Northern Irish builder Setanta Construction Ltd has picked up the national Energy Efficient Project title for a passive modern farmhouse in Dunloy. The house was designed to meet both PassivHaus and zero carbon standards, an accolade granted to only a handful of buildings across the whole of the UK. Achieving PassivHaus standards is a difficult task and painstaking tests had to be taken throughout the build process. The project had to go through numerous checks to prove its thermal performance and suitability for PassivHaus certification. Airtightness was also monitored and analysed every hour during the six month build.
The home owner has peace of mind that they live in a high performing building which provides a healthy living environment and running costs which are much smaller than that of a standard house. As the building has Photovoltaic solar panels not only do the heating, hot water and lighting bills amount to zero but this house actually makes the owner money, with a residual fund of £150.
The build was not without its challenges, with a six month deadline and a start date at the beginning of a very wet January the project got off to a very slow start.
Mark Gribbin of Setanta Construction Ltd explained “The client’s mortgage was significantly reduced prior to starting onsite, making it necessary to make changes to the brief to reduce costs without sacrificing any of the architectural integrity, floor space or performance. This was done by value engineering every thermal element and junction of the build, as well as the electrical and heating layouts and sourcing end of run items at a fraction of the original cost. This led to a very open and bilateral design process with our clients, where we bounced ideas around on construction methods, material selections and finer details of the design. We were both delighted with the final property, not only for its efficient qualities but the overall look and feel of the modern living space.”