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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

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Filtering by Tag: Environmental

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.

Ireland's Largest Strawbale Building!

Paul Mulhern

The Lime House guesthouse featured on RTE Nationwide.

The Lime House guesthouse featured on RTE Nationwide.

Ireland's largest strawbale building designed by Paul Mulhern of SPACIOUS Architects is nearing completion at the Rock Farm, Slane Castle, Co. Meath.  The project was featured on tonight's Nationwide program on RTE (12 mins in). Finishing touches are being put to the eco guesthouse in preparation for the weekend's concert.  The program is available to view on RTE's Player for the next 20 days.

Rock Farm site plan at Slane showing all six straw bale buildings.

Rock Farm site plan at Slane showing all six straw bale buildings.

The Lime House is the Rock Farm Slane’s 2-storey, 6 bedroom eco guesthouse, which has been built out of straw bales and clay plaster with lime on the outside to provide healthy, environmentally-sound eco-tourism accommodation in the Boyne Valley. This guesthouse has been designed to the highest environmental construction standards, and in sympathy with the woodland, organic farmland and architecturally-protected parkland of Slane Castle just over the river from the development.  The Lime House is named after the adjacent stone ruins of a lime kiln which now forms a centre-piece of the new courtyard space to the front.

The Lime House and five other straw bale buildings including a rental cottage, worker's cottage, farm office and a family house for the owners were all designed by architect, Paul Mulhern.  The guesthouse, farm office and yurt camping are all now complete.

The rear of the Lime House, facing the farm.

The rear of the Lime House, facing the farm.

Elevation drawing.

Elevation drawing.

Side Elevation.

Side Elevation.

Perspective drawing of the Lime Home.

Perspective drawing of the Lime Home.

Strawbale, lime plaster, recycled timber materials.

Strawbale, lime plaster, recycled timber materials.


[Designed while Paul was a partner in his previous practice].