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Working with Industrial Spaces to Exemplify Reuse

WISER LIFE Project Overview

The WISER LIFE project commenced in 2014 with the aim not only of demonstrating best practice in resource management, but to embody that practice within a physical space: a ‘3D textbook’ to promote sustainable living.

To this end, WISER LIFE took a famous industrial landmark – the civic boiler house in Ballymun, North Dublin – and transformed it into a unique experiential learning centre designed to stimulate curiosity about the natural, physical and cultural environments.

The biggest conceptual and architectural challenge was to take a 50-year-old structure, historically associated with an inefficient district heating scheme, and convert it into an energy-efficient eco-building. This was achieved through a mix of carbon-light construction methods, ecologically sound building materials, innovative energy management systems and experimental technologies.

The renovated boiler house is now home to The Rediscovery Centre, a nationally renowned charity that promotes the reuse and repurposing of common waste materials. Under WISER LIFE, The Rediscovery Centre delivers environmental workshops and programmes for schools and the community, and provides green services and products created onsite by an eco-cluster of waste reuse enterprises.

Heading into the future, the 3D textbook will provide a test bed for new environmental technologies developed by research groups, local start-ups and entrepreneurs, showing the project’s potential to educate and influence the behaviour of its visitors at a local, regional and European level.


To lead in the design of educational space for sustainable development. To promote use of the built, natural and cultural environments to create interactive 3-D textbooks, showcasing best practice and signposting the direction towards a resource efficient Europe.