Setanta Construction launching revolutionary 'SoLow' energy efficient homes – The Irish News

MID-Ulster based Setanta Construction believes it is set to revolutionise the housing market in Northern Ireland and further afield through the development of low energy, volumetric, Passive-certified homes.
The company recently unveiled the construction of its ‘SoLow’ pilot housing project at its site in Magherafelt to a group of international delegates attending the Building a Sustainable Future conference, and detailed their ambitious plans for growth within the energy efficient housing market.
As concerns about rising energy costs, climate change and affordable housing continues to mount, Setanta has met the challenge head on by designing and completely manufacturing the first of its kind volumetric house constructed anywhere in Ireland to complete Passive House standards.
In comparison to conventional building techniques, a Passive build is designed and constructed to be highly energy efficient and is the gold standard when it comes to low energy eco homes.
Mark Gribbin, director at Setanta Construction directors Mark and Niall Gribbin says “Our newly launched ‘SoLow’ volumetric house aims to put energy performance at the heart of the housing market, delivering significant cost, time, health and environmental benefits for all.
“We’ve worked alongside industry experts in the design process including the Electric Storage Company to ensure outstanding functional performance throughout. Key components include 4kW of photo voltaic panels installed with an 11kw electric storage battery with heating and hot water provided by an integrated heat pump and ventilation system”.
Time scales are an important factor when it comes to any new build or development, and Setanta’s versatile and cost-effective off-site method of construction allows it to deliver the highest quality energy efficient homes whilst minimising overall construction time and costs.
Mark added: “We want to maintain our lead position in the energy efficient housing market, and we’re committed to continuously refining and perfecting the production, processes and rollout of our bespoke off-site building concepts. The advantage of working with Setanta means that our housing components are built here at our factory before they are delivered and assembled to sites.
“Currently it takes just two weeks to construct our ‘SoLow’ passive house in the factory and it can be assembled on-site in just a few hours. In time we intend to scale up with plans for a new 30,000 sq ft factory under way, which will enable us to increase productivity to one fully completed house every day.
He went on: “We’re open to conversations with people within the industry, housing associations or those with land opportunities who are interested in investing in building a sustainable future.”
Niall Gribbin, joint director at Setanta, said: “We’re fully convinced of the advantages of building off-site Passive Homes with low embedded carbon, but to fulfill our assurances to potential homeowners and industry professionals we’ve committed to undertake a detailed study to examine the full benefits in comparison to conventional builds and further explore what works well for the ultimate occupants and the environment we live in.”
Trevor Hyde of Ulster University’s Center for Sustainable Technologies, said “It’s widely accepted that the Passive House concept is a smart long-term investment, which leads to lower energy consumption, reduced maintenance and expense with improved occupant comfort. We’re excited to team up with Setanta Construction to investigate this concept further and undertake a detailed study, analysing factors such as air quality, temperature fluctuations and energy usage on a yearly basis.”
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