Frank McDonald, former environment editor of the Irish Times, writes about the need for economical houses here: http://dublininquirer.com/2015/11/03/frank-modular-homes-for-homeless-families-could-be-lovely/
Yes, all this sounds great. It is possible to do. We have tried to do this since 1991. Just a few obstacles…. : Our Irish government, various state bodies and County Councils do their damndest to make it as difficult and expensive to build a compact house as they can.
Sometimes I wonder if they know what they do when they make up endless new regulations on: heath & safety, fire & energy, certifications & approvals, the list goes on and on. Then these nincompoops change the rules back (sort of..-nobody knows) and pretend there was no damage done. (I think of the certified certifiers and new very expensive BCMS system, the internet based management system for planning that is still there)
Yesterday I was reading about Galway city council creating costs of 7200€ for a family in Oranmore for simply digging a hole and connecting to the water-mains. This must be considered borderline criminal.
Our authorities, falsely called civil servants, certainly need to come off their high horses with endless demands on others while being almost comical in their incompetence (think Irish water and local roads for example)
Compact houses of 1-2 bedrooms can be built very economically if the state backed off.
Accept the following facts: The planning costs, connection-fees certifications and all other (un-necessary?) costs hit the small house relatively harder than a large house. A modest 40 m2 passive house can cost 2500 €/m2 when all is said and done. But a large luxury house of 300m2 could be built for as little as 1100€/m2.
Another example is our backwards ESB / electric regulators that forbids washing-machines in the bathroom so they end up in the kitchen in small dwellings. In most modern countries the washing-machine is located in a wet-room (i.e the bathroom in a small dwelling), with floor trap and tanked floor for safety against water-damage. Cheap installation with plumbing in one place.
The exorbitant costs of house-insurance in Ireland is the topic for another day, but it is related to un-necessary water-damages from poorly build bathrooms and washing-machines in the kitchen too.
Come and visit us to see how it can be done this coming weekend!
“International passive house days/ NZEB”
We are open all Saturday Nov 14th,
Welcome, Lars Pettersson