15 May 2024

M7 to deliver Ireland’s greenest logistics refurbishment

M7 Real Estate (“M7”), the pan-European investor and asset manager, has commenced an extensive programme of sustainability-focused works at Ballymount Logistics Hub, Southwest Dublin which is expected to complete in September 2024. Once complete, M7 believes the project will have the best energy rating for a refurbished logistics unit in Ireland.

M7 has also instructed CBRE Ireland to market the 151,000 sq ft of modern, sustainable logistics space to occupiers.

Once the project completes towards the end of this year, Ballymount Logistics Hub will be Ireland’s first refurbished Logistics unit to achieve an improved BER of A3. It is also projected to achieve a BREEAM In-Use certification of “Very Good”. Constructed in 1996, the property’s improved BER will significantly reduce energy costs for the new occupier, as well as having a positive impact on the environment, with an annual operational carbon emissions saving per year equivalent to the capture of 4,000 trees.

Situated in Southwest Dublin, the asset is in an established distribution location and benefits from excellent arterial connectivity with direct access to Junction 10 of the M50, providing links to Ireland’s wider motorway network.

M7 is leading the charge where there is a growing realisation in the industry that not only are sustainable buildings crucial for the environment and for meeting green targets as a country, but also that the key to achieving these goals is to retrofit current stock rather than new development from the ground up. Retrofitting allows the recycling of elements such as concrete floors, steel beams and cladding, which in a new build need to be manufactured from scratch and in turn create high levels of embedded carbon. Other benefits of retrofit include development on an existing site, thus limiting development on greenfield sites. Another advantage is that sites are already served by a public transport network system, so further development or the addition of transport routes are avoided. It is calculated that each year post refurbishment, the new occupier will be making a 68% reduction in energy consumption and related operational carbon emissions.

The installation of LED lighting, EV charging points and an air source heat pump system are the main contributors to the high energy rating. However, outside of this M7 have also approached the project with a sustainability focus in order to reduce embodied carbon where possible. Materials that have EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations), have high levels of recycled content and those that can be sourced locally are prioritised. All timber used is FSC certified, ensuring that any timber is from legally harvested forests. In addition, during construction the project is targeting to achieve 95% of all construction and demolition waste being recycled.

M7 Ireland are members of the Irish Green Building Council and have been rolling out similar ESG refurbishment related works across their portfolio on hundreds of units across Dublin over the past few years. M7 is also a member of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP). Similar to the rest of its portfolio, Ballymount Logistics Hub will incorporate a number of green space works which promotes biodiversity, including the retaining of green space and introducing new planting to increase site biodiversity.

In addition to CBRE Ireland as sole agents, M7 has assembled a best in class project team led by Trident Building Surveyors and Project Managers, alongside O’Connor Sutton Cronin as multidisciplinary Consulting Engineers. Demac Building Contractors are delivering this ambitious project.

John Murnaghan, Managing Director at M7 Real Estate Ireland, commented: “As we continue our retrofit first approach to our portfolio through a rolling capital expenditure programme of sustainability-focused improvements, it is crucial that we create a cost efficient, sustainable asset that will prove extremely attractive to potential occupiers. We continue to see robust demand for well-located, modern logistics assets with leading sustainability credentials and importantly, buildings in this size bracket face an acute lack of supply, particularly in Southwest Dublin. Once the works are complete, we expect this unit to be more energy efficient than the majority of newly built warehouses that are springing up around Dublin, especially when considering the huge environmental cost of development. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that this refurbishment will result in a staggering 70% saving in embodied carbon versus a full new construction”.