Low Carbon Luxury

Architect, Michael Mullen, introduces Ireland’s Most Sustainable Hotel.

Dreoilín – an old Irish word meaning ‘Little Wren’ but often used in the vernacular to refer to a clever move, initiative or idea. According to legend, the bird that could fly the farthest would be crowned King of All Birds. So the canny little wren stowed itself away in the feathers of an eagle then, as the eagle soared skywards, the wren popped out of hiding, morphing from secret joyrider to daredevil stunt pilot and earned its royal title. This clever thinking is akin to the genesis of the design, identity and name of Wren Urban Nest.

The new 137-room, nine-storey hotel in the heart of Dublin has been designed and built using innovative carbon reduction technologies, making it one of Europe’s most sustainable city centre hotels. Compact luxury and energy efficiency are central to the idea. Small cosy bedrooms are decorated and accessorised with the best contemporary Irish craft, showcasing Irish design from brand to bed and confidently supported with smart, sustainable technologies. Guests can expect bags of personality and a bespoke Dublin city experience that does not compromise on luxury or corporate responsibility. The building uses 100% renewable energy and is the first hotel in Ireland to comply with the World Green Building Council’s definition of Net Zero Operational Carbon, without having to purchase carbon offsets.

Concept sketch, view from Trinity Street
View from Trinity Street

The Wren’s hot water, heating, and cooling system is based on a combination of highly efficient air source and water-to-water heat pumps, a completely renewable source of energy. The ventilation system captures 81% of rejected heat using a thermal wheel, which also warms the incoming fresh air for free.  Energy is shared freely across the hotel. Full height and width glazing envelopes both floors and rooms. Thermal gain from the east elevation in the mornings is extracted and used to warm rooms on the west elevation. This process is reversed in the afternoon. The faceted facade reflects light down the street and cantilevers over the boundary to maximise room sizes, whilst ensuring the footprint of each space helps achieve the highest sustainability standards. The hotel’s water demand is approximately 60% lower than that of typical hotel accommodation thanks to the implementation of water conservation measures and low-loss fitting specifications. 

Rainwater runoff is attenuated, reducing loads on the public mains and a green roof provides natural cooling and space for biodiversity. Gas is not used in the kitchen, which offers any waste food to the local community through the ‘too good to go app’, ensuring the commitment to zero carbon is pursued through every aspect of the hotel experience.   

“Small, clever, innovative, natural and reflective of our Irish culture.”

Tracey Moran, Hotel Operator

Everything related to the design and operation of Wren Urban Nest aims to reduce, reuse or recycle energy in the most efficient way. With no reliance on fossil fuels, the hotel contributes to, rather than pollutes its urban environment, further enhancing its reputation as a beautiful, welcoming, ethical place to stay.