Minister Presides at Turning of the Sod for EPA Headquarters Extension

Date released: Mar 07 2008

Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government today presided at the official turning of the sod to mark the commencement of the new extension to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford.

This two-storey extension will provide much needed space for the growing number of staff who now occupy the building. 

“The EPA has outgrown its current office space in its headquarters in Johnstown Castle Estate, having occupied the building since 1998”,
Dr. Mary Kelly, Director General, EPA explained.
“We currently have 290 staff, 143 of whom are based here in our Headquarters.”

She continued

“The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government also recently sanctioned 50 new posts.  These posts will enable the EPA to carry out the additional functions delegated to us over the past couple of years and our new building will provide accommodation to those who will be based here.”

Dr. Kelly added

“The EPA is proud to be located in Wexford, in the beautiful surroundings of Johnstown Castle Estate. With a growing number of staff, who have made Wexford their ‘new home’, the EPA is committed to the community – with many staff actively involved in local arts, sports, music and of course the environment.”

 
The design of the building was informed by the EPA’s overall role in the protection of the environment and the desire to integrate practical sustainable features into the building.  Among these features are:

  • natural ventilation;
  • highly energy efficient lighting control system with occupancy sensors;
  • special glazing to reduce heat loss in winter or excessive heat gain in summer;
  • rainwater harvesting and a well bore to supply the water demand;
  • solar power is proposed to power some facilities in the proposed extension;
  • the use of wind power is being considered and
  • “green” cement will be used in construction.

The plans and a model of the proposed extension may be viewed at EPA Headquarters from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.