The Living Building Challenge – Case Studies from the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan

Presented by Éasca and Living Building Challenge Ireland

Part of Engineers Week in partnership with WeCreate.

Thursday 13 February 2014 | Enterprise Centre, Cloughjordan Ecovillage (map) | 12.00 - 16.00 | €65 Members Only - Pay Now (Éasca, Cultivate, RIAI, Engineers Ireland, CIBSE, IGBC members) / €80 - Pay Now (Non-members) / €15 Student rate (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Please join us for this workshop which highlights the green building projects that have been built in the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan. The workshop begins with an introduction to the Living Building Challenge, and an overview of the imperatives and criteria used to measure projects in this system. Using the Cloughjordan Ecovillage as a case study, we will discuss how certain aspects of the Living Building Challenge were met by specific buildings and how other aspects could not be met due to regulatory or logistical challenges. Participants are encouraged to discuss how those challenges can be overcome in the future and how we can move towards a Deeper Green approach to design and construction in Ireland.


Ecovillage Tour

Following a networking lunch, participants will be able to tour projects in the Ecovillage, with information presented by professionals working and/or living in the Ecovillage.



Projects available to tour (updated when new projects are added) include:


  • A detached cob house. The home owners designed and built their circular cob house with the objective to have a compact beautiful home that they could build themselves with skills they could learn, out of raw materials that were locally available or salvaged and spending only the money that they had saved. (Self-build at a cost of about €70,000 excl own labour.)
  • A block of four apartments, each individually designed to suit personal needs.Some of the sustainable building elements include energy demand reduction; green roof; timber frame, window frames and cladding; green cement for foundations and floor slab; cellulose recycled newspaper insulation; and permeable external pavements, driveways and paths.  Read the architect's description of the project approach and challenges. Architect will be present.
  • Passive house with breathable timber frame with cellulose and wood fibre insulation, triple glazed windows, optimised solar gain versus heat loss. Read the architect's description of the project. Architect will be present.
  • The North Tipperary Green Enterprise Park is a low-budget low-energy building that is home to WeCreate, a unique technology and creative workspace that offers access to a FabLab, community workspace, and co-working spaces. Read the architect's description of the project. Architect will be present.
  • Detached house, nearing completion. Timber frame structure, timber cladding, up-cycled newspaper insulation, planted roofs. Architect will be under construction, designed to maximise passive solar gains and garden outdoor space. Service rooms are located to the north and living spaces are located to the south. It is a compact house form to minimise external surface area and therefore heat loss. The building is built using low embodied materials including timber frame construction and cellulose recycled newspaper insulation.
  • Django's EcoHostel, a low-energy, water efficient building. It has 32 beds in shared en-suite rooms, plus owner's apartment. Concrete-block with external insulation. The only concrete building in the ecovillage - necessary to meet Fire Regulations!
  • The Ecovillage district heating system - the system meets the heating and hot water needs of over 40 homes and is expected to cope easily with over 130 buildings when the site is completed. Click here to see a short video.
  • The Ecovillage infrastructure, including stormwater management systems, swales, biodiversity areas, and urban agriculture.



11:30-12:00 | Tea and Coffee

12:00-12:20 | Welcome, introductions

12:20-13:15 | Overview of the Living Building Challenge

13:15-14:00 | Networking lunch

14:00-16:00 | Tour of houses/projects in the Ecovillage (attendees will sign up to visit two projects)


Presenters include:

  • Nellie Reid, Architect, LEED Fellow
  • Eileen Flanagan, Structural/Civil Engineer
  • Bruce Darrell, Architect
  • Paul McNally, Architect
  • Miles Sampson, Architect
  • Duncan Martin, Engineer



WeCreate is a unique technology and creative workspace located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage that offers access to a FabLab, community workspace, and co-working spaces. The Fab Lab will be open from 10:30 - 17:00 on Thursday 13 February 2014 for those who are interested in learning more.


The Ecovillage

See a short video about living in the Ecovillage here.


How to Get Here

By Train

Cloughjordan station is served by trains from Dublin and Limerick, please use them if you can – and help keep our local line open. There are two trains per day in each direction every weekday.Timetables change from time to time so check before you travel.

From Dublin

The 09.00 from Dublin (Heuston) arrives in Cloughjordan at 10.46 and an evening train leaves Cloughjordan at 18.08 arriving in Dublin at 20.00 (Monday to Saturday).

All services involve changing trains at Ballybrophy.

There is an easy change of trains in Ballybrophy and the train is almost always waiting when you arrive, so there's no hanging about. (note that this train appears to head back towards Dublin for a short distance before curving round towards the west again. Don't panic!) You pass through fairly flat farmland as far as Ballybrophy, with just a few small towns to break the view. From there, the local train ambles through a rolling landscape of fields and woods to Cloughjordan. Keep your eyes peeled for foxes, hares and other wildlife: they know the train is no threat, so are often in clear view.

From Limerick

The timings are less convenient than from Dublin. Otherwise, a ninety minute trip departing from Limerick at 6.30 (Mon - Sat) and returning at 19.43, you get fourteen hours or more in Cloughjordan – good value for money if you don't mind the early start! You'll pass through a rolling landscape of fields and woods as far as Birdhill before entering the more scenic foothills of the Silvermines mountains.

Check before you travel at

The local timetable is here.

By car

From Dublin

Follow M7 (Limerick direction) and exit at Moneygall (between Roscrea and Nenagh). At the far end of Moneygall main street, take a right turn (at the Sign saying Cloughjordan 10km, Borrisokane 20 km). Allow two hours.

From Limerick

Follow M7 (Dublin direction)  and exit at Moneygall (between Nenagh and Roscrea). At the far end of Moneygall main street, take a left turn at the sign saying Cloughjordan 10km, Borrisokane 20 km). Allow one hour

From Shannon, Cork and the South West

Follow the signs for Limerick. On approaching Limerick city, follow signs for Dublin to bypass the city centre and then follow the above. Allow over two hours
Route from the Northern Midlands, the West and the North-West

Join the N52 Dundalk – Nenagh road wherever appropriate (it passes through Kells, Mullingar, Kilbeggan, Tullamore and Birr) and follow it to Borrisokane (between Birr and Nenagh). At the far end of Borrisokane main street, turn left at a petrol station and a sign for Cloughjordan.

From the North East

Follow the M1 to Dublin then the M50 to the Red Cow roundabout and follow the signs to Limerick as described above.

From the South East

Join the N80 Enniscorthy-Tullamore road wherever appropriate (it passes through Bunclody and Carlow) and follow it to Portlaoise then follow signs for Limerick as described above.

From the South

Join the M8/ N8 Cork-Dublin road wherever appropriate. Take the N62 exit for Thurles & follow the N62 to Roscrea and then follow signs for Limerick as described above.

However you travel you will find a welcome in the calm of middle country in Cloughjordan.

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