Setanta Construction Ltd were the Energy Efficient Project winners at the 13th FMB Master Builder Awards, 2017.


The company took the title for a stunning farmhouse in Dunloy that achieved zero carbon standard as well as the prestigious PassivHaus status. The team at Setanta earned the award by overcoming weather and budgetary issues, without compromising on quality, to create an impressive and innovative build. Read more in the Case Studies section.


About Us
Setanta began as Gribbin Construction, established in 1963 by Liam, Eamon and Joe Gribbin with the ambition of building highly insulated timber frame homes. Mark and Niall Gribbin, who worked as joiners for Gribbin Construction, picked up the mantle in 2000 with Setanta. They developed a second-generation, family run timber frame business, but maintained the primary focus of providing high insulation homes.


Once we have received your house plans, we will assess the project and how it can achieve the standard of Zero Carbon. We demonstrate what the energy performance of the building will be and guide the client as to the most effective way to achieve the best results for the house within any budget restraints.


When on site, we provide a complete turnkey service, though some clients may only need us to provide a completed airtight thermal envelope and others may want something in between.


Setanta was recently accredited as certified Passive House Designers, an esteemed qualification which focuses on energy efficient construction. In addition to being Passive House designers and experienced zero carbon house builders, we also carry out individual Thermal Bridging designs, perfecting the construction methods and details in order to build a more thermally efficient house. The company is continually increasing and refining skills and abilities to improve the quality of the product and service that we provide.


Setanta is currently responsible for 20% of the Zero Carbon builds in Northern Ireland. 


We work throughout Northern Ireland

Trades offered

Commercial builder
Civil Engineering
Builder general
Brick work
Carpenter and Joiner
General carpentry
Roofing general
House Builder
New build
Central Heating
Central Heating
General plumbing

Case studies

Dunloy Farmhouse - Winner of Energy Efficient Project at the 13th Master Builder Awards 2017

  • 20 Sep 2017

Setanta Construction Ltd won the title of best Energy Efficient Project at the FMB Master Builder Awards for this modern farmhouse in Dunloy, County Antrim.
The build was designed to meet both PassivHaus and zero carbon standards, something achieved by only a handful of buildings in the UK. To reach the PassivHaus standard, Setanta had to undertake numerous tests and checks of the project's thermal performance and suitability, as well as measuring airtightness every hour for the entire duration of the project. 
The finished result is a high-performing building, offering a healthy living space with much lower running costs than the average house. The inclusion of Photovoltaic solar panels means that the heating, hot water and lighting bills amount to zero, and even makes the home owner extra money, with a residual fund of £150.
The build had its fair share of challenges, with a six month deadline and a start date at the beginning of a particularly wet January meaning that the project had a slow start. One of the directors of Setanta, Mark Gribbin, explains the process:
"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, meaning 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.”
Take a look at the Energy Efficient Project winner page here.

See more case studies

FMB award winner

National Building Company of the Year
National Building Company of the Year

Northern Ireland Building Company of the Year
Northern Ireland Building Company of the Year