Cutting costs, comfort & clever design in a luxurious house on the Ards Peninsula

Ards Peninsula, North Down



Daly Renewables worked with a client to cut energy costs and design a renewable energy system that would meet the demands of the house and generations of family members. The 8000 Sq. Ft new build on the sea front in Donaghadee, Co Down had the complexity of needing to heat an annex for a parent, and maintaining an indoor heated swimming pool. With an integrated heating, plumbing and energy solution the client has an annual electricity bill of just £1500 – including hot water!


Key details

  • 8000 sq ft block build house including an annex housing an elderly parent
  • Indoor swimming pool heated by heat pump
  • 500l hot water tank
  • Energy needed to supply annex for parent
  • Renewable Energy Heating System design by Daly renewables
  • Annual electricity bills only £1,500

Technologies installed by Daly Renewables

The situation

The client had bought a significant seafront site on the North Down coast. But seven years later they were still deciding what they wanted to build.

Being in the construction industry themselves, they had a lot of experience and a lot of connections with specialists – including in the renewable energy sector.

One such specialist was Ryan Daly, Managing Director of Daly Renewables who had designed and installed a renewable energy heating system on another project on which the client was the main contractor.

“Due to the size of the house, it made sense to install a renewable energy system from not only a running cost point of view, but also from an environmental point of view. We had a big enough site that gave us options which also made a renewable energy system make sense for us.”


The solution

The client worked with Daly Renewables in conjunction with the architect and designed the renewable energy system to suit the build and the client’s needs

“I felt confident working with Ryan from my experience of working with him on a previous new build. He is not a salesperson, which I like. Ryan tells you facts and I found him to be very detailed in his approach to the whole thing from day one.”

“I liked the integrated approach that Daly Renewables brings. There is one point of responsibility. They know where everything is positioned and if there is a problem, they can deal with it without having to get a few different suppliers involved.”


The design

The home comprised an annexe in which an elderly parent lives in and an indoor heated pool. Every detail of the system was designed with the energy needs of the family’s lifestyle in mind.

Daly Renewables ensured that it would provide optimal heating of the large home as well as being energy efficient. The business has Professional Indemnity insurance to stand over their system designs and they have developed a strong reputation for being the go to company for designing and installing renewable technologies in large one off residential houses. Renewable and heating systems are seamlessly integrated as well as being future-proofed.




Daly Renewables designed, installed and commissioned a renewable heating system with two Mechanical Heat Recovery Systems to extract the warm, moist air from bathrooms and kitchens via ducting before being expelled outside.

Any fresh air coming in is preheated via the exchanger and ducted inside into the living rooms and bedrooms to heat them. So instead of opening a window in the bathroom and losing that heat, it gets redistributed to the rest of the house. This enhances the cost-efficiency of a domestic renewable energy system.

The home was designed to use underfloor heating throughout, powered by Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) from Ecoforest with 1000 sq m of horizontal collector pipe buried underground. Heat Pumps draw heat from the environment using the conventional refrigeration cycle to produce more energy than they consume. A renewable energy system emits an even, optimal heat rather than an intense blast that you would get with a conventional heating system. They are an extremely effective and efficient way to not only heat your home, but produce all your hot water needs.

Daly also installed an Ecoforest HTR (high temperature recovery), a by-product that allows for free or higher temperature hot water in winter. The HTR system effectively heats the water as a by-product of the heating production, therefore it reduces the running costs and increases the overall system efficiency. In the Wallace’s house, it heats the water and swimming pool water when the system is on heating the house.


The plumbing team also installed the complete plumbing works in the new build, so the plumbing and heating were fully integrated.


Swimming Pool

With the swimming pool water being kept warm by the Heat Pump, the side effect would have been that when the cover was pulled back the sudden change in air temperate generated a lot of condensation. The client decided to install a gas heater to blow warm air into this room to compensate, as the ambient warmth from the underfloor would not be enough.


Hot Water

The Ecoforest heat pump is designed to heat the hot water first, the house second and the pool water third. The fact that the pool water and domestic hot water is being heated by the Ecoforest HTR technology significantly reduces the running costs of keeping the pool water heating, which has often been a significant downside to many people who have had a pool in their home in the past.

The Wallace’s system includes two solar hot water panels on the roof, so the solar heated water is used up, then the Ecoforest system kicks in.


Energy Management

Daly and the client ensured that the whole system was computerised. This had the benefit of monitoring any excess hot water and sending it to the rest of the house.

The results?

It’s been two years since the client has been in their new home, so has their design lived up to energy expectations? 100% yes!

“We never run out of hot water, even when we have guests staying over, and with the pool water being heated, we are very happy with it.”


And what about the heating? Is it a different experience living with underfloor heating as opposed to having gas fired heating?


“The main difference is just pure comfort and ease without thinking about when the heat will be on, there is constant warmth. It’s not the same type of blasting heat that you get with gas heating. It’s a comfortable, ambient heat that you get, which is lovely when you get home after walk on the beach.”


“He is organised so the project ran perfectly. Ryan worked very hard to get the job. I didn’t talk to another company, but Ryan didn’t know that was the case.”


What are the costs of running a new energy efficient home of this size?

Despite the upfront cost of installing the renewable energy heating the client strongly believes that the long term benefit and the benefit to the environment made the renewable energy system the obvious way to go.

The client keeps a spreadsheet of the running costs for the home. For 2020 he worked out that his electricity bill for the year was around £1,500, to heat 8000 sq ft and provide hot water for the house and the swimming pool! That’s around £160 a month, which is what you would pay for a 4-bedroom family house, not an 8000 sq ft property and an annexe.


Would the client change anything about the design?

Install a plant room!

Daly had suggested installing a plant room at the start of the build, but the clients did not want to lose a room in their property:


”In hindsight I wish we had. It would have been great to have everything is in one place and if there is anything to be sorted out then the engineer doesn’t even have to come into the house – a consideration in recent times given the recent pandemic.”




Daly Renewables is passionate about making your home more energy-efficient, stress-free as well as saving you money on your bills.  Read more of our case studies here.


We tailor your entire house’s system and technologies to your family’s needs. Our engineer-led company puts your requirements first and finds the best solution. 


To find out more about you can change your home’s energy efficiency, give us a call on +44 (0)28 92667745 /+353  (0) 4767227 or email us on