Launched in 2014, the Irish Construction Industry Awards recognises, encourages and celebrates original and innovative contractors, businesses, teams, consultants and projects that demonstrate excellence in the built environment.
Recognised as the premier awards programme when it comes to excellence in Ireland’s construction industry, the past winners list is a who’s who of Ireland’s construction industry.
The rapid rise of Meehan Green Sustainability Consultants as a leader in the field of LEED was reflected in their nomination in the Consultancy of the Year category.
“It was the first awards scheme we ever submitted an application for and we were, of course, pleasantly surprised when we received the news that we had made the shortlist,” revealed Managing Director Nellie Reid. “We’re a small practice that has grown pretty quickly. We’ve gone from being non-existent to working on some of the biggest projects in Ireland and the speed at which we came into the market is noteworthy. The practice’s growth has exceeded expectations.”
Nellie has been an active LEED AP since 2001 and was in the inaugural class of LEED Fellows in 2011. She arrived in Ireland from America in 2011 and combined forces with chairman Martin J. Meehan shortly after. Martin is an Architect, Architectural Technologist and LEED AP with more than 35 years’ experience in the field of Architecture.
Nellie takes up the story…
“When I moved here there wasn’t much going on in the building industry in Ireland. I operated as an independent LEED consultant before meeting Martin whose architectural practice, Meehan Associates, was well established in Dublin.
“We met in 2013 and collaborated on projects together up to 2015. The workload jumped from three projects to 10 in a short amount of time as we soon realized that we needed to build an LEED consulting team. There was no one in Ireland providing LEED consulting at the time as a standalone service so we decided to launch Meehan Green.
“There were very few people in Ireland qualified as LEED consultants so we had to reach our far and wide to get the expertise we needed.”
That’s when Nellie’s fellow directors Pablo Jimeno and Cathal Heneghan and senior LEED consultant Muge Karasahin entered the Meehan Green picture.
“We have built this great little team, totalling seven now, and we have probably worked on
over 50 buildings in Ireland. The reason we were able to take on such a large portfolio is that we have a very focused role. We’re not architects or engineers, we act as green advisors to clients and we are there to co-ordinate multi-disciplinary teams, implementing green building principles across all these disciplines.”
The services Meehan Green provides its valued clients includes LEED Consulting, LEED Training, LEED Contractor Support, Whole-Building LCA and WELL Consulting. This year Meehan Green became the first LEED Proven Provider in Ireland, and only the seventh in all of Europe.
The team offers over 30 years of combined LEED certification experience on more than 160 projects around the world and knows how to guide clients and project partners to achieve the best sustainable solutions.
Given their breadth of experience they can guide teams through a broad range of scenarios including new construction, building fit-outs, exist building upgrades and master planning.
They believe in working closely with project teams from project conception to practical completion to integrate the best possible green results which deliver sustainable buildings that provide economic benefit, reduce environmental impact and provide a positive work space environment for future occupants.
As regards LEED training, Nellie has been developing curricula for and delivering Sustainability and LEED Training courses for over 1,200 individuals over the past 15 years. She is a guest lecturer at UCD School of Architecture and has delivered training to public and private sector clients in Ireland for the past five years. Meehan Green has recently developed customised training modules for Contractors and for LEED v4.
Another in-demand service Meehan Green provides is LEED Contractor Support. From pre-construction stage to practical completion of a LEED project, the contractor is required to implement LEED requirements and plans, and to track and record compliance on an on-going basis for the LEED documentation submission.
Meehan Green will support your team at all stages of construction with the implementation of LEED credit requirements. They will assist in the development of LEED required plans and documents, providing samples and templates, upskilling the procurement and site team and reviewing the documentation produced to ensure success in the achievement of the LEED target.
Whole-building Life-cycle assessment (LCA) involves creating an inventory of the environmental impacts associated with building materials’ manufacture, transportation, use, and disposal. The metrics, or indicators, represent atmospheric impacts, fossil-fuel resource depletion, and some ecological effects.
LCA is intended to be an iterative modelling tool that informs decisions during the design process, much like an energy model. It’s a time-intensive process, but if it’s set up to support
broader project goals and not just the LEED credit, LCA can be a rewarding way to validate sustainability strategies that are otherwise hard to assess.
The WELL Building Standard, meanwhile, provides the opportunity to design and build with a human-centred approach, which ultimately supports the industry in comprehensively addressing human health: Employers spend 90 percent of their annual operating costs on people. This means that even a small impact on productivity, engagement and satisfaction in the workplace can have huge returns on investment.
“One thing we are very proud of is our 100% success rate in hitting our clients’ targets,” Nellie stated. “If it was LEED Gold or LEED Platinum standards our clients wanted, we’ve met their requirements. As a result, we have built up a lot of repeat business because we are trusted collaborators to the development community when it comes to LEED.”
Meehan Green’s successfully completed project portfolio includes 1 Molesworth Street (LEED Platinum Certified), 1 George’s Quay (LEED Platinum Certified), 32 Molesworth Street (LEED CS Gold Certified) and Block H and I Central Park, Leopardstown (both LEED Gold Certified), to name but a few. 1 WML, Dublin is the first project in Ireland with a residential component to achieve a LEED Certification (Gold).
Their list of valued clients includes the likes of Irish Life, Hibernia Reit PLC, Green Reit PLC and Citywest.
“We are also carrying out a lot of work outside of Dublin,” Nellie added, “we currently have projects ongoing in Galway and Limerick, including the “Limerick 2030” Redevelopment initiative. The new Jaguar Land Rover facility in Shannon and Gardens International Office Building in Limerick both just recently achieved LEED Gold certification.”
Nellie and her Meehan Green colleagues are looking forward to Dublin hosting Greenbuild Europe in 2020. Greenbuild Europe offers a forum for the green building community to unite, change lives, revolutionise business and address pressing issues, such as air quality, human health, energy use and global climate change.
31/32 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin
Eyre Square, Galway
Tel: +353 1 961 9345
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, December 2019/January 2020, Vol 5 No 11