Grange Lough is the first fully certified passive home development in Ireland. A certified passive house is not only built to a rigorous thermal specification but it is also constructed in a highly cost effective manner taking advantage of the latest materials, technologies and processes.
This unique development delivers running costs for heating and hot water in the region of €550 per annum which is a fraction of the budget for a traditional home of similar size.
The passive design employed at Grange Lough takes home comforts to a new level with controlled fresh air all year round and a completely draught-free interior. Indeed, it is widely recognised that the sympathetic nature of passive design is an important catalyst for stress-free living. Entering a passive home for the first time will strike the unwary with an immediate sense of well-being, vitality and tranquility.
Insulation is a key element of passive homes and Grange Lough is no exception. The exterior envelope - consisting of external walls, ground floor slab and attic ceiling - is bulwarked against all kinds of weather. Performance is two and a half times better than current insulation regulations. And this would not have been possible without bespoke triple glazed doors and windows sourced locally from Munster Joinery. The design also placed new demands on timber-frame construction techniques and these have been fully addressed thanks to a close working relationship with Shoalwater. There has been fanatical attention even to the smallest details which might compromise the overall insulation performance. This even extends to plumbing and electrical works, particularly at the external interfaces. All of our local partners and sub-contractors have taken a keen interest in this flagship project putting in time and resources far beyond their original remit.
A welcome by-product of exceptional insulation is the level of sound-proofing in the finished home which adds significantly to the overall comfort level. Passive houses also rely on optimal orientation to the sun, with a carefully calculated window area facing south while smaller and fewer windows are present on north-facing walls. Because of the closed system, internal heat gains from domestic appliances also play a part in keeping the house at a natural design temperature of approximately 20 degrees Celsius. An efficient heat recovery ventilation system constantly recycles fresh air from outside meaning that the cumbersome habit of opening and closing windows is relegated to a bygone era. Other eco-friendly technologies such as solar panels also play their part in reducing bills, increasing comfort levels and giving these homes an exceptionally low carbon footprint. And serving a uniquely Irish requirement, an efficient and low-maintenance wood-burning inset stove is the focal point of the living/dining room.
Apart from our standard Homebond certification and the statutory BER Energy Rating, Grange Lough is also certified by the Passive House Institute in Germany. This imposes a rigid framework throughout the construction cycle from preliminary design to final fit. The evolution of the initial concept was always constrained by complex energy calculations which would not have been possible without special-purpose software. And once the first foundations are laid, rigorous checks, counter checks and audits ensure continual compliance culminating in eventual certification.
Grange Lough is the overall winner of the Isover Energy Efficiency Awards for 2011.
Area of Dwelling - 1810 sq. feet (OTA)