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Clúid Housing – €23m regeneration project completed in Dublin’s North East Inner City

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Clúid Housing’s vision is ‘a society where everyone has a great place to live’. Clúid, a not-for-profit organisation, manages over 7,900 affordable, high-quality homes and provides housing management services to over 20,000 residents across the country. Clúid aims to achieve its vision by providing quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities. The organisation is committed to delivering 3,000 new homes by the end of 2022. The €23m regeneration of St. Mary’s Mansions in Dublin’s North East inner city is seen as Clúid’s flagship development project.

St. Mary’s Mansions was originally built by Dublin Corporation over 70 years ago and the complex has undergone a total refurbishment to bring it up to current standards for new and returning residents. The extensive works retained elements of the original building and included the addition of two new floors to create 80 well-sized, high-quality modern apartments and duplexes. After working with Clúid on the redesign of the scheme, more than 20 families have moved back into their homes whilst new residents have come from Dublin City Council’s housing list.

Clúid recognises the importance of working together with the local community on large projects like St. Mary’s Mansions. The first step in the design process was to meet with residents and listen to their lived experience and ideas for the project. The redesign of the building incorporated resident input, and a number of key features were specifically included to enhance overall quality of life. At the heart of the regenerated St. Mary’s Mansions is the central courtyard, designed to support a strong sense of community. Each apartment has an area of open space outside and ground floor apartments have a small garden, allowing residents the opportunity to interact socially.

St. Mary’s Mansions is accessed through a newly developed entrance on Gloucester Place Lower, reanimating a formerly underused space, and resulting in improved security. Access to the development is securely automated so only residents can gain access by fob. Each apartment’s intercom system includes a video screen and provides a video link to all access points around the development. Visitors can call from any access gate or courtyard door and speak via video link to the resident. These improvements have significantly increased safety and privacy for all residents.

The regeneration placed an emphasis on developing sustainable, modern homes. The BER (Building Energy Rating) in each apartment is now an impressive A. The use of cutting-edge insulation technology eliminates heat loss while a high efficiency gas fired centralised heating system provides heating and hot water on demand. To further reduce living costs, solar electricity supplements demand across the complex. A photovoltaic (PV) array is located on the roof consisting of 200 PV panels and the amount of electricity generated can be monitored on the digital PV feed meter in the apartment. Combined, the result is a super-efficient home with an estimated total annual heating and hot water cost of around €300 per apartment.

Commenting on the scheme’s completion, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said, “After an incredible redevelopment and significant investment, I am delighted to see this scheme completed and providing super-efficient homes to people on Dublin City Council’s housing list. Together with other local amenities here in the heart of the city, St. Mary’s Mansions is a shining example of collaboration and partnership. I wish all the residents the very best of luck in their new homes for many years to come.”

St Mary’s Mansions now has an airtight and thermally efficient 600mm thick fabric. The external skin of the building is made up of both a new, highly insulated external envelope and the existing building’s walls. New windows were also added to maximise natural light, and each apartment is now dual aspect with direct sunlight providing free heat energy to each home. The windows have easy clean hinges which allow the external faces of the glass to be cleaned safely by the residents from inside their home. All communal and apartment lighting is provided by low voltage LED lights and all walkway and stairwell lights are sensor operated which significantly increases lamp life and reduces running and maintenance costs.

Each apartment has decentralised mechanical extract ventilation to ensure constant background ventilation. Bathroom and utility vents have humidistat controls which automatically monitor humidity levels and activate accordingly. This removes any potential for condensation. Heating and domestic hot water are provided by a centralised district heating system. Three boilers provide all hot water for the development. This water heats up the apartments radiators and taps by heat transfer via a Heat Interface Unit. The hot water leaves the boiler and runs the entire extent of the development returning to the boiler having lost only one degree of heat.

Speaking at the launch of the redevelopment, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said, “Throughout the redevelopment of this housing scheme, Clúid has worked in close collaboration with both the returning residents and Dublin City Council to ensure the project was a success. It is clear to see that these high-quality homes will continue to foster a strong sense of community for generations to come. St. Mary’s Mansions is a flagship and a model for future developments.”

Clúid delivered the project in partnership with Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Finance Agency (HFA), Dublin’s North East Inner City (NEIC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Ganson and Inner City Organisations Network (ICON).

“The HFA is committed to facilitating and supporting the successful delivery of social housing in Ireland. We are delighted to have funded this fantastic redevelopment and to see St. Marys Mansions brought back to life again. The successful delivery of 80 homes in Dublin City Centre is a fantastic achievement and we look forward to supporting Clúid to deliver even more new homes in the future”, said Barry OLeary, CEO of Housing Finance Agency.

Clúid’s New Business Director, Fiona Cormican said, “ Clúid relies on partnerships to deliver quality housingand services to our residents. The revival of St. Marys Mansions is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnerships between Clúid, the Department of Housing and Local Authorities like Dublin City Council. The regeneration of St. Marys Mansions is somuch more than just the redevelopment of a building, it is the reinstatement of the proud community that has lived here for many generations”.

Clúid has a team of over 230 highly qualified professional staff who are committed to providing quality housing and services to enable people to create homes and thriving communities. If you are a developer looking to partner with Clúid, please get in touch: newbusiness@cluid.ie or call us on 01 707 2088.

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