Bellalegaun, Co Galway.

loughrea, co galway

Family House – East County Galway.


The house, for a young family, was designed in an accessible style intended as a realistic alternative to the bungalow-bliss or suburban model so often the default in rural settings.


A common-sense approach was adopted in relation to sustainability with a strong emphasis on passive systems rather than the often unnecessary excesses of hi-tech ‘eco-bling’.


Located on a southerly slope, this rural site enjoys a wonderful elevated aspect offering panoramic views across open landscape toward the Sliabh Aughty mountains. The design optimises both passive solar gain and the panoramic views across the unspoilt landscape. The internal arrangement of rooms, and the positioning of the house on the site, were carefully considered to maximise both heat & light from the sun – passive solar gain. The arrangement of the internal spaces is in direct response to the daily sun-path – all activities are located to catch the sun as it moves throughout the day.


The house is composed of two distinct forms with differing internal uses and external treatment. The use of familiar forms clustered together responds to the traditional cluster pattern of farmhouse and out-building settlement typical

across the Irish countryside.


A passive-first ecological approach was taken toward the design including elements such as:

- designed and oriented for passive solar gain

- thermal mass of floor stores heat from sun and regulating the indoor temperature

- high levels of insulation (minimum 50% in excess of the Building Regulation requirements at the time).

- space heating from biomass boiler

- maximisation of daylight to reduce dependancy on artificial lighting

- energy efficient artificial lighting solutions.



Typology New Build
area 240m2
status Completed, Summer 2009