Private Residence, Gilnahirk

It’s not every day our team is briefed to design a zero-carbon Clachan style home – especially for an architect.

Nestling in the rolling Castlereagh Hills and close to Belfast, this new-build property turned out to be truly unique and a joy to work on.

Designed in Clachan style with its own delightful courtyard and split levels this property brought to together a design that complemented the beautiful rural setting, open plan living and the very latest in sustainable features.

The property, following the Clachan tradition, comprised a collection of small buildings, alongside the main living space.

To achieve the ‘zero carbon’ client brief we utilised renewable energy resources and a wide range of sustainable technologies including high performance insulation, low air permeability, ground source heat pumps, solar panels, and wind turbines.

Given the steep topography and the split-level design, we used stone gabions as retaining structures. Working within the countryside presented other logistical challenges such as a co-ordinating deliveries to coincide with low traffic movements in the area.

We maximised access to natural light throughout the main property by including large windows and roof lights that provide a truly airy and expansive feel. The rooms were also orientated to optimise the spectacular views of Belfast and a new pond that was installed as part of the build.