First Passive House manufactured in Wexford near Enniscorthy
New Concept in Energy Construction
An innovative new concept in energy efficient house construction in County Wexford is being promoted by Michael Bennett and Sons, Building Contractors, in conjunction with Shoalwter Timberframe Ltd., Carne, Broadway. The first ever ‘passive house’to be manufactured in county Wexford was recently constructed at Killann, Enniscorthy, with Shoalwater Timberframe Ltd. Involved in every aspect of its development – from the planning and design stage right through to the finished product – while Michael Bennett and Sons took charge of the site development works.
The three-bedroom house was constructed for Michael Cuthbert and his partner Miranda O’Bolguidhir, both well known for their interests in environmental issues, and because it is the first passive house to be designed, manufactured and constructed by Wexford based professionals and craftsmen, the dwelling, on a half acre site with commanding vies of the Blackstairs mountain range, is generating huge interest, not alone among energy conservationists, but also among the construction industry in general.
Architecturally designed by Stephen O’Leary of O’Leary architectural services, Ballymotey, Enniscorthy, the house was constructed stage by stage, at Shoalwater’s state of the art facility at broadway under the watchful eye of Donal Mullins who established the company in 2000. Each section was then transported to the site in Killann and erected on a base installed by Michael Bennett and Sons, Building Contractors. The quality control system by Shoalwater Timerframe Ltd. is unique in the Irish housing market in that Shoalwater’s highly trained and professional staff, not alone manufacture each component of a new dwelling in their factory, but also erect the finished product on site. No unqualified tradesmen or sub-contractors are used in the erection of Shoalwater manufactured houses in order to allow the company to give a 100% guarantee of satisfaction of knowing that all work has been done to company specifications and structural requirements as laid down by Shoalwater’s structural engineers.
Due to the ever increasing demand for more energy efficient homes, through regulation or by personal choice, it is now becoming more and more obvious that timber frame, which incorporates an eco-friendly product that reduces carbon footprint and meets with all new house building regulation, is the way forward and Shoalwater Timberframe Ltd is now rightly regarded as the brand leader in this method of construction.
Shaolwater is a member of the National Standards Authority approved manufacturers’ scheme and is at the coalface of raising awareness and providing information, advice and assistance on timber frame housing across the south east and much further afield.
Passive housing is a relatively new concept to the Irish housing market. Encouraged by the fact that more than 10,000 such dwellings have been built across Europe in recent years, this well proven and tested concept is now attracting significant interest in Ireland with pioneers like Shoalwater Timberframe Ltd and Michael Bennett and Sons Ltd, leading an emerging movement in the construction industry.
Having studied and researched the concept, both contractors are convinced of its advantages in terms of energy performance and efficiency. Using their specific construction methods, a passive house has become very affordable to build an is now very much within the reach of all first time buyers.
Designed to provide a very high level of thermal comfort, with a constant even temperature being experienced throughout the whole house, the concept is based on minimising heat losses and maximising heat gains. The appearance of a passive house is similar in every respect to a conventional dwelling and for the occupants of a passive home, no lifestyle changes are required.
Since the establishment of Sustainable Energy Ireland in 2002, there has been a growing awareness of the need to construct environmentally and economically sustainable houses in support of government policy. Passive housing is viewed as the most efficient method of adhering to this policy and Shoalwater Timberframe Ltd., coupled with Michael Bennett and Sons, Building Contractors, are setting the example for other builders to follow in terms of energy conservation.
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