Fergal McGirl - Conservation architect dublin


articles

The White Castle, Athy conservation management plan
Athy is an Anglo-Norman town located at one of the principal bridges across the river Barrow which separated the Gaelic Irish of the midlands from the more Protestant controlled lands to the east of the river and closer to the Pale. The town was therefore subject to attack from the native Irish from the 14-16th […] Read more – ‘The White Castle, Athy conservation management plan’.
how to insulate old house walls
Above: (Left to right) Calcitherm Caclium Silicate board, Gutex wood fibre board, Remmers  iQtherm board, Diasen Diathonite While many of our traditional buildings have been sitting inefficient and unmolested for several hundred years, the development of improved energy standards and thermal comfort levels in modern buildings in recent years has created a new benchmark against which […] Read more – ‘how to insulate old house walls’.
buildings conservation reports
There are various types of conservation reports that typically get commissioned for heritage buildings: Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments (AHIA) This type of report typically accompanies a planning application to a Protected Structure. The report assesses the impact of the proposed development on the building and may recommend mitigation measures and include appropriate conservation method statements […] Read more – ‘buildings conservation reports’.
oldcastle, co. meath former RIC barracks building
The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was the police force in Ireland (outside Dublin) from the early 19th century until 1922. From the 1850s the RIC performed a range of civil and local government duties together with their policing, integrating the constables with their local communities. While “barracks” in cities resembled those of the British Army, […] Read more – ‘oldcastle, co. meath former RIC barracks building’.
raheny extension design
An extension and energy upgrade project to a house in Raheeny is due to go on site in Summer 2020 after the lockdown period. The works extend the house to modern standards and the energy upgrade will improve the energy performance of the house to an A3 rating supported by a range of SEAI grants. Read more – ‘raheny extension design’.
victorian railings reinstatement between the centuries
  We were looking at railing reinstatement work to 19 Gardiner Street Upper recently. The terrace of which it forms part is located at a typical fault line between the earlier 18th century Georgian development of the Mountjoy Square area and the Victorian development of Gardiner Street Upper further north which took place some 80-100 […] Read more – ‘victorian railings reinstatement between the centuries’.
athletics ireland office fit out
We collaborated with Ciaran Adamson Design  on another original project to design a new office fit out for Athletics Ireland, the national governing body for Athletics in Ireland. We sought to create an interior working space that reflected the ethos and identity of the sports body. Playful elements within the interior reflect the volunteer ethos […] Read more – ‘athletics ireland office fit out’.
early 20th century garden city roofscapes in marino, dublin
A large element of the character of Marino comes from it’s varied and unique roof lines generated by a variety of materials, roof types, features that follow the curving pattern of the roads and step with the levels of the area. A variety of roofing materials were used which emulated the style of estates at Roehampton and […] Read more – ‘early 20th century garden city roofscapes in marino, dublin’.
classification and typology of dublin houses
One of the tasks of the “Built to Last” study of Dublin’s pre-1945 housing stock that we undertook with others for Dublin City Council in 2013 was a classification of Dublin’s house types from 1700-1945. The task was an ambitious one given the broad historic period and variety of houses from different periods to be considered. […] Read more – ‘classification and typology of dublin houses’.
leeson street mews house dublin 2
We have a recent decision to grant planning permission for a mews development to the rear of a protected house on Leeson Steet Lower which is current on site in 2020. The three-storey development features an open plan living space at ground floor level and bedrooms at first and second floor accessed via a stairs light […] Read more – ‘leeson street mews house dublin 2’.
interior 1920s decorative schemes, marino, dublin 3
Most residential interior design projects these days feature the ubiquitous white or magnolia colour scheme to walls. We are involved in works to a modest house in Marino which has revealed a very different approach to interior colour schemes in the city from the 1920s. Residential development from this period predated the advent of central heating in ordinary […] Read more – ‘interior 1920s decorative schemes, marino, dublin 3’.
From knossos to killarney – what about historic building reconstruction?
Above: Temple of Knossos, Crete I recently visited the Temple of Knossos in Crete to see the remains of what was possibly the first city in Europe created by the Minoan civilization c.3000-1000 BC. The city was forgotten after it was abandoned but featured in Greek mythology until it was excavated in 1878 by Sir […] Read more – ‘From knossos to killarney – what about historic building reconstruction?’.
insulation/energy retrofit of a protected structure, balbriggan
Bedford House , Balbriggan, Co. Dublin was originally constructed as a glebe/rectory c1750 but was converted to a nursing home at the end of the 20th century with a substantial single-storey extension to the rear. It is a protected structure with a regional rating of importance on the NIAH. The new owners who wished to convert the […] Read more – ‘insulation/energy retrofit of a protected structure, balbriggan’.
experiences in modular building: is it more cost effective?
Above: Daoine Oga modular-built community childcare facility, Navan Is modular building a cost effective and efficient way to build? It depends. From 2001-2010 we were involved with the development of a number of similar-sized purpose-built childcare facilities on green-field sites under a national and later European childcare capital funding scheme. Towards the end of the building […] Read more – ‘experiences in modular building: is it more cost effective?’.
conservation-led design & visual impact assessment: bermed house, carlingford
We were engaged to provide conservation-led design input to a house in Carlingford located on a site situated on the line of a protected view of St. John’s Castle, a significant National Monument. The site is also considered to be part of the setting of the castle and is located on the edge of and […] Read more – ‘conservation-led design & visual impact assessment: bermed house, carlingford’.
dublin and the 1974 central dublin traffic plan
  The shortcomings of coherent transport planning for Dublin has been well-publicised over the years. It is interesting however to look back at what we have been saved from. The image above was published in the Architectural Review in 1974 in a special edition on Dublin. The before-and-after image was prepared by the magazine to […] Read more – ‘dublin and the 1974 central dublin traffic plan’.
is external wall insulation appropriate to dublin’s early 20th century housing stock?
External wall insulation has become more common in Dublin in recent years and has become prevalent in the early 20th century estates of Marino, Donnycarney, Cabra and Crumlin. If carried out correctly, It offers a technically robust method of insulating dwellings without impact on internal fittings and finishes. With many houses in these estates between […] Read more – ‘is external wall insulation appropriate to dublin’s early 20th century housing stock?’.
wall construction of dublin houses pre-1945
What are the walls of Dublin houses made of? Following the demise of timber-framed house construction in Dublin in the 17th century, the use of brick construction established itself in the early 18th century supported by an act of parliament in 1730 that stipulated quality control measures for local brickmaking. The houses of the 18th […] Read more – ‘wall construction of dublin houses pre-1945’.
repair of a dublin georgian staircase
The stairs in this protected Georgian building had suffered from movement caused by settlement of the party to the adjoining building during basement works. The top flight was a particular concern – this section of stairs was a later addition to a c19th century toilet addition over the stair landing. Opening up showed that the joists had poor […] Read more – ‘repair of a dublin georgian staircase’.
lead theft to historic buildings – carstown house, drogheda, louth
Carstown House, Drogheda is a 17th century protected structure of national importance and a recorded monument. It’s special significance and National Importance relates to the fact that a disproportionately small number of domestic dwellings exist from the 16th and 17th centuries. As much of the building dates from before 1700, it is listed as a […] Read more – ‘lead theft to historic buildings – carstown house, drogheda, louth’.
irish times feature on energy efficiency in period homes
Our Albany Road retrofit project of a Victorian house in Ranelagh featured in the property section of this weeks Irish Times. Click the link below for the full text of the article: Period Restoration: Channel energy into roof, floors and walls   Read more – ‘irish times feature on energy efficiency in period homes’.
design of childcare buildings – an architect’s experience
The development of childcare buildings as a distinct building typology in Ireland is a relatively recent phenomenon. The boom in the provision of purpose built childcare buildings has been driven by increased childcare demand originally forecasted in The 1998 Study on the Economics of Childcare in Ireland as the labour force and the number of […] Read more – ‘design of childcare buildings – an architect’s experience’.
conservation approach to dry rot treatment in historic buildings
We were asked to look into the cause of an outbreak of dry rot in an early 20th century farmhouse in Louth. The case that dry rot fungus requires a moisture source to develop and that it can be treated by addressing the sources of moisture is explored in “Timber Decay in Buildings: The Conservation […] Read more – ‘conservation approach to dry rot treatment in historic buildings’.
visual impact assessment of historic buildings and views
We have prepared a conservation architect visual impact statement for a residential development that potentially could have impacted on the views of King John’s Castle, Carlingford, Co. Louth and the Architectural Conservation Area of the town. A number of mitigation measures were developed and analysed with the building’s designers by means of photomontages including change […] Read more – ‘visual impact assessment of historic buildings and views’.
irish georgian society awards 2014 shortlisting
We were delighted to have the conservation works to the house at Greenore, Co. Louth shortlisted in the 2014 Irish Georgian Society Conservation Awards. Well done to the winners – the high standard of the work was very impressive. Read more – ‘irish georgian society awards 2014 shortlisting’.
roman cement facade conservation, clontarf, dublin 3
We were asked act as architects to provide conservation consultancy to the repair of a Roman cement façade to a building dating from the 1850s on the seafront in Clontarf, Dublin 3. Although not a protected structure, the building is mentioned in “From Village to Suburb: The Building of Clontarf since 1760” by Claire Gogarty. […] Read more – ‘roman cement facade conservation, clontarf, dublin 3’.
carbon/life cycle/energy analysis (NEES) demonstration building in cloyne, co. cork
We have prepared a report in conjunction with Sustineo and Building Life Consultancy to evaluate the environmental performance of a Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (NEES) demonstration project in Cloyne, Co. Cork for South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd (SKDP). The project is investigating the use of services and materials based on natural or recycled materials to […] Read more – ‘carbon/life cycle/energy analysis (NEES) demonstration building in cloyne, co. cork’.
1 pembroke road, dublin 2 conservation architect consultancy
No. 1 Pembroke Road dates from c1850 and formed part of the development of the Pembroke Estate which was developed from 1834 onwards. The estate was influenced by classical trends of Europe which influenced the style of the houses and the planning of straight and wide tree lined streets. Planning regulations were enforced through ground […] Read more – ‘1 pembroke road, dublin 2 conservation architect consultancy’.
history of marino estate, dublin 3 – architecture and design influences
Above: Marino estate under construction The history of the Marino estate in Dublin is of interest being the first inter-war housing development in Ireland to be influenced by the then new “garden suburbs” ideas encapsulated in the Tudor Walters Report in the UK and it’s Irish counterpart, PC Cowan’s 1918 Report on Dublin Housing. This […] Read more – ‘history of marino estate, dublin 3 – architecture and design influences’.
dublin city council research study of energy efficiency in pre-1945 historic dwellings in dublin city
We are pleased to form part of a consortium appointed by Dublin City Council to research the characteristics and energy upgrade potential of pre-1945 historic dwellings in Dublin City. The consortium comprises of Building Life Consultancy, Fergal McGirl Architects and IHER Energy Services. We will carry out a particular role in classification of dwelling types from […] Read more – ‘dublin city council research study of energy efficiency in pre-1945 historic dwellings in dublin city’.
early 20th century window patterns in the marino estate, dublin
The evolution of 20th century windows is illustrated in Marino. The extracts from photographs from the Dublin City Archive in the slideshow above illustrate the window patterns from the time it was built as the first social housing of the newly-independent Free State (for more on the planning history of the estate see here). Marino was built […] Read more – ‘early 20th century window patterns in the marino estate, dublin’.
caution with glass box extensions!
We prepared an article for the Winter Edition of Selfbuild & Improve Your Home magazine examining the area of allowable glazing and energy efficiency in extensions. The article also featured a commentary on the Northern Ireland regulations which would seem to have a lot more latitude than ours. The full article can be viewed at: […] Read more – ‘caution with glass box extensions!’.
ideal home show top home energy saving tips
Fergal was speaking at the Home Energy Show area of the Ideal Home Show at the RDS, Dublin on the bank holiday weekend 26 – 29th October with Gerry Duffy of Eurotech and Simon Jones of Aereco. He gave a presentation on “Insulations Made Simple” and a trade masterclass on Part L (Energy Conservation) 2011 […] Read more – ‘ideal home show top home energy saving tips’.
clachan village, whitestown, co. louth
We were recently engaged to prepare a conservation plan for  a building in Whitestown, Co. Louth. Whitestown is an example of the “Clachan” rural settlement pattern which was based on the rundale system of collective farming often organised among one or more extended families. The existing fabric of the village is of historical and social […] Read more – ‘clachan village, whitestown, co. louth’.
energy upgrade of victorian house, ranelagh, dublin
The owner of a Victorian house in Dublin had suffered an uncomfortably cold period during the severe winter of 2010. We were approached  to examine options to make the house more thermally efficient. Having first carried out an energy audit of the house, we developed a package of measures which we considered to be practical […] Read more – ‘energy upgrade of victorian house, ranelagh, dublin’.
REPS 4 traditional farm buildings grants scheme conservation architect consultancy
Conservation is not just about the grand houses. We were pleased to have completed our first project under the Heritage Council REPS 4 Traditional Farm Buildings Grants Scheme at a traditional barn dating from the 1600s on the Cooley Peninsula near Dundalk. The scheme provides grant assistance for the repair of traditional farm buildings of […] Read more – ‘REPS 4 traditional farm buildings grants scheme conservation architect consultancy’.
stephenson gibney house, ratoath
Having worked for both Sam Stephenson as an assistant in London in the summer of 1989 and Arthur Gibney & Partners in Dublin for four years after college, I was surprised to learn that there was a Stephenson Gibney house in Ratoath when I was contacted by the owners in March 2010. The house which […] Read more – ‘stephenson gibney house, ratoath’.
dublin civic trust energy efficiency in traditional buildings seminar
A seminar was held by the Dublin Civic Trust on Tuesday outlining the challenges in relation to energy upgrading of historic buildings. Fergal was a speaker on the day in addition to Duncan Stewart, Moses Jenkins of Historic Scotland and Kevin O’Rourke of SEAI. The day which was attended by architects, conservation officers, planners and […] Read more – ‘dublin civic trust energy efficiency in traditional buildings seminar’.
LAMA awards ceremony 2011
Navan Community Childcare (Daoine Oga) was nominated in the category of best community initiative in the 2011 LAMA Awards. The ceremony was held in the Crown Plaza Hotel last Saturday. The project was pipped by Ardara Urban and Village Regeneration Project (nominated by Donegal County Council) – a good night was nevertheless had by all! […] Read more – ‘LAMA awards ceremony 2011’.
presidential opening at first steps childcare
Following on from the opening of Le Cheile Community Childcare in Navan in March 2009, Mary McAleese was back this year to open the First Steps Facility in Dunshaughlin. The President was welcomed to the First Steps Childcare Centre in Lagore, by its chairperson Ellen Cogavin. The ceremony began with a blessing by Fr Clavin, […] Read more – ‘presidential opening at first steps childcare’.
road infrastructure heritage impact assessment – co. meath
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Moygaddy House, Moygaddy, Co. Meath is a two storey over basement Georgian house with attendant courtyard stable outbuildings, paddock and gardens. It was most likely built in the mid 19th century as a farmhouse and equestrian breeding centre. We prepared a heritage impact assessment report to assess the impact of a proposed commercial development masterplan […] Read more – ‘road infrastructure heritage impact assessment – co. meath’.
grade II architect accredited in conservation, dublin
We were pleased this week to have received notification from the RIAI of Fergal’s accreditation in conservation at Grade II level. The accreditation process followed on from Fergal’s accreditation at Grade III level in 2003 and involved the submission of details of his conservation experience to date and five detailed dossiers of projects/papers completed. Fergal […] Read more – ‘grade II architect accredited in conservation, dublin’.