Architect’s future-proofed Clonskeagh four-bed for €1.75m

B-rated home features solar panels, a heat-recovery system, lots of insulation and underfloor heating

This article is 7 months old
Address: 48 Louvain, Ardilea, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14
Price: €1,750,000
Agent: DNG
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“A project of passion” is how architect Paul Keenan describes his home at 48 Louvain in Ardilea, the high-end estate off Roebuck Road in Clonskeagh. When it was developed in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was one the finest addresses in Dublin 14.

Now, so many decades on, houses here are still in demand and sell quickly and, when they do, new buyers tend to give the properties in the enclave – which take their names from universities – high-end makeovers.

Keenan, a principal at Keenan Lynch Architects – which celebrated its 30th birthday this month – said he tried to future-proof his home, which was completely refurbished in 2006. In doing so he installed solar panels, a heat-recovery system (so there is no hum from an extractor fan while having a shower), and lots of insulation. “There had been a suspended timber floor which we changed for an insulated solid concrete floor that now has underfloor heating,” he says.

The property has a B1 Ber, which, given its age, is a good rating. Some of its peers in the estate that have not been upgraded have F and G Ber ratings, giving an indication of the level of insulation and general unseen works in this property, which extends to 272sq m (2,927sq ft). Keenan advises that this can be further increased to an A3 rating with the installation of a 2kWp solar photovoltaic array; a more usable and efficient system, which he estimates would cost in the region of €5,000 to install in tandem with a government grant.


Keeping the house toasty and warm are the three floors (including mezzanine) of underfloor heating that give a comfortable thermal environment.

Alterations to the property – which his friend and colleague Keith Smith helped with – included a new entrance. It had a covered porch and carport, which is now replaced with a partly enclosed and glazed porch: “It’s now so easy to unpack the shopping; if you just reverse up you can take everything out of the boot without a drop of rain,” he says.

More alterations included the installation of a roof light over the stairwell which floods the house – which is triple-aspect – with light. A snazzy addition for his son was reclaiming part of the attic to make a mezzanine level off his bedroom. It now leads to a fine teenagers’ den/games room lit by a triad of Velux.

Keenan says the house really withstood the test of Covid-19: “There were five of us working from home and it really came into itself then as we have four large bedrooms.” Besides an office downstairs, two of the four bedrooms have desk spaces while the principal is so large it encompasses the entire width of the house.

Downstairs, a livingroom and a family room both have American walnut flooring and are dual aspect, while the kitchen/dining area opens out to the back garden. It’s as if the place was only finished recently – such is the level of maintenance and upkeep – and principal rooms benefit from smart Niko lighting and Russound centralised sound and audiovisual systems.

Landscaper Hugh Ryan was tasked with the gardens, and added a wall of silver birch to replace a leylandii hedge in the back garden, which is not overlooked. With clever lighting and a large composite deck, the low-maintenance design features a split-level pond with a cascade and goldfish.

The front is cobblelock, bordered by box hedging with parking for four cars, which, if electric, can be charged by the Pulsar Plus charger that is also compatible with photovoltaic solar panels, if new owners decide to install them.

In turnkey condition, the property is now on the market through DNG, seeking €1.75 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables