Old Cork Waterworks: Now the Life Time Lab situated at the Lee, Road, on the north bank of the river in the western suburbs adjacent to the City Centre. Restoration of this old public waterworks building commenced in August 2004 and was completed in July 2005.The Old Cork Waterworks comprised of four buildings, the majority of which survive from Sir John Benson’s 19th Century scheme for the Cork City water supply. Having suffered from lack of maintenance it had defects such as damaged slate roofs, corroded and missing rainwater goods, delaminated stonework, deterioration of wall plates and rafters and general decay of joinery. These highly significant groups of buildings were conserved and adapted to provide a new role as the Life Time Lab through careful repair based on detailed specifications for conservation, sympathetic design of all new elements and careful experienced conservation contractors. Much of the work was carried out by Jack Coughlan Architects.
The Life Time Lab consists of 4 main elements
- A Visitors Centre – Comprising a Theatre, for workshops, seminars and conferences and an Exhibition Space with Interactive Display Units on Waste, Water, Energy and Nature.
- Steam and Industrial Heritage Centre – The well preserved Victorian Steam Plant and machinery are refurbished and on display.
- Environment Information Centre – Information will be available to the public on energy conservation, renewable energy, waste management and other environmental topics.
- Schools Resource Centre – The new National Science Curriculum for primary schools will be demonstrated and taught in a purpose designed classroom.
Electricity generated from the nearby Victorian Turbine House on the River Lee will be used to supply the entire project with Green Electricity. This will be complemented with other energy efficient features such as solar thermal and PV panels, geothermal pumps and energy efficient control systems. This project was funded through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Cork City Council and University College Cork. The Life Time Lab opened its doors to the general public in September 2005.