The Federation of Master Builders

Money-making energy efficient farmhouse receives national acclaim

Published date: 15 September 2017

Plaudits go to Castledawson-based, Setanta Ltd, after the company received the highly coveted national prize for best Energy Efficient Project in the UK at the Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) Master Builder Awards on September 15th.

Well-known for their dedication to creating highly efficient and comfortable homes, Setanta directors, Mark and Neil Gribbin, were presented with the Energy Efficient Project award at the national ceremony in London.

After winning the Northern Ireland regional award in March, the project, a new-build farmhouse constructed to generate no energy bills, was pitted against the best eco-friendly homes across the UK, eventually claiming the national title.

Setanta has been certified as a Passivhaus Designer which complements the company objective of creating zero-carbon rated and energy efficient homes for clients. The farmhouse, located just outside Dunloy, Ballymena, was designed to maximise the energy from the winter sun by utilising large glazed areas on its southern facing. Solar shading was then used to minimise the effects from the summer sun, limiting the potential for overheating.

The large living spaces were designed around a centralised, double wood burning stove in an effort to maximise its heat output and distribute it around the house. This helps the home to meet both Passivhaus and Zero Carbon Standards, a feat that very few buildings achieve within the whole of the UK.

With the goal of generating no energy bills through the use of photo voltaic (PV) solar panels to generate income, the house actually makes money, £150 a year in fact, with heating, hot water, lighting and overall energy costs being zero.

The homeowner, Martin Marshall was blown away by the level of service given by the FMB member: “We found Setanta a joy to work with and from the outset they went beyond what I expected from them. To me, a true judge of a builder is not just what they are like to work with or the finished product, but also how quickly they fixed any problems that arise in any project. I have recommended them several times since.”

TV presenter and building enthusiast, Knick Knowles, presented the award to Setanta during the awards ceremony held at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel in London.

Now in its 13th year, the Master Builder Awards continues to be a flagship for high-quality building work.  Organised by the FMB, the awards programme is unique in that any project entered by the builder must be backed up by the customer – giving home owners the opportunity to support those building companies that have delivered exceptional results.

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