Excellence Awards Spotlight: Sustainability Award

Excellence Awards Spotlight: Sustainability Award

22 October 2019 at 10:40

The Excellence Awards Spotlight series showcases and celebrates each engineering project, organisation, third-level institute and engineering leader shortlisted for the 10th annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB. Today, the Excellence Awards spotlight series focuses on the newly introduced Sustainability Award.

The Sustainability Award, sponsored by Irish Water, champions engineering and environmental industries who have embrace the core pillars of sustainability throughout the planning and delivery of initiatives for communities.

The four initiatives shortlisted for the 2019 Sustainability Award are:

  • Fernhill Park & Gardens by Arup and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
  • Fixed Electrical Ground Power  by daa AMD
  • Kerdiffstown Landfill Remediation Project by Kildare County Council and Jacobs
  • Dŵr Uisce by Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University

Congratulating each of the shortlisted organisations, Claire Lyons, Capital Programme Manager at Irish Water, said: “Irish Water is proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to champion engineering and environmental organisations who have excelled in delivering sustainable initiatives for communities across Ireland. On behalf of Irish Water, I would like to extend my congratulations to each of the organisations shortlisted for the Sustainability Award and I look forward to announcing the winner at the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on Friday, 15 November.”

Find out more about each shorlisted project

Fernhill Park & Gardens by Arup and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council


Fernhill Park & Gardens is a place of international importance due to its rare and historic botanical species. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) purchased Fernhill in 2015 to turn it into a public park. Sustainable development was crucial when re-purposing Fernhill, including the house and out-buildings.

The first phase of the works is complete. The sustainability masterplan developed by Arup and DLRCoCo provides the public with a much-needed resource in an area of large population growth, whilst conserving and enhancing the biodiversity of the gardens. The masterplan aims to meet the needs of the Park & Gardens from within, including delivering the energy required to support sports facilities, educational and community activities. Waste is minimised, local water course protection conserves water and a community garden grows produce for use in the tea rooms. Power will be provided from a combination of wind turbines, people power via exercise machines and PV arrays with thermal energy provided by heat pumps. The park will be fossil fuel free and carbon negative, making it an exemplar for sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

Fixed Electrical Ground Power by daa AMD


Dublin Airport Authority (daa) Asset Management and Development (AMD) work to deliver their project portfolio in line with the daa sustainability policy, to improve the staff working environment, the local environment for Fingal residents, as well as for the 31.5million passengers that pass-through Dublin Airport annually.   

daa AMD is committed to constant sustainable improvement through the initiatives we implement. One of these sustainability initiatives sought to improve the powering of aircraft and aircraft systems while on stand.  This replaces the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU-small jet engine in the aircraft tail) or Ground Power Unit (GPU-external diesel generator connected to the aircraft) 

These methods produce large amounts of CO2, NOX and Noise pollution.  Through research and feasibility studies, daa AMD envisioned a much cleaner electrical solution and selected Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) for installation at Pier 1 and Pier 3.

Modelled fuel consumption by energy generation method, indicates FEGP is the cleanest source of energy for an aircraft giving a 5-fold decrease in fuel consumption over an aircraft’s APU and a 20% decrease when compared to diesel GPU’s.   This reduction in fuel consumption has its own emissions savings associated with extraction, processing and transportation.

Kerdiffstown Landfill Remediation Project by Kildare County Council and Jacobs


Kerdiffstown Landfill is a former sand and gravel quarry which had been progressively backfilled with wastes by various operators since the 1950s. Kildare County Council and Jacobs developed an innovative solution to remediate the site by installing an engineered capping system, providing a landscaped profile and improving the management of landfill gas, leachate and surface water to ultimately create a multi-use public park. Planning permission was received from An Bord Pleanála in May 2019, followed, in March 2019, by an Industrial Emissions Licence (IEL) issued by the EPA.

A jointly developed mission statement and series of objectives focused both organisations on embedding sustainability throughout the development of the proposed solution. The outcome comprises proposals for environmental improvement, offering social benefits to local and regional communities, delivered under collaborative leadership and sustainable planning.

Through an extensive environmental management and monitoring programme, preliminary design, meaningful consultation and positive engagement with stakeholders, and development of the planning and IEL applications, KCC and Jacobs have achieved significant success in putting this site on a trajectory from a landfill to a landmark.

Dŵr Uisce by Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University


The Dŵr Uisce project is a joint interdisciplinary collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University. The project developed and demonstrated the installation of a low-cost hydropower turbine in a water treatment works in rural Ireland in 2019, reducing the net energy consumption of the water treatment process by 25%. The project included the development of design software to enable the use of standard centrifugal pumps operating in reverse as hydropower turbines for water supply networks. Pumps-as-turbines are up to 15 times less expensive than conventional turbines, making the use of hydropower in water supply systems economically viable. The software removes a barrier to the design of pumps to operate as turbines in practice for Engineering design teams or installers.

The potential for hydropower energy production in water pipe networks in Ireland has been estimated at over 2.2 MW, but the lack of low-cost turbine technology has been a barrier to its exploitation. This project has removed this barrier and will enable numerous sites in water networks to replicate the energy savings and CO2 emission reductions achieved here.

The Sustainability Award is one of 13 awards that will be presented at the forthcoming Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB.  To view each shortlisted category in detail and to vote for the Engineering Project of the Year Award, visit: http://www.engineersireland.ie/Awards.aspx