The Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (NEES) project was funded by the Northern Periphery Programme 2007-2013. As part of the project, a demonstration project was being used to test six of the ‘NEES best practices’. The project involved refurbishing an existing Parnell cottage at a rural location outside Cloyne, County Cork, and building a new extension. The six best practices considered were:

  1. Timber frame construction
  2. Hempcrete external insulation
  3. Cellulose insulation
  4. Triple glazed wooden windows
  5. Green (sedum) roofs
  6. Gravel reed bed for wastewater treatment

Sustineo won an open tender to evaluate this demonstration project. Our evaluation considered the building as a whole and the various best practices from the list above.

A mass analysis of the NEES specification and a comparable conventional design, as well as a building energy rating (BER) assessment, formed the basis of the evaluation. The metrics were mass, energy, carbon and cost over the life cycle of building, but our report also considers biodiversity, human health, ease of construction and maintenance.