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Low-Rise, Medium-Density, Low-Carbon Housing Promoted in new Planning Guidelines

A quiet revolution in the design of housing reached a watershed moment this week, with the publication of the Draft Sustainable and Compact Settlement Guidelines for Planning Authorities by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for a period of public consultation.

Through our work with a very energetic Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Housing Committee in consultation with the Department, the guidelines create a new legislative environment promoting many of the Low-Rise, Medium-Density, Low-Carbon Housing Typologies, which we have been exploring at Shay Cleary Architects over the last five years. This form of housing provides densities comparable to apartment development, but does so through the medium of house building, with own-door homes, garden courtyards, and generous terraces, and is deliverable in a more economical, viable format, more suitable for phased delivery – a particularly important point in today’s interest rate environment. It delivers the one, two and three-bed units which as Census 2022 highlights, are so desperately required for sale and for rent, in locations which support sustainable low-carbon impact transportation.

We encourage the widest possible engagement across all sectors of the industry with the emergent guidelines before the conclusion of the consultation period, which can be accessed from the link below. We believe the net affect of these new guidelines will be to unleash a new era of creativity and invention in housing design, of a more sustainable, more viable, and more affordable housing, which is both more in line with European norms, but also feels more comfortable in an Irish context.

The images which follow chronicle a number of completed and in-development Low-Rise, Medium-Density, Low-Carbon Housing Typologies by Shay Cleary Architects in Ireland, in a variety of sectors, including the prime residential sector, social and affordable sector, and in the house building sector.


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