3cea is a non-profit, independent energy agency working primarily in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford.

The houses form part of an EU project to lower embodied emissions in house builds by utilising a 'Design for Manufacture and Assembly' (DfMA) model, ensuring houses are built to nZEB (Zero Energy Building) standard. In time it is hoped that the model will reduce the cost of construction.

nZEB ('Nearly Zero Energy Buildings') means a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

Low-carbon Houses Under Construction

3cea Communications Officer Colin Healy said,  “3cea were delighted to lead this initiative and to secure Irish funding of over 600K from a Europe wide fund of 4.2 million made available by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interred NorthWest Europe scheme to make this pilot project happen,” said Communications Officer Colin Healy.

“H4.0E-n ZEBs or ZEB builds are a must for future construction to meet both Ireland’s housing needs and carbon mitigation goals. The h4.0E houses in the upscaling process will be far cheaper to run and substantial carbon emission reductions will be achieved both in embodied and operational carbon.

“Heating and domestic hot water is where most of the energy will be used and these are warmer better insulated homes. All houses are fitted with heat pumps.”

The houses will be completed this year and will be used for social housing.