Institute of Technology Sligo - Capstone Project

Institute of Technology Sligo - Capstone Project

Institute of Technology Sligo, School of Engineering & Design 

Program: Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology: Year 3 - 2016 - 2017 

Supervising Lecturers: Mr Anthony Massie & Mr John Joe Mc Hugh

Technician: Mr Colin Harte 

Background Project Information 

Over two semesters the AWSBT year 3 students, researched, designed and built the structure (see video).  The focus of this project was the application of the key Passivhaus Standard fabric first approach, namely:

1 - Airtightness
2 - Management of Thermal Bridges
3 - Superior levels of Insulation 



After a visit to our Centre of Knowledge the year 3 BSc. Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology (AWSBT) students decided to use our model house as a template for their Capstone Project 2016 - 2017.  Ecological were delighted to offer technical advice in relation to the application of low impact materials & passive house design concepts. 

John J. Mc Hugh (Lecturer, School of Engineering & Design, Institute of Technology Sligo) explains "Since September 2013, Mr Niall Crossan of Ecological Building Systems Athboy & his colleagues, invited to their training facility, third-year students, from The BSc. Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology Program, Institute of Technology, Sligo. Students received a Master Class in the management of:

  1. Airtightness
  2. Active Moisture Management Strategies
  3. Management of the movement of water vapour and the temperature of the building surfaces it encounters
  4. Management of Wind tightness
  5. The use of Low Impact Materials for the delivery of Superior Levels of Insulation and minimizing a projects ecological footprint.

Lectures at the Athboy Training Facility also included key aspects for the delivery of the Sustainable Building Agenda, namely application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building’s lifecycle. The theme each year was for buildings to adopt a Fabric First approach, resulting in reduced levels of renewable energy interventions to deliver the higher-level targets.

In September 2016, year 3 students attended a similar Master Class at the Athboy Training Academy. They also surveyed the Educational Model of the One Room Timber Framed Unit. They then reproduced this model at the Institute of Technology Sligo as presented now in The Capstone Project. This educational industry tour allowed students to design the structure with consideration given to wood / wood-based products & low impact materials for the framing racking and insulation, ensuring that any unavoidable damp or wetness can dry out faster than more can form. They also learned best practice for the application of the airtight layer.

The overall objective of this Capstone Project was the application of three key aspects:

  1. Airtightness
  2. Management of Thermal Bridges
  3. Superior levels of insulation of the Passivhaus Standard.

Mr Art Mc Cormack, Co-founder and senior architect of the Passive House Academy, has also always been a key advisor for this project informing our content here at IT Sligo for design and application of the Passive House Standard.

Finally, a special thank you to Mr Niall Crossan Group Technical Manager of the Ecological Building Systems & your colleagues. The BSc. Advanced Wood & Sustainable Technology year 3 students, my Colleague Mr Anthony Massie and I sincerely appreciate your invitations to your educational/training facility for the last four years for the delivery of a Master Class in the design and building of Low Energy Building Fabrics."

Included with this project was:

A series of lectures on the principles of Passivhaus Design a design element, students then designed a domestic dwelling to the Passive House Standard

Environmental Building Science Lectures

Students also designed an Occupational Health & Safety Management System, specifically for construction sites.  This Safety Management System was key control for the management of Health & Safety Requirements during the construction phase, in particular for the safe use of woodworking machinery.  

16 students were involved in the fabrication phase that amounted to 160 man hours.

This fantastic project was the result an outstanding contribution from everyone involved 

BSc. Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology Level 7, Year 3 Students 2016-2017
(Seth Brehony, Conor Coleman, Mark Flanagan, Philip Foy, Owen Gallagher, Gary Gillespie, David Harron, Brian Harvey, Ryan Knox, Liam Malone, Shane Mc Intyre, David Mc Morrow, Finnbarr Murphy, Michael Noone, Sinead O'Mara, Shane Smyth, Graham Thomas, Alex Whittle)

Ms. Katie Lynch & Ms. Shannon Mc Carey, from Performing Arts Year 3, Semester 6 IT Sligo, for the production of this short film.

Technical Assistant: Mr Liam Mc Caffery

Technicians: Mr Colin Harte & Mr Peter Gillespie

Lecturers:  Mr Anthony Massie & Mr John Joe Mc Hugh

Mr Art Mc Cormack (Co-Founder & Senior Architect of the Passive House Academy)

Mr Niall Crosson Senior Engineer & The Ecological Building Systems Team