Zero energy self-build

A few months into their project Sinead and Jonathan Willox of Co Tyrone decided to go zero energy with their self-build, but was the low carb diet worth it?

In this article we cover:

  • The knock-on effects of changing the specification to a SAP of 97
  • Knock-on effect on timings with mortgage and planning approval
  • Decision making process for new heating system
  • How to get the house to perform as well as it was designed: on site watchpoints
  • Managing the build long distance
  • Tips for a quality finish
  • Balcony design and building challenges
  • How the house is working out living in it two years
  • Full specification, supplier list and costs


Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email

What the planners want when you’re eco renovating

Ireland’s first timber kit house?