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OPW defends oil-fired heating choice 15.01.08

THE Office of Public Works (OPW) has defended its decision to install an exclusively oil-fired heating system in decentralised government offices currently under construction in Buncrana.
A spokesperson said all the options were examined for the decentralised Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs offices but for "practical reasons" oil-fired was deemed the best.
"All the options including wood pellet boilers would have been looked at by the architects and the engineers but it was decided that from a practical point of view, oil was the best choice for the decentralised offices in Buncrana," said the spokesperson.
"It is a sustainable building when all its aspects are taken as a whole. The heating of the building is just one element. The building is entirely naturally ventilated so there will be no energy required for mechanical air conditioning while there is also an atrium allowing for the best use of natural light and ventilation. We try to make our buildings as sustainable as possible."
However, the choice has been criticised locally by Sinn Féin who were alerted to the OPW's fuel choice by a Donegal wood chip fuel supplier currently supplying wood chips to the new IKEA store in Belfast and the new Letterkenny Regional Sports Centre. Cllr. Padraig MacLochlainn last night accused the government of double standards in its environmental policy.
"It is absolutely astonishing that, at a time when issues like global warming, peak oil and the Kyoto principles dominate news across the world, our government - that for the first time ever includes the Green Party - continues to allow major government buildings to be heated by oil-fired systems," said Cllr. MacLochlainn. "It really is time that the government practise what it preaches on the environment." Meanwhile, the OPW said another reason they chose oil was because Donegal has no piped natural gas.
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