Sustainability

As architects we advise our clients about the benefits of applying environmentally-friendly construction concepts and using progressive technology and materials. Our designs always aim to achieve insulation levels well above the building regulation standard.

We have successfully implemented the following sustainable energy options on a number of projects:

Solar collectors for domestic hot water generation

Solar Panels on Period House

Solar Panels on Period House

Flat surface solar collectors, ideally in an "in-roof" version, supplement domestic hot water generation. They connect to a "dual coil" cylinder where one source of heat is the solar panel and a backup source comes from your boiler. With grants available this is a great solution for the environmentally aware client.

Reference projects: 

* Period protected house, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
* Period house, Ormond Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Pellet boilers using "carbon neutral" wood pellets

Where there is no access to mains gas, such as in rural areas, a good alternative can be pellet boilers. The fuel is classified "carbon neutral" as the amount of CO2 that the fuel emits when it is burned equals the amount of CO2 the tree absorbs in its lifespan.

Reference project: 

* Period house, Cottage in Kilmolin, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

- Use of green roofs - to give nature back the space that the building occupies

Green roofs are usually flat roofs and can be planted with low maintances shrubs and herbs. Not only are you giving nature back some of the space replaced by your building, it also adds to the insulation levels, retains water that otherwise may be directed into combined sewers, and it can be an attractive sight from higher level windows (for example looking at the roof of a ground floor extension from the bedroom window)

Reference project: 

* Period house, Cottage in Kilmolin, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

- Use of "German Standard" external insulated render systems

This method has been widely used in Germany for decades. It entails insulating the structural blockwork with ca. 150-200 mm of rigid insulation which then will be rendered with a flexible acrylic render. With the insulation on the outside, It provides the advantage of keeping an active thermal storage (the wall) which contributes to a more comfortable room climate and avoids cold bridging. It can be used with traditional construction methods and also can be applied in renovation projects without losing floor space or disrupting the interior. 

Reference projects: 

* New built house Malahide, Co. Dublin
* New built house Portmarnock, Co. Dublin
* Extension to house in Blackrock, Co. Dublin
* House on Barton Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14
* Period house, Ormond Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

 

- Use of rainwater harvesting systems

Tank installation

Tank installation

In a large storage tank underground, the rainwater from the roof area will be collected. The water will be filtered and can be used for your garden, toilets and washing machines. Hard as it is to believe, Ireland has a notorious shortage of mains drinking water, so to use a system like this not only helps the environment but also can help save money once metering of mains water is introduced.

Reference projects: 

* New built house Malahide, Co. Dublin
* Period house, Ormond Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

- Use of Heat pumps:

Drilling of Bore hole

Drilling of Bore hole

Heat pumps work like a fridge inside out, the energy outside the house gets transferred to the inside. The temperature of the ground gets cooled down and the differential in temperature is used to heat the inside of the house. While higher capital investment is needed, heatpumps save on the long run in running costs. For every kW you spend on running the heat pump, it will give you 3 kW in heat for free. Heat pumps can be run on bore holes or with air-to-water units.

Reference projects: 

* New built house Malahide, Co. Dublin
* House in Blackrock, Co. Dublin


Other factors to be considered:

Airtight but breathable construction 
Heat recovery ventilation systems
Avoidance of uncontrolled ventilation and cold bridging
Use of natural insulation materials
Heavy insulation with high u-value, thermal storage and slow energy transmission
Dry-screed underfloor heating for quick response time

 

Airtight membranes in roof upgrade

Airtight membranes in roof upgrade

Underfloor heating in dry screed, for quick response

Underfloor heating in dry screed, for quick response