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Passive house showcases precision timber engineering, Limerick City

Project overview:

Building: 223 m2 uncertified passive house / Build method: Timber frame / Location: Limerick, Ireland / Standard: Uncertified passive house


Designing a completely bespoke home on a tiny site in a very mature, built-up urban area is the kind of brief that many architects relish, not least the challenge of creating a distinctive form that functions brilliantly, while ensuring that it blends in aesthetically with neighbouring homes. Throw in the desire to build to the passive house standard, and you have quite the project. But spend a bit of time taking in the sight of this really interesting, three-bed, single-storey dwelling in Limerick city — particularly the way in which almost the whole house orients towards its curved courtyard — and you can very quickly see why architect Barbara Carr (of local practice Studiomove Architects) and her client, John , are so pleased with it.

The new building has a bigger footprint than the original house that was demolished to make way for it, but it still blends in nicely. “The front of the house has very similar proportions to the bungalows that are there, and we didn’t want to do something that really jumped out,” Barbara says. “But inside it’s completely different. That’s why I called it the Tardis. When you come up, you can see that it’s different, but it really doesn’t shout out and I really loved that aspect of it. And then you come in the front door and there’s that sense of the sweep of the courtyard around the site that surprises you.”

Link to full project feature in Passive House Plus – Passive House Plus Magazine – project feature

 Products installed:
  • Heating system & Ventilation: Nilan Compact P XL
    Combining heat recovery ventilation along with air heating and summer air cooling through the balanced ventilation ductwork. Passive House Institute certified. Effective heat recovery efficiency: 80% (PHi), calculated with PHPP, considering stated efficiency and installation.
  • Nilan air-to-water heat pump (Air9)
    The Compact P is backed up with a Nilan air-to-water heat pump (Air9) which provides weather compensated hot water to zoned underfloor heating circuits. Seasonal coefficient of performance for Compact P and Air9 (variable speed compressor output power) Ecodesign A+++ SCOP 511% efficiency.