Michael Lysaght and Silvia Argueso have transformed a 1930’s terraced house into an A3 rated energy efficient home

This 3-bedroom, 99 square metre, terraced house, originally built in 1930 (with a 1973 single storey flat roofed kitchen extension) had an initial BER rating of E2. Floors were suspended timber floors with no insulating properties. Walls were of rendered concrete blockwork with no insulation and single glazed windows. It had gas fired central heating with radiators.

We based our design on our client’s young and growing family life requirements. Without extending the footprint, we opened up the rear ground floor area, creating one big living space containing the kitchen and dining room. Adding roof lights and big sliding patio doors allowed for the eastern light of the rear garden to flow through the new glazed internal doors all the way to the front door. The patio doors open the kitchen/dining room to the garden, creating an outside room for dining and leisure activities.

Relocating the ground floor toilet to under the stairs, as well as providing a cloak store in the hall area, maximised the use of space available and resulted in clutter free space. Concealed sliding doors between the TV room and the front living room allows for this space to be used simultaneously for different activities, or in conjunction for special family occasions. The first floor was extended and reconfigured, creating bigger bedrooms. The bathroom was relocated to the front and the former hot press was transformed into a storage space.

The re-use of the existing single storey extension created a design challenge, resolved by adding the new symmetrical pitched roofs over the bedroom. The pitched roof breaks up the rear façade in an aesthetically pleasing manner, to reduce the scale of the new built.

To achieve an A3 rating, the whole house was thermally upgraded. The existing ground floor suspended timber floors were replaced with insulated concrete floors with underfloor heating. Internal drylining was fitted throughout the house and triple glazed aluminium windows were installed. Both the flat roof and the attic space have been heavily insulated and an antidraft front door replaced the original draughty timber door.

On the first floor we opted for radiators as a simpler solution, powered by a heat pump discreetly located in one of the kitchen presses. Demand-controlled ventilation was fitted, allowing natural air ingress and complying with Building Regulations. Chimneys were blocked up to reduce heat loss and damp ingress in the chimney stacks. The whole dwelling has been sealed with airtightness tapes and seals to maximise ventilation control. Low energy lighting has been installed in accordance with best sustainable building practice.

Architect: Deaton Lysaght Architects (Michael Lysaght and Silvia Argueso)
Structural Engineer: GK Consulting Engineers
Energy Consultant: 2Eva
Contractor: Advance Building
Windows: Vindr Vs Ltd
Kitchen: Kube


Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine