Westmeath NZEB scheme opens its doors
The first phase of development is now complete at Clog Na Léinn, a new scheme of A1-rated ‘zero energy’ homes in Collinstown, Co Westmeath. Developed and built by NJ Doyne and designed by architect Louis Peppard, the first 13 houses are now finished, with the first residents moving in just as Passive House Plus went to print.
This article was originally published in issue 29 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge
The Clog na Léinn development contains a mix of three and four bedroom detached houses, with an emphasis on high quality design and finishes throughout. The dwellings were constructed from a rapid-build closed panel timber frame system, finished externally with a durable render board. Triple-glazed Munster Joinery windows feature throughout.
All of the houses boast A1 BERs, as well as meeting new nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards. Each house also features a NIBE F730 exhaust air heat pump, which provides all of each dwelling’s space heating, hot water and ventilation requirements. In addition, each house has underfloor heating and a 2.6kW NIBE solar photovoltaic array.
The entire heating, ventilation and solar setup was supplied by Unipipe, and the company’s Paul O’Donnell explained to Passive House Plus that the beauty of the NIBE system is that it is capable of controlling all of the heating, ventilation and renewables in a house and ensuring it all works together in an integrated, efficient fashion.
“Instead of it just being a heat pump working alone, it can control many things. On a sunny day for instance, it’ll see that you’ve got a lot of free electricity coming from your solar PV system, so it can use that to heat your water, or to turn up your space heating. Or if it’s in the summer, it can use that to increase the cooling,” he said. “It isn’t just different systems all acting in isolation — everything is working together.”
He added: “You can also log in via the NIBE Uplink app and see how much electricity you’re producing, how much energy the system is using, and control the hearing and ventilation.” O’Donnell also emphasised that with eight solar panels on each house, the PV system can deliver a significant amount of each house’s energy demand, rather than just being a minimal installation for Part L compliance.
He said that because the houses are so energy efficient, he estimates each should only have an annual energy bill for heating, hot water and ventilation of about €400 or €500, but with the solar PV system delivering an estimated €600 worth of free electricity each year, the net cost is expected to be less than zero.