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Featured Article

International selection
Moy Isover International awards
Innovative low energy construction is rarely recognised on a European scale. The Isover Energy Efficiency Awards are one exception — here are nominations from across the continent that were celebrated at the European awards ceremony in Barcelona on 2 June

Search Construct Ireland

Official magazine of EascaEasca
Eamon Ryan's eco upgrade E-mail
Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Selected project details
Client: Eamon Ryan and Victoria White
Architect: Solearth Ecological Architecture   
Quantity surveyor: Andrew Nugent & Associates
Structural engineer consultant: Casey O’Rourke
Mechanical and electrical consultant: Glas Energy and Ecosave
Main contractor: Errigal New Homes (ceased trading)
Sedum roof: PHI Ireland
Replacement windows: Marvin Architectural
Triple-glazed windows: Nine Yards Construction    
Poroton blocks: Porotherm Ireland
Natural insulation:  Ecological Building Systems /Acara Concepts
Solar thermal: Kingspan Renewables
Solar PV: Cell Energy Ireland
Cavity insulation: Rockwool
Rainwater harvesting: Killarney Plastics
Low VOC paints: Farrow & Ball

Kingpsan Thermomax solar evacuated tubes provide
Kingpsan Thermomax solar evacuated tubes provide "piping hot water", Victoria says, while a solar photovoltaic array contributes to the house's electricity requirements

Project overview:

Location:    Clonskeagh, Dublin
Project type: House extension & refurbishment
Size: 189m2
Cost: € 300,000
Completion: 2010

Embodied energy of building materials used:
Poroton (terracotta) block

Embodied energy (EE): 3.4 MJ/Kg; Embodied Carbon (EC): 0.22 Kg CO2/Kg 

Timber frame
EE: 7.4MJ/Kg;  EC: 0.46Kg CO2/Kg 

Lime render
EE: 5.3MJ/Kg; EC: 0.74Kg CO2/Kg 

Mineral wool insulation
EE: 16.8 MJ/Kg; EC: 1.05 Kg CO2/Kg 

Energy performance: BER: B1 – 99.66kWh/m2/a, for the house as a whole including the refurbishment and new build. Monitoring of the heating requirements over winter showed that the gasifying log boiler required firing up once a day for circa three hours to meet the space heating and hot water requirement.

Renewable energy sources: 4m2 of Kingspan Solar Thermomax HP 200 vacuum tube solar thermal system provide an estimated 60% of domestic hot water.

A HDG Bavaria gasifying wood log boiler provides space heating with a gross efficiency of 85.5%+.

A 1.472 KW photovoltaic solar system, including seven roof mounted hybrid solar panels generates electricity.  The peak power of the total surface area of 8.7m2 PV installed is 1470 W.

Insulation levels: The existing cavity brick-block walls have been retrofitted with Rockwool Energy Saver blown cavity insulation. The filling of the 100mm wide cavity improves the U-value to 0.34 W/m2K.  

The single leaf existing walls to the former garage have been dry lined with 100mm of Thermo-hemp insulation. This improves the U-value of these walls to 0.37 W/m2K.

The roof has been retrofitted with insulation improving the U-value to 0.20 W/m2K.

The new extension is built from 425mm honeycomb terracotta (poroton) blocks with a U-value of 0.22 W/m2K.

The new build roofs – with 250mm of natural insulation – have a U-value of 0.15 W/m2K.

Windows in the extension are triple glazed, with an overall U Value of 0.8 W/m2K.

In the original house windows were replaced with Marvin Architectural double glazed casement windows, with dual pane soft coat low e glass, achieving a centre pane U-value of 1.1 W/m2K.

Reuse of materials: Doors, ironmongery and joinery items from the old house were reused as much as possible in the new build in order to reduce waste and to keep characteristic features. All site works used local or reused stone and gravel, softwood timber was Irish sourced, and all joinery was made locally. Segregation of construction waste and its reuse was written into the contract. Prefabrication of the timber build elements of the project entailed minimal waste at the factory where sawdust and chips were used as a local fuel source.

Rainwater harvesting: A Tricel rainwater harvesting system was installed collecting water from all roof areas. This system was designed and manufactured by Killarney Plastics to suit the specific requirements of the project. All toilets, the washing machine and the outdoor taps are fed with filtered rainwater.

Sedum roof: A PHI sedum green roof was installed on the extension and studio. The roof stores rainwater, helping to reduce drainage requirements. The held water is then released into the atmosphere through evapo-transpiration, in turn creating humidity that cools the surrounding air temperature. The use of plants helps to reduce the release of carbon dioxide emissions, and the vegetation layer traps airborne dust particles and air pollutants, providing a safe new wildlife habitat for birds and insects.
Water conservation: Low flow sanitary ware has been installed throughout, including Geberit low flush toilets.
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