Model ef­fi­ciency in Sandy­mount

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Property The Market -

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.

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