Co Cork house first self-build in Ireland to get environmental certification

A project designed by Wain Morehead Architects in Co Cork is the first self-build or one-off house in Ireland to be certified by the Home Performance Index (HPI), achieving a Gold label for environmental performance.

The certification programme is run by the Irish Green Building Council and it rates buildings for not only energy efficiency and low running costs but for access to amenities, indoor air quality, the ecological impact of the development, options for transportation, and the impact of the construction materials used. There have been other attempts to put together similar certification schemes in Ireland, often referred to as Building Environmental Assessment Methods, but this is the first house to be fully certified by such a programme. The HPI allows several levels of achievement based on good, better and best practice. The award of the certificate is based on the overall attainment across all categories. There are three levels of certification: certified, silver and gold. The Co Cork house (pictured) which was awarded HPI gold certification also has an A1 Building Energy Rating and is Passive House certified. It was designed to have exemplary levels of water efficiency and should use up to 85 per cent less than a typical home based on standardised usage. The architect John Morehead said: “We particularly liked working with our suppliers to understand the environmental impacts of their products. The timber, the windows frames and the paints were all locally sourced. It was really nice to lead a project with such a positive impact on the local community and the environment”.
Selfbuild Live Belfast is the ultimate showcase for people who are building, extending, improving or simply decorating their home. Selfbuild Live Belfast, 22nd-24th February takes place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast.

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home 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

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