Blackwater Resource Development Agency and Cork County Council: Baile Glas

Baile Glas was Ireland’s first social and affordable Eco Village, delivered through a partnership between the Blackwater Resource Development Agency and Cork County Council, with a sustainable design approach sensitive to the rural context. It was designed by M‑CO in partnership with PRP ZEDfactor, and is a demonstration project developed with residents around green living principles and cultivating an awareness of sustainable design. We worked with clients, partners and residents to get the most out of their new homes: using less energy and saving money. We set out to engender a sense of community, and provided a creative solution to green houses that brought new energy technologies to the local construction industry and suppliers.

Re-visiting the project, we found that the houses used 71% less energy than the average, which exceeded expectations of energy savings of 60%. RTÉ News featured the story of a Baile Glas family with a total energy bill of just €1.08 on average, per day, per year. This is a great example of what can be achieved when sustainable design and the principles of green living are jointly embraced by communities and county councils. Positive feedback from people living in Baile Glas indicates that the houses are bright, warm and draught-free, with a heating system that is easy to use and maintain.