Sunday 11 December 2016

Green with envy at the old Dun Laoghaire Golf Club

The biggest new homes launch of the year so far has the very latest in energy-saving features

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

Birch style house at Roseland, Cualanor
Birch style house at Roseland, Cualanor
Cool, clean energy-saving measures at a Birch style house at Roseland, Cualanor

It seems unlikely that we shall see a repeat of the dramatic leap forward in energy efficiency technologies that happened in the last decade. Now, when it comes to further streamlining the running costs of a new home and increasing its sustainable energy capabilities, it seems likely that it will be a matter of fine tuning, adding the latest technological innovations that will work to shave that little bit more from bills, rather than transformative changes that raise the BER rating of a house significantly.

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Cosgrave, one of the country's most established residential builders, is known for introducing the latest in energy efficiency technologies to its homes. The company is run by four brothers: Joe, Peter, Michael and Willie. Michael is known as "the green one" thanks to his long-standing interest in sustainable energy. He is responsible for numerous bespoke touches to Cosgrave homes including the outdoor services enclosure, which contains the boiler, water booster pump and water tank in a specially designed unit in the back garden. This means it's easily accessible for any maintenance work and any future technology updates will be more easily facilitated.

With their newest development launching this week, Roseland on the Upper Glenageary Road in Dun Laoghaire, Cosgrave has added a number of innovative energy-efficient touches never before seen in a new homes scheme in Ireland.

The photovoltaic panels at the Roseland homes have been fitted with a Warik EnergyMiser. This feature, developed by Irish company Warik Energy and adopted by Cosgrave after rigorous testing, maximises the homes' use of the energy created by the solar photovoltaic panels, ensuring that as little as possible of the energy your house generates goes back to the grid. It does this by sending the power directly to any household appliances on during the time of generation and sending any surplus power into the hot water tank. This unit can be monitored from an app on your smart phone.

Feedback from purchasers of similarly sized homes in Honeypark, the existing Cosgrave development across the road from Roseland, place running costs at an average of between €1,400-€1,600 a year, depending on occupier usage. Michael estimates this feature could take a further €200 off the running costs of these homes.Each house is also wired for an electric car charging point.

While all Cosgrave brothers are involved in each project, usually one takes charge of the overall running. Such is the scale of this scheme, the largest new homes launch to date this year, that all four brothers are equally involved.

Roseland is the first tranche of Cualanor, a development of 175 houses adjacent to the Dun Laoghaire Bowling Club. It comprises 90 large four- and five-bedroom family homes. The extensive 6.5 acre park is already fully completed and landscaped, including a picturesque wooded area with walking path dotted with children's play equipment and wild flowers, jogging paths, and a large green area laid out as an amphitheatre. It's perfect for parents to sit watching small children play, with an adjacent picnic table area and a well laid out comprehensive children's playground.

The scheme is set on the old Dun Laoghaire Golf Club so the grounds provided the perfect raw material for the work of landscape architects Mitchell and Associates, as well as Cosgrave's own Derek Joynt. Directly opposite the entrance is Parkpointe shopping plaza which includes a Tesco, Boots and Starbucks, and Dun Laoghaire town centre and Monkstown village are both nearby.

There are two styles coming to the market in this launch, with BER ratings of A2-A3: the Alder, a four- or five-bedroom home plus study at 205 sqm from €715,000; and the Birch, a five-bedroom home of 227sqm, from €800,000. Laid out in terraced blocks of four, five and six houses at a time, the five-bedroom houses are all gable ended,and benefit from windows on two sides on the large ground-floor living room and kitchen/dining room, as well as the spacious first-floor entertainment room.

Both house styles are laid out over three storeys, with the ground floor also including a utility room and WC. The first level of both styles of house includes a large second living room, two good-sized double bedrooms, a hot press and main bathroom. The second floor of the five-bed Birch includes the master suite with walk-in wardrobe and sizeable en suite, two further double bedrooms, and a bathroom. In the smaller style, the Alder, the layout is roughly the same, but as this style is slightly narrower, the fifth bedroom would make either a small bedroom or a spacious home office.

This launch brings 30 homes to the market, with completion of this first phase due in the latter half of the summer.

Address: Roseland, Upper Glenageary Road, Dun Laoghaire

Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 631 8402

Viewing: Today, 2.30-4.30pm

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