.

Michael Keohane of the PM Group said: “LEED takes a holistic approach to sustainability by including items such as site selection, accessibility for staff and the use of recycled and regional materials in awarding its rating.” The 280,000 sq ft City Gate Park consists of three buildings, one of which has been acquired by US technology giant Quest for their new European Headquarters.

With €50 million spent to shell and core level, City Gate Park is designed to attract top level corporate firms. The hub has scope for over 1,500 jobs in buildings with ‘green’ energy credentials including 36% energy savings. The facility features a range of services including a 20,000 square feet gym with an 18 metre swimming pool. In terms of transport links, City Gate Park already has two bus services with a shuttle bus service starting from the New Year. The city centre is a 15 minute cycle along the old rail / walk line via the Marina, and the addition of new traffic lanes at Mahon junction has improved car access.

Speaking at the official opening of City Gate Park, Theo Cullinane, Chief Executive, BAM said: “It was a pleasure to work with John Cleary and the Dell / Quest team, where everyone worked together in true partnership to deliver the project on time and within budget”.

John Cleary Developer said: “Well done BAM for your diligence and expertise in delivering this fast track project, which has been completed ahead of time with zero variations to budget”. Dell / Quest Software said: “We are very pleased with the quality of workmanship, levels of safety and the total commitment of BAM staff to construct a building which has genuinely exceeded our expectations”.

The remaining two buildings are linked at the second and third floors to form the largest single office in Cork with space for more than 1,500 people. The development also includes high street shops, cafes and restaurants, a gym and a 20-metre swimming pool.