29 Wynberg Park, Monkstown, Co. Dublin

Private ownership 

The original building was built in 1960 and the retrofit process was concluded in November 2011


Leading case typology

   Leading case function



   Industrial, services, etc.

Main Results

  • Achievement of 13kWh/(m2a) for specific heat demand for space heating compared to the maximum of 25 kWh(m2a) requirement for retrofitted buildings;
  • Very onerous levels of air tightness at 0.9285h of pressurisation in comparison to the maximum of 1.0h pressurisation results;
  • Half below of the required levels – 65kWh/(m2a) - for the specific primary energy demand in comparison to the maximum levels of 120kWh/(m2a) for the existent passive buildings;
  • A solar system composed by thermodynamic solar panels provides 50% of the dwelling’s hot water demand;
  • A heat recovery ventilation (HRV) unit attains 92.4% of the heat recovery efficiency and a additional small 12kW modulating gas boiler provides any additional back-up heat needed;
  • A set of solar gain optimised features, summer solar shading, super-low levels of insulation, very low levels of thermal bridges, low carbon materials and passive certified PVC windows with triple glazing summarizes the main features of this passive building.

The original semi-detached house built in 1960 is located in the middle of the village of Monkstown. A request to build with low energy demand, low embodied carbon materials and a full range of on-site renewables were the key measures of this retrofit project.

Initially designed to meet Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) “Low Carbon Homes Scheme” criteria with extremely demanding conditions in thermal bridges aspects, generated the change of the project focus between low carbon and passive house approaches. The new passive approach under the EnerPHIT (certified retrofits with Passive House components) standard provided to this project a good example of deep retrofitting related to energy-efficiency upgrades and savings on energy usage between 50% to 90%.


Passive retrofitting

The achievement of the EnerPHIT certified retrofit scheme leads to extensive improvements with reference to thermal comfort, economic efficiency, and reduction in heating energy demand of up to 90%.

Going further than the EnerPHIT standards, the project also pursued low embodied energy criteria by selecting only low carbon materials, such as wood-based products when possible and uPVC (PVC with reinforced insulation) window frames. In moving to the EnerPHIT scheme the project team realised that the resulting U-values would not be good enough to such very demanding criteria, and amended most of the project material specifications in order to achieve a better energy performance and an increased ability to quality control.


Project Details

The exterior main elements such as exterior walls and roofs were insulated and dry-lined in accordance to the EnerPHIT standard, while the new timber-frame extension (48 m2) is complying with the Passive House standard.

Solar pipes, roof lights, extended windows, a glazed screen between the hall and the kitchen and the open stairs contribute to optimize the day lighting and natural ventilation throughout the house.

The main energy systems comprises the thermodynamic solar panels for hot water demand, the heat recovery ventilation (HRV) unit attains 92.4% of the heat recovery efficiency and an additional small 12kW modulating gas boiler provides any additional back-up heat needed.