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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,
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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.

Filtering by Tag: Eco House

NZEB - Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland

Paul Mulhern

Today we've been at the nZEB-15 National Retrofit Conference at Dublin Institute of Technology listening to the latest research, developments and education in this energy retrofit technology for Irish buildings.

Introduction video - Near Zero Energy Buildings

Some Information on Nearly Zero Energy Buildings standards in Ireland:

From January, 1st 2019 every new public building will have to be designed to nearly zero energy building standards. Also, all other new buildings will have to comply with the new nearly zero energy buildings standards from January, 1st 2021. This arises from the Recast European Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/30/EU.

For a typical dwelling this will equate to 45 kWh/m2/annum and an Energy Performance Coefficient (EPC) and Carbon Performance Coefficient (CPC) of 0.302 and 0.305 in accordance with the common general framework set out in Annex I of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (Recast). This takes account of the energy load for space heating, water heating, fixed lighting and ventilation. A very significant proportion of which will be covered from renewable energy sources produced on-site or nearby. (Ref: Towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland – Planning for 2020 and beyond

 The proposed improvement from current building  standards  to  an intermediate and final NZEB target for buildings other than dwellings are:

Targets will be further refined when developing new the technical performance standard TGD L – Buildings other than Dwellings. (Source: Towards NZEB in Ireland- Planning for 2020 and beyond)

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD - 2002/91/EC) is the main European legislative instrument for improving the energy efficiency of Europe's building stock. Under the Directive, the following obligations were introduced in all Member States:

  • A methodology to calculate and rate the integrated energy performance of buildings
  • A system of energy certification for new and existing buildings, with display requirements for public buildings
  • Regular inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and for existing buildings that undergo major renovation with a useful floor area over 1000m2

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was transposed into Irish Law from 2006 onwards.

From 2013, the EPBD was superseded by the Recast EPBD and S.I. No 666 of 2006 was superseded by S.I. 243 of 2012.  See more at: http://www.seai.ie/Your_Building/EPBD

Changes in the Building Regulations in Ireland

Building Regulations were first introduced in Ireland in 1976 in Draft form and revised draft Regulations were introduced in 1981. The Building Regulations were formally revised in 1991, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

There have been significant step changes in the Irish Building Regulations since 2005. Technical Guidance Document Part L (TGD L), of the 2008 Regulations required a 40% reduction in primary energy use compared to a reference dwelling specified in the TGD Part L 2005 Regulations. TGD L of the 2011 Regulations require a 60% reduction in the primary energy us. The gradual improvements leading to NZEB standards for dwellings are summarised in the table below. 

Energy_Building_Regulations_Improvements.png

*These energy values are for a typical two storey semi-detached house.

Information from NZEB Open Doors Ireland.

On the Boards: A New-Build Costal Eco House

Paul Mulhern

We have received planning permission for a new family dwelling in a beautiful costal setting overlooking Strangford Lough.  The site benefits from spectacular views through a 270-degree sweep.  Designing for a location as beautiful as this is difficult. We are not trying to do design gymnastics. We are fully considering what it is our clients want for their home and realising that through design excellence.

Site Plan of Proposed House & Boat House - Courtyard Opening to the Views and Sun.

Strangford Lough - Site Setting.

Strangford Lough - Site Setting.

Proposed South Elevation - Sheltered Courtyard.

Our approach is based on:  Awareness of landscape; A simple palette of natural materials; Subtlety; Respect for rural built forms;  Withholding of views, affording glimpses on approach, finally revealing the full dramatic views;  Creating wonderful internal spaces with unexpected height & light; Forming a series of differing outdoor spaces which are protected from winds but yet avail of views; Considering orientation and sun position throughout the day;  Incorporating all appropriate sustainability measures to exceed all current requirements and to future-proof this new eco house.

We have included a level of richness by providing a play-loft, a second ‘short-cut’ stair which also functions as a bookcase, a study (computer) den for kids which is within view and has an eye-level slot window, creating a thickened wall that houses both indoor and outdoor fire-places (or barbeque), designing a master bedroom suite which has complete privacy, spectacular views, its own terrace, yet is adjacent to two children’s bedrooms;

Proposed Ground Floor Plan.

First Floor Plan - Planted Roof Over the Living Room.

West Facing Elevation.

Architectural Model for Client Discussion.

Architectural Model for Client Discussion.

Contact Hofler Architects to discuss your project.  We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation.