5Cube Launched as Ireland’s First Renewable Energy Installation

Dublin City Council and its energy agency Codema has just launched the 5Cube at Hanover Quay in Dublin’s Docklands this morning.

This new landmark is a physical interpretation of how much oil Ireland is consuming every five minutes and is the first installation of its kind to send a powerful message about the country’s dependency on fossil fuels and the need to switch to renewable energy sources.

The 5Cube is constructed from durable black glass and features rooftop solar photovoltaic panels which power an information screen and an LED illumination. The 5Cube also features a giant kaleidoscope on one side and a periscope on the other, both of which show the reflection of the sky as a constant reminder of our ever-changing weather which delivers renewable sources like solar and wind energy.

The 5 Cube was selected as the winning design following a public competition in 2013 by Dublin City Council for a smart energy feature in the city centre as part of the council’s involvement in the INTERREG IVB NWE Ace project.

Representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí, who was part of the jury panel that selected the winning design feature, said: “From an environmental perspective, we need a striking presence like the 5Cube to develop Dublin as a clean, green and sustainable city. The water table in Dublin is already rising so we can no longer afford to ignore how our energy is generated and how this contributes to global warming. We should look to renewable sources like solar, wind and biomass as cleaner and more cost-efficient way of powering our homes and workplaces.”

The 5Cube was designed by architect Declan Scullion of de Siún Scullion Architects, who explained the concept behind the installation at this morning’s launch: “We wanted to bring home to people just how much fossil fuel we are using and how quickly it is being consumed. We first calculated the volume of oil used in Ireland per day, and then broke that down into five minutes worth of oil consumption. This relates to 473 barrels, or a 4.2 metre cubic volume. The hope is that the visual impact and scale of the 5Cube will have more impact than the statistics alone.”

Ali Grehan, City Architect, Dublin City Council, added: “Through the Ace project, Dublin City Council and Codema are promoting renewable energy to Dubliners. The installation of the 5Cube complements a wider energy awareness campaign that Codema is currently rolling out in Dublin City Public Libraries, along with the creation of a dedicated renewable energy hub in Kevin Street Library when it reopens next year. These activities are moving us one step closer to achieving the national target of 16% of our total energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, an ambitious but possible goal.”

5Cube is one of two investment sites that have received European Regional Development Funding through the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme as part of Dublin City Council’s involvement in the Ace project. For more information, please visit www.codema.ie/5Cube

The second investment is the creation of a dedicated renewable energy information hub in Kevin Street library when it reopens in 2016.

Ace is a renewable energy initiative which promotes the uptake of renewable energy across North West Europe. Dublin’s energy agency Codema is leading the Ace initiative and works with the Dublin local authorities to improve energy efficiency in their public buildings and reduce carbon emissions.

The 5Cube was designed by Declan Scullion of de Siún Scullion Architects and constructed by Townlink Ltd. De Siún Scullion Architects are a new Dublin-based practice established in 2014. Both partners, Mícheál de Siún and Declan Scullion, bring a broad range of expertise to their work from their experience with large practices in Ireland and the UK. They have taught at the architecture schools of Queen’s University Belfast and Dublin Institute of Technology. The work of the practice is spread across the private, commercial and public sectors and focusses on finding unique sustainable solutions for every client; for more information visit www.dssa.ie.