Paul Doran remembered
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Paul Doran remembered

Editor Jeff Colley remembers Paul Doran, one of Ireland's foremost builders, who has tragically passed away.

I was shocked and saddened to learn today of the tragic death of Paul Doran, one of the best and most forward-thinking builders I've ever encountered - a modest man who had a big impact.

I read about Paul's death in the news yesterday, though he hadn't been named at the time. He had recently moved to Australia, and was caught in a riptide trying to save his daughter, who mercifully survived. My heart breaks for his wife Simonne, who I had the pleasure of meeting with Paul at the Green Awards a few years ago, and Paul's family, including his father Pat.

The Dorans always struck me as a lovely family, and Pat Doran Construction was a wonderful family business, with a father who was the best type of old school builder, and a son bringing a new energy, and pushing his father to innovate. There was a great balance in this, with a seasoned pragmatism ensuring that any innovations which they took up had been thoroughly considered.

If you wish to donate, Paul’s brother in law has set up a Gofundme page to help Paul’s wife Simonne & kids through an unthinkably difficult time.

Paul, Pat and Simonne worked together to deliver some extraordinary buildings, including passive house and Enerphit projects, using a variety of approaches. Paul's care, commitment, and genuine desire to deliver quality, low energy, green buildings was an example for the whole industry. The buildings he built, several of which we published, are an enduring testament to him.

One story sums up his diligence - an Enerphit project we published which Paul built, where the building services package wasn't included in the main contract. This was far from ideal, with an exacting airtightness target of 1 ACH to meet, and pipes, cables and duct penetrations flying in everywhere. Paul said he counted over 200 penetrations in total. Yet his team patiently and methodically sealed them all, and they hit the airtightness target, against the odds.

Paul wrote for us on the cost of building to the passive house standard, which was key for us in successfully lobbying for new homes in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to be built to passive house or equivalent. As such his legacy won't just include the buildings he built. Without him, the likes of the 600 unit Shanganagh project - which will be Ireland's largest passive house project - wouldn't be happening.

We plan to write about Paul in the magazine, but some of the articles we've published by him or about his work are worth sharing, as early, inspirational examples showing that traditional Irish builders can do extraordinary things. People like Paul have shown the way - it's up to the whole industry now to follow suit.

An article by Paul: Why passive house doesn't cost extra

Case studies:

An oak frame + SIPs passive house:

An award-winning Dublin Enerphit:

A flat pack passive house:

A renovation which expertly balances period building restrictions with new build extension:

It was a pleasure to have known him. May he rest in peace.

Last modified on Monday, 23 January 2023 12:28