Silver Bark House, Northern Ireland

Silver Bark House is a sleek, timber-clad home set in the countryside near the town of Hillsborough in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. It was built to passive house standards and occupies a gently sloping site with views of the Mourne Mountains.

Particular attention was paid to energy efficiency and minimisation of the building’s CO2 emissions. In recognition of the design’s ambitious targets, this house was awarded prestigious overall award in the Sustainability category at the 2023 RIAI Architecture Awards 2023.

  • Developer: FourSeven Ltd.
  • Architects: Marshall McCann Architects
  • Timber frame construction contractor: Fallis Passive Design & Build
  • Airtightness: Ecological Building Systems

Views from the house of the plains of Co. Down and of the Mourne Mountains in the distance

The interior ambience is characterised by clearly defined forms and serene surfaces.

Silver Bark House is surrounded by a captivating landscape and serves as a beacon of sustainability innovation. It was planned with careful attention to detail, and combines sustainability, innovation and timeless architectural design. The use of natural materials and features such as the vertical timber cladding, which extends from the exterior walls into the roof, help this house to co-exist in harmony with its surroundings.

The design implements passive house principles and uses energy-efficient systems and responsibly sourced materials, while also stressing practicality. It serves as an inspiration for other architects and clients, demonstrating that sustainable materials and state-of-the-art technologies need not be mutually exclusive, but can instead enter into a wonderful, successful symbiosis.

How was this project implemented?

The architects opted for passive house-approved, EPD-certified racking boards to achieve airtightness on the inside of the timber frame walls. On the outside, the walls are protected using SOLITEX ADHERO 1000, pro clima’s lightweight, self-adhesive, diffusion-open airtightness and breather membrane to provide protection against the natural elements. During the construction period, this membrane provides full weathering-protection on its own. In the long term, the membrane and the external timber cladding combine to protect the underlying structure in a dependable manner on the external walls; in the roof area, an additional roof sealing membrane is necessary.

TESCON VANA all-round adhesive tape was used to seal membrane joints and transitions to adjacent components.

The following pro clima products were used in this project: