Mike McCann - The Old School House

LMN15

INSPIRATION

Mike McCann is an engineer and took on the job of the renovation of the Old School House as a challenge to see how green he could make it. He wanted to engineer the house for rent to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly a holiday home as possible. He made scale models of his plans to include an extension at the back to give a sun room and large kitchen-diner.

As someone who loves to buy and fit new gadgets and technologies this was a very enjoyable if costly hobby.


TYPE OF HOUSE

Old School House renovated into a four star self-catering accommodation.


POINT OF INTEREST

He has been rewarded by many awards over the years, the most recent being:
Guardian Green Travel List 2010: 'The old schoolhouse has been chosen by the Guardian to be included in their 2010 travel list, one of only sixteen in the UK and Ireland.'

And:
The Old Schoolhouse has been awarded the EU flower following an inspection on the 16th April 2008. This green standard is one of the highest accredited to accommodation providers, leaving visitors safe in the knowledge that they are welcomed to the greenest stay Ireland has to offer.


ECO ELEMENTS

Mike believes that  ‘Eco-tourism’ is the right thing to do. 

To achieve the highest standards required for the EU flower it was necessary to:

  •  Install solar panels and pellet boiler for the heating system together with underfloor pipework for a more efficient and comfortable distribution.
  • To conserve water rainwater harvesting is used for the toilet flushing.
  • The hot water system utilises a ring circulation system to provide instant hot water at each basin saving cold water run-off.
  • The water treatment comprises a Septech 2000 system with sand filtration and reed bed technology.
  • Documented systems within the premises for waste recycling energy control etc. complete the EU Flower requirements.
  • Renovated building – given a new lease of life.

CREATIVE ELEMENTS

His aims were to preserve the old building for future use and to fuse modern interior with the old exterior.


ARCHITECT/DESIGN BY

None

BUILDER

Self


MATERIALS

Foundations  Original
Walls Lined with dry lining, leaving a breathing gap. Large enough building to cope with that loss of space.
Windows Rational windows - designed to fit original windows.
Roof  Recycled rubber slates.
Insulation  High spec. 2’thick - rock wool and Kingspan
Finishings      Modern interior: stone fireplace to fit in with wood and steel staircase, open plan kitchen and sun room.
   

         .


HEAT SOURCE

  • Wood pellet boiler – works well for him: programmed to work with the visitor’s needs.
  • Solar panel.
  • Under-floor heating.

WATER SOURCE

Rain water harvesting for toilet use. 

Mains for kitchen.


WASTE

Self installed septic tank, percolation area and reed bed. Water at the end result - clear and full of tadpoles.


GARDEN

Rented property hard to maintain any sort of productive garden.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Time Scale: three years to complete

Satisfaction rating:  Enjoyed the whole process. Loves to buy and fit new gadgets, was his hobby.

Needs more people to rent it though. It sleeps 9-10 so is a large property.

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