This contemporary five-bed house is spacious and environmentally friendly, writes Tommy Barker.
Oysterhaven, Kinsale, Co Cork
Size: 224 sq m (2,500 sq ft)
The young family that did this large, five-bed contemporary home called Barley Field near the south Cork coastline and Oysterhaven knew what they were doing when they specced it for energy efficiency: it works a treat, with wood-pellet heating bills of just €400 per year, a drop in the ocean for a place with 2,500 sq ft of quality living accommodation.
The couple have local Kinsale links, and one half is a furniture maker who’s now also cut his teeth on house detailing and finishing.
After a five-year planing battle, they finished this five-bed home in 2010, and it featured just after its completion in what’s now Passive House+ magazine which raved about its eco credentials, as it hit a A3 BER rating.
It has matured even more since, but still is bang up to date inside, with things like underfloor heating, under polished concrete floors, three-sided wood-burning enclosed fire, central vac and CAT 5 cabling for TV and internet; it has 5amp lighting and LEDs, high-end sanitary ware, slick kitchen and island, with instant hot water tap among the host of extra features, a long list added to by a wine cooler, and waste disposal unit.
And, it’s timber framed, has sturdy Fermacell board in place of regular plasterboard, is air-tight and insulated to with a millimetre of its life, while also having a full wall of folding-back concertina doors in the kitchen for fine weather al fresco dining. (Windows are Swedish and triple glazed.)
Now, the family are moving on to a house renovation challenge, doing up an older house closer to the water’s edge than they’ve enjoyed at this Ballywillin setting, which is a couple of miles inland near Nohoval and its famed Finders Inn bar and restaurant.
Their love of the sea is more than strongly hinted at here at this spreading bungalow home, on its 0.75 acre site which even has a surf board mounted up on a feature wall as a reminder that the ocean awaits.
Ballywillin is 10 minutes away from Kinsale, and Barleyfield’s selling agent Michael Pigott, Carrigaline says it’s smart, finished to a very high specification, with the added bonuses of being environmentally friendly (eco-friendly paints and more, recycled materials in the fascias and soffits, etc) and is highly energy efficient, with heat recovery and ventilation technology in place.
Mr Pigott guides this south Cork purchase at €590,000, and says that on top of the 2,500 sq ft at ground, there’s a garage/workshop alongside, and that the house has a fully-sheeted out attic with trusses to allow for use of an extra 1,200 sq ft overhead, subject to planning permission for windows etc.
This box-ticking home, on an elevated sloping site, has its wood pellet stove, in the hall, plus three-sided 11kw wood burner in the circa 35’ by 20’ kitchen/diner/living room, there’s a conservatory with patio access, and there’s also patio access from the master bedroom, which has both an en suite and a walk-in wardrobe.
Elsewhere there’s a utility room, office, and marble-tiled main family bathroom, plus there’s an en suite in one other bedroom, with solar panels helping to add to the water heating capacity.
Set into tillage fields (hence the name Barley Field), this house’s grounds are c 0.75 of an acre with large stone patio behind, plus there’s a feature corner garden walled section for sheltered seating out, a lofted garage, steel shed, and a raised children’s playhouse, with low stepped access.
VERDICT: Eco-touches and energy-efficiency make it good for the pocket, and good for the planet.
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