NZEB In Simple Terms


NZEB (enn-zeb) is the new standard of energy-efficient building in Ireland and a major BUZZWORD. But there are important changes that people going into the building process need to know about. And these changes also apply to HOME REFURBISHMENTS and EXTENSIONS!

As we all know there are big problems with climate change these days and this is why NZEB has come about. But in reality, it's only good news for the homeowner as with NZEB come BIG improvements in building quality and value for money.

NZEB (should, when done right) will ensure excellent comfort in our homes, high-quality construction, considerably lower energy bills, healthier living spaces and increased home value... the benefits go on.

In Ceardean we have been moving towards these standards for some years so many of our clients have already benefited from our progressive approach to energy-efficient design. However, as always we will continue to learn and improve upon this aspect of design and aim to exceed these new standards and look far into the future with our home designs.


The Big Myth: Optimal energy performance does not immediately mean more expensive design or building. But it does mean smarter design, more attentive building, better use of products and increased awareness of how we use our homes. 

Ceardean architects home energy confusion

 What NZEB means for:



Cost To Build: As New Irish Houses Have Been Constructed Near NZEB Standards For Some Years Now, New Homes Should NOT Cost You Much More After These Changes In Building Regulations.


Benefits To New Homeowner

  • Quality: NZEB Ensures A Quality Build Throughout As Careful Attention To Detail Is Required Using Certified Products.
  • Comfort: New Homes Are Substantially Warmer, Healthier & Quieter.
  • Cost To Run: Homes Under NZEB Will Cost €800+ Less To Run
  • Added Value:NZEB Homes Are Designed To Meet Living And Energy Needs For Many Years To Come So Add Considerable Value To Homes.


Principles of NZEB New Homes

  • All New Homes Will Now Be At Nearly Zero Energy Building Standard.
  • These Homes Will Have A Typical Building Energy Rating (BER) Of A2.
  • New Homes Will Produce Considerably Less Carbon Than Previously Built Homes.
  • Typical A-rated 3-bedroom semi-detached house is likely to be approximately €800 a year cheaper to heat than a similar house built before 2005.

For people who want to deep dive on U-values, learn more here

Brand New Passive Standard Home Completed In West Cork In 2019. By Ceardean Architects.

What NZEB means for:



Cost To Build: It's Hard To Quantify The Rise In Cost On Home Refurbs And Extensions Due To NZEB, But There WIll Be A Change. Basically The Older The Home, The Higher The Cost.

Just Be Informed. Be Wise. And If You Aren't Sure, Drop Us An Email, Would Be Happy To Help.


Benefits To Existing Homeowner

  • Quality: Strict Quality Standards Will Be Placed Upon Builders Who Take On These Projects
  • Learn About Building. Don't Be In The Dark. NZEB Will Bring Good Building Methods Into The Limelight.
  • Much Warmer, Less Draughty Homes.
  • Long Term Value Added To You Dear Old Home.


NZEB and Existing Homes

  • Applies To Existing Homes With More Than 25% Of The Building Envelope Being Upgraded.
  • Will Need To Achieve A Whopping B2 BER Rating  (This is HIGH)
  • You Will Need A BER done before and After.
  • Get advice from Architects, Professionals and SEAI
  • These Upgraded Homes Will Produce Considerably Less Carbon Than Previously
  • Check What Grants Are Available
  • The Older The Building The Cost May Go Up.



The “envelope” is the combined area of every surface of the house that leaks heat; so external walls, windows, doors, ground floor, and roof or ceiling

Modern Extension To Beautiful Dublin Georgian Home With Extensive Renovations To Remainder Of House Including Comprehensive Energy Upgrades.

Get lots more info on all of this at:

We talk about U-values and how to achieve optimum insulation levels over in another post here:

We find some of the top suppliers of energy-saving related products more often provide the clearest information, we refer to Xtratherm all the time, very helpful guys too


Or Mail Us Brief Details Of Your Project And We Will Be In Touch Shortly.

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