Ireland’s First Energy Positive House

Ireland’s First Energy Positive House

A house in Co. Westmeath has recently become energy positive for the second year running. The ileeid house has produced more energy than it’s used, resulting in a net surplus of energy and an overall carbon negative rating.

Technologist and energy specialist Patrick Daly designed and built the house which is located near Mullingar and features a super insulated and airtight timber frame construction. Daly started building the house in February 2008 and moved into it in September 2009 with his wife and their three children.

Daly explains the house was named “ileeid” which means, “integrated low energy and environmental impact design”. It is also believed to be Ireland’s first carbon negative house.
Most of the ileeid’s heating comes from the sun either directly or indirectly. Back up heating is provided by a small, ground source heat pump via a heat exchanger into the air supply system and this heat pump also provides back up hot water in tandem with the solar water heating.

Daly says he started off with a vision to build an environmentally friendly “eco house”.
“In the early design stages, I focused on ensuring that the house had good passive solar features balanced with a rurally sensitive design. As the technical design progressed, I began to examine the possibility of zero energy as a target and felt confident that it could be achieved,” he explains.

“In essence, the house used passive house principles and targets to achieve an ultra-low space-heating demand. I then sought to radically reduce the remaining energy loads through additional energy-efficiency measures and to meet them from renewable sources.”

The annual energy demand of the house is produced by a bank of 40 photovoltaic (PV) panels on its south facing roof. In the winter, these provide a portion of the house’s energy demand, while in the summer they produce an excess- thus balancing out on an annual basis, according to Daly.

The surplus energy produced at Daly’s house is being sold back to the Irish electricity grid saving him on his energy bill, all he needs to do now is save on is home insurance and the overall cost of the house will drop significantly. Daly is working on two other housing projects that are looking to become energy positive.

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