Cloughjordan is an ecovillage in the process of being established in Co Tipperary, Ireland. We visited in Jan 2013 as guests of Pat and Wendy Malone, and here are a few photos from the visit.
The Village has planning permission for 130 dwellings, of which about fifty are currently built or being built. Sites are for sale on the open market, and are selling much more slowly after the economic downturn. The planning requirements are that the houses be situated fairly close together, (to benefit from a common district heating system) be at least two stories high to reflect the local vernacular style, and be of a very high standard of insulation, finish etc. Here are some houses which varied in building costs from 72,000 euros to 300,000 euros, plus site fees.

It is interesting to see how the initial vision and planning regime for different ecovillages results in different emphases. Lammas in Pembrokeshire has centralised renewable electricity, individual heating solutions, individual food production and low-cost, low impact, self built housing. In Cloughjordan they have electricity from the grid, high cost housing, but communal farm run as CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and a centralised water heating system. The heating system involves water heated by wood chip

in a highly sophisticated boiler, or, in the sunnier times of year, heated in Ireland's largest solar water heating panel installation,

then sent down piping costing about 60 euros per metre

to all the houses. Pat, for example, gets his total three storey house heated and all the hot water for showers and baths for 800 euros a year.

The Village hopes to attract small businesses. Here is one already established - Jo runs a commercial bakery running on beech wood and supplying top quality bread to local suppliers and to Dublin.

The community farm is well organised on biodynamic principles, and has outside fields, polytunnels and an orchard. Here Pat shows a visiting group the orchard, a tunnel, and the onion store:

Lastly, we were made most welcome at three communal meals at different houses, and had a great day with musicians and dancers. Here are two musicians, Garaoid and Paul, in a break in rehearsal

It will be interesting to see whether the village develops to attract people who could afford more low impact, self build structures. Watch this space.

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