A further 12 homes as part of its housing delivery target of 1,563 social housing homes by 2021 has been delivered by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, designed and built by John Sisk & Son on a brown field site, to a rapid delivery programme.

As near Zero Energy Buildings ‘nZEB’ will become mandatory for all housing stock in the near future these homes demonstrate how this can be achieved cost effectively, to a rapid build programme on a difficult site. The homes are designed and built to a very high specification, taking advantage of some of the latest innovations and technology in house building, resulting in ultra-modern, energy efficient and high quality homes.

The development consists of twelve houses in total, ten 2-bed terraced houses and two 2-bed semi-detached houses, located in the centre of Dún Laoghaire, at George’s Place. This development has provided much needed dwellings built to the highest environmental standards in keeping with our ethos of providing bright, spacious, comfortable accommodation, with superb indoor air quality and low running costs for our tenants.

There were some interesting challenges associated with the site. There are a number of buildings in close proximity to the site in the ownership of dlr County Council but outside the site boundary all of which had to be respected and which made for a challenging construction project. They include the old Fire Station Building behind which the builder’s compound was located. This building is currently occupied by the Local Enterprise board and its front façade is listed.

Another building which forms a boundary with the site is No.10 Georges Place which is currently unoccupied and is also listed. The third building bounding the site is the Wash House which is also unoccupied and listed. There is an existing boundary wall to the North of the site. A section of this wall bounds onto Stable Lane which is a privately owned Mews Lane and a section bounds onto the side and rear gardens of private owners.

Speaking at the launch of the new homes, An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Tom Murphy, said: “In setting out our ambition for this project dlr wanted sustainably designed and well-constructed, quality houses which achieved a BER A1 energy rating. We are delighted with the open, transparent and collaborative relationship we developed with our construction partner, John Sisk & Son, who have delivered on all fronts – safe, quality, on budget & timely delivery.

“The provision of social and affordable housing is the Council’s main priority and we are delighted to formally take possession of these houses today and look forward to getting families settled into their new homes.”

Commenting on the handover of the scheme, Stephen Bowcott, CEO of John Sisk said: “Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had a vision for this prototype development. They wanted it to be constructed with top quality materials which would deliver energy efficient, easy to run and maintain homes, which would add to the architectural heritage of the area. Working in partnership with them and our supply chain we have delivered on that vision in only 8 months – a great demonstration of our house building capability through our dedicated ‘Sisk Living’ brand.

“We worked closely with the client and with the local neighbours to the site and the wider community to ensure the development would fit in to the environment and deliver comfortable, energy efficient home for the people who will live in them.

“This is our first delivery of Social Houses since 2009 and we are quite proud to confirm that it is being delivered early, by 3 weeks. We have also proven that builders on a design, build and finance basis can deliver homes at a far lower cost than developers who take the risk of speculatively purchasing land up front for the carrot of big margins.”

For a more extensive article see our July/August Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, contact Linda Doran accounts@mcdmedia.ie