Ballinahown, Co. Galway ‘A3’ Deep Retrofit Case Study

by Branislav Nikolic | Apr 23, 2019

KORE case studies offer an inside look at how our EPS solutions perform in real-world applications. The following case study in Ballinahown, Co. Galway, features KORE Floor Insulation, KORE External Wall Insulation and KORE Warmroof for attic insulation. This deep retrofit was part of the 2018 Cavan Better Energy Communities Scheme, coordinated by KORE Retrofit and supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Case Study Details

Project Name: Deep Retrofit of derelict post office in Ballinahown, Co. Galway

Products Used: KORE Floor KORE External Insulation, KORE Warmroof, 6kW Daikin Heat Pump, Munster Joinery uPVC windows, AerHaus Aerauliqa QR350 Heat Recovery Ventilation System

Project Lead: KORE Retrofit Ltd.

Builder: John McDonnell Construction

KORE Project Manager:  John B. Smith

A Word from the Homeowner


Christina NGO-Gorman

Baile na hAbhann, Co na Gaillimhe

We got lucky. We had a derelict house, a dream, an outstanding team of local tradesmen, and thanks be to God a spot in KORE’s 2018 SEAI Better Energy Community Scheme. KORE’s Retrofit Programme Manager, John B Smith was an absolute joy to work with. He is extremely knowledgeable, professional, and a first class Program Manager. We were given proper advice, clear guidelines, and were kept in the loop throughout the program. Not only did we benefit in occupying a toasty warm, low carbon, A3 rated home, we are also able share our experiences in hope that we would inspire more homeowners to do as we did and to do it right with KORE’s insulation and KORE’s deep retrofit programmes. We would like to thank the management of KORE Insulation for making it possible for homeowners across the country to participate in their retrofit programme. Keep up the good work!

  • Ballinahown-Deep-Retrofit-External-Wall-Insulation
  • Ballinahown-Deep-Retrofit-Back-of-House

Bringing Derelict Buildings Back Into Use & Achieving A3

Located in Ballinahown, Co. Galway, this once-derelict post office was included in the 2018 KORE Better Energy Communities Scheme, part-funded by SEAI, to undergo major renovation and deep retrofit works. This project helped solve two problems – bringing a derelict building back into Ireland’s housing stock while renovating to a very high standard in both energy efficiency and workmanship. The grant provided by SEAI helped fund the energy efficiency upgrades including wall insulation, roof insulation, air-to-water heat pump, windows and doors and heat recovery ventilation system, while the remaining costs of the refurbishment was paid directly by the homeowners. KORE Retrofit Ltd. provided project management services and EPS insulation solutions.

With a Pre-BER (Building Energy Rating) of G, and a post-BER rating of A3, this deep retrofit project included in the 2018 KORE Better Energy Communities Scheme is now a modern, energy efficient, comfortable and healthy home. The final results came in at 74.9 kWh/m2/yr for primary energy use and 14.73 kg/CO2/m2/yr for the carbon dioxide emissions indicator, resulting in an overall energy rating of A3.

Photos of works


Breaking Down The Details

Floor Insulation

150mm KORE Floor EPS70 Silver, EPS perimeter strips and an 80mm screed with underfloor heating was installed achieving a U-value of 0.15W/m2K. This meets Ireland’s building regulations and the proposed nearly zero energy building standards for floor insulation with use with an underfloor heating system. The underfloor heating system was installed on the ground floor of the home. Only one radiator was required on the upper level as the majority of space heating is provided by the underfloor heating system.

Wall Insulation

150mm of KORE External EPS70 Silver insulation was used as part of a complete EcoFix External Wall Insulation System. The external wall insulation achieved a U-value of 0.19W/m2K. The walls were also extended upwards and the window openings raised off the ground. Best practice and high quality workmanship ensured that repeating and non-repeating thermal bridges were eliminated or kept to a minimum.

The KORE Warmroof Solution

To keep the attic space heated, KORE utilised an innovative warmroof solution with expanded polystyrene insulation to meet SEAI’s requirements for insulating an attic space. This warmroof system increased the home’s energy efficiency, decreased air leakage, reduced the risk of condensation, minimised the risk of thermal bridging and allowed for a heated indoor environment for both storage and services. Internally, 165mm of KORE EPS70 Silver was fitted between 175mm rafters at 400mm c/c, and 12.5mm plasterboard was fitted to the sloped and flat ceiling.
Externally, the roof was fitted with 18mm OSB board and taped at all joints. 50mm of KORE EPS100 White was placed on top of the OSB board, followed by sarking felt and timber battens and counter battens to increase airflow. The new roof construction, along with the KORE Warmroof solution achieved a U-value of 0.16W/m2K. This innovative EPS solution minimises the risk of perforations in the airtightness layer, and ensures continuity of the airtightness layer with the warm roof.

Heating System & Ventilation

KORE installed a 6kW Daikin ERLQ006CAV3 air-to-water heat pump to provide indoor space heating and underfloor heating. The underfloor heating was installed at ground level and provides enough heat for all space heating requirements. A single radiator was installed on the upper level to meet the technical requirements of the scheme. The homeowner installed a heat recovery ventilation system to further reduce energy usage required for space heating.

Windows & Lighting

KORE and the homeowners chose Munster Joinery windows and doors, which provided a U-value of 0.80W/m2K for both the windows and the doors. LED lighting was utilised throughout the entirety of the house. The windows were set out into the insulation layer which minimised non-repeating thermal bridging.

John B. Smith

Retrofit Programme Manager

John B. Smith (or just John B.) has been a Retrofit Programme Manager for KORE for over four years. With a background in the construction industry, John B. is responsible for upgrading the energy efficiency measures of traditional builds. Specialising in deep retrofit, John is spearheading the programme for KORE. John B. also helps manage our Warmer Homes Scheme, Energy Efficiency Incentive and Better Energy Communities Schemes. You can reach John by email or by phone at +353 87 146 9289.