Eco new build on a budget in Co Down

For Fiona and David McKee, an eco new build was the obvious way to go…  

In this article Fiona and David chat about their new build project, including:

  • How their new build design evolved and how they decided on which eco features to include
  • South facing design without overheating
  • Details of photovoltaic (PV) installation including costs
  • PV self sufficiency and payback times: electricity generated vs used, electricity exported, electricity stored in battery
  • Full specification, floor plans, timeline and suppliers’ list


House size: 2,200 sqft
Plot size: 1 acre
Bedrooms: 5
Build method: blockwork cavity walls (thermal blocks)
Heating: oil boiler, two wood burning stoves
Ventilation: mechanical with heat recovery
EPC (SAP): A (106)


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

Get paid for your electricity exports

Kitchen at the heart of the home in Co Down