new project | replacement dwelling ahoghill

A new project through the planning process & heading onto site.

replacement dwelling outside ahoghill ballymena

We gained planning approval for a replacement dwelling (Policy CTY 3 – Replacement Dwellings) on the outskirts of Ahoghill, Ballymena.

the image above shows the state that the existing dwelling was in.

historical maps showed that a building was in the same position, which was used in our statement of case to planning ni.

Anyway, with the boring text out of the road, we’ll post updates of it onsite 🙂

If you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch with our office.

Creating Your First Smart Home

From voice assistants to remotely controlled thermostats and doorbells, your home is set to get a lot more intelligent in the coming years.

what is a smart home

Imagine living in a home that reacts to the way you live, that’s tailored to your needs and is constantly evolving. With the rise of the Internet of Things, homes are becoming smarter every day which means soon we’ll be controlling our lighting, heating, entertainment and more, from just a few swipes on our smartphones.

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi film but smart homes are already here and over the next few years smart devices are going to become a reality in our lives.

So, if you’re toying with the idea of adapting your current home, or building a new home, with smart design and features in mind then this should provide some guidance and inspiration.

Now, let there be heat, light and…fun!


controlling your smart home

Control is potentially the biggest selling point when discussing smart homes, although time and energy efficiency might be a close second, and there are multiple options out there including Amazon Echo (Alexa to you and me), Apple Homekit and Google Home

There are pros and cons to each system but the differences are generally small. When choosing one think about your priorities before exploring the world of compatible devices and accessories.


whats the best smart heating control

Every home needs heat, especially here in Northern Ireland & the whole of Ireland where Slemish Design Studios operates, and a smart home provides more than a few options when it comes to keeping you and your family cosy!

Here in the UK, the most visible smart home heating device currently in the market is Hive as it is designed and maintained by British Gas. Hive, and other similar devices like Nest, will allow you to control your home heating and hot water from one central app.

This control includes the ability to turn the heating on and off at specific times, even when you’re away from home, put your heating system into holiday mode, include geo-identifiers that turns the heating on in preparation for your return and stops pipes freezing during the winter.

Whether you’re designing a new build or considering a home heating upgrade it might be worth considering a smart option as we gradually move closer to this style of heating.


smart lighting systems in kitchen
smart lighting can be brought into your dinings & kitchen area to create a mood

Right next to heating at the top of the list is lighting and there is a growing list of options and possibilities when it comes to smart lighting.

To get started you’ll need wifi bulbs or light strips that connect to your chosen smart home system. Most smart lighting sets, including the Philips Hue range, feature LED bulbs that can be turned on, off and have brightness altered and dimmed depending on the mood you’d like to set.

Beyond that, you can begin to explore the various options available including setting lights to turn on or off at certain times as well as being able to use them as an alerts system when preparing food or boiling the kettle to ensure you never burn another dinner again. Tasty!


Moving on, heating and lighting are obvious essentials but, if you do a quick poll amongst your own household, it will probably become clear that food and entertainment aren’t too far behind either.

Luckily there are more and smarter home devices entering the market every day and the Internet of Things trend is set to grow over the coming years.

At the time of writing, you can get smart TVs, smart fridges, smart kettles, that can be boiled from the comfort of your sofa, and more!

Our advice here would be that if you can think of it, it probably already exists in some shape or form so a quick search on Google should steer you in the right direction.

What’s Next? 

At the time of writing, we’re only at the beginning of the Internet of Things and smart homes so over the next few years more and more devices and opportunities will be created so keep your eyes peeled…

In the meantime, if you have any other questions get in touch, we’re always happy to have a chat and offer advice where we can!

lisnafillon house complete

We have recently overseen the completion of our Lisnafillon house, just outside Ballymena, County Antrim

This modern house has been kitted out with all the latest in smart home technology, from motion detected CCTV to battery backup solar PV

Materials such as western cedar cladding soften the front elevation against the Kilkenny limestone & smooth Weber render

modern house in ballymena by slemish design studio architects

Internally we’ve gone with a neutral tone, using white paint, light grey porcelain tiles & oak doors.

light & airy entrance

Head over to our project page for more images & information on this project.

should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in contact with ourselves.

woodtown manor project moving along well

Our housing development at Woodtown Manor, in Ballymena, is coming along nicely on site.

Today we had Creagh Concrete on-site with their Spantherm concrete slabs.

Spantherm is an insulated, precast concrete flooring system designed specifically for residential and commercial ground floors.  By producing high performance insulated structural concrete units off-site we have redefined the speed of installing a fully insulated ground floor. 

Spantherm plus Flooring

Spantherm Plus Flooring on our site Woodtown Manor Ballymena, nothing but the best !

Posted by AMD HOMES LTD on Tuesday, 24 September 2019

if you have a project you’d like to discuss feel free to contact our office

New project | traditional house Tipperary, Ireland

We’ve recently been appointed as architects for a new project in County Tipperary, Ireland

The client has amazing view from the site looking over the local countryside right up to Devil’s Bit mountain

We’re looking at a traditional house with modern features, local stone, smooth render & western cedar cladding.

We have a number of architectural projects running all over Ireland from modern and traditional new builds to extensions & renovations.

should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to contact our office.

planning approval | Racavan House

One of our latest projects outside Broughshane, Ballymena has been approved by planning ni

modern house with barn conversion ballymena northern ireland

The replacement dwelling will be a modern house, using standing seam zinc roof along with charred timber cladding & white rendered walls.

Along with replacing the existing house, we are also converting the existing barn so that is can be used as the kitchen & dining area.

with a water wheel, MVRH, air source heating, this house will definitely be seen as an eco, sustainable or renewable house

mortgage inspection in Kells

onsite outside Kells, Ballymena for a mortgage inspection

mortgage inspections kells ballymena

Winters coming in Northern Ireland.. an awful windy day to be out doing mortgage inspections at our project in Kells, Ballymena.

great to see that everything is coming along well onsite & at a good speed too.

mortgage inspection kells ballymena

Broughshane granny flat featured in Selfbuild Ireland magazine

granny flat

We’re pleased to have been featured in the Autumn edition of Selfbuild Ireland Magazine.

The granny flat in broughshane was a personal project for Steven (one of our partners) and his family.

Built to accommodate Stevens parents, the new granny flat has been clad in charred Siberian larch to “stand out” from the 1930’s house.
It’s defiantly been a marmite type of finish, with some loving it & the odd one still to be convinced.

thankfully both parents love it, which matters most.

should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to contact our office

New project | Woodtown Manor Ballymena

woodtown manor ballymena

We’re pleased to be working alongside award-winning developer AMD Homes for an existing new housing development

A prestige small development, Woodtown Manor offers well designed spacious family homes with a modern stylish quality turnkey finish.

Woodtown Manor is located on the old townland of Leymore on the edge of Ballymena town via a picturesque country road with no passing traffic.

All that & walking distance to local amenities, town centre and M2 links less than 1.5 miles.

woodtown manor ballymena, an existing new turnkey
woodtown manor ballymena
woodtown manor ballymena
woodtown manor ballymena

Check out AMD Homes Website or Agents Rainey & Gregg of more information

Should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch with our office

Planning approval |Modern House Dunfanaghy, Donegal

Irish Architects Slemish Design Studio have recently received planning approval for a modern house in dunfanaghy, County Donegal.

dunfanaghy donegal selfbuild

Sited outside the village of Dunfanaghy, our recent approval has views to Muckish Moutain along with views towards Horn Head and Sheephaven Bay

Materials used for this modern house will be in keeping with the Donegal planning coco & blending into the local countryside with natural materials, such as Natural Donegal Stone, white rendered walls with a slate roof, we have also brought zinc standing seam into the materials to add a more contemporary look to one part of the house

materials for dunfanaghy house

we’re looking forward to this going onsite.. .if nothing more than to have an excuse to head back to Dunfanaghy 🙂

Should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch. We cover all over Ireland & UK

new project | modern replacement dwelling broughshane

replacement dwelling & conversion of barn in broughshane

we’ve another existing replacement dwelling on the board outside Broughshane, Ballymena.

converting the barn back to use as the kitchen area, along with bringing the old water wheel & pond back to life.
these along with a new modern house will appeal to everyone that loves old & new.

eco, sustainable or renewable whatever the buzz word is these days.. this house will have it.
from air source heating to solar & PV panels with mvhr.

that and what a view of slemish mountain

modern replacement dwelling outside broughshane

new project | replacement dwelling, London

modern replacement dwelling in London, England.
dwelling to be replaced

Slemish Design Studio Architects have been appointed as for a modern replacement dwelling in London, England.

last month we went over to Old Windsor, London for a site visit and to discuss the brief with our clients.
The brief –
open plan living with access to outside living
4 bed with office space
clean lines
stone/brick/white render

along with the house we’ve a much smaller project to design for our clients… a mooring at the Thames River!!
just to prove it’s not all modern houses we do

new project | ex-garda station Roscommon, Ireland

The Barracks, Tremane, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon

Over the past 5 years, over 40 former garda stations in Ireland have been sold or auctioned as part of a nationwide station consolidation programme from The Office of Public Works.

Luckily for ourselves, we have been instructed as architects for an ex-garda station that has been bought by a young family in Roscommon.

Set in a long narrow site surrounded by old deciduous trees, the 1800’s building isn’t the best house to be living in, but with minor renovations & adding a modern extension, this can be brought to life, merging old & new buildings, along with retaining the character of the property.

Using local stone, along with clean render & timber cladding with plenty of glazed opening, this will give the family the design & quality of life they are looking for from their home.

This is the second police station we’ve worked in the office, with our Glenarm police station being renovated & extended into a 5 star B&B.
click here

should you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch with our office, either via our website, or our facebook page

Replacement Dwelling in Northern Ireland CTY3

Replacement Dwellings and Planning issues

Replacement dwellings in Northern Ireland – As part of the general approach to sustainability running through PPS 21 the policy places a strong emphasis on the opportunities to re-use and develop the existing rural settlement pattern through a sensitive policy for replacement dwellings. Policy CTY3 sets out the criteria against which proposals will be assessed and it contains specific safeguards for the integration and retention of non listed vernacular buildings that are considered to be important to retain because of the contribution they make to the character and appearance of our local rural landscapes.

replacement dwelling to a house northern ireland
replacement dwelling for a 2 room house at slieve gullion newry, northern ireland

Basic Rules for Replacement Projects

  • The replacement dwelling should generally be placed as close as possible to the footprint of the original house, unless significant benefits are apparent in terms of visual and functional integration.
  • The replacement dwelling should be of a form and scale that integrates well with the characteristics of the site. Replacement dwellings should not be of an excessive size in comparison to the original building or be located a significant distance away from the original footprint unless there are clear and evident benefits.
  • The proposal takes full advantage of the retention of established and mature landscape and boundary features and retains the discreet character of existing access points.
  • Use is made of recycled building materials in the new proposal

Planning permission will be granted for a replacement dwelling where the building to be replaced exhibits the essential characteristics of a dwelling and as a minimum, all external structural walls are substantially intact. For the purposes of this policy, all references to ‘dwellings’ will include buildings previously used as dwellings.

Buildings designed and used for agricultural purposes, such as sheds or stores, and buildings of a temporary construction will not, however, be eligible for replacement under this policy.

Favourable consideration will, however, be given to the replacement of a redundant non-residential building with a single dwelling, where the redevelopment proposed would bring significant environmental benefits and provided the building is not listed or otherwise makes an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality.

In cases where a dwelling has recently been destroyed, for example, through an accident or a fire, planning permission may be granted for a replacement dwelling. Evidence about the status and previous condition of the building and the cause and extent of the damage must be provided.

Non-listed Vernacular Dwellings

The retention and sympathetic refurbishment, with adaptation if necessary, of non-listed vernacular dwellings in the countryside will be encouraged in preference to their replacement. Proposals involving the replacement of such dwellings will be assessed as follows:

• if the dwelling makes an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality planning permission will only be granted where it is demonstrated that it is not reasonably capable of being made structurally sound or otherwise improved.

• if the dwelling does not make an important contribution to the heritage, appearance or character of the locality, planning permission will be granted for a new dwelling. In such cases the retention of the existing structure will be accepted where it is sympathetically incorporated into the layout of the overall development scheme, for example as ancillary accommodation or a store, to form an integrated building group.

In cases where the original building is retained, it will not be eligible for replacement again. Equally, this policy will not apply to buildings where planning permission has previously been granted for a replacement dwelling and a condition has been imposed restricting the future use of the original building, or where the building is immune from enforcement action as a result of non-compliance with a condition to demolish.

Refer to Planning Departments design Guide to accompany PPS21

Should you have any queries about planning in Northern Ireland, please feel free to get in touch with our office.

2 New projects in overlooking Galway Bay in Salthill, Ireland

Not the best day to be taking a video, but right in front of us is Galway Bay.
We’ve been appointed as architects for 2 new projects Outside Salthill in Galway.