Model efficiency in Sandymount
When the owners of number 89a Sandymount Avenue moved to Dublin in 2011 the couple had lived in Australia and Canada where they had enjoyed living in well-insulated properties with lots of natural light.
Switzerland-born Balz Kamber was in Dublin to take up the post of professor of geology at Trinity College. He had met his wife Claire at Oxford University.
They were looking for a house with a decent BER rating, something that seemed straightforward enough on paper. But while this property had already been fully renovated its insulation levels didn’t quite come up to their standards.
The requirement to include a BER certificate with the sale and rental of properties only came into law in January 2013 so, ever practical, Balz walked the property in his stockinged feet to determine how cold it felt underfoot.
It didn’t pass muster so while they loved the layout and the wide entrance hall they started tweaking the property to make it more cosy to live in.
In the sitting room, set to the front of the house, a lovely dual aspect space with large sash windows streaming light in, the open fireplace was lined and a draught-stop fitted to keep chills at bay when the fire wasn’t lit.
In the large open-plan vaulted room to the rear the original floors were raised and insulated. The glass doors on its gable wall, already south-facing, were triple glazed along with the roof lights. An oversized and pressurised water tank and solar panels on the roof give endless free hot water during the summer months. These simple measures mean the property, which measures 167sq m / 1797sq ft, now has a very efficient B2 BERr rating.
Balz, who loves to cook, selected smart new units by Nolan Kitchens with granite countertops, a durable and smart-looking option.
Ups t a i r s there are t wo good-sized double bedrooms, one of which has a large en suite bathroom, currently a shower room but big enough to accommodate a bath if the next owner wanted.
Beyond the sun-trap patio and hidden from view by low maintenance planting is a shed that looks like a miniature Swiss chalet. This could, with the addition of insulation and electricity, have potential as a charming home office or studio space.
The pr opert y is s e e k i ng ¤850,000 through agent SherryFitzGerald.