Dedicated Centre takes the present into the past

Manchester is celebrating the history and contribution of Irish communities with the opening of a new Irish World Heritage Centre in Queens Road, Cheetham Hill. The Centre tells the story of many Irish emigrants now scattered all over the globe, including 22 US Presidents. At the heart of the 25 acre complex lies a reconstruction of an ancient Irish ring fort, built using stone imported from Ireland and constructed by Irish stone masons. The tribute, with its large walled enclosure, provides the city with a rare and unique outdoor public space.

The design and build of the Centre has received an enviable ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating which has been achieved in part by the installation of a sustainable, low carbon, energy efficient heating system from Mitsubishi Electric.

Willmott Dixon, builders of the new Centre designed the new heating system in collaboration with renewable specialist A & B Engineering from Liverpool. The system uses an Ecodan® CAHV air source heat pump capable of delivering 43kW at -3°C to provide underfloor heating to the Centre. For every 1kW of electricity the Centre uses to power the air source heat pump, 3.2kW’s of heat can be delivered to the building; 69% of which is renewable energy.

“Our whole ethos for the Centre was to build it using as many sustainable materials and energy efficient technologies as possible,”

said Michael Forde, Chairman of the Irish World Heritage Centre.

“The builders and contractors have done a terrific job and the addition of energy efficient heating will help us to keep carbon emissions and running costs to a minimum.”

The sustainability theme continues in the Centre’s restaurant which offers produce grown on its own allotment and honey from its own bee hives.

Visitors are invited to approach the new building via the ‘name walk’ which features every known Irish surname, and walk across a water feature representing the crossing undertaken by every Irish person as they left their homeland.