Week Five

Its hard to believe we are 5 weeks into a 51 week program. Foundation and demolition are ongoing. We have had to change to a sleeveless pile given the gravelly ground conditions and use piles to the rear as well as the front. We originally intended to use strip footings to the rear but this was not feasible once excavation commenced.

Steel drawings are being reviewed and the internal steel frame should be in place by the next site visit, meaning demolition of the original superstructure may also proceed. Then this it will begin to feel like we are really moving forward instead of rewinding the existing building!

Week Three

Following our second site meeting, the basement has been excavated and compacted with clean fill. We dug a trial pit in the rear yard and discovered that the current ground level sits on top of 2 metres of accumulated fill built up over the last few hundred years. The original top soil was clearly visible below! This means unfortunately that we will have to install piled foundations all the way back, whereas before work commenced we thought we could use strip foundations at the rear.

The ‘shelf’ of stone below ground level means my insulation detail will be pinched here. We are considering trimming this as per the attached sketch in order to reduce the potential thermal bridge at the footing.

Week One

Demolition Work progressing

The contractors are carefully removing the linings of the previous shop and demolishing the interior structure by hand to exposed the shell. On doing this we discovered some details such as an incomplete filling of the previous basement that now needs to be excavated and filled properly. Our archaeologist, Dr. Niall Gregory is monitoring all excavations and demolitions to identify finds of interest.

The next step will be to insert piled foundations and a steel structure to brace the adjacent buildings which will also be our permanent structure. This will be thermally isolated from the foundations by FoamCore loadbearing insulation pads. Once the steel goes in we can safely take down the existing shell.

Waddell Media have started filming footage of the demolition for an eight part 1-hour new series to be aired on RTE next year called ‘Take Me Home’. The passive house apartment will feature.