Lidan complete ecological NZEB rapid build for DLR
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Lidan complete ecological NZEB rapid build for DLR

A highly sustainable rapid-build dwelling built for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council may be one of the first, if not the first ever dwelling, completely finished off-site in Ireland .

This article was originally published in issue 31 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 60 square metre, two-bedroom house was fully designed, built and finished in the Roscommon factory of off-site building specialist Lidan Designs, before being delivered to site. “What is unusual is that a fully fitted kitchen, plus bathroom, bedrooms, plumbing, electrics and energy systems were all done off-site,” Dan O’Brien of Lidan Designs told Passive House Plus.

The dwelling was then installed using a ground screw system, negating the need for concrete foundations, significantly reducing delivery time. The project took just a few weeks to complete from design to handover, O’Brien told Passive House Plus, and was delivered for a budget of €120,000.

The hand-built, timber frame structure was completely insulated in the factory with Ecocel cellulose insulation filling the walls, floor and roof, and Dupont Tyvek airtightness products. It also features a Mitsubishi air-to-air heat pump for space heating, heat recovery ventilation from Soler & Palau and an Ecovolt H2o exhaust air heat pump for domestic hot water production. There’s also a solar PV array (installed by Lidan), and a vacuum toilet featuring composting and greywater recycling systems.

Externally the dwelling is finished with hardwood windows made by local firm Sean Doyle Windows with CareyGlass glazed units, western red cedar cladding and a zinc roof. It boasts an A2 BER and meets the new nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standard for dwellings, as well as achieving an excellent airtightness test result of 0.66 m3/hr/m2 @ 50 Pa – roughly four times tighter than the average new home built in Ireland at present. O’Brien credits Mark Shirley of – who played a key role in the energy efficiency design and carried out the airtightness tests, BER and Part L compliance calculations – as playing a key role in the project’s success.

The unit is located on a tight site within Fernhill Park and Gardens, a recently opened public park on the Enniskerry Road near Stepaside. “Almost 90% of our buildings are now modularly built and transported to site,” Dan O’Brien told Passive House Plus. “Apart from the natural advantages of modular building in terms of ensuring factory-controlled quality and speed, this allows us to create highly skilled sustainable jobs in the west of Ireland, which is core to our strategy.”

“Our buildings are growing in both size and complexity, in line with increasing demand from a combination of both public and private sector clients for a sustainable and rapid build solution. In tandem with that, people are beginning to see the potential different uses of our buildings, which range from larger offices to community centres, schools and now rapid build housing.”

Lidan also recently completed executive offices for the Castle Leslie Estate and have produced a number of buildings for the OPW, including at the world heritage site at Newgrange.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:59

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