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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,

01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

New Building Regulations energy rules for home renovations and extensions, 2019.

Paul Mulhern

“A follows D” - A recent major renovation and extension by Spacious Architects that brought an existing D rated house up to a BER A standard.

House owners planning to undertake major renovations or extensions will be required to ensure that the whole dwelling will meet the higher energy rating (BER) of B2 upon completion under new building regulations.

The new rules will come into effect from November 2019, and will also require all new homes to become nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB). That will require them to have a BER of A2, - twice as energy efficient as the current minimum required rating for new builds of A3.

Where more that 25 per cent of the surface of the building is undergoing renovation or an extension there will be a requirement that the whole building should achieve an energy efficiency of B2 or cost optimal level.

On November 1, amendments to Part L and Part F of the building regulations (relating to energy efficiency and ventilations) for new residential dwellings and dwellings getting major renovations come into effect. The Government said the rules will be subject to transition arrangements to allow flexibility to developers.

Requirements for major renovation of domestic buildings

For existing buildings, it is proposed that major renovation is typically activated under the following circumstances, where the work affects greater than 25% surface area of the existing dwelling:

  • External Wall Renovation, external or internal insulation

  • External Wall & Window Renovation

  • External Wall & Roof Renovation

  • External Wall & Floor Renovation

  • New Extension

The cost optimal level is a primary energy performance of less than 125 kWh/m2/yr (B2 BER) when calculated using DEAP or upgrade of roof insulation and heating system. The Cost Optimal Study was updated in 2018.

Painting, replastering, rendering, reslating, cavity wall insulation are not considered major renovation works.

Energy upgrade works to the house pictured above included:

Link: Irish Times article

Irish Times feature - As Green as a Period House can be.

SPACIOUS - Registered architects and designers

T: 01-5585205 | M: 089-2447264

George's Street Studios, First Floor, 53/54 George's Street Lower, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. | | Instagram


Coffee grounds Fire logs

Paul Mulhern

Fire logs made from coffee grounds - Perfect for your multi-fuel stove at this time of year!

Bio-bean collects waste coffee grounds at every scale, from independent cafés to major coffee chains and from universities to property groups and instant coffee factories. Bio-bean is founded on the premise that there is no such thing as waste, just resources in the wrong place. Spent coffee grounds are highly calorific and contain valuable compounds, making them an ideal feedstock from which to produce clean fuels – like their wonderfuel Coffee Logs.


Registered architects and designers

T: 01-5585205
M: 089-2447264

24A Mellifont Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. A96 V9K4


Biomass pellets from waste coffee grounds have a high calorific value

Biomass pellets from waste coffee grounds have a high calorific value

New Suburban Dublin House Extension Project

Paul Mulhern

Suburban House Extension & Alterations, South Dublin.  

The brief for this project was to extend an existing semi-detached house to the side and rear to create an enlarged open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area to be the heart of the house with an enhanced relationship wiht the rear garden.  

A study that could be transformed into an additional spare bedroom for visitors along with a new utility room and downstairs shower room was also included.  The design is flooded with light from sliding glazed doors and large frameless roof lights.  The side and rear extension roofs are carefully designed to fit between tall separating brick walls.  

The project included the design of the kitchen and a range of other custom joinery units such as a study wall-mounted desk, a hidden fold-down bed, a corner storage unit with a dog bed built-in below and floor to ceiling wardrobes.

In Praise of Shadows

Paul Mulhern


A bunch of us were out cycling this morning in the Wicklow hills and I got talking to a lighting designer about the critical importance of light in an architectural project.  It is as important as the physical materials we build with - yet its intangible, delicate and takes real feeling, skill and experience to handle.  

We got on to talking about how important the shadows and darkness are too.  You can't feel, sense and appreciate one without the other.  It brought me back to one of my favourite little books - In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki.

Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Eastern cultures.  The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety, closely relating to the traditional Japanese concept of wabi & sabi

The type of detail a sensitive eye notices...

The book itself is a little gem - Amazon Link.  (You can find a PDF of it pretty easily online too).

If you are looking for an architect with a sensitive eye for detail - get in touch!  We'd love to hear from you.

Spacious - RIAI registered architects and interior designers.

Our contact details.