John Hearne

John Hearne

Freelance journalist John Hearne has contributed a diverse range of news and feature material to a range of Irish newspapers and magazines. Currently, he is a regular contributor to The Irish Examiner and The Irish Independent, where he writes on tourism, consumer affairs, business and careers.

Renewables in Residence

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At Tom Heneghan’s new development in Dromard, Belmullet, Co. Mayo, it’s a case of sixteen units down, eleven to go as Construct Ireland goes to press. Exceeding the thermal performance requirements of the Building Regulations by some 60%, these houses incorporate a range of innovative and affordable sustainable building technologies which together deliver high comfort, low energy living, as John Hearne reveals.

True to Form

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Adding to the list of developers aiming to deliver energy efficient housing, Cronan Nagle Construction are currently on site with 188 highly insulated, airtight homes in Ennis, co. Clare. The development, which also incorporates heat recovery ventilation and condensing gas boilers is surpassing the thermal requirements of Building Regulations by up to 45%, as John Hearne discovers.

Out of the Woods

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Many of the opportunities that trees offer for sustainable building are harnessed by a housing development in Ballymahon, Co. Longford which combines timber frame construction with recycled newspaper insulation and wood pellet heating. Adding in solar panels and attention to detail for airtightness, these low energy, low carbon homes reveal a developer who sees a bright future in going green. John Hearne visited the site to find out more.

Cutting Edge

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre
Building a visitor centre at such an evocative site as the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s greatest tourist attractions must have been something of a challenge. By attempting to cater for visitors, the centre could so easily have ruined the rugged, barren landscape which makes people visit in the first place. John Hearne visited the new interpretive centre to discover a building which addresses this problem by becoming part of the landscape, whilst using eco technologies to reduce the building’s strain on the broader environment.

Heat of the Moment

Heating Technologies Explained
John Hearne spoke to a number of independent energy experts to develop an impartial view of the main sustainable heating options.

A Class Apart

Galway Bay Solar Apartments
Kevin O’Flaherty’s
development overlooking Galway Bay combines impressive energy saving techniques with the sorts of features that buyers of high-spec homes have grown to expect, as John Hearne discovers.

Early Developer

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In September, Sustainable Energy Ireland launched a major energy efficient housing development in Tuam, Co Galway. Houses in the development are over 70% more energy efficient than houses built to standard Building Regulations requirements. Construct Ireland’s John Hearne describes.

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