Projects | Houses
Passive Solar Designed Super Insulated Timber Framed Dwelling

Split-level dwelling with grass roof

A 2-bed, 2-storey farmhouse on a 1.5-acre site at Poulanairgid, Co. Cork, required extensive renovation. Positioned in the lower North-West corner, it was shaded by mature trees and close to adjacent farm fields, limiting both sunlight and views.

We proposed a separate, split-level dwelling while converting the existing farmhouse into a future home office and storage space.

Design & Layout:

  • Ground Floor: Three bedrooms and a bathroom are located to the north, with the master bedroom featuring an en-suite on its northern side. A bathroom buffers the western bedroom, minimizing heat loss by reducing the internal-external temperature gradient.
  • Upper Floor: The kitchen, dining, and living areas are designed to maximize solar gain. The kitchen/dining area benefits from morning and midday sun, while the living room captures sunlight from the south and west.


  • Timber frame construction adhering to ‘Super-E’ standards (equivalent to Canada’s R-2000 standard).
  • Features include high insulation, airtightness, and a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system (MVHR).
  • The first floor is clad in cedar, and the roof is covered with grass.


  • Heating is provided by a zoned wood-pellet boiler.
  • Optimal solar orientation and design reduce heating demands.

This design showcases a balance between aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency, and thoughtful integration with the landscape.

“Alan has the ability to listen to what you want, discern what you need, and design with vision. He was professional, efficient and prompt. We will forever be grateful and will recommend your services without reservation.”

Barry & Orla Fitzgerald, Co. Cork