The production of cider has been an outstanding success story in Ireland over the last decade, more than doubling its market share, largely at the expense of beer.

Leading that success story is Bulmers of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The Irish Bulmers is part of the C&C Group Plc, one of Ireland’s leading drinks companies, whose cider is marketed as Magners outside Ireland.

To meet the current and anticipated future demand for the company’s cider brands which include Bulmers Original Irish Cider, Magners Original Irish Cider, Ritz, Stag, Linden Village and Strongbow, a €50 million expansion plan is underway at Annerville in Clonmel. Working to a masterplan designed by architects H J Lyons & UK Engineering Services, around half of that investment has been spent on three new state-of-the-art bottling halls each housing a bottling process with a capacity of 50,000 bottles per hour.

Apart from its success in the Irish drinks market, Bulmers can now claim that its new building benefits from the world’s first cradle to grave building envelope, achieved through its Corus Confidex Sustain™ registration - making it CarbonNeutral and ensuring that virtually all of its components are traceable from manufacture to end of use.

Minister for the Environment in Ireland, John Gormley was presented with the Confidex Sustain™ certificate at Bulmers recently. He welcomed initiatives such as the new plant in Clonmel, saying, “This building project involves carbon offsetting and it is good that an Irish company like Bulmers is taking an initiative on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have reached a critical stage whereby it is not enough for companies to be merely compliant on environmental issues. Corporate Ireland needs to take sustainable, measurable action - one element of which is carbon offsetting,”

He added, "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions for firms means reducing energy use and therefore, operating costs. What is good for the environment is also good for businessEnvironmental sustainability is central to Government economic policy. Whilst Government continues to put in place a significant number of sustainable measures that will ensure Ireland’s position to the fore of environmental issues internationally, it is imperative that industry plays its part in supporting our long-term objectives.”

Architects for the building were John M Allen Architects. John Allen has nothing but praise for the environmental advantages of Corus Confidex Sustain™. “It is wonderful and is a great fit with the environmental ethos of Bulmers. We have moved onto the second and third phases of the development. In addition we were able to recycle the panels removed from phase one to allow the expansion to take place. If things continue as successfully as they have the same thing will happen in Phase 4. Recycling and reuse of building materials is now high on the construction industry’s agenda. With the assistance of Euroclad we specified Corus and Europanel for this project as not only does Colorcoat HPS200® and Europanel offer the best environmental performance for composite panel products - from cradle to grave - but the company’s were also able to reduce the environmental impact of the demolition work that was required. We were also able to recycle the Europanel recovering the Corus steel and the Rockwool insulation as part of this process – marvellous – that solved a major waste and storage problem for us” he said.

He explained that the paneling chosen for the building, the Europanel Extra 125mm and Firemaster Extra 75mm and 150mm system, met Bulmer’s insurance requirements on fire performance. “The Euroclad panel was one of the few that fulfilled the requirement but apart from that it is a great looking panel and the delivery was terrific. We chose this particular offering it in spite of really stiff competition from other companies. Euroclad and Corus, as far as we were concerned, were the most professional and we had full confidence in the system and in the quality of the Colorcoat® pre-finished steel from Corus. It really is an added bonus that the system and pre-finished steel product also fulfil the requirements of Corus Confidex Sustain™. “We would definitely go down this route again. It enables us to contribute to the Bulmers policy on environmental issues.”

Peter Chambers, Manufacturing Director for Bulmers, explained that the Corus Colorcoat® pre-finished steel and Euroclad panels enabled the company to take a modular approach to the construction of the new complex. “When we had bay one completed, a really successful summer for us in the UK market with a 280% increase in sales, meant that we needed two new bays. To do that we had to take down one of the external walls of bay one. But the great thing about it was that we were able to recycle all the Europanel and Corus components of the cladding used in that wall. We couldn’t have done that using a panel with polystyrene or foam insulation. That would have gone into landfill and would go against our aim to reduce our impact on the environment.”

Corus Confidex Sustain™ goes beyond mere compliance on environmental issues. Corus is taking action to reduce to net zero the unavoidable CO2 emissions produced by Colorcoat HPS200® and Colorcoat Prisma® pre-finished steel products and the cladding systems they become a part of. It is applying Carbon Neutral methodology to these two premium products when used as part of a Colorcoat® assessed cladding system via Confidex Sustain™, which offers the first Carbon Neutral building envelope in the world measuring and offsetting its impact on the environment from cradle to grave. For every 1kg of CO2 emitted by the pre-finished steel cladding, fixings and insulation, Corus will offset 1kg in climate friendly projects overseas. Working with their supply chain partners and with the leading climate change company The CarbonNeutral Company, Confidex Sustain™ provides a robust and fully auditable process to neutralise unavoidable emissions.

“This building performs really well,” said John Allen. “It is very energy efficient because of the high levels of insulation. Consequently it is a very warm building – something not always associated with a bottling hall. It is efficient on several other levels as well.” John Hayes, project manager for the building, confirms this. “Although this building is heated by natural gas, as yet we have not had to use the heating system – which, in any case, we are currently upgrading.” Peter Chambers confirms that the building was completed on time and within budget with environmental issues supervised by Bulmers Environment Manager Michael Herlihy. “We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment but also to creating a good interior working environment. For instance we have used very high frequency, low energy lighting in the new buildings giving a working light level equal to daylight, thereby creating a much better work atmosphere that adds to the efficiency of our operation,” said Peter Chambers.

Applications for Confidex Sustain™ should be made at the start of a building project using the Confidex Sustain™ registration form. This is available electronically at or via the Colorcoat Connection® helpline +44 (0) 1244 892434.

Bulmers Case Study

Location: Anneville, Clonmel. Tipperary
Project: Bottling Hall
Client: Bulmers
Architects: John M Allen Architect
Main Contractors: Sisk & Mulcahy Construction
Cladding contractors: Paddy Wall & Sons Phase 1
Gleeson Roofing N.Ireland Phase 2
Profiler/Supplier: Euroclad (Ireland)
Colorcoat® Product: HPS200® in Meadowland and Moorland (walls); Merlin Grey (roof)
Profile reference: 0.7 32/1000 profiled top sheet with 19/1000 liner (roof), Europanel Extra 125mm and Firemaster Extra 75mm and 150mm (wall)