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A new retrofit project in Galway has shown just how far the retrofit of a typical Irish home can go, by bringing a 1960s semi-detached house up to the full passive house standard.

When it came to heating, the owners had originally planned to put in a wood pellet boiler and solar thermal. But when M&E specialist Damien Mullins of Heat Doc came on board, he steered them away from that idea, and towards a Thermia air-to-water heat pump, for the sake of simplicity.

“The cost per kilowatt hour of their machines is very good,” Mullins says of Thermia. He says the controls are also excellent, and that the system heats the top of the buffer tank first, so hot water is available instantly. Mullins explains his preference for heat pumps: “They’re nearly like white goods. You don’t have to worry about topping it up with anything. So it’s very clean from a homeowner’s point of view.”

For complete details on this project visit the full Passive House Plus article

Designed around an existing timber chalet, this striking contemporary house managed to go passive on a budget for one lucky family of six, all while inadvertently blitzing Ireland’s forthcoming nearly zero energy building standard.

“On cold days, the condensation is on the outside of the windows.”

Heating is provided via an Air source heat pump BER: A2

A Danfoss air to water heat pump, consisting of an outdoor collector unit (left) and indoor unit with 180 litre cylinder (right), supplies heat to the house via an underfloor heating system.

For complete details on this project visit the full Passive House Plus article