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Protected Structure...where to begin

  • 29-12-2021 1:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12,415 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling

    Hi guys.

    So we've bought a new (old) house. Built around the 1880's. Structurally sound and engineer's report showed a few small things that need addressing.

    Met with the architect and have a few ideas of what's happening. New extension to the rear as it's dark (north facing) and we need to force light in. This will be enabled with glass doors to the back and a roof light as well as removing a wall inside to get light from the front.

    Some walls upstairs will be rejigged and new partitions will go in to make bedrooms and bathrooms work.

    Here's where you come in!! How can we improve the heat retention and what would you recommend to do this.

    Downstairs is simple as it will be a gut out and have insulation in the new floor and should be fairly airtight (tapes, membranes etc).

    Upstairs...well that's the problem. We will be applying permission for thin double glazing but with 12 ft ceilings in the middle floors I'm guessing the answer will be "live with it".

    Architect is recommending solar panels in the "v" of the roof. That's fine but is it worth the investment for just water heating or electricity production? (Cost of batteries etc).

    Will a heat pump work for downstairs? Bear in mind that the kitchen, dining and living area will be open plan but with only one door in from the hall and the glass doors at the rear.

    Would love to hear any advice/ideas from you guys on here who may have worked on properties like this or have experience in them.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,167 ✭✭✭ Stanford

    First things first, if its listed as a Protected Structure you and your Architect should meet with the local planning officer for the area to see what their views are and what they will tolerate by way of any works to the building as a general principal, if your Architect does not have previous experience in working on Protected Structures you should seek out one that has, some Local Authorities have more "purist" views than others, you may need to do a building survey, start with a pre-planning exploratory meeting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,415 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling

    Forgot to mention the architect is a conservation architect and has done a large amount of the houses in this particular area!!

    She seems well up to verse with the particular wants of the council (some of which are quite strange). Example...we are looking for permission to install a driveway. One house applied with the remit of being elderly and needing access (paid public parking outside and can be busy at times). They were refused. The house 2 doors up applied with no reasoning and got permission!!

    Post edited by mfceiling on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,167 ✭✭✭ Stanford

    As I said earlier the requirements of Local Authorities (LA) regarding work to protected structures is uneven to say the least but your Architect seems to have a handle on the requirements of the LA. The general advice is that the best approach to Protected Structures is to return them to appropriate use using proper conservation techniques so the LA should not have an issue (in principle) to granting planning to return the building to a habitable use provided it is sensitively done.

    I would still suggest a pre-planning consultation with your Architect and the LA planner before you commit yourself to a formal planning application.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF

    MFCeiling, sounds like an exciting purchase! Twill Keep u busy for a while!

    see some of my very early posts that looked at wall insulation for older properties : search ‘calcium silicate’ & ‘hemp-lime’ etc. Basically research ‘breathability’, ‘hygroscopic’ wall constructions. Suppliers like the ‘green building store’ or ‘Ecologicial building systems’ have a range of options - your arch should lead you, assuming they get building physics/some tangible science back-up for their proposals.

    do use your own work supplier reps: gyproc and (Lafarge) holicm etc - you have buying power! so use it , to access their specialists! They owe you! :)

    re solar panels - have a read over in the renewables forum, some very knowledgeable regular posters - personally I would recommended it as part of any heat pump up grade - elec is only going one way. Have you a driveway?

    Re floor insulation for the heat pump - Under floor pipe work insulation will be important

    Re Air-tightness - you know about this, do consider mvhr if you can find a way to hide the ducts etc - they’re are some clever systems on the market.

    Basically take a ‘Fabric first’ approach - try to keep the Marcel Breuer furniture until last :)

    congrats and best of luck on the Reno. At least with your contacts you should be able to find good tradesmen!

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,415 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling

    Thanks Bryan!! A lot of homework to be done but I'm in the right place for advice!!

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