Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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Green Inspiration: The Wren Urban Nest, Dublin

The 21 Spaces and BDP-design eco-hotel presenting a vision of guilt-free luxury.

18/03/2022 2 min read

The Wren Urban Nest is a boutique hotel with purpose – a test case of sorts, exploring what it takes to create a Net Zero Carbon property in the heart of a city, that delivers just as much on style as it does on sustainability. Indeed, it’s not just the most environmentally-conscious hotel in the Irish capital, but one of the most sustainable in Europe.

With 137 guestrooms set across nine floors, the property was designed by BDP and Dublin-based studio, 21 Spaces – the former helming architecture, while the latter developed the interiors. Aesthetically, the hotel tells a story of its surroundings, with compact bedrooms furnished and accessorised with Irish craft pieces. These spaces are supported by smart technologies that offer convenient services but also emphasise energy efficiency. The property as whole uses 100% renewable energy and is the first hotel in Ireland to comply with the World Green Building Council’s definition of ‘Net Zero Operational Carbon’, without having to purchase offsets, like tree planting.

There’s lots of clever design at play then, including using thermal gains from the path of the sun throughout the day to generate heat; a green roof that allows for natural cooling and biodiversity; and a ventilation system that captures 81% of rejected heat using a thermal wheel – that then warms incoming fresh air, avoiding the need for energy-guzzling heating systems.

There’s a social component too, with the hotel’s ethical credentials matching its environmental ones. Food waste is minimised by offering surplus stock to the local community through the ‘Too Good To Go’ app, while precedence is given to local suppliers at both the bar and restaurant.

Michael Mullen, architect director at BDP, says: “The design evolved by imagining how guests of the future would engage and contribute to Dublin. We believe that hotels of the future have a responsibility to the host city to minimise the environmental and social impacts of their guests.

“BDP’s interdisciplinary team of architects and engineers were uniquely placed to design and deliver this first-of-its-kind hotel in Europe. With the spotlight of the world on sustainable practices, we are so proud to be able to present a building that burns no fossil fuels, has zero local pollution and even improves the air quality around it.”

Photography: Ruth Maria Murphy
Images: 21 Spaces

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