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Cloughjordan Eco Village

Cloghjordan Eco Village is Ireland’s first purpose designed Sustainable Community. 

Under this ecological masterplan by Solearth, a third of the site is developed as a composition of green buildings and a variety of social and communal civic spaces, with the remainder set aside for use as an organic farm and woodland reserve. The community of 500 people is designed to knit itself into the streetscape of the existing village.

The design is based on solar access and planning, transformation of a deeply incised ditch into a serpentine water feature, extensive landscape and habitat creation, innovative attitudes to street making, radical traffic calming and backgrounding strategies, and the integration of community gardens, recycling facilities and play areas.

The design includes plots and design guidlines for 132 different homes (ranging from apartments to row houses to free standing eco homes), a handful of public and community and enterpise buildings as well as utilty and service structures.

Community scale renewable thermal energy and natural wastewater treatment systems were designed  to be provided, in a green infrastructure network, to the residents. The community renewable heating plant has been built and commissioned. 

The masterplan consisted not only of design and 3 dimensional studies but also of co-ordinating documents such as an Ecological Charter to govern the sustainability level of eventual houses, Plot Development Rules to make sure their position and dimension did not unduly disadvantage other members' access to light and solar radiation, and Design Guidelines to encourage each building and cluster harmonise with the overall design goals.

The natural water drainage systems which channel water to the new stream (built) and the constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment will complete the link with the site’s underlying ecology.

Solearth were lead designers and masterplanners. We led the design team, consisting of architect members, engineers, natural wastewater and permaculture consultants, archaeologists, hydrogeologists and landscape architects, and facilitated the extensive client participatory design and site selection process. Solearth served as landscape designers and design leaders during the infrastructure construction phase.

In 2010 Solearth were appointed at the suggestion of the Planning Authority to provide a design co-ordination / overview architect role to ensure that the diverse designs emerging from the members' individual designers (part of the vision of creating a varied and hetrogeneous urban community) had coherence and adhered to the orginal development rules and design guidelines authored by Solearth.

To date the majority of buildings realised are private houses (Solearth have designed a number of these 50 built homes) and  it is hoped that the community and public buildings, especially those that were concevied to contain and define the market square, will soon be advanced.

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Project Details

Contract Value:
€5m (infrastructure contract-completed), €25-30million (Buildings- ongoing)
Completion:
Infrastructure; 2008. Buildings, Landscape etc; 2009 - 2016
Location:
Cloughjordan, Co.Tipperary
Awards:
Green Awards 2012; Masterplan for The Village - Finalist in Residential Category Award