Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 6 Site Visit to Timbertech Homes and Ecological Building Systems

Yesterday, we had a fantastic day out visiting a Timbertech Homes development in Straffan, Co. Kildare and Ecological Building Systems in Athboy, Co. Meath. Fergal O'Malley of Timbertech Homes gave us an excellent talk and tour of a timber frame house development consisting of 3 different house types (photographs 1 & 2). He highlighted the main considerations that were taken into account when aiming for low energy construction on a competitive budget.

Photographs 1 and 2  Fergal O'Malley giving his talk to the M.Sc. Environmental System students

 Fergal was ably assisted by Peter Smyth of Ecological Building Systems who came out to the site to discuss the importance of airtightness on site and discuss some of the airtight details that were used on this project (Photographs 3, 4 and 5).

Photographs 3, 4, 5  Airtightness detailing on Timbertech Homes Development

This site visit was followed up by a visit to Ecological Building Systems new training centre, which is a fantastic addition to the knowledge base in Ireland. The centre is still under construction and is due for its official launch in the new year but we got a sneak preview. Niall Crossan, as always (photograph 6) gave us and excellent overview of the different materials and building systems currently available, particularly focusing on airtightness, thermal performance and the control of moisture both in new building and refurbishment projects.

Photograph 6  Niall Crossan of Ecological Building Systems giving his talk to the M.Sc. students

The learning centre has an excellent array of large (photographs 7 and 8) and small detail sections (photographs 9 and 10) as well as a fully kitted house to demonstrate a preliminary airtightness test using the Wincon apparatus (photographs 11 and 12). 

Photographs 7 and 8 showing the large detail sections on show in the Ecological Building Systems Training Centre

Photographs 9 and 10 showing the small detail sections on show in the Ecological Building Systems Training Centre

Photographs 11 and 12 showing the Wincon House

All-in-all, it was a great day out for all the students. Many thanks to Fergal, Peter and Niall for all their help.