Category Archives: Technical Blog: Resource Library + FAQs

'Fabric First' Strategies. Traditional Thick Solid Stone Walls. Eoin O'Keeffe Architects | The Connection of People + their House to a Site

Some ideas + discussions that recently arose with a Client on a Project:

  • Involving the refurbishment of a traditional Irish Farm House, of existing solid wall construction (typically 600mm thick walls) with a proposed small scale new Front Entrance Lobby Extension.
  • A discussion from the viewpoint of Thermal Insulation, Heating, Air Tightness + Building Fabric in the context of thick Solid Stone Walls in a Traditional Irish Farmhouse (and also applicable to Cottages, Period Houses, Out Buildings, etc.)
  • The Project is at Design Stage (Pre-Tender), where options and decisions on construction systems, build ups and specifications will need to be made, so that a co-ordinated set of technical drawings + documents will be ready for issuing for Tender to Building Contractors for pricing.
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‪Got introduced the @Glavloc building system yesterday at a presentation in their facility in Cork. ‬
‪Very innovative, using recycled timber / waste timber & ideal for difficult sites. ‬
#PassiveHouse Standard‬
‪Looks Clever + Simple at the same time.‬


Q. In real terms, what is the equivalent area of an Air-Tightness Test Result of 7 m3/(hr.m2)?
A. It would be in effect be like having a hole the size of an A4 page in the external wall of a new house ( = cold air in / warm air out). & costing people money.
We attended the ‘BUILD BETTER’ Conference for Residential Compliance & Meeting nZEB in #Waterford on Tuesday.

Hosted by Saint Gobain, Gyproc, Isover & Weber, providing skills, information + discussion with presentation from Jason Horex Saint Gobain, Niall Vaughan CLV, Brian Dempsey WIT + Conor Taaffe Homebond, on:

– Fire Safety for Dwellings (Building Regulation update),
– Sound + Dwelling Acoustics,
– nZEB (near zero energy buildings) + Thermal Bridging,
– Air Tightness,
– Masonry + Rendering.

– Equivalent area of an Air-Tightness Test Result of 7 m3/(hr.m2) = A4 page size approx. (2011 Building Regulations maximum result)
– Equivalent area of an Air-Tightness Test Result of 5 m3/(hr.m2) = A4 page x 70% size approx. (2019 Building Regulations maximum result)
– Equivalent area of an Air-Tightness Test Result of 3 m3/(hr.m2) = A4 page x 40% size approx. (2019 Building Regulations max. result with MHRV)
– Equivalent area of an Air-Tightness Test Result of 0.6 m3/(hr.m2) = A4 x 9% page size approx. (Passive House Standard)

Overall very informative + a good morning of learning at the Tower Hotel….


‘Why SPECIFICATIONS are still important…..’ 🤓

We like No. 11: “By being clear and concise and containing all the information, it SAVES the Project Team, the Client and the Contractor TIME + MONEY by providing ANSWERS to many of the on-site construction questions”.


Variety is the spice of life…
– Presented Sketch Designs of a new Project,
– Coordinated works of a current project on site,
– Design coordination,
– & drawing up survey plans and elevations based on survey notes of an existing dwelling house.


What is ‘nZEB’?
‘nZEB’ stands for ‘nearly zero Energy Buildings’ which have a “very high energy performance”.
The “nearly zero or very low amount of energy should be covered to a very significant extent from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby”.

When does nZEB kick-in?

After 31st December 2018 for buildings owned and occupied by public authorities and by 31st December 2020 for all other buildings.

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‪Day 2 – Nearly Zero Energy Building Forum at the Clayton Hotel, Wexford. ‬

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‪Day 1 – Nearly Zero Energy Building Forum in Wexford County Buildings. ‬

‪Workshops on Thermal Bridge Modelling + Estimating Costs & Financials on Delivering High Performance Projects.‬
#nzeb #phai #nZEBRA


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If you would like to get an overview of how and why Passive Houses work, please watch ‘Eco Eye’ on RTE Player from 28 Feb 2017 – which gives great insight into the principles of: read more …


If you’re thinking of undertaking your own building project, you may find some of the tips and advice from the new Quantity Surveyor from RTE’s Room to Improve Lisa O’Brien of assistance: 16 ways to breeze through your renovation from Room to Improve’s Lisa O’Brien

Some of the principal tips:

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The RIAI has issued a Press Release on Friday 15th May 2015, that proposes solutions to protect home buyers and to construct better quality buildings.

In summary the RIAI is calling for the following:

1-) It should be a legal requirement for Defects Insurance, known as LDI (Latent Defects Insurance), to be put in place by each Developer read more …


Re-blogged – originally posted on BREGS BLOG, by bregs blog admin team:

Quote from article:

PI (Professional Indemnity) Insurance is taken out by those providing a professional service to provide cover against claims for error or negligence. Generally, PI covers the legal fees involved in defending a claim and the cost of ‘righting the wrong’ if the professional was found to have been at fault. read more …


The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR) will apply to most building works (including new houses, housing and apartments, house extensions over 40m2, schools, factories, offices, shops, hospitals and other government investment projects) from 1st March 2014. read more …


As of 01 March 2014 the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR) will be enforced.

The process of building projects (new builds and domestic extensions greater than 40sq.m.) will change as the BCAR puts a clear onus on the owners, designers and builders to fulfil their roles in full compliance with the law. read more …


“Passive House Design” and “Passive Solar Design” are two terms bandied about. However to the lay person it can be difficult to under what these terms actually mean, or to distinguish what the different between them.