The Compressor Building is a satellite facility dedicated to generating compressed air centrally at Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd in Killarney, Co Kerry. Compressed air is widely used for driving tools and cleaning equipment. Centralisation of the generation process will increase efficiency and control air purity. Clean air is critical for use on breathing apparatus in the adjacent painting facility. Control of condensation also protects tools and equipment.
Location of the building was governed by established pipe networks and gas cylinder storage at the back of the factory grounds. This raised challenges associated with placing a building in a confined space. Consideration was given to tackle restricted maintenance access and the risk of potential contamination from painting fumes. Designing the building as a lateral retaining structure enabled occupation of a steep earth embankment rather than absorbing limited yard space. Selective placement of ventilation grilles on the building fabric ensured the air intake was isolated from factory exhausts and short-circuiting complications were avoided.
Being mostly unoccupied, the building is unique from many other facilities in the factory. In many ways, the equipment is given priority over building users. It thus represents an exercise in product design over conventional architecture by becoming an extension to the compressor technology contained within.