The A2-rated Scandi house trucked to Cork from Sweden was way ahead of its time
The thought, effort and quality of materials put into the A2-BER reaching 10 Glenrichmond when it was imported and built in just three months in 2000 has paid dividends of comfort and health to its Irish-Swedish inhabitants year after year. ever since, at a constant internal temperature of 21°C and with the freshest filtered air too.
Now that they are moving on, with three adult children having flown into the nest, the timing of its market launch – with an ever-worsening climate crisis and soaring energy costs due to war in Ukraine – couldn’t be more timely for its owners and future inhabitants.
Then the house (the manufacturer was Sjodalshus/Gotenehus, Sweden) was presented here again in July 2001, after the end of its first anniversary. Later its interiors were covered in our Home/Interiors section.
It was also featured in Passive House magazine (issue 35), a kind of bible for energy-efficient construction, which at the time focused on its high levels of insulation, NIBE heat pumps (supplied via Unipipe ) and other elements.
Standards-driven owners Margaret and Nils-Ove have even set up a business from home, Swedish Trade Center Ltd, acting as agents for a range of Swedish household products, triple-glazed windows and more, while that Margaret herself managed a number of projects. construction of houses in Ireland of Swedish origin.
The technology even covers the running costs of “Oscar”, their Husqvarna robotic battery-powered lawn mower. It silently nibbles their lawns, on a programmed route map, looking eerily like a grass-eating horticultural tortoise as it deals with keeping the lawns as pristine as the calm interiors of the house.
This €780,000 AMV is for a four-bed detached Glanmire hygge home, clearly in understated Scandi style. In showhouse order, he’s as fresh as he was in 2001 when seen here as a brand new one.
The main house – almost entirely wooden and now even more ultra-low energy after the addition of its PV roof top this year – has a very adaptable floor plan, with one of its four bedrooms downstairs of the road. Three more are above on each side of a central first floor, a spacious living room with access to the balcony overlooking the vast sandstone patio, the garden, the office and the garden room.
Cork architects, Jack Coughlan Associates, monitored the project in 2000 and recommended specialist local contractors such as Cathal Conlon for the plumbing and Manning Electrical (there is three-phase power), along with a mechanical ventilation system for air purity and heat recovery, with air changes every two hours for a healthy indoor climate (35 to 45% humidity). The solar panels are from Eddie O’Meara of Munster Solar.
The house – which could easily pass for a woodland home in Canada or the northern states of the United States – has a pale yellow and white painted wooden exterior, done with hard-wearing Jotun paints. The attic level has half-moon shaped gable windows at the top, bringing light into the 500 square foot ground level attic, while heavy duty metal drainpipes and gutters are curved.
In terms of rooms, there is an entrance hall/foyer next to a curved ash staircase, three interconnecting reception rooms, with wide patio doors to the sandstone patio, and a curved NIBE wood burning stove. low energy consumption in one of the connecting rooms (in an internal corner, to extract every calorie of heat). The kitchen has UK Fired Earth tiles between units from Kvanum Kok AB, one of Sweden’s most reputable manufacturers.
There are expansive internal views (including one front to back), with few hallways, and the overall feel is warm and light – which might be up to par in Sweden during the long dark winters if they are not processed and maximized by a good house pattern.
Decor includes window shades, checkered and striped fabrics, typically Swedish or Gustavian design in muted tones, and it all works with a mix of old/vintage furniture and more modern counterparts.
Comfortably wrapping their lengthy sales brochure, Ms McDonnell and Ms O’Mahony of Sherry Fitz say No 10 Glenrichmond will attract both interest and bidding action, and say it is ‘essentially Scandinavian to both in design and functionality, a truly unique home on one of Cork’s most private and beautifully landscaped site’.
VERDICT: If it made sense to build like this in 2000, how much more comforting and sensible now, in the midst of the climate and energy crisis? Evangelical saleswoman Margaret Sheeran claims that wooden houses of this standard in native Scandinavian climates last for centuries and will likewise last for generations when properly rooted in Ireland.