Social housing at Gort Beag, Rathlin

Gort Beag was the first new social housing scheme to be built on Rathlin Island in almost two decades. The project provided ten new dwellings on Northern Ireland’s only off-shore inhabited island. 

Project Details

Project Team

Architect: GM Design
Civil & Structural Engineer: 
O’Connor Sutton Cronin
M&E Engineer: ISD
Quantity Surveyor: VB Evans

Awards

CIH Awards Sustainable Project of the Year 2014. Bronze Award: International Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage 2016. 

Social housing at Gort Beag, Rathlin

The Client

Apex Housing Association

The new houses more than doubled the social housing stock on the island and aimed to provide high quality permanent homes for families on the housing waiting list.

These homes also assisted families who had left the island to return and re-establish their roots. They were constructed with enhanced building fabrics and greatly increased air tightness, in tandem with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery technology, in recognition of the exposed island location.

The thermal comfort of the homes was designed to code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, making the homes 44% more energy efficient than the current Building Regulation standards and more sustainable in the longer term. There are few social housing projects in Northern Ireland that come with the complexities of Gort Beag. The logistics and buildability of the project were dictated by the availability and capability of the Rathlin ferry. Forrme worked continuously with the design team to find solutions to potential problems posed by the ferry. Gort Beag has been hailed a feat in sustainable development. 

Gort Beag was a finalist in the Social Housing category at the 2013 Construction Excellence Awards. Moreover, it was named ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’ at the 2014 CIH Awards, won a gold Irish Green Apple Award and a bronze International Green Apple Award in 2016 – demonstrating its excellence. 

Social housing at Gort Beag, Rathlin

The Client

Apex Housing Association

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